What is Manuka Honey?

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a rare and special type of honey that comes exclusively from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree in New Zealand. Its unique properties and benefits set it apart from regular honey.

  • Manuka honey is produced only in New Zealand from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree
  • Authentic Manuka honey contains unique compounds like MGO and Leptosperin
  • Manuka honey offers potential benefits for immunity, digestion, and overall wellness
  • Manuka honey differs from regular honey in being raw, ethically harvested, and monofloral
  • Proper authentication and ethical sourcing are key to ensuring genuine Manuka honey

Manuka Honey vs Regular Honey

Manuka Honey

Regular Honey

Comes only from the Manuka tea tree in NZ

Can come from various floral sources

Contains unique compounds like MGO, Leptosperin

Lacks Manuka-specific compounds

Raw, unpasteurized, minimally processed

Often pasteurized and highly processed

Ethically harvested with care for bees

Mass-produced, bees-fed sugar water

Monofloral - only from Manuka nectar

Can be blended from multiple nectars

What makes Manuka honey different from regular honey?

Manuka honey is a rare, special honey that comes exclusively from the Manuka tea tree in New Zealand. 

It contains unique compounds like MGO and Leptosperin not found in other honey. Manuka is raw, ethically harvested, and monofloral, unlike regular honey which is often heavily processed and can come from various floral sources. 

These special properties give Manuka honey its distinctive taste, texture, and potential wellness benefits.

Executive Summary:

  • Manuka honey is a special type of honey that only derives from the nectar of the Manuka tea tree.
  • Authentic Manuka honey contains specific nutrients that can only be found in nectar from the Manuka tea tree.
  • The nutrients in Manuka honey support immunity, digestion, and overall wellness.

Dive Into the World of Manuka Honey

Manuka honey is far from a new commodity, but as it swarms the internet in popularity, you may have questions. What is Manuka honey, and how is it different from regular honey?

If you’ve seen Manuka honey before, you may have noticed its darker-than-normal color or its creamer-than-usual texture. 

The sweet, rich, and velvety flavors of the Manuka Honey superfood set it apart from other honey.

So, what is it about Manuka honey that makes it delicious? What’s the story behind Manuka honey’s uses in traditional alternative medicine, and what exactly makes it a superfood?

Here at Manukora, we know Manuka inside and out, and we’re happy to introduce you to Manuka honey, discuss what sets it apart, and share its benefits. So, let's get to it.

What Is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a special type of honey that can only be produced in New Zealand from the nectar of the Leptospermum Scoparium, also called the New Zealand tea tree or the Manuka tea tree.

The Manuka tea tree responsible for this delicious nectar only blossoms for two to six weeks during the summer, and it can only thrive in the specific climate that New Zealand’s remote forests offer. 

This is why the Manuka nectar supply is limited, and why a spoonful of Manuka is an indulgence in a not-so-common commodity.

It is well-known that the highest quality Manuka honey comes from what beekeepers call "The Golden Triangle" of New Zealand. The triangle spans from Taranaki on the West Coast, across to the wild East Cape, and to the top of the North Island in Northland.

With that, there are a few additional things that make the Manuka honey the best of the best. At Manukora, our Manuka honey is ethically produced, raw, unpasteurized honey, native to New Zealand, and fully traceable through every step of the process.

The production of our authentic Manuka honey wouldn't be possible without our strict reliance on The Art of Ethical Beekeeping, which ultimately means we let the honey-making process take place with virtually no human intervention. 

We believe in working with Mother Nature, not against her — and our honey is better for it. 

How Do I Know If My Manuka Honey Is Authentic?

To reap the benefits of Manuka honey, it must be authentic, which means it must be from New Zealand. 

Additionally, there are certain naturally occurring nutrients and unique markers that must be present to verify the authenticity of genuine Manuka honey, such as MGO and Leptosperin.

MGO (Methylglyoxal)

First and foremost, one of the most important compounds in your Manuka honey is Methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO is an organic nutrient that has antibacterial properties, and it comes directly (and solely) from the Manuka tea tree. 

Each batch of Manukora Manuka honey is tested and given an MGO rating, which indicates your Manuka honey's potency (or strength). 

Higher-grade Manuka honey will have a taste and texture like no other honey you've had before. You can expect it to be dark, sweet, thick, and creamy — similar to caramel but with a more complex flavor profile.


Leptosperin is an active phytochemical in Manuka honey; it makes up a majority of Manuka’s polyphenol levels and contributes to its antioxidant properties. 

Leptosperin is unique to Manuka honey, adding to its distinctive and rare nature. All authentic Manuka honey has levels of detectable levels of Leptosperin.

MPI Grading

Just as the MGO levels in your Manuka honey can be very telling, so can its rating from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI). 

New Zealand Manuka honey must also have Leptosperin and DHA (or dihydroxyacetone) to be considered authentic Manuka.

The New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) has set strict guidelines to authenticate Manuka honey. Only MPI-approved laboratories can test and confirm the honey's authenticity, so if your Manuka honey is MPI Certified, you know it's genuine.

You can even check for yourself by scanning the unique QR code on each Manukora honey product. 

This code will provide a detailed history of your honey product’s production process, including the exact hive your honey came from and its breakdown of beneficial compounds.

What Are the Benefits of Manuka Honey?

For anyone who has tasted Manuka honey, there's no argument that it has a distinct delectable taste, but is it as beneficial as everyone says? 

Put simply, yes — the beneficial effects of Manuka honey come from the unique nutrients the Manuka tea tree has to offer. 

Manuka honey is a rare gift from Mother Nature, and with a history (almost) as rich as its flavor, Manuka is a healthy indulgence that can support almost any lifestyle and routine in one way or another.

For Sweetening Your Day

A heaping spoonful of Manuka honey can help kickstart your morning and fuel you with feelings of energy thanks to its natural sugar content.

On top of this, Manuka is an attractive substitute for regular ol' table sugar. 

Whether it’s to sweeten your morning coffee, add some extra richness to your evening tea, or as a natural sweetener for your favorite homemade sauce, Manuka not only brings a rich sweet flavor profile but also a ton of beneficial nutrients.

For Digestive Health 

Manuka honey contains prebiotic oligosaccharides and additional nutrients, which can support gut health. 

These nutrients are also found in other plants like onion, chicory, garlic, asparagus, banana, and artichoke. 

Yet, we’re confident you’ll be much more excited to get your share of prebiotics from incorporating sweet Manuka into your morning routine

For Immune Function 

Manuka honey provides natural immune support thanks to specific nutrients and the potent levels of Methylglyoxal (MGO) that come from Manuka nectar. 

This naturally cleansing nutrient promotes a natural, healthy immune response, and is most beneficial at a minimum of 600+ MGO Manuka

For the Planet-Friendly Lifestyle

With the practice of ethical beekeeping being our guiding philosophy, you can trust that each batch of Manukora Manuka honey is made with respect and care for our bees and the Earth. 

Consuming all-natural products free of unnecessary additives can support your overall well-being (and that of the planet). 

At Manukora, we never employ the use of pesticides, antibiotics, or sprays in our beekeeping methods. 

All Manukora honey products are non-GMO project-certified, residue-free certified, antibiotic-free, raw, and unpasteurized, always.  

How Is Manuka Honey Different From Regular Honey?

Manuka honey is a rare commodity full of delicious, natural goodness, but isn't all honey like that? Well, not necessarily — not all honey is created equal.

It’s Raw

Natural, unpasteurized, raw honey can offer beneficial wellness nutrients on top of its sweet deliciousness. However, most commercially produced honey is far from raw or unpasteurized. 

What’s important to know is that honey doesn’t, by default, need pasteurization. 

The bees know what they're doing and, if left alone, will finish the honey-creation process themselves. While it may take a little longer, it's best for the bees (and the honey) not to rush the process. 

Honey from commercialized and industrialized producers goes through pasteurization, which is a rigorous heating method that dehydrates honey and gives it a uniform syrupy texture, color, and consistency — all ideal traits for a shelf-stable grocery commodity. 

It’s Ethically Harvested (At Least Here at Manukora)

Not only do we remove the honey at the right time, but we also make sure to remove just the right amount. 

Honey bees need to survive the whole winter, and we ensure they have plenty of that precious nectar for themselves. 

A lot of commercial honey manufacturers will take all of the honey and substitute it with what’s effectively sugar water or even high fructose corn syrup, and we believe bees deserve better than that. 

It’s Monofloral

Another factor differentiating Manuka honey from other types of honey is that it is 100 percent monofloral. 

Monofloral Manuka honey is produced from only the pollen of Manuka flowers (the flowers from the Leptospermum Scoparium tree, or New Zealand Manuka bush). 

Polyfloral honey is derived from a variety of blossoms. Although our bees sometimes visit other plants as they roam, we test each batch to ensure authenticity and purity.

The Bottom Line 

Manuka honey is a rare honey variety that comes from a specific region of New Zealand, where it is derived from a seasonally limited resource since Manuka tea trees blossom for about six weeks per year at most.

Rich in natural beneficial nutrients, Manuka honey is not only a one-of-a-kind sensory experience but also a healthy indulgence that can fit into any routine.

The unique richness of Manuka honey with our Manuka Honey MGO 600 is a prime example of natural indulgence combined with health benefits. 

Our products are aimed at exceptional quality, but also for its commitment to ethical and sustainable production. For those focusing on wellness, our immune support range offers additional options.

Ensure the authenticity of your honey with our guide on how to tell if honey is real, and delve into the fascinating world of bees with insights on whether bees eat their own honey

At Manukora, we’re proud to say that our Manuka is also ethically and sustainably produced — we believe happy bees make for the best honey, and that the planet deserves all we can give her in exchange for the goodness she provides. 

With a taste and texture like no other, what are you waiting for? 

Explore Manukora’s wide selection of authentic New Zealand Manuka honey here.


Why is Manuka honey more expensive than regular honey?

Manuka honey is derived from the nectar of the Manuka tree, which blossoms for only two to six weeks during the summer and is limited to the specific climate of New Zealand's remote forests. 

This limited supply, combined with the unique benefits and authenticity verification processes, can make Manuka honey more pricey than regular honey.

How should I store my Manuka honey to retain its properties?

For best results, store Manuka honey in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Ensure the lid is tightly sealed to prevent moisture and other contaminants.

Is it safe for children and pregnant women to consume Manuka honey?

As with any honey, it's generally recommended not to give honey to infants under 12 months because of the risk of botulism. 

Pregnant women can safely consume Manuka honey, but it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional if you have concerns or specific health conditions. 


Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)

Antibacterial activity of Manuka honey and its components: An overview | PMC

Objective Definition of Monofloral and Polyfloral Honeys Based on NMR Metabolomic Profiling | Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

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