How Is Manuka Honey Different From Other Honey?

How Is Manuka Honey Different From Other Honey?

Executive Summary:

  • Manuka honey is a monofloral honey, derived from the Manuka tea tree in New Zealand. It only has a six-week harvest window each year.


If you’re a lover of nature's nectar, then we’re sure you’d agree that all honey is inherently delicious. While most raw honey has unique healing powers, Manuka honey can offer just a little more thanks to its complexity and potency. 

Manuka honey is unlike any other type of honey, primarily in terms of its benefits paired with the sheer sensory experience that comes with it. Its unique aroma, creamy consistency, and rich texture that make for a downright delicious indulgence.

Thanks to its various naturally occurring constituents, it also offers a collection of benefits to your overall health and well-being. 

On top of picking your choice of honey based on flavor, use, and benefits, we believe it’s also worth considering if your honey has been produced ethically. Honey bees play a significant role in our ecosystem, so happy, healthier bees not only make for better honey, but a better planet.

Manuka honey has gained much attention recently, so we understand if you’re curious about it. Let’s break down the components of Manuka honey and explain how this native New Zealand nectar differs from regular honey. 


What Is Manuka Honey? 

Anyone can say their honey has healing powers, but the compounds in Manuka honey are distinctive to the nectar of the New Zealand tea tree (aka the Manuka bush or Manuka tree) and are what truly make it a super honey.

Manuka honey is produced from the nectar of these magical bushes and their potent constituents, and Manukora’s Manuka honey is produced in “The Golden Triangle” of New Zealand. The Golden Triangle is famous for the highest potency Manuka honey in New Zealand. 

The nectar responsible for the golden goodness in question comes from Leptospermum scoparium, which only grows in remote regions of New Zealand. 

Our honey undergoes an authentication and testing process to ensure all of the beneficial flavonoids, phenolic acids, and other beneficial compounds are present in each batch before arriving at your doorstep. 

Manuka honey has various factors that contribute to its highly renowned reputation, and we’ll dive deep into each aspect of Manuka and what sets it apart. 


What Makes Manuka Honey Rare?

High-quality Manuka honey is extremely rare as it is only produced in New Zealand, and the harvest season is less than six weeks per year. 

The Manuka tea tree has very small flowers, which elongate the process for the bees to collect the nectar and pollen to create Manuka honey.

For honey to be considered genuine Manuka honey, it must undergo a rigorous testing process that ensures all of the necessary components are accounted for.

These highly renowned compounds include:

  • MGO (Methylglyoxal)
  • Leptosperin
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Other flavonoids and phenolic acids

In addition to the unique compounds of the Manuka plant, Manuka honey also offers a unique sensory experience like no other honey (and no other natural ingredient) can really provide.


Manuka Tastes Like No Other Honey 

Manuka is often explained as dark and rich with a caramel-like texture. Its deep flavor is more robust than average honey, and the texture makes for an indulgent mouthfeel.

It’s also a more substantial addition to your favorite dish or your morning drink thanks to its complex flavor and consistency. 

Most honey will simply add a subtle sweet hint to your tea or toast, but Manuka honey is more than that — it serves as a healthy indulgence like no other honey can, and while we can explain the best we know how, it’s better experienced

That said, while a few of our preferred culinary uses of Manuka honey include incorporating it into your morning peanut butter and banana toast, drizzled over your favorite ice cream, or even worked into a sweet and spicy chili paste, one of the best parts of Manuka honey’s sensory characteristics is that it can be enjoyed simply by the spoonful. 


MGO (Methylglyoxal)

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is prominent in Manuka honey, and it’s a unique plant-derived compound that exhibits antibacterial properties. MGO originates in the nectar of the Manuka flower and is transferred by the bees during the honey production process.

Paying attention to the MGO levels in your Manuka is the first step to ensuring you’re getting the best Manuka possible. Always ensure your Manuka is MGO-graded. A higher MGO number means more MGO in the Manuka honey, which also means higher levels of other key compounds such as Leptosperin (a key antioxidant). 

Even if you’ve never tried Manuka before, MGO 600+ is a good place to start to really reap the benefits of MGO.  



Leptosperin is a highly active phytochemical in Manuka honey; it makes up a majority of Manuka’s concentrated polyphenol levels and significantly contributes to its antioxidant properties. Leptosperin is unique to Manuka honey, adding to its distinctive and rare nature. 



Gut health is a determining factor in most functions of your body. If your gut microbiome isn’t balanced and healthy, it can affect almost every aspect of your life — your mood, eating habits, energy levels, ability to exercise, weight, and more. 

Keeping your gut healthy isn’t necessarily difficult. The results can be monumental when a healthy prebiotic is paired with the right diet and lifestyle. While you can get prebiotics in pill form, you can also eat foods high in prebiotic compounds that can help regulate your microbiome. 

Manuka honey has several oligosaccharides, prebiotic compounds that can help support the activities of starch-degrading enzymes and help feed the highly beneficial GI bacteria in our gut. Natural sugars can also help feed this bacteria, which Manuka honey is full of. 

Our honey is only home to natural sugar from Manuka nectar and bees. We never substitute natural nectar with processed sugar, meaning Manukora Manuka honey only has natural sugars.

Natural sugars can work synergistically with other beneficial ingredients in Manuka, making this nectar a genuine superfood when it comes to the nutrients it can offer when consumed.


It Has Retained Virtually All of Its Naturally Occurring Nutrients

The components known for their natural cleansing and soothing properties are potent in Manuka honey because we keep our honey in its raw, natural state. 

True raw honey is honey dehydrated by the bees, meaning we don’t put our honey through pasteurization or artificial concentrating process like some commercially produced regular honey. Since some properties in honey are heat-sensitive, pasteurizing can mean that some highly desired, naturally beneficial compounds are lost.

Our beekeeping methods prioritize happy, healthy bees, which means higher-quality honey. We first ensure the honeycombs are completely capped (this ensures low moisture); next, we slowly heat the honey to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and lastly, we send the honey through two coarse filters to remove any wax or unneeded extras while leaving all the good stuff — those holistically beneficial natural constituents. 

Allowing the bees to dehydrate the honey properly is crucial, not just for the honey’s wellness qualities but also for the bees. 

We work with Mother Nature, not against her, which is why we ensure that implementing The Art of Ethical Beekeeping is our top priority. After all, we’d have no super honey if it wasn’t for the bees and the sweet nectar they collect.


The Bottom Line 

Manuka honey differs from other honey primarily due to its health properties and the unique sensory experience it provides.

While all honey is beloved, many factors can contribute to its possible health benefits. Manuka honey is a super honey due to the presence of over 2,000 naturally occurring compounds, far more than any other honey type. This complex array of natural compounds (of which over 30 can only be found in Manuka) results in a highly active, rich, creamy caramel honey like no other you have tasted before.

While we’re preferable to Manuka honey, we’ve also had our fair share to try. The only way you will truly know if Manuka is worth its recent buzz is if you give a heaping spoonful of this indulgent wellness experience a try for yourself.

Explore Manukora’s Manuka honey options here, or click here for more articles on everything you need to know about this Honey With Superpowers™.


Trace Elements - Diet and Health - NCBI Bookshelf

Analysis of Amino Acids in Manuka Honey | Researchcommons

Methyl 4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxybenzoate | C10H12O5 - PubChem

Dynamics of the Cellular Metabolism of Leptosperin Found in Manuka Honey | Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry


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