How should I buy manuka honey? What is UMF or MGO? Or NPA? Are you confused? 🙂
There are 3 ways of grading manuka honey, all of them trying to reflect the quality of honey, by measuring its antibacterial properties: UMF, MGO and A (Active).
There are two types of antibacterial activity in honey.
1. Hydrogen peroxide activity. It is found in all honeys, including manuka honey. This activity is triggered by an enzyme found in honey, glocose oxidase. It was initially added by the bees to the nectar, to turn it into honey. This enzyme will break the glucose down into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a disinfectant used in our medicinal world, from the beginnings. Unfortunately it is unstable in the presence of air and light, and this makes it difficult to store and use. Yet, in honey it is stable and released little by little. Read more about the antibacterial properties of honey.
Storing honey is an issue that has to be considered, because glucose oxidase is reduced by heat, light and some forms of energy like microwaves. Some honeys are more sensitive to light exposure than others.
2. Non peroxide activity (NPA) If we neutralize the activity of oxidase, using a different enzyme called catalase, we will not have hydrogen peroxide activity anymore. Manuka honey has showed to have something else that leads to an antibacterial effect. Scientists called this a non peroxide activity, which is not found in all honeys, though in quite many of them (according to recent news). To measure this non peroxide activity, they invented UMF, and others added MGO content on the labels.
Some marketers use this grade on their jars: NPA followed by a number. We should be very careful with them. NPA rating is not a direct measure of antibacterial activity. The numbers that follow show the concentration (as % in solution) of phenol, a standard reference antiseptic. It’s a way of showing the level of antibacterial activity in honey compared for potency with other antibacterial substances. (this aspect was recently researched by Peter Molan, formerly Professor in Biological Sciences and Director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato and presented in the study “The true relationship of NPA and MGA levels”).
Manuka honey with NPA20 DOES NOT mean it is twice as good as NPA10. This is due to the fact that the measurements do not start from zero, but from 8. A rating of 8 is the minimum level of activity that can be detected in the assay. (We have the same situation in measuring temperature: 100°F (38°C) is not twice as warm as 50°F (10°C) because the measuring scale starts at 32°F. But a temperature of 100°C is exactly twice as warm as 50°C because the Centigrade scale starts at zero.)
As a result, a honey rated NPA 30 has a bit over three times as much antibacterial potency as one rated NPA 15, not twice as much. (Le., 30 – 8 = 22 is compared with 15 – 8 = 7).
Why 8 and not 0?
Because of what it is called “minimum inhibitory concentration” – a minimum concentration required to all antibacterial substances, necessary to affect bacteria. Phenol at a concentration of 7% or less has no antibacterial activity at all, in the testing method used.
What is UMF?
UMF = Unique Manuka Factor (trademarked in New Zealand). It refers to the non peroxide activity in honey. (On some jars of honey you will see this grade: NPA. This describes the non-peroxide activity in honey, but it is not a trademark.) It analyses 3 key markers: MGO, DHA and Leptosperin.
UMF ranges from 10 to 25, the higher the rating, the more potent, and of course, the more expensive, the honey.
It represents a standard of NPA (non peroxide activity) that is compared to the disinfectant phenol. The numbers following the letters UMF, refer to the percentage of phenol in water.
E.g. UMF12 equals an NPA activity equal to or greater than a 12% solution (%w/v) of phenol/water.
Yet, some manuka honey manufacturers say that this UMF is unreliable. Kerry Paul, chief executive of Manuka Health says: ‘But two tests done at different times on the same batch of honey can give very different results!’
Producers are allowed to use the UMF mark if they belong to The UMF Honey Association. Recently this association has implemented an independent honey verification program in the United Kingdom with Fera (the Food and Environmental Research Agency).
What is MGO?
Methylglyoxal. it’s a toxic compound, found in high concentrations in manuka honey (up to 1000 times greater than in other honey, according to German researchers), and it is considered to give its antiseptic edge.
It was discovered in 2008, by Professor Thomas Henle of University of Dresden, Germany. He said that it is Methylglyoxal that gives Manuka honey its unique antibacterial properties.
Dietary Methylglyoxal is resistant to heat, body fluids, light, and enzymatic activity, thus considered very stable. This is why this compound found in manuka honey can be considered superior to the glucose oxidase enzyme, which is found in all honeys and gives the hydrogen peroxide antibacterial activity.
Methylglyoxal content can range from 0 mg/kg to 1000mg/kg, because its level can vary from place to place and year to year. Anything higher than 100 mg/kg is considered antibacterial, the higher the concentration, the more antibacterial activity.
The testing done for Methylglyoxal is accurate, with a plus or minus 5% margin of error. The MGO™ Certification is scientific, precise, and transparent and leaves no room for misleading. It is also very easy to explain to consumers: MGO™ 100+ Manuka Honey means that in 1 kg of honey there are 100 mg of Methylglyoxal. And so on.
MGO™ is a trademark of Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd, and this grade is seen only on their own products.
Is MGO effective?
Professor Thomas Henle of the Technical University of Dresden (Germany) discovered that 100mg/kg of Methylglyoxal in the honey is a minimum level to totally inhibit E.coli and Staphylococcus Areas in vitro. IN VITRO.
And on single bacteria. Further research showed different bactericidal rate when tested on biofilm forms. See details about this study here: “How to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria!” and here What kills Staphylococcus aureus? Does manuka honey kill MRSA?
While its amazing efficacy in healing any kind of wound, burn or skin infection, due to its general antibacterial properties and especially to MGO, are not to be doubted, further research and clinical trials must be done in order to confirm its efficiency in killing internal bacteria. And especially to confirm if such a high quantity of MGO, once ingested, doesn’t affect the general health of the body. This is still not elucidated by science or practice. And the toxicity is very high with very damaging potential. Read more on MGO’s safety here: “Is MGO in honey safe to eat?”
Further research at Waikato University in New Zealand has shown that MGO in manuka honey is derived from dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a substance that can be found in the flowers of some L. scoparium sub species. And this DHA, in time, turns into MGO. In the research made, MGO doubled in concentration in the first month of storage and many other manuka honeys tripled in under 4 months of storage.
Bottom line: if the MGO content is changing all the time, it cannot represent the proportion of manuka nectar, it cannot be sold with an accurate MGO indicator, it cannot represent the power of its antibacterial properties.
UMF and MGO measure the strength of Manuka honey in different ways, but there is a relationship between the level of Methylglyoxal and the Non Perocide Activity, as measured by the UMF.
What is ACTIVE?
Not all manuka honey has peroxide activity, and not all manuka honey has non-peroxide activity. There are some manuka honeys that have them both, but some have little or none. The honey is also influenced by seasonal variation, with both types of activity being individually either present or absent in any particular honey season.
That is why, the best way to express manuka honey’s quality is by using the grade A or Active, or Active Manuka. It expresses the existence of antibacterial activity, either peroxide activity or non-peroxide activity or even both of them.
The grade ACTIVE is more used in USA and Canada. These countries, through Food and Drug Administration or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, do not support the medical claims covered by Unique Manuka Factor Association in New Zealand. Therefore not legally approved for foods and honeys. The producers that use ACTIVE grade, followed by a number, take also into consideration some other factors that define a honey’s quality: live enzymes, pollen count, chemical/residue analysis, antioxidant levels, the raw status or unpasteurisation process and various other phytochemical factors found in Manuka honey. In North America, Wedderspoon is considered a very good and reliable manuka honey producer.
Wedderspoon has created KFactor™, an indicator of how much manuka pollen there is in the total content of pollen found in manuka honey. It is a marker of genuine manuka honey. It does not refer to its therapeutic value.
Here is my recommendation for eating a safe, tasty and therapeutic manuka honey:
Comvita Certified UMF 15+ (Ultra Premium) Manuka Honey – New Zealand’s 1 Manuka Brand
And here is why: What is the best manuka honey? From what brand?
UMF = Unique Manuka Factor, a standard that tests the antibacterial property of a honey and compares it to phenol, a disinfectant. (The numbers following the letters UMF, refer to the percentage of phenol in water). Any producer must be regulated by the Unique Manuka Factor Association from New Zealand. UMF is more established and it is widely used. When UMF rating is more than 10, it is considered to be active. (Active Manuka Honey)
MGO = Methylglyoxal, a toxic substance, partly responsible for the antibacterial activity of manuka honey. Not reliable, as the content of MGO changes in time. MGO™ is a trademark of Manuka Health New Zealand Ltd, and this grade is seen only on their own products.
A or ACTIVE = a grade accepted in USA and Canada, comes from “antibacterial”, but it doesn’t tell us the factors giving the antibacterial effect. It refers more to the peroxide activity, common to all honeys. It is not regulated by any association. Normally a honey with UMF 10+ is considered Active, but this Active Manuka Honey is not limited by its UMF or MGO factor. Other factors are also implied.
NPA = Non Peroxide Activity. Some marketers use this grade on their jars. The measuring scale starts from 8. They refer to the non-peroxide activity, but are not members of UMFHA and cannot show a UMF grade.
The Antibacterial level of a manuka honey is NOT (because it is simply impossible to tell) offered by any of these grades. Each of them show one side of the antibacterial property of honey. There are many factors that together offer honey’s antimicrobial qualities, and they cannot be restricted to only one or two factors.
Manuka honey is not good only because of its MGO component, but because of its low pH, high content of sugars, peroxide activity, enzyme and polyphenols content.
Remember to read the labels properly and choose the best you need.
Table Grade: 100 – 400 MGO (10 – 20 UMF) – this is for eating!
Antibacterial Grade: 400 – 550 MGO (20 – 35 UMF) – this is for skin therapy!
Too many grades?
Yes, too many. Read the update of this article here. It also contains the list of manuka honey producers who are members of UMFHA and licensed to use the UMF grade. Check to see if you are eating genuine therapeutic manuka honey!
In order to protect credible manufacturers and consumers from fraudulent claims regarding the authenticity and strength of manuka honey, in August 2014, The New Zealand Government released new guidelines for the labelling of manuka honey. They say methylglyoxal (MGO) content should be the only approved numerical value permitted on labels.
There will not be permitted other numerical grades like “Non-Peroxide Activity”, “Total Peroxide Activity”, “Peroxide Activity”, “Total Activity” and “Active”. These should be removed from labels and advertising, because they constitute a therapeutic claim, rather than an accurate measurement of a nutrient or constituent, present in the honey. The changes must take place on all labels, by 2016.
Let’s hope that all countries will eventually embrace this type of grading manuka honey, because the MGO represents indeed the quantity of MGO in honey at the moment of bottling, and do not suggest any medical claims.
Thus it’s going to be easier to buy manuka honey.
We should not forget though, that the quantity of MGO in the moment of bottling can alter in time. But I’m sure they will eventually find a way of stabilizing it, or else, invent a different grading of manuka honey! 🙂
There are lots of factors that can influence the content of MGO. Read more here: How is manuka honey tested? Can we trust those tests?
• How to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria – a detailed article about the antibacterial properties of honey. Also What kills Staphylococcus aureus? Does manuka honey kill MRSA?
• Manuka honey – describes what is manuka honey
• Is manuka honey safe to eat? – a post about the potential toxicity of MGO in manuka honey, when taken internally.
• Manuka honey – THE BEST to treat wounds, burns, skin infections. – a post on what makes manuka the perfect ointment/ dressing for really bad chronical wounds, burns, ulcers and others.
References and picture source:
“MGO Increasing chart” picture source: http://genuinemanuka.com/about_MGO;
“MGO logo” and “Manuka Health logo” pictures source: http://vitamarket.pl/k351-Co-wybrac-MGO-czy-UMF-.html;
manuka flowers picture source: Wikipedia commons
76 thoughts on “I want to buy manuka honey. What is UMF 16+, MGO 400+, Active?”
Thank you for sharing us the use of manuka honey. For the health conscious society, you can substitute sugar to honey. A balanced diet and exercise should prevent you from getting certain illnesses such as heart problem and diabetes. Amino acids in certain foods should help you build a good body and improve your physical health
Hi, 1 teaspoon per day is acceptable, even for diabetics. Especially mixed with royal jelly. As part of a regular diet, not as therapy. For a change you can also consider bee pollen – it is excellent for elder people.
The grade of manuka should be under UMF 10. I think that the product that you mention, with royal jelly and 100 MGO, is good enough, because antibacterial properties of manuka honey are not represented only by this quantity of MGO. And it is exctly this MGO which should be avoided by diabetcs. So, 1 teaspoon of manuka honey 100MGO mixed with royal jelly is healthy and safe for your diabetc father.
All the best!
Are 3 teaspoons of UMF10+ manuka honey more effective than 1 teaspoon of UMF15+ for digestive issues? Are they comparable or it is only the concentration that matters?
That’s a tough one! Studies are made with different concentrations of honey to see when the microbes are killed. The results depend on the type of microbe, dilution and UMF grade. But logically thinking, I doubt 3 ml of manuka UMF5+ equals 1 ml of manuka UMG15+. Microbes can resist a lower quantity of MGO, even if they bath in it.
Anyway, there isn’t much difference between UMF 10+ and 15+. But “digestive issues” is rather too general to say something. Peter Molan was taking manuka honey for his ulcer. Yet, there were studies showing that manuka honey did not killed H. pylori in some human patients. As I said it depends on the bacteria and the disease.
For short periods, manuka honey is safe. Somebody reported here in a comment, that an overdose of manuka honey helped a lot in curing the flue but also gave the girl bloating sensations and diarrhea. Manuka honey is not recommended for IBD or IBS (read the article to see why).
Concentration does matter.
Be well! Laura
There seems to be a lot of confusion over the grading of Manuka. There are only to grading standards globally recognised. These are UMF and MGO. They apply to the content of Methylglyoxal.
However neither of these standards is adequate on there own. All genuine New Zealand Manuka must pas a Manuka Purity test as determined by the New Zealand Ministry of primary Industry (MPI). This is legislation as of 5th of January 2018. The test has 5 Attributes. 4 Are chemical tests and 1 is a DNA test. Only when this testing has been passed can a brand use the UMF or MGO grading system.
This is now a legal requirement for all Manuka exported and is to ensure quality and discourage fake and adulteration.
I totally agree with you. But as you say, “Only when this testing has been passed can a brand use the UMF or MGO grading system.”
It is definitely the job of these producers to undergo the test first. I am personally glad that these tests exist. 🙂 The price is high anyway, we all expect a high quality, too.
Yet, this test is a problem not for those that have already been certified as UMF producers, but for the others, especially those that import bulk manuka honey and then mix it with a lower honey (if even this!) and sell it as pure manuka honey.
All we need to do is learn to read the label! Because we, as mere customers, don’t have access to those tests.
Since February 2019 MPI is going to place in gear even more strict regulations for Manuka Honey exporters. Such regulations mostly apply to MH labeling.
Based on the new law a word ACTIVE must be gone from labels forever. As well such new regulations enforce MH producers to place MONOFLORAL or POLYFLORAL Manuka Honey.
Based on my training provided by Manuka Health NZ Ltd, Monofloral MH starts from MGO400 and up.
Inquiring directly to MPI about such widely trading brand as Manuka Doctor with grading system ACTIVE 10+, 16, 20, 24 they have replied that such honey may be repacked in USA because NZ MH packing facility cannot do it based on the labeling law passed in 2014. As well Custom Service won’t pass such cargo outside NZ. But Manuka Doctor honey label states , ‘ packed in NZ”. Smells like a fraud.
Thank you very much ☺
I am very grateful for your help!
So which manuka I should choose for 3 years old child with eczema?
Directly applying manuka honey with a high MGO or UMF on eczema may cause a burning or stinging sensation, especially in a child. Besides, these honeys are for badly infected wounds/eczema and here is not the case.
The best product I think it’s a cream and I have found a very good one here: Organic Manuka Honey Eczema Cream. If you cannot buy it from there, then look for something similar.
And you should also know that <em>medical grade honey is a product especially made from manuka honey, for skin therapy.
As for eating, give your child to eat any type of raw honey, it will enhance his/her immunity and help with eczema from the inside.
And if you can, ask a naturopath as well. 🙂
Antibacterial Grade: 400 – 550 MGO (20 – 35 UMF) – this is for skin
Can I give my child to eat or just put on skin?
No, that type of honey is not for eating, only for skin therapy. Seriously. Please see these 2 article that explain in more detail why such a high grade is not good for ingestion. Is Manuka Honey safe to eat? and Do not eat manuka honey in IBS!
All the best! Laura
Thank you Laura.I really appreciate you taking time to reply and for your advice
I will certainly try this as alough my skin specialist has been excellent in trying all conventional medical approved creams has told me that it being so rare a disease,there would not have been enough research done
I will start using this and will let you know if it can do the impossible for me. Again I thank you
I suffer from a rare blistering skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa acquisita on both lower legs and there seems to be no medical cure as I have tried many different creams through the years but nothing seems to stop the cycle of large blistering and infected wounds
I have been told that manuka honey spread on infections might help cure this
Can you advise me please which strength and kind I should get for mostly raw wounds
I’m sorry to hear this. Manuka honey is indeed one of the best honey to cure wounds. That’s why they invented “medical grade manuka honey” – a pure manuka honey for skin problems. Please read this article: Manuka honey – THE BEST to treat wounds, burns, skin infections.
There are special products made with it, you don’t have to buy jars of manuka honey with special UMF grading. In the category “medical grade manuka honey” you can read some articles of what products are available on the market.
Nobody can garantee you that it will cure you, but it could heal local raw wounds. You use Activon or Medihoney made from manuka honey or Revamil – also a medical honey but not from manuka.
Anyway, try it and please share the results with us.
All the best!
My mother has been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis for past 8 years and has been on her prescribed medication. But recently she was advised on taking a course of Manuka Honey. But I would like to your advise to know which honey could be beneficial for her.
There are so many in the range of Manuka Honey that it got me confused while making a purchase for her.
Your advise would be highly helpful.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and I’m not sure how an antibacterial can help. But anyway maybe the person who told her that knew more, and, also true, manuka honey (honey in general) can help in ways yet not completely understood by humans. Worth trying anyway.
To be sure your manuka honey has all the necessary factors that make it valuable, buy one that is UMF certified. The NZ UMF Association is very strict when it comes to the quality of this type of honey, especially that now New Zealand is in a powerful conflict with Australia over this brand.
Anyway, here you can find a list of all certifies sellers, which can be trusted. And here, is a post on what manuka honey has the best reviews.
All the best, Laura
Howdy! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone3gs! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to allyour posts! Carry on the great work!
I have diagnosed with Helicobacter two months ago and have got the 2 antibiotics, but it didnt die. Now I am repeating the treatment again, but I am interested manuka honey and mastic gum. I have read some medical studies about manuka honey and I was wondering if I should buy umf 20 or umf 15. I found information on forums that umf 20 might be too strong,but I am not sure if that is true.
My plan ow is after I finish this second round of antibiotics to make a treatment of 2-3 months with eating 1 spoon of manuka honey when I wake up on an empty stomach.
Does anyone have some experience or advice to share for me please ?
A second round of antibiotics…that’s pretty tough on your digestive system. Please remember to take lots of probiotics and even more prebiotics (especially inulin).
On the other hand, other scientists say that over 80% of individuals infected with H Pylori are asymptomatic, and that this bacteria may play an important role in the natural stomach ecology. Meaning that it is actually a good bacteria. There are other bacteria living in the stomach that may be a key factor in whether or not H. pylori causes disease, according to a new study led by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
As for manuka honey, Comvita, the famous producer, says UMF20 has a high antimicrobial power and is used more for very hard to heal skin infections. 15 would be more indicated for ingestion. And 10 is recommended for prevention for long time consumption.
A piece of advice, if I may, if H Pylori is still there, even after the second round of antibiotics, don’t do a third one. Give mastic gum a chance, I’ve heard of incredibly good results after taking it. And of course, manuka honey. Peter Molan, the man who actually invented UMF was taking it for his ulcer.
A more effective dose would be if taken 3 times per day, but considering that you will take it after antibiotics, once a day is good, too. You can take it a la long. Yet, not on completely empty stomach. It may harm you as well. Take it with some water, tea or on a piece of bread. Not alone.
All the best!
Hi I’m a beekeeper who produces manuka honey in NZ.
I just read one of the questions on your page, where someone was asking about the quality of MG/MGO 30+ manuka honey.
At first I thought they were confused between MG and UMF measures, but a quick Google showed that MG30+ manuka honey is actually available on the market.
My advice don’t pay a premium for MGO 30. A level that low means it can only contain the slightest trace of manuka… and I really mean barely any.
To put it in perspective around 250 mg/kg is considered a low to moderately active manuka honey.
Thank you for your input.
MGO30+ is a product of Manuka Health NZ Ltd. and I like that company for their honesty ( the initial company founding team) and the label states BLEND.
Upon an inquiry they were crystal clear – 30% of MGO100+ and 70% of Rewareva honey. I do import all 5 potency of MGO to USA and for each one I have customers.
Hi laura.. i had 3 years old son.. in the past 6 month he constistently got flu and cough plus fever(doctor said bacteria infenction) and he suggest me to give my 3yo son manuka honey. And my relative in oz send me a manuka honey Mgo 400+ bio active manuka 20+ and in the label said adult only. My questions is manuka 400+ suitable for 3 yo kids? Can for Daily use or just use it when the cough symthom come? Thank you
If the label on that jar says it is for adults only, than you shouldn’t give it to a child. They may have a good reason for lowering their clients’ number.
Some therapists say manuka honey with MGO400 is ok for eating.
It would have been easier for me to understand if you had written the brand of that manuka honey jar. Usually Doctor Manuka has this type of grading:” 20+ bio active manuka” but it doesn’t say the content in MGO. This brand had a bad review in 2015. But things can change.
Now, if I were in your place, I would give the child a teaspoon of this honey at breakfast. (it would help if you could tell me the name of that jar)
Please read this article here: Deciphering manuka honey: UMF15+, MGO400, 24+ Bio Active, KFactor16, TA. And LOTS OF FRAUDS.
And also consider trying propolis and royal jelly to boost the immunity of your child. They work wonders.
Water extract propolis did a very good job for my child. 🙂
Read your reply…
I have same case like My child age is 10 years and asthama :(.
Kindly advice whether, MGO 400 or UMF 12+ which is available is better ????
also, its good advice to use only for 3 months then how many days or month gap I will start it again…
Thanks and Regards
I always recommend a certified UMF producer. Which means the label would contain the grade UMF followed by a number. Please read this article: Deciphering manuka honey: UMF15+, MGO400, 24+ Bio Active, KFactor16, TA. And LOTS OF FRAUDS.
The gap should be between 1 to 3 months. But first, you should see results on the health in 3,4 weeks of treatment. If there are no results after that, then you may as well stop it – as treatment, and continue eating manuka honey (table grade), for general health and prevention.
Oh, and please read this page: How to treat a SINUS INFECTION. Here are 6 natural alternatives. and Propolis is a natural supplement for asthma management.
Hello I have been using Manuka healing honey 30+ MG. is the MG & MGO the same? The Manuka healing honey we use is made in NZ and we buy it in Australia Tasmania. We recently visited NZ and I thought I could get some of the same honey a lot cheaper, but we found it was almost five times more expensive and a lot less in the MG as it was only +18 note the plus was in front for some reason. We buy the 500g jar of Manuka 30+ honey for $25.40, in the super Market, but in NZ for 250g jar of +18 is $92.00. Why the big difference in price is the cheaper one that we buy a fake or is the dearer one much too dear. Can You help please I do believe the Manuka honey is very good for the body. I take a desert spoon twice a day and have noticed a little difference in my general Heath, am I doing the right thing?
From Paul Grant.
MG is the same with MGO.
To be sure you have the real deal in the jar, the label should contain either the UMF grade (like UMF10, UMF15+ and so on) or the MGO content (MGO250, MGO400+ etc). Numbers alone do not stand for anything. I don’t exclude the fact that there can be other honest producers that are not certified, and don’t go to expensive labs, but in our world, especially in manuka industry, there are a lot more frauds that honest people. Which is why I recommend buying from the certified ones.
The label on the jar should include the origin of the country, the batch number and it should be mentioned that it was also packed in NZ. Otherwise it can be diluted with other honeys very easily. And I will repeat this, if you want to be sure you have real manuka, then go for a certified producer (the UMF + a number, and the license number written on the jar). Or check the list you’ll find here.
I understand the price puzzle. But the explanation is very simple. Year 2016 was not a good year for manuka. Please read 2017 brings bad news for manuka honey lovers! and you’ll understand better.
In Australia, in the US or in the UK have been reported similar cases, with prices lower that in NZ. The explanation is that they still sell manuka honey from older batches, at regular prices. In NZ they sell manuka honey from the last year and the prices have gone up, due to low production.
And yes, of course, your are doing the right thing taking it. 🙂
I have my two nephews one is of 10 years and the younger is 5 years they both have asthma. For 10 years his asthma is quiet old but for 5 year old it has just started. Which manuka honey should we use 250+ or 500+ for the cure of asthma. Please suggest
Asthma can be microbe related. Wikipedia describes which are the most common microbes that can lead to non-atopic asthma. In this case manuka honey can help a lot, as its major characteristic is to be a powerful antimicrobial. An MGO 500+ seems too much tough, I would probably go for an UMF certified honey, with UMF 15+, for a child. And increase if necessary. Give it diluted in tea, or with some food, not alone. But do not give for more than 3 months. Long term consequences after ingesting manuka honey with high concentrations of MGO, have not yet been discovered. (read here more.)
Remember that the power of manuka honey is not only given by its MGO content, but by other phytotherapeutic components. An UMF certified is the best, even with a smaller grade.
If asthma is not microbe related, then manuka honey is not exactly justified. If they have allergic asthma, than your local honey is the one recommended. Especially when it is combined with real cinnamon. Read here about this combination and its benefits.
To increase their immunity you can also use powerful antioxidant honeys such as: buckwheat, blueberry, heather, chestnut – basically all dark honeys.
Or use honeys with special respiratory benefits such as pine, eucalyptus, sage.
It would be a good idea to replace all sugar with one type of these honeys and to rotate them periodically.
I also recommend using propolis for all respiratory conditions.
And mostly, if it is possible, talk to an apitherapist or a naturopath. Find a trustful one and ask for an opinion.
Read your reply…
I have same case like My child age is 10 years and asthama :(.
Kindly advice whether, MGO 400 or UMF 12+ which is available is better ????
also, its good advice to use only for 3 months then how many days or month gap I will start it again…
Thanks and Regards
Hi, Laura! I want to ask you, please, for an advice about takink Manuka honey for sinusitis. I have a friend who has sinusitis for long time and found that Manuka honey could work. After reading other articles she got scared about the toxicity present in this kind of honey and she doesn’t know if she should use it or not. Her Manuka honey, that she has already bought, has 250+ factor. Thank you in advance!!
Please read Can manuka honey treat sinus infection? Are there some other natural alternatives? and the answer I gave to Rana at the article Is Manuka Honey safe to eat?
Basically in all the studies, manuka honey was not given internally, but intranasally, in different dilutions. Please see the article and you’ll understand. The best way seems to be using a spray, and you’ll find there a link to the one available on Amazon.co.uk.
Thank you so much Laura for looking into my question. I was told that people with achalasia have a higher risk of throat cancer. I receive an endoscopy every three years. The primary reason i was hoping honey would help is because I thought it had properties in it that would help protect my throats from cancer. What dosage should I take each day and are there any other types of honey I may benefit from as well? I am also wondering if black seed oil will help. Thank you so much for your time. Beth
Manuka honey is mainly famous for its antimicrobial factors. It is best used on infected wounds. It was also taken internally to kill Helicobacter Pylori, but not all clinical trials were successful. Anyway, wherever there is a microbe involved, manuka honey can help. But so can other types of honey. The darker ones are known as having great antioxidant powers. Which means they are very good for our health and that they protect against cancer. You can eat the darkest honey you can find in your area, and try to get it raw and as fresh as possible (it’s fresh for the first 3 months. Try to freeze in advance some jars, so you can have during winter). Wildflower honey is just as good. Among chestnut, heather, blueberry, blackberry, honeydew, clover…. Among the best, the famous but rather exotic ones: sidr, tualang, gelam, neem, maharishi or revamil honey.
Manuka honey is the most researched and marketed one, which is why we can find it rather easily (e.g.: Amazon.com)
You can give manuka a try, as I said, and watch the results. If there aren’t any in particular, than switch to other honey. Almost any honey has antitumoral properties.
As for the dose, take it according to your weight, like 1 g of honey per 1 kg body. One tablespoon has 21 g. Divide your dose in 3 times/ day.
There are lots of other foods that are good in preventing and treating cancer. The black seeds are extraordinary. Yes, try them, they are very good for every disease, a panacea according to the Arab world. Take capsules (or oil) with honey.
And you may introduce other good supplements like turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion… And less, towards none, sugar.
And if I may, once you find something that can ease your coexistence with achalasia, FORGET about cancer. Don’t live as if you already have it. As long as you are free of it, live freely, ignore even its existence in the world. Enjoy what you have in the present.
Because if it has to come, it will, no matter what drugs, diet or lifestyle we have. You need to find a balanced way to live with what you have and enjoy life as it is.
Laura, Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. Every morning I get on my knees and thank God for my faith and health. I do the same at night. I appreciate your effort to educate the public on preventive measures that can be taken to support ones health. May I ask what prompted your interest in honey? Do you live in America? Do you have a degree in nutrition? Sorry I ask so many questions but I am impressed by your commitment. Thanks Beth
We all have burdens on our backs, this is how life comes, with dark sides so the white can exist. I’m not a therapist, nor a nutritionist, I used to work in IT marketing… 🙂 Everything started when our medicine failed me. A lot. The passion for honey has started recently, as I mentioned in About me page.
This site was born from my wish to help people find more about honey. Just as I would have liked to find it myself.
And I try to help people with everything I’ve learned in my life, because I know how it is to be completely desperate for an advice, for a good word…
Other than that, I don’t have medical training and I specify this on this site. All I do is offer personal perspective and info gathered from the online scientific literature, always mentioning the source.
No, I don’t live in the States. 🙂
Hi Laura, I have a condition called achalasia and I have celiac. I am wondering which type of manuka honey would be the best? I am thinking manuka mgo 400. Do you think this would help the most and do you have any other suggestions? Thanks Beth
Beth, I googled “achalasia” and I have understood 2 things: the cause is unknown (which does not exclude viruses or other microbes) and it seems difficult to live with. As an important antimicrobial honey, manuka honey could work, you don’t have what to lose by trying it. I would try it for a period of time, like 10 days and the effects should be seen. If there are any. Yes, MGO 400+ is ok, or UMF 20+. Please make sure you have bought real manuka honey. Check the list of serious producers in the post: Deciphering manuka honey: UMF15+, MGO400, 24+ Bio Active, KFactor16, TA. And LOTS OF FRAUDS.
If there are no effects after 14 days, it probably doesn’t work.
If it does, than try to lower the grade, with time.
Hello, I was recently diagnosed with hashimoto’s, leaky gut, and tested positive for h. Pylori antibodies. I will be starting the triple treatment for h pylori but I also would like to incorporate manuka honey. Is the only safe for eating the 400 and anything above for skin or can I also use the 400+ you mentioned for skin internally?
Taking any raw honey with antibiotics is an excellent choice. Honey will support and increase the antibiotics’ effect. Manuka honey can add its antimicrobial effect, too. If you want to take the 400 grade, or above, try to limit the time you are taking it. For a short period of time, like 10 to 14 days, our bodies can handle the potential toxicity.
Don’t forget to take probiotics, with as many strains as possible and in higher amounts – here is an example found on Amazon, and Vitamin D3. If you have Hashimoto’s you are surely deficient in D3.
I just want to know if Manuka honey is helpful against keloids. I have two somewhat medium on each arm. Can the honey help? Please i’d really like to know
It is said that both manuka honey and tualang honey are very useful for keloids. A thin layer of honey should be applied directly on the scar, massaged it for like 5 minutes and then rinsed it off with water.
I want to use Manuka honey for my birds.I wish to put it in with the water if possible would umf 10 be suitable for animals mixed in water ?
I’ve read of people giving manuka honey to their parrots. Just a little bit on the tip of a knife, on a birdie bread. And they loved it. I think 10+ or 15+ are fine. I don’t know what to say about the dose. Humans should take like 1 g/kg body weight daily. One tablespoon has like 21 g. So if you want to give it on a daily bases, the dose should be really small. If you give it for a short period of time, it’s easier I think…
Placing it into water is even hard to quantify. And in my personal opinion, a sweet food should be given once, in water it would be a sweet liquid all day and the digestive system would have sugars all the time. Doesn’t sound very healthy.
I would try with a tiny drop on some solid food.
Oh, and I wouldn’t give it for a long period of time. Animals should have the food they could freely find in the wild….
Just my personal thoughts. 🙂
very neat informative site, the best honey i have ever ate was some my brother get while in Arizona, strait out of a old tree, it had dead bees in it but was very tasty and seemed much better then the stuff in the stores,much darker in color and more flavorful !
thanks 4 the site.
Wow, straight from an old tree? From wild bees? It does sound great. Directly from nature must be way, way much tastier and healthier. A delicacy!
I had a colonoscopy and I have collagenous colitis. I’m on Budesonide and having serious problems with the steriods thinning my skin. I had a bandage on my arm and when I took it off it tore my skin off and I had a hole the size of the bandage with raw flesh. We were going to ER and our daughter said to use Manuka honey and it healed it in two weeks. will Manuka honey help my colitis? I am 86 and have been on this medication for 2 1/2 years. Please help|
Your daughter was truly inspired to recommend manuka honey for your skin problem. It is exceptional on any skin condition. Unfortunately, internally things are more complicated. I am not a therapist, I only research, but from all I know in your condition I would look more into 3 very good products: black seeds (Nigella Sativa), curcumin and coconut oil.
I have written some articles about them, but you can search for others. These supplements have a very good reputation. You can take them with manuka honey if you want, but not with a very high MGO content. Yet, manuka alone I don’t think it can solve the problem.
Here are what I have written about those 3:
Nigella Sativa, the black seeds, can cure every disease. Come on…
How to cure HIV? The black seeds, Nigella Sativa, have the answer!
Do black seeds really cure HIV? Some case reports may help!
Black seed & honey – a natural cure. Cancer is gone!
The golden honey. What is turmeric good for?
Health benefits for coconut oil. Is it good for thyroid conditions? What else?
I personally take curcumin (with bioperine, from here for an inflammatory bowel problem I have and I am very satisfied. (before taking it make an ultrasound test to ensure you don’t have liver or bile stones)
Anyway, I have heard of wonders coming from these 3, please read more about them and then just go with your gut.
Hi Laura my daughter has acne. She’s had acne since she was 12 now 17. I want to try Manuka honey. What Gmo strength would you suggest?
Thanks concerned father
Hello concerned father,
Acne is common at this age, but bad things can happen if a microbe is involved. S aureus is the most common one and manuka honey can kill it. For a topical use, the higher the UMF the better. Comvita UMF15+ or 20+ are both very good. If you want to buy from a different supplier, please first read the page Deciphering manuka honey: UMF15+, MGO400, 24+ Bio Active, KFactor16, TA. And LOTS OF FRAUDS. and see if the producer is a trustful one.
For acne I also recommend products made with kanuka honey (manuka’s cousin) Their products are especially made for acne and rosacea and are easier to apply. Yet manuka honey is a more popular option. And a more researched one.
Best of luck!
Would Manuka honey with gmo 400+ help with toenail fungus? My husband has it spread on all his nails and I was wondering maybe treating it with honey would be better than using laser.
Thank you for your help
Yes, manuka honey mgo400+ is good for this type of problem. For any kind of skin problem. Also, there are many reviews on manuka oil being really good on this fungus.
For a cheaper alternative, you can also try Revamil. It is said to be just as good as manuka honey, though with a different composition. And above all, sterile (simple manuka honey is not).
To be sure you are using sterile manuka honey, you may also try the already made creams, like Activon or Medihoney. I inserted links to read more about them.
I hope you get inspired and buy the best you need.
PS. See medical disclaimer in the footnotes of this site.
Here is a point that needs to be debunked:
“We have the same situation in measuring temperature: 100°F (38°C) is not twice as warm as 50°F (10°C) because the measuring scale starts at 32°F. But a temperature of 100°C is exactly twice as warm as 50°C because the Centigrade scale starts at zero.”
The temperature scale starts at 0 Kelvin, absolute zero. That is −273.15°C or −459.67°F. Zero degrees centigrade (the freezing point of pure water at normal atmospheric pressure) is not a natural “zero” point that enables multiplication. How many times warmer is 1 degree above zero versus -0.01 degree Celsius? And how does that compare to 5 degrees Celsius versus 10 degrees Celsius?
If you are using comparisons, it helps your credibility if they are valid.
It was clear for me (and I am not a physicist) and I considered it to be clear for everybody. The thing is that we need to start from somewhere if we need to measure and make comparisons.
The Kelvin scale is used more scientifically, it doesn’t relate to our daily issues. The absolute zero from Kelvin scale refers to the lowest possible temperature, the point at which all molecular motion would cease and it is used in scientific measurements and in many heat-related calculations.
For the rest of the world, the Celsius scale is more useful. Zero is the freezing water and correlates with the mathematical zero.
Now, if we stay in this zero point and look at the Fahrenheit numbers, I think I was right saying that “100°F (38°C) is not twice as warm as 50°F (10°C) because the measuring scale starts at 32°F.”
It is the same situation with the UMF grading. The antibacterial activity it refers to is compared to the disinfectant phenol. A minimum concentration of 8% (of phenol in water) is needed for an antibacterial activity, so measuring this antibacterial activity the scale doesn’t start from zero, but from 8.
NPA is sometimes put on manuka jars and is confusing things because NPA 8 means only a starting point, with slightly any antibacterial activity and NPA 16 doesn’t mean a doubled activity, but some activity (let’s say of 8 units, if we would start from a mathematical zero).
The same is with UMF (the trademark). An antibacterial activity starts from 10. UMF10 says there is some little activity, while UMF 20 doesn’t mean it’s doubled.
When buying manuka honey for antibacterial purposes, 10 means nothing! This is table honey.
Anyway, I’m sure you understand these all too well. You’re just teasing…
my mum is 65 and have a terrible cough for more than a month now and antibiotics doesn’t seem to help and she’s bringing out flames.
could you recommend the best honey for her please.
If it were a cough that came after a bad cold or a flue, I would have recommended a very good combination of honey and coffee. No matter the type of honey.
If the cough comes from an infectious disease, which I think is the case here, than the best honeys recommended in respiratory conditions are:
Pine Honey – it is used as an expectorant and breathing reliever for the lung diseases and chronic cough. Good for asthma and bronchitis. If the honey is consumed with the comb, it will have a bronchodilator effects. (my first option.)
Eucalyptus honey – fights against infections and diseases of respiratory organs
Honey and ginger – To relieve cough, you can eat a teaspoon, whenever you need, but do not exceed more than 10 teaspoons a day.
Sunflower honey – Apitherapy recommends it for stomach-intestine conditions, lung and kidney diseases, and especially for diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Borage honey – expectorant and has anti-inflammatory properties
As for manuka honey, it is not very used in respiratory conditions, more in digestive ones. Now depending on what you can find in your area, tualang honey is probably as powerful but a better option than manuka (for cough).
Whatever you choose, honey is the best option for a sweetener in respiratory conditions. Also a good adjuvant remedy.
If your mother eliminates a lot of phlegma, this means her body is trying to get rid of something and that’s a good thing. It can be nothing but it can also be very serious.
Please consider that if you want honey to act as medicine, the dose should be larger.
I also recommend taking specific vitamins, and for this please see doctoryourself.com Providing the body with necessary vitamins helps it in fighting the disease. After all, our body knows the best how to cure itself.
Health and joy!
Hello, Laura. I will be going for an endoscopy in a couple of days to see what damage has been done to my esophagus from GERD. I plan on buying Manuka honey (either UMF 20+ or 15+) and take it 3Xs/day to hopefully heal my esophagus). The typical MD does not acknowledge natural healing alternatives. (I am on a proton pump inhibitor which I am not happy about.) Sadly, MD’s do not recognize that perhaps my stomach is NOT making enough acid and they do not have any clue on how to test for too much vs. too little acid. I am hoping Manuka honey will provide relief…might you know if I am correct in my assumption? And I do plan on seeking how to test my stomach’s. acid level. Thank you for your input!!!
I think your MD should be changed. 🙂 There are tests showing if there are more or less acid in your stomach. Here is described one of them. And also, you may found this page very interesting: Hypochlorhydria: 3 Common Signs of Low Stomach Acid.
It would also be great if at your endoscopy they will also make the test for Helicobacter Pylori. In most cases, whenever there is a digestive issue, a bacteria (or even virus) is to blame. If they find you anything, they’ll probably give you antibiotics.
Then it is your choice if you want to take them or not. But they don’t give you assurances that these antibiotics will kill the microbes.
If they don’t find anything, it is still possible to have one there. In which case manuka honey will do you good. But don’t rely only on it. There were clinical trials that proved it didn’t worked in all cases. Please read my articles on this: How to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria! and Is Manuka Honey safe to eat?
I would combine manuka honey with other natural antibiotics. The first I recommend is colloidal silver. It goes with every type of microbe. And then I will consider coconut oil and propolis. Both of them with absolutely amazing effect of digestive system. (I have lots of articles here on propolis.)
And coming back to manuka honey, there are lots of opinions and disputes. But what makes me feel confident in it is that Peter Molan, the scientist who dedicated his entire life researching it, was taking manuka honey for his ulcer problem. This tells it all.
Personally I have IBS, or at least this is what they (MDs) thought I had. 🙂 There are times when I forget this and eat too much from the forbidden food, like beans, nuts or coke. Then a period of sufferance comes! I always take my own treatment (colloidal silver, coconut oil – which is a great anti-inflamatory product, propolis – one tablet after each meal, and raw honey in my chamomile tea. And always warm drinks. Not cold.) Unlike allopathic treatment, which lasts for a week, this natural treatment has to be taken for 2 or 3 months. But after it, I’m back to a normal life.
Too bad, there are times when I forget the golden rule “Never eat too much of something!” And start the treatment again….
So, yes, do the tests, try manuka honey, read as much as you can and you’ll eventually find the right treatment for you. Always be vigilant and observe yourself after each meal you have. It is even recommended to keep a diary of food ingested and reactions of your body. Don’t forget to also write the emotional feelings surrounding the moments of eating, this is important, too. Only write them down, don’t analyze, don’t judge yourself or others, just observe and write them down.
Good luck at your endoscopy, I know it’s not a pleasant procedure.
I work as a school counselor and every year in winter Ιm sick. Most of the times doctors say its vronchitis with very bad cough along with nasal allergies. I eat one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon every morning but it didn’t help much. I want to try manuka honey but I don’t know which umf or mgo would be beneficial for my case. Can you help me?
First, I’d like to tell you that I’m neither a medical doctor nor an apitherapist. I only research and gather info for my readers. Try to make some light and bring science and folk remedies together.
One teaspoon of honey and cinnamon per day is not even a child’s recommended dose. It usually is calculated like 1g of honey per kg body. If you have 60 kg it will mean 60 g of honey, which is almost 3 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon of honey taken 3 times per day.
On the other hand, if something doesn’t work, stop taking it. Cinnamon is good, but not taken forever. If something doesn’t work, it should be changed. There are many other natural products with incredible result. I would personally start with propolis.
Then I would check my body’s immunity, by investigating if there are any parasites in the guts. And take probiotics. But not the type we find in the pharmacies, these are very week. On the Internet you can find probiotics, with over 10 strains of good bacteria and over 15 billion bacteria/strain. A perfectly good gut ensure a good immunity, able to find a possible microbe you have.
As for manuka honey, if you intend to do some internal washes of the nose and gargle with it, then yes, you can use the most powerful manuka you can get. But I do not recommended for internal use. Not for eating. There aren’t enough studies to confirm it is not dangerous and get you in bigger problems than bronchitis.
Please read Is Manuka Honey safe to eat?
Can you advise about the use of Manuka honey for cold sore in lips? Will MGO100 be good enough to use for cold sore?
Here is a very good article that explains what are cold sores on lips. My husband also has them, and though they are contagious, I don’t. From time to time, especially on winter or when he is under too much stress from work, an ugly painful sore appears. Our method to treat it is not manuka honey, but propolis tincture. In its incipient stage 2 to 3 drops are usually enough for it to disappear. If not we reapply them 3 times per day. And this is as long as it lasts.
Of course, if you don’t have propolis tincture in your house now, try applying that manuka honey on your lip, and let it stay there for as long as you can. If you have the time.
Unfortunately, the virus that causes it cannot be eradicated while the sore is healed, because this sore is only a surface manifestation of the condition. The virus is in all our body.
But when it appears, propolis is the best choice.
Please try it and let us know how it worked.
I have h.pylori with advanced stomach ulcer. What strength of MGO Manuka honey should I take?
For therapeutic purposes, a high grade of MGO in manuka honey is necessary for a healing. Please remember that this type of honey is used only for external wounds. I do not recommend eating manuka honey with a high MGO, as is was not yet proved to be safe. Though there have been lots of studies confirming that manuka honey can kill H.Pylori in a lab, there haven’t been yet conclusive clinical trials, that would prove its efficiency in killing it, while inside our body.
So, my advice, don’t make experiments on you. While it may kill pylori from your stomach, it may also lead to serious conditions, way more dangerous than the stomach ulcer.
There are other natural treatments (first that comes to mind is colloidal silver) but before starting it, please make sure you talk to a reliable allopathic doctor, or serious information researched online. Don’t believe any blog that comes first.
I hope I could help you with something here, I’m sorry it was not much.
THANK YOU, LAURA! A terrifically concise rundown of a CONFUSING issue!
And I thank you Suzan for your kind words.
Thank you for this post. The labels ALWAYS confused me! I can attest to the medicinal benefits of Manuka Honey. My Father had diabetic wounds in his feet, and I heard about Manuka honey, and decided to try it. It cleared up a couple of bad spots. It did take consistent care though, to do so.
I appreciate this insightful explanation. What a great help it is! Thanks again for sharing!
Hi Stacey, I’m glad manuka honey helped your father’s diabetic feet. Of course, manuka is not the only medical grade honey which can be used for such a problem, but it is indeed a very good choice. And you are right about the consistent care. manuka honey is not a panacea, not a miracle product, we do must be consistent in treating ourselves with it in order to have good results. At least we know it does work in the end. Not like other conventional drugs.
I’m glad you have found my site helpful.
Well done Laura, excellent post with a great deal of acurate information. You obviously know your subject. In the past and occasionally today I use bee products. I use propolis to control bacterial infections and pollen and royal jelly for their immune system boosting properties. I have used honey on wounds and following my recommendation a friend avoided the effects of hay fever by taking bee pollen.
Keep up the good work.
Excellent choices: propolis, pollen, royal jelly. This is the purpose of this site: to inform people of the good benefits of all bee products and help them use them correctly to heal themselves. Pretty much like what you already do. 🙂
So, I salute a bee fan and hope we can spread the good news to everyone. Bees are on our side, with people there are so problems….
Thanks for the visit.
Laura omg the information you provide here is so well written and insightful are you a doctor. If you aren’t you should be you have an abundance of knowledge and love how your so holistic in your approach love your work i will be back
Brian, you are so kind, thank you. No, I’m not a doctor, only a dedicated person, with the mission of spreading the secrets of all bee products, to the whole world. Our ancestors knew all of them. Now science gives them right. People must know this!
I have never heard of manuka honey. Honestly I thought the bees made it and we ate it.
And I never even considered honey to be used in a medical way. There is definitely a lot more to this honey then what I buy in Canada.
I wonder if we can get manuka honey here in Canada? Something I might have to look into.
Very cool post, I learned a lot.
Hey Brian. Basically, this is how it should be: the bees make it and we eat it. The sad reality is different: We sabotage the poor bees, poison them with pesticides, complain they die, take their honey, ruin it by adding bad things into it and by processing it, selling fake honey to people and making a fortune out of it. That’s the short version of what really happens these days.
Manuka honey is not produced in Canada, as the tree source of it doesn’t grow there. Only in Australia, New Zealand ans some parts of Asia. But it can be bought online. And yes, honey is a medical product besides being a tasteful food. Manuka is the best for skin conditions.
thanks for dropping by.