the best brand manuka honey

What is the best manuka honey? From what brand?

Lots of people have asked me what is the best manuka honey? And what brand is more trustful to be selling genuine manuka honey from New Zealand. Here is a Comvita manuka honey review because statistics show this is the brand chosen by the majority of people.

First of all, why manuka? Because it tastes good and has medicinal properties, helping with digestive problems, throat and nose issues, skin conditions and helps in maintaining a strong healthy body.

Who is Comvita?

It’s the New Zealand leading producer of manuka honey. A company which started its business in 1974, in a small rural town named Paengaroa, surrounded by pollution-free forests of manuka trees. Besides manuka honey they sell other types of honey, mostly blends, but also propolis (even toothpaste with propolis), and olive leaf products.

At Comvita, manuka honey comes in jars with different grades on the label: UMF 5+, 10+, 15+, and 20+.

UMF5+ is the one recommended for daily consumption, as food and as medicine for prevention and support of a balanced and healthy body.

A 15+ UMF rating is highly active and medicinal. 10+ and 15+ are the best if you want to improve your health or you have some specific conditions you want to treat (leg ulcers for example).
20+ is highly therapeutic, used for very hard to heal wounds or burns.Available on Amazon. The ratings are very good and so are the reviews. There are lots of comments that can convince you of the quality of the products. I have gone through many of them and summarize the conclusions here.

Here are some of their products available on Amazon:

Honey Manuka Umf 5+

Comvita Manuka Honey Umf 10+

Comvita Manuka honey UMF 15+ 

Comvita Manuka Honey UMF 20+ 

How trustful is Comvita?

From the people’s experiences with manuka honey from Comvita.

good things about manuka honeyPros:

– Comvita is New Zealand’s leading producer of Manuka Honey. The quality is remarkable.

– It is UMF certified. This grade, UMF followed by a number, guaranties the purity and quality of manuka honey. As opposed to jars that show only 1 chemical marker, namely the MGO content (on the label, there is this grade: MGO plus a numer), an UMF grade take into consideration 3 chemical markers: DHA, MGO, and Leptosperin.

– It’s delicious and has a unique flavor. At least after some people. Others say it’s a little bitter.

– It’s highly therapeutic. The reputation of manuka honey did not just show out from nothing. There are lots and lots of studies proving its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, wound and sunburn healing, antioxidant and radical scavenging activities. Amazing results on both people and pets.

Read more: Is manuka honey a natural treatment for MRSA? Is it the best?

Manuka honey – THE BEST to treat wounds, burns, skin infections.

bad things about comvita manuka honeyCons:

• It comes in plastic bottles. Probably for safety reasons during transit. (That plastic, polypropylene (PP) is stable at high temperatures, up to 220 °F (104 °C), is autoclavable and can be steam sterilized. This type of PP jars are used for filing at high temperatures – not that this is the case with honey, as it is raw, unheated. PP has excellent chemical resistance.)

• It’s expensive. As a rule, compared to other honeys, manuka honey is expensive because:
– it’s antimicrobial (some countries such as Australia and New Zealand even call them “therapeutic goods”)
– it’s delicious
– the demand is high and continually growing.
It is probably more expensive that manuka honey from other brands due to its high quality and appreciation. Somebody even said “it costs an arm and a leg, but I love it.”

In New Zealand you may even find jars more expensive than on Amazon, or other shops from the continent. This is explained by the raise in price due to a bad 2016 honey season. Find all the details in 2017 brings bad news for manuka honey lovers!

• The jars are not full to the brim. There are customers complaining about the jars being only 3/4 full.

What grade shall I buy?

For wounds and burns, Ken Allen, managing director of a firm which makes wound dressings impregnated with manuka honey, says that we don’t need to worry about how potent the honey is: “It doesn’t have to have a high rating. Even one as low as UMF 10 can heal leg ulcers. So, if you want only a gentle antiseptic, the lower rating of either UMF or MGO should do the trick. Manuka with a UMF rating that’s too high (19 or over) can cause burning or stinging. The most therapeutic range appears to be between 16-18. You can use this UMF amount safely.”

If you are searching for manuka honey it means you don’t necessarily have ran out of honey for breakfast, but that you want a therapeutic honey. For this I recommend UMF10+ or UMF15+.

We cannot trust them by word, but we can get an idea looking at their certifications and listening to people’s experiences with their products.

If you need help in understanding the grades of manuka honey, here are 2 articles on the subject:

• I want to buy manuka honey. What is UMF 16+, MGO 400+, Active?
• Deciphering manuka honey: UMF15+, MGO400, 24+ Bio Active, KFactor16, TA. And LOTS OF FRAUDS.

Comvita’s certifications:

comvita manuka honey review umf certification

1.  UMF Honey Association Licensee no. 1019
– Perhaps the most important of all, representing a guaranty that manuka honey is genuine, well tested and the UMF factor shows exactly the antimicrobial power of the product.
-The UMF® trademark is a quality trademark that is internationally verified and recognised.
– It is backed by a quality standard, independent audits and a network of accredited laboratories around the world.

2. HACCP Certified (Certificate No: HCV21212 and FSAU13/8403)
HACCP stands for Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. This is a preventative Food Safety System in which potential hazards are, identified and appropriate control measures are taken before any problems can occur.
Comvita operates under a certified Food Safety Management System which complies with CAC HACCPVER:2003 – CODEX HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point ) and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) for the production, packing and distribution of Mixed Flora and UMF® certified Honey (Manuka Honey).

3. New Zealand Ministry of Health GMP Certificate
This certification recognizes that Comvita has robust systems to ensure the safety and efficiency therapeutic goods. In Australia some Comvita products, such as manuka honey UMF 10+ and above, are classified as Therapeutic Goods. 

4. Comvita is registered as an Exporter with the Ministry for Primary Industries. New Zealand Exporters need to be registered to be able to apply for official assurances (export certificates).

5. Comvita has a Risk Management Programme (RPM) which is registered and verified by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries. RMP is a written programme designed to manage hazards, wholesomeness and labeling of animal material and products. This ensures that the products are ‘fit for purpose’ – safe, suitable and truthfully labelled.

6.  TGA verified Certificate of GMP Compliance as a Manufacturer
This certifies that COmvita is verified to have robust systems in place to meet the PIC/S Guide.

with Comvita, “you can be sure that you are buying the best quality Manuka honey and your rights as a consumer are protected.” (Comvita)

Other Comvita recommendations:

The manuka honey purchased in a jar is for oral/internal use only, it is not a sterile honey. if you want to use it for difficult wounds, it is better to use a medical grade honey, like medihoney. Also, if you want to use it for the skin, the producer recommends to use it only on spots and not on the entire face.There are special creams for this, more fit for the entire complexion.
When applying it on these spots, you may experience a little itching for a short period of time.

If you are trying manuka honey for the first time, start with very small amounts and increase in time. It is considered medicine, so be careful.

The jars have expiration date. Why?

An expiration date doesn’t mean the product is spoiled and you should throw it in the garbage bin. Food regulations impose every producer to establish an expiration date and print it on the jar.
Honey doesn’t spoil. I’m sure you have heard about the honey found in Tutankhamen’s tomb, dating back approximately 3,000 years, which is the world’s oldest sample of honey and still perfectly edible. In such a long time, things happen in honey too, but will not spoiled.

The first thing that happens is that it crystallizes. But this is a natural process, not altering with anything the qualities of honey. This crystallization is often a good method of knowing you have real raw honey, not an adultered or a highly processed honey. An over-processed honey – what we find on the shelves of supermarkets have all been processed, to prolong their long life, to prevent them from crystallization and make them look beautiful for longer periods of time. (You can read this to understand why and how it is processed: What is processed honey?)

To bring the honey back to its liquid state, all you need to do is warm it a little (till it reaches the temperature of your body) in a bain marie pot.

Another thing that may happen is to change its composition. Some enzymes may disappear, some may increase. And content of MGO will suffer changes, it modifies it in time. It may increase and then decrease a little, but not under the initial content specified on the jar.

! The expiration date can help you with one thing. It can tell you how fresh the honey is. If  we are now in 2017 and the expiration date is in 2018, it means the honey was bottled in 2016, meaning it is 1 year old, not that fresh. If the expiration date is in 2019, then you have a fresh honey, harvested in 2017.

Remember that we are different.

It is impossible for us to ALL like the taste of manuka honey.
It is also impossible to heal everybody, as our bodies are so complex and even if our main disease is the same, the other underlying factors, conditions, genes, predispositions and so on, are different. The effects of manuka honey might also be different. Even skin conditions may react differently.

But as a rule, because we need a reliable starting point, we look at what the majority of people have already experienced. And for Comvita manuka honey people have given a lot of stars in their reviews. This tells us a lot.

And if you don’t like Comvita, still don’t give up on manuka honey. Other people that have been disappointed with the price and quantity, have discovered other brands of manuka honey, that fit their standards. Like Melora, or Tahi, or so many others that are UMF certified. Here is a list of certified UMF manuka honey producers.

And if you have found that manuka honey is not on your taste, remember that your local raw honey is absolutely amazing, too. Don’t underestimate it!



12 thoughts on “What is the best manuka honey? From what brand?

  1. Steens raw Manuka Honey and Blacks Label seem to be the higher quality ones that avoid being pasteurized which is very important. When you get unpasteurized raw manuka honey you’re getting the full benefits of nature. That’s why it’s so important to lessen heat-treating and avoid pasteurisation – a process that can damage the UMF levels long-term and alter the quality so do your research and don’t be afraid to ask questions as those who have nothing to hide will gladly offer you the proof you need as well.

  2. Hi, Interesting site, honey for cirrhosis?I have an unopened Australian Capilano Manuka “Active Honey”,mgo 30+ and will not open it ’till I find out more.Comvita sounds good as well as some others.Can you enlighten me on this at all.Should I use one that has a higher umf or mgo?????Thank you for your help….John

    1. Your honey is a table grade, it has a low antimicrobial power (with MGO30+). You can safely eat it. An you don’t need a higher UMF (or MGO) because this will make then antimicrobial, and you are not interested in this.
      Here are some honeys recommended for liver diseases:

      Rosemary, coriander, dandelion, sidr honey
      Anzer honey – Treats and prevents liver damage.
      Citrus honey – decreases the affects of alcohol intoxication
      clover and rape honey – for hepatitis, causing a decrease of alanine aminotranferase activity (by 9 to 13 times) and of bilirubin production by 2.1 to 2.6 times.
      rosemary honey – treats hepatic insufficiency

      Any honey facilitates the detoxification of alcohol. The fructose from honey facilitates the detoxification of alcohol by restoring NAD, the liver enzyme responsible for metabolizing alcohol.

      But with excellent results it is used propolis. See: Propolis protects liver, has anti-radiation effect, boosts immunity and has anti-inflamatory activity.
      Propolis is more curative than honey, which is more preventative. An aqueous propolis extract.

  3. i guess its not australian nor new zealand ,its which honey bears the following three certifications ;
    being monofloral ,
    being not heat treated all along its process ,
    being highest in umf ,

    1. Hi Stern,
      If it is UMF certified includes all the others. It’s not easy to get the certification and New Zealanders are very strict when it comes to the quality of what they want to be a brand of the country. The honey they certify is real manuka, monofloral, not processed and with the specific UMF. It doesn’t mean that the best honey is the one with the highest UMF. No.
      Please read I want to buy manuka honey. What is UMF 16+, MGO 400+, Active? and Deciphering manuka honey: UMF15+, MGO400, 24+ Bio Active, KFactor16, TA. And LOTS OF FRAUDS. for more info.
      A high UMF honey is only for very hard to heal wounds. Not for eating.

  4. Hi I have a broken foot w/ a complicated fracture & I’m looking for the BEST too if the line honey. I’d love your opinions on the best if Comvita doesn’t fill their jars & other brands have umf 20+ , I.e. East cape, manukora, kiva, steen’s etc. I’m considering healing antibiotic & anti-inflammatory. I’d prefer organic if course & a brand that delivers fresh & feeds their bees organically & w/o gmo. Also, I have a tooth infection. Please help! Thank you! ?Tara

    1. Hi Tara,

      The thing with Comvita is that people bought it, got disappointed with the jar not been filled up but then were satisfied by the product itself and decided to stick with it and not try another brand. As a rule I recommend manuka honey that has UMF certification. You can find them here.
      Organic is the best, of course, the label should be on the jars. Manuka honey is theoretically organic, but if the trees are next to agricultural fields than bees can collect nectar from there, too. Yet very little, compared to the nectar they gather to make a monofloral manuka honey. GMO is out of the question as manuka are trees.

      For your tooth I recommend colloidal silver. Take a spoon and keep it in your mouth on the tooth as long as you can. Then spit it out. As often as you want.
      And then go to a doctor. 🙂


  5. Hi

    I have been testing Comvita 15+ and 20+ for the diastase activity – that is one of the parameters required for quality honeys, and it is way too low according to the EU, English and CODEX ALIMENTARIUS Regulations. The result for diastase is 3 and 2 points and it shout be at least 8 for the amylase enzyme. Pushing out the UMF levels to the max for the profit is killing honey values all together.

    1. Hi PJ,

      Yes, one of the parameters, not the only one. UMF represents the best referral standard for an antibacterial manuka honey and it takes into consideration 3 parameters: MGO, DHA and Leptosperin. Diastase is not among them.

      According to floral source, diastase can differ a lot. For example orange blossom has probably the lowest content: 4.25 DN (diastase number), while Buckwheat has 36.8 DN.
      In the past, the amylase content in honey was frequently used as an indicator of honey quality, especially in European countries. But due to various factors that may modify its content, diastase cannot represent a way of confirming honey quality. One of these factors can be age. Diastase decreases in old or heated honey. So, I suppose your batch of manuka honey could have been 1 or 2 yo. But this has nothing to do with its antibacterial power, which in case of this specific honey is given by these 3 factors: MGO, DHA and leptosperin. Which in turn, also change in time, but this a different story.

      Here are some things about enzymes in honey: What are the enzymes present in raw honey? Why are they important? and Heating honey kills enzymes. But is boiled honey toxic?


  6. Hi,

    The leptospermum scoparium (tea tree/Manuka) is an a plant species indigenous to Australia, transported across to New Zealand on the Tasman Sea winds. Manuka trees are prolific in Australia and research has shown that the quality of honey produced from Australian leptospermum scoparium plants is in most cases better than the NZ branded products.

    NZ has done a great job at marketing and trying to trademark everything know to man that includes any mention of Manuka. Failing to recognise the leptospermum scoparium as being prominently an Australian plant with some 86 species compared to 2 in NZ.

    Australian Manuka is better if not equal to NZ as a minimum.something that should be recognised globally, as NZ are trying to lock a market, where the product is indigenous to Australia. I would say there marketing is misleading and gives an incorrect view of the Honey world.

    1. Hi Mark,
      You may be right, of course. But this is how it is seen worldwide. Their marketing has done a very good job and has raised their GDP a lot. As for the research, I know I found somewhere a study showing why NZ manuka honey is better than the Australian one. I will try to dig more into this subject and bring some light here.

      On the other hand, we should not confuse them. NZ manuka honey comes only from L.scoparium. It seems that the Australian equivalent is not that potent. It is nevertheless true that Australia has other L. trees with higher levels of MGO. Yet, the resulted honey, because it is considered to come from a different L. species, carries a different name – the case of berringa honey. I did wrote an article about it. See here: Is Berringa Honey aka Australian Super Manuka Honey aka Jelly bush Honey better than MANUKA HONEY?

      Thank you for your input.

  7. Great article! I loooove honey. Anyone interested in this stuff should definitely check out the book Everyday Roots. It teaches you how to replace all of the harmful chemical products in your life with organic ones. It’s completely changed my life and how I feel everyday 🙂

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