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MGO and UMF Honey for medicinal use and well-being

by Manuka Honey Team February 26, 2020 3 min read

How to choose Manuka Honey

How to choose Manuka Honey

Choosing the best Manuka Honey can be confusing. There are so many Manuka honey products on the market to choose from. (Did you notice we stock over 1,000 products?!)

We can see the questions running through your mind. Should I choose MGO or UMF? What do the MGO and UMF numbers mean? Does it matter how much MGO or UMF they contain? What else is on the label that I need to know about?

If you’re having problems choosing the right Manuka Honey we’ve come up with one simple question to answer that makes your choice easier.


What are you using your Manuka Honey for?

If you’re looking for the delicious sweetness of Manuka Honey in a cup of tea or on a slice of hot toast, then you can choose which ever Manuka Honey takes your fancy.

If you’re looking for a simple but luxurious daily beauty treatment, then make the choice from any of our amazing range.

But if you’re choosing Manuka Honey for its healing properties this is when you should take more notice of what’s on the label.

It might be a first aid treatment, to help manage acne, wound healing, or immune support. Then choosing a medicinal grade Manuka Honey is what we suggest.

Levels of UMF 10+ and MGO 250+ are considered to be ‘medicinal quality’.


Let’s just stop here for a moment and talk about UMF, MGO and other grading systems you find on Manuka Honey labels.

Before scientists worked out exactly what it was in Manuka Honey that made it so special they identified this special-something as Unique Manuka Factor, or UMF. UMF graded honey is tested to rigorous standards including the amount of leptosperin, methyglyoxal, DHA and HMF which show that the honey is pure Manuka Honey

Later on, they discovered a compound called Methylglyoxal (MG or MGO) which is unique to Manuka Honey and responsible for much of the medicinal properties attributed to Manuka Honey.

Research has found that at certain concentrations MGO has been shown restrict bacterial growth. And, when used on the skin, also helps to reduce inflammation.


Two other classifications you might find on Manuka Honey

KFactor and Bio Active are two less common classifications of Manuka Honey.

The KFactor grade assures you that the honey is raw and unpasturised, non-GMO, originates from New Zealand and doesn’t contain antibiotics, glyphosate and pesticides. KFactor 16 indicates Manuka Honey that is ‘wholly or mostly’ from Leptospermum scoparium (the Manuka tree). KFactor 12 shows it’s a multifloral Manuka Honey (may contain honey from other plants), but has a significant amount of honey from the Manuka trees.

Neither of these systems seem to measure non-peroxide activity, which is an important factor in determining whether the honey is medicinal grade or not.


Our advice to help you choose Manuka Honey

If you’re looking to choose a Manuka Honey for healing then choose products according to their UMF or MGO rating.

Choose UMF 10+ or MGO 250+.

The higher the UMF or MGO rating, the higher the concentration of factors that may have healing properties.

Here’s how the UMF and MGO ratings line up:


 Select your Manuka honey products now

 What else to think about when choosing Manuka Honey

  • Do you want organic Manuka Honey products? Organic products are free from any synthetic additives. They’re grown under conditions that avoid the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators, GMO’s, and feed additives. We’ve gathered a range of both certified and non-certified organic Manuka Honey products for you to choose from.  
  • Are you buying for yourself or for a gift?There’s something uniquely special about Manuka Honey that makes it the perfect gift for family and friends, or in a corporate gift pack. We’ve made the choice of Manuka Honey products easy for you by creating product categories for gift ideas, and gift baskets
  • Is it really New Zealand Manuka Honey?All our Manuka Honey is sourced from New Zealand. After all, the Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium, the New Zealand tea tree) is a New Zealand native. There are small amounts of tea tree honey produced in Australia, and some honey has been claimed to be Manuka Honey when on testing it was found not to be. Always check for the ‘Made in New Zealand’/’Product of New Zealand’ statement, or New Zealand Fern Mark symbol.

We hope this has made it easier for you to make your choice from the 1000+ Manuka Honey products we have gathered from all over New Zealand for you.

If you’re not a convert yet, learn more about what makes Manuka Honey so special.


Select your Manuka honey products now


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