Manuka Honey 101

In case you are new to the fascinating world of Manuka honey, you might have questions like, “What is Manuka honey?” or  “What is Manuka honey good for?” Well, here is everything you need to know about Manuka honey. We hope it helps you in finding the best Manuka honey for your needs. Continue reading to learn more.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a unique and highly prized type of honey that is created by bees that forage the flowers of the manuka tree, which is native to New Zealand. Manuka honey is made up of a unique, organic compound called Methylglyoxal (MGO) which gives it its exceptional medicinal properties, making it a superfood.

What is MGO in Manuka Honey?

Methylglyoxal, or MGO/MG, is an organic compound that is found in high concentrations in Manuka honey. It is correlated to many of the honey's health benefits, including its powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, attributes that have made manuka honey a popular natural remedy for various health issues.

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is a naturally occurring compound found in varying concentrations in certain types of honey, with Manuka honey having the highest concentrations among all types. The presence of MGO in Manuka honey is attributed to its formation during the conversion of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), which is found in high concentrations in the nectar of Manuka flowers.

The discovery of MGO in Manuka honey and the scientific study behind it is quite fascinating.

The research into the medicinal properties of Manuka honey began in the mid-1980s when Professor Peter Molan and his team at the University of Waikato in New Zealand started investigating the honey's antibacterial activity. That’s when they noticed that Manuka honey samples exhibited extraordinary antibacterial than they had seen before.

And in 2008, Professor Molan and his colleagues published a groundbreaking study in the Journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, which specifically identified Methylglyoxal as a key component responsible for the potent antibacterial activity in Manuka honey.

How to Choose the Best Manuka Honey
- Manuka Honey Grading Explained!


There’s only one rule to remember when buying Manuka honey: the higher the MG rating, the more potent and effective the honey is believed to be for medicinal purposes.

  1. MG 263+: This grade offers a moderate level of therapeutic benefits. This is a good starting point for a Manuka honey MG rating, but at Bees & Trees, we prefer to offer our customers a higher starting point grade; the MG 350 + honey.
    When to use it: It is commonly used for general health support, immune system enhancement, and minor wound care. 
  2. MG 514+: This grade provides a higher concentration of MG and is recommended for more significant health benefits.
    When to use it: It can be used to support digestive issues, wound healing, sore throats and coughs, and as a natural supplement to boost overall immunity. For this grade, we offer MG 550 +, which has so much praise from satisfied customers.
  3. MG 829+: The honey in this grade contains a high amount of MG and is considered to have strong medicinal properties.
    When to use it: It is often used for advanced wound healing, addressing digestive discomfort, and promoting overall well-being. Learn more about our MG 830+ honey.

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