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Choosing Manuka Honey: What Grade of Manuka Honey is Best?

Manuka honey 

Learn about the different potencies of raw manuka honey and their common applications so you can pick a wholesome jar of honey

Not all honey is made the same way and that’s why not all honey works the same way. That is especially true of manuka honey - a rare specialist variety of honey prized for its delicate floral taste and anti-bacterial properties.

Manuka honey is produced by bees that feed on the nectar of Manuka flowers. These flowers come into bloom only for a few days during the summertime and they’re found only in New Zealand. 

Manuka honey is a special natural offering. Its unique nutrient profile and therapeutic potential make it a highly versatile variety of honey with a long list of beauty, health, and culinary uses.

But to get the most out of your jar of honey, you need to pick the right concentration. And with all the different grading systems and quality indicators governing the realm of manuka, that can get a bit tricky.

In this article, we’ve made it simpler for you. We’ve listed the main manuka potencies along with their ratings (MGO/UMF) and common uses. Raw manuka honey is broadly classified into table grade, moderate grade, and premium grade varieties. 

All you need to know is what you’re going to use your jar of raw manuka goodness for. Then, you can decide which type of honey is best for your intended use. 

Table Grade Manuka Honey

Table grade manuka honey is ideal for everyday use.

Table grade manuka honey is mild. Unlike more concentrated varieties of raw manuka, it does not have a very high antimicrobial (germ-busting) potential.

Its milder nature makes it a safer and more suitable option for routine use.

Rating: MGO 83 - MGO 263 or UMF 5 - UMF 10


 You can use table-grade raw manuka honey as a healthy and nutritious sweetener. Add a teaspoon to sweeten up your tea or mix it into a power-packed workout smoothie.

Spread on warm toast or add to your porridge for breakfast. You can also mix some into fruit yogurt to fix yourself a filling snack or you can drizzle some over your salads and healthy desserts.

Table grade varieties with higher methylglyoxal (MGO) levels can also be included in your skincare routine. Use as a moisturiser, a replenishing lip balm, or a natural anti-aging treatment.


Pure Manuka Honey MGO 83+

Pure Manuka Honey MGO 263+

Moderate Grade Manuka Honey

Moderate grade manuka honey is also known as ‘therapeutic’ grade manuka honey.

Moderate grade manuka has notable antimicrobial activity. That makes it the perfect honey for short-term non-medicinal usage. You can add it to your food and drinks to improve your health and well-being.

Moderate grade honey is also great for topical application. It wards off germs that harm your skin so including it in your beauty care routine is a wonderful idea.

Rating: MGO 263 - MGO 514 or UMF 10 - UMF 15


Medium grade raw manuka honey is the right honey for skincare. It has a relatively high concentration of bioactives that protect the skin and keep it healthy.

Moderate potency manuka is a great choice for your self-care treatments. Add a spoonful to your homemade face masks and scrubs to make them more effective. Rub a bit onto your skin to counter flakiness. You can also use it to soothe an itch or remedy puffiness. 

You can take a spoonful of moderate-grade manuka honey for an instant energy boost. You can also make yourself some manuka honey tea to soothe your throat during a cold. Gargle with it to keep your gums and teeth healthy.


Pure Manuka Honey MGO 263+

Raw Manuka Honey MGO 514+


Premium Grade Manuka Honey 

Premium-grade manuka honey has a higher MGO or UMF grading. It is packed to the brim with powerful natural compounds that lend it its antibacterial properties.

The higher the MGO rating, the higher the antibacterial activity and the higher the overall medicinal strength of the honey.

Premium-grade manuka honey has potent antiseptic properties. It is an effective option for more advanced skin treatments that target blemishes, acne, and eczema.

This variety of manuka honey also promotes skin repair and wound healing. Higher concentrations are used to prepare ointments and salves. It can also be used as a natural disinfectant.

Due to its high antioxidant content, premium-grade manuka honey is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent when taken orally. If you’re experiencing bloating or digestive discomfort, a spoonful of high-grade manuka honey could help. 

Premium-grade honey is also multipurpose. You can always dilute it and use it as a replacement for milder varieties.


Rating: MGO 514 - MGO 1200 or UMF 15 - UMF 25


Add to a homemade face mask or exfoliator to revive dull skin and counter inflammation. You can also apply it to pimples to counter acne-causing bacteria. 

You can dilute premium-grade honey with water or raw coconut oil and dab it onto stretch marks and blemishes. Make a salve out of it to disinfect wounds, burns, and bug bites.

Higher potencies of raw manuka honey are also a great pick if you want to consume honey for health reasons. Take a spoon to improve your digestion and overall health.


Raw Manuka Honey MGO 514+

Pure Manuka Honey MGO 800+

Learn more:

Manuka Grading Systems 

MGO, UMF and NPA - Parity

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