Editor's Note: Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.
[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tep aside essential oils, we know you're amazing and all, but 2022 is the year of raw Manuka honey. Manuka honey is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and antimicrobial properties, making it a popular item in households for health and fitness enthusiasts, pet parents and outdoor lovers.
At this point, I think every household needs a little jar of Manuka honey. I'm impressed by all its many uses and benefits.
Health Benefits of Manuka Honey
- Antibacterial properties
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Great for soothing sore throats & burns
These properties come in handy for wound healing, oral health, digestive symptoms, and even acne!
Manuka Honey Review: How I Used It for a Week
I used Manuka honey in my coffee and on toast for a week and even did a few face masks with it.
I added about a spoonful to my morning coffee all week, and I'm obsessed. Lately, I've been adding milk and Ghirardelli caramel syrup to my coffee or caramel macchiato creamer. I decided to add my caramel creamer only this week, along with the Manuka honey.
The Manuka honey added an extra sweet kick to my coffee. That's already a win in my book. Surely adding Manuka honey as a "sweetener" rather than using extra sugar or syrup has to be healthier.
I'll be honest, I wish I would've used it in my water after a hike, but I didn't think about it until recently. I'll be sure to try that next time to see if I had a nice burst of energy after a long day out hiking!
However, I didn't have a negative effect from adding it to my coffee. If anything, less of an upset tummy feel after too much dairy!
I really did try a spoonful of honey twice, but it's a little too sweet. Plus, I feel like I ate enough of it putting it on my lips. YES, I USED IT AS CHAPSTICK. I'll get into those details later, but if you sell Manuka honey chapstick, please reach out because I need it like yesterday.
I added a bit to my toast (with grape jelly and butter, of course). Anything to get more of this amazing stuff in my body! As many claims say, if it can boost my immune system, I'm all for adding this superfood to my breakfast, snacks, and more.
Overall, my toast tasted so yummy.
If I ever decide it's not doing anything for me by eating it, I'll forever buy Manuka honey for my face. I had a stubborn blackhead for years on my cheek, so awful I just gave up trying to pop it and said it was a little Mariah Carey beauty mark.
I followed directions from a lifestyle blogger (leave the mask on for 20 minutes, rinse, and use a moisturizer), and wow. I squeezed my blackhead (so awful that fake nails couldn't even dig out), and it came out so easily! I know, so gross, but I owe it all to Manuka honey.
Also, I had visibly clogged pores. After doing the mask three nights in a row, I'm glowing. My pores look minimized, and my skin looks so much clear.
Not only did my face look free of acne blemishes, but also scarring. Naturally, nails will leave some scarring when you try to pop the same blackhead for that long. I feel like it's already starting to heal and lighten up.
Also, my lips. Wow, they've never been so soft. I'm not going to lie, as soon as I realized my lips got this soft, I thought, well, how about I just put this on head to toe. I need Manuka honey hair products, lotion, everything.
If you want to give Manuka honey a try, do it. Especially for wound healing. Many outdoor enthusiasts use Manuka honey for wounds that have a hard time healing. Some people even use it for ulcers from diabetes. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor first and see if the healing properties could benefit your feet.
Some pet owners even use it on their pets' wounds and put it in their food.
Honestly, I just wish I had tried it sooner. I suffered from sore throats often before I got my tonsils removed. I bet this would've been a game-changer dealing with strep.
Here's the Manuka Honey brand I tried. It's a little jar, but I can tell a little bit will go a long way. (Maybe a few months?) However, I want a jar in the kitchen for eating and one in the bathroom for skincare.
I bought it on Amazon for $15, making this a more affordable option. Let me just say, Manuka honey is pricey. You get what you pay for, though.
Why Is Manuka Honey So Expensive
Does it have to do with the fact that high-quality Manuka honey comes from New Zealand? Absolutely, and we're not talking shipping costs!
New Zealand Honey Co. says, "Manuka Honey is unique to New Zealand and comes from the Leptospermum Scoparium tree, which is a native and limited resource. The word Manuka is the indigenous Maori word for the Leptospermum Scoparium tree."
Not only is the tree native (and a limited resource) to New Zealand, but the environment also plays a factor. Manuka flowers are only in bloom for up to 8 weeks per year! Since the trees grow at altitude, beekeepers may take helicopters for the extraction process.
After gathering the honey, it has to be tested. There is strict testing by the New Zealand government to ensure your Manuka honey meets UMF certification standards.
SummerGlow explains how to check your honey for authenticity.
UMF Ratings (Unique Manuka Factor) Grading System
Just like a credit score, the higher, the better.
- Low Grade: UMF5 to UMF9
- Medium Grade: UMF10 to UMF15
- Superior High Grade: UMF16+
Since I did not buy monofloral Manuka honey (I went the budget-friendly route with multifloral honey), this is not UMF certified. UMF does not certify monofloral honey. However, multifloral ratings are determined by MGO. MGO is methylglyoxal (the stuff that gives it all its healing properties and benefits).
Like UMF, the higher, the better. My honey does have a low MGO rating. After learning this, I decided that I'd love to continue using the jar for my skincare routine (I am extremely happy with my results), however, if I were to continue consuming Manuka honey daily, whether it be in drinks or food, or eating a spoonful, I'm going to spend more money and make sure the UMF rating is anywhere between UMF10-16+.
Australian Manuka Honey
There is some controversy about whether Manuka is native to Australia or New Zealand. The fight between the Australian government and the New Zealand government continues, as some Australian Manuka honey brands feel like New Zealand is dominating the market without an even playing field.
(By the way, I did try New Zealand Manuka honey.) If you're looking to read a review of Australian Manuka honey, read here.
Best Manuka Honey Brands on Amazon to Try
- Kiva Raw Manuka Honey, Certified UMF 15+ | MGO 514+
- Manukora UMF 20+/MGO 850+ Raw M?nuka Honey
- New Zealand Honey Co. Raw Manuka Honey UMF 10+ / MGO 263+
Here are some quality products to try! This type of honey comes in various UMF ratings, which will vary by budget (typically). So, if you're buying Manuka Honey for wellness, I recommend a top-notch UMF rating.
Looking to add a bit of honey to your skin or just want to see if you like the taste? Try a multifloral honey that's around $20 or so.
Keep honey bees safe, y'all!