Manuka Honey Benefits

Top 8 Benefits of Natural New Zealand Mānuka Honey


1.     New Zealand's natural environment produces unique Mānuka Honey benefits


New Zealand is famous for its beautiful scenery and fresh, clean air. From majestic mountain ranges with crystal clear streams running to the sea, to thermal wonderlands, fiords and vast native forest, New Zealand has it all. It is frequently voted one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

New Zealand has a very low population density and as New Zealanders we are very connected to our land. Keeping New Zealand pristine is so important to us that we have devoted 30% of our land area to national parks and other protected areas.

Within this beautiful natural landscape, the Manuka tree is found[i]. Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is a unique form of tea tree, growing freely in the beautiful native bush and pasturelands of New Zealand. This is where the benefits of Mānuka Honey begin. It can grow to 5m tall and boasts large white and pink flowers.

In keeping with New Zealand’s naturally beautiful philosophy, SummerGlow maximise the Mānuka Honey benefits by using manuka which grows wild in its natural state.

SummerGlow is one of New Zealand’s leading producers of quality Mānuka Honey.  They position beehives on spray-free, chemical-free protected conservation wetlands and on the very steep hillsides of some of New Zealand's most remote wilderness areas in the isolated Forgotten World area of North Taranaki.

Bees gather nectar from the manuka flowers, producing a dark and delicious natural sweetener, loaded with its special properties.

Mānuka Honey is one of the natural wonders of New Zealand. People from all over the world are growing in awareness of its unique properties and benefits.

SummerGlow now have more than 3500 beehives located in the greater Waikato region (central North Island), in the pristine bush areas of the northern King Country, and in the remote Forgotten World region of Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand.

“Every drop of our Mānuka Honey is produced by our own bees on 1640 acres of manuka-growing land which we own, and in which we have had hives for the past 43 years. We do not buy honey from any other beekeepers.” James Jeffrey, General Manager of SummerGlow

Buy the Best

To get the most beneficial Mānuka Honey, buy from a genuine New Zealand source like SummerGlow Apiaries. Mānuka Honey’s unique qualities and benefits begin from its unique environment – a naturally pure and wonderful product created in a naturally pure and beautiful land.


2.     High level of Leptosperin identifies genuine Mānuka Honey


Mānuka Honey is made up of several compounds that are found only in the honey produced from New Zealand's native manuka bush.

One of the dominant compounds is Leptosperin. Leptosperin is a good indicator of the "manuka-ness" of honey.

The higher the level of Leptosperin, the greater the presence of the unique Mānuka Honey attributes and benefits.

The presence of Leptosperin gives consumers a means of knowing which honey is genuine Mānuka Honey.

A ground-breaking Mānuka Honey Identification Project (2013-2016) carried out by New Zealand's UMF Honey Association has shown each floral type of honey has its own chemical fingerprint and identity ensuring consumers a means of knowing which honey is real, genuine Mānuka Honey.

The Mānuka Honey Identification Project has identified a number of potentially worthwhile chemical markers and has focused on four of these markers to develop a scientifically based classification criteria for Mānuka Honey that will give confidence to consumers who want to purchase quality authentic Mānuka Honey. 

The very best of the four dominant marker compounds of Mānuka Honey is Leptosperin[ii] and is present only in the nectar of the flower of the manuka plant.

How to make sure you get the full benefits of Mānuka Honey

If you want to make sure that you are getting all the benefits of Leptosperin, ask your supplier for the relevant UMF Test Certificate for the honey you purchase.

SummerGlow always supply the certificate with every order. The certificate shows that we specialise in very high grade UMF16+ Mānuka Honey, with very high Leptosperin levels of 900-1000mg/kg.


3.     Mānuka Honey contains natural chemical compounds that make it unique


Mānuka Honey is made up of many compounds that are found only in the honey produced from New Zealand's native manuka bush. The three main compounds are:

  • Dihydroxyacetone (DHA): DHA is the compound that originates within the nectar of the Manuka plant, this converts to MGO when the bees are processing the nectar within the hive.

    The good news is that a Mānuka Honey sample with a high DHA concentration has the potential to turn into a Mānuka Honey with higher MG concentration than a comparable Mānuka Honey sample with a low DHA concentration.
  • Methylglyoxal (MGO): This has been shown to be effective in supporting the body’s immune system. MGO is one of the active compounds that gives Mānuka Honey its unique properties.

    It is MGO that helps support healthy skin, gut bacteria, the body’s natural healing process, as well as many other benefits.

    Higher levels of MGO provides higher levels of support for your body’s systems.
  • Leptosperin: Leptosperin’s bioactivity is currently being studied at the University of Auckland. These studies are exciting and have been shown to support healthy living.

    Leptosperin was more recently discovered by Dr Kato of Japan and is one of several thousand identified compounds that are totally unique to Mānuka Honey. 

MGO in Manuka is very stable when exposed to heat, light, and conditions within the human body.

This makes Mānuka Honey superior to other kinds of honey, as its potency is not destroyed when subjected to human body conditions and internal enzymes.

So, while all high-quality honey can be a healthy food, Mānuka Honey provides significantly more benefits than other types of honey.

Get quality assurance with UMF Trademark

To ensure that your Mānuka Honey provides all the benefits you desire, make sure that it is from New Zealand, and that it has the UMF trademark. The UMF grading system appraises natural markers found in Mānuka Honey produced in New Zealand and assures purity and quality.

  • UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor
  • UMF identifies natural unadulterated Mānuka Honey produced in New Zealand
  • UMF is the only Mānuka Honey grading system that is licensed and audited to verify the honey is true-to-label
  • UMF is a revered mark of quality protecting your rights as a consumer

The higher the UMF grade the greater the presence of the unique Mānuka Honey attributes

  • Low Grade:                       UMF5 to UMF9
  • Medium Grade:               UMF10 to UMF15
  • Superior High Grade:     UMF16+ 

The name UMF and "Unique Manuka Factor" are quality trademarks owned by the UMF Honey Association and can be used only by licensed users who must meet set criteria.

SummerGlow Apiaries Ltd was the first company to be registered as a licensee - Licence number 1001.


4.     Mānuka Honey's special properties support healthy levels of gut bacteria


It is well known that our digestive system uses several types of beneficial bacteria. Healthy levels of these good bacteria help us digest food and keep our gut healthy.

But sometimes there are also harmful bacteria.

Mānuka Honey has been shown to support healthy levels of beneficial gut bacteria[iv], and a healthy digestive system[v].

Experts say that by balancing the bacteria in your gut, Mānuka Honey can soothe digestion and support immunity.

How to support optimum gut health

If you want to try Mānuka Honey for gut health, why not try mixing it with other gut-friendly foods? Here are some ideas:[vi]

  • Swirl a spoon of Mānuka Honey into some plain live yoghurt, which contains probiotic bacteria
  • Add a little Mānuka Honey to a fruit salad – fruit is rich in fibre, essential for feeding good gut bugs
  • Spread Mānuka Honey onto a fibre-dense oat cake and add chopped banana, another effective prebiotic.


5.     Mānuka Honey's unique properties has advantages for optimum dental health


Yes, Mānuka Honey contains high levels of sugar. However, one of the benefits of Mānuka Honey is that it is not a refined sugar like sucrose. Even though it can be sweeter than white sugar, it has significantly higher levels of nutrients.

Some of these nutrients support healthy gums and teeth.

Researchers from the School of Dentistry, University of Otago discovered that chewing or sucking a Mānuka Honey product can support oral hygiene in several ways.

One of the ways that Mānuka Honey supports optimum oral hygiene is by balancing healthy and harmful bacteria levels.

“Honey may be a healthful substitute for refined sugars, such as white sugar… Unlike refined white sugar, honey also contains vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.” - Medical News Today.[vii]

Due to the higher levels of MGO, Mānuka Honey may be better for your teeth than both white sugar and normal honey.

So, which Mānuka Honey is best for your oral health? The higher the UMF rating the better. We recommend for ideal oral health at least a UMF strength of 15.

How To Use Mānuka Honey for Optimal Oral Health

Four powerful ways to use Mānuka Honey to support your dental care.

  • Mouthwash: Replace your everyday mouthwash with Mānuka Honey. Unlike mass-produced mouthwashes, this honey supports a healthy balance between healthy and harmful bacteria to maintain a healthy mouth.
  • Toothpaste: Apply some Mānuka Honey to your toothbrush and brush your teeth with it.
  • Gum massage: Rub a drop of Mānuka Honey directly on your gums.
  • Ingest it normally: You can simply swallow a spoonful or add Mānuka Honey to your tea.

As you can see, using Mānuka Honey for your oral health is simple and easy.

Of course, while honey is safe for most adults, children and people with diabetes need to be careful when consuming Mānuka Honey, as it is high in sugar. Consult your GP for advice.


6.     Mānuka Honey delivers a beautiful soothing sensation for your throat


A hot honey and lemon drink has been used for centuries during wintertime.

The benefits of honey are so well recognised, that Mānuka Honey is a key ingredient in many winter wellness products including throat lozenges and sprays.

In 2018 guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England (PHE) suggested honey as a first-line treatment to support winter wellness. [viii]

In the UK honey is frequently recommended as a soothing and nutritional option for both adults and children aged over 5 years, rather than some conventional alternatives.

The honey creates a soothing coating on the throat. As well as soothing your throat, Mānuka Honey has the added benefit of supporting your immunity.

Here’s how to enjoy Mānuka Honey’s soothing effect

  • Simply mix two tablespoons of honey with a warm glass of water or tea, and drink as needed.
  • However, it is best enjoyed without overheating it. For this reason, steep your tea first, then add the honey when it has cooled slightly.
  • Another option is chewing or sucking on Mānuka Honey products – check the UMF rating first to make sure that it contains sufficient MGO.

7.     Mānuka Honey supports radiant, healthy skin that you will love


For thousands of years, ancient civilisations have understood the benefits of applying honey to the skin.

Mānuka Honey contains bioactive agents, including MGO, flavonoids and phenolic compounds that may be the reason why honey is thought to support beautiful, healthy skin.

However, as with other Mānuka Honey benefits, the strength and purity of the Mānuka is important. Most studies are based on medical grade Mānuka Honey.

How to get the benefits for your skin

Make sure to apply the honey after wetting your face, or else it will be too sticky. Once it mixes with water, the honey's natural tackiness will be neutralized. Be careful to avoid getting the honey in or around your eyes.

  • Take a spoonful of honey and spread all over your face. Experiment over time with how much you need. Rub it into your skin and let sit for 5-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water.[ix]
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, mix together 1 tbsp buttermilk, 1 tsp honey, and 1 egg yolk. Gently spread over clean skin and let sit 20 minutes. Rinse with warm but not water.
  • Combine 2 teaspoons of ground almonds with 2 teaspoons honey to form a paste. Rub into your face with a circular motion. Rinse with warm water. You could easily increase the quantities to treat your whole body.
  • If you’re feeling that dry winter skin coming on, mix a spoonful of honey with a teaspoon of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice (a natural skin brightener). Apply this lotion to dry areas and let sit for 20 minutes. Wipe off with a warm washcloth.

SummerGlow have a range of natural skin care products which include UMF15+ Mānuka Honey and other quality natural ingredients. They are Paraben free with no added fragrance or artificial colouring.

Pleasant soothing and easy to use.  Brilliantly formulated to nourish your skin leaving it to feel soft, smooth and protected.  We believe that you will enjoy these products as much as we do.


8.     Mānuka Honey’s acidic profile supports the body's natural wound healing process


In Maori traditional healing, Rongoa Maori, the New Zealand Manuka tree is thought to have special properties. Traditionally all parts of the tree were used to soothe and support the body.

In 1981, researchers from the University of Waikato discovered that Mānuka Honey contains higher level of certain enzymes than regular honey.

While most honeys contain a naturally occurring hydrogen peroxide (HPA), the researchers found that Mānuka Honey appeared to have what has been termed ‘the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF)’.

Fast forward to 2008 and Professor Thomas Henle, (Head of the Institute of Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Dresden), demonstrated that a high potency of MGO is one of the active ingredients that provides Mānuka Honey with its unique properties that, in turn, support healing.

Researchers found that when they destroyed the NPA in most honey (via exposure to heat, light and internal body conditions), the MGO in Manuka was still a stable and highly beneficial enzyme. This occurrence makes MGO Mānuka Honey superior to other kinds of honey, as its potency is not destroyed when subjected to human body conditions and internal enzymes. 

How to support healing

There are many medical-grade Mānuka Honey products that can be used to support healing. Hospitals buy specific Mānuka Honey products, but there is also a range available to consumers called Medihoney – including Wound Gel, Derma Cream and Skintensive Cream.

Antibacterial Mānuka Honey Wound Gel

The wound gel gives a good example of how these products can be used to support would healing.

Antibacterial Wound Gel is a unique blend of Antibacterial Medical Honey with natural waxes and oils. It is a specifically formulated Gel which is easy to apply and has good wash off characteristics when dressings are changed.

Antibacterial Wound Gel creates a moist, low pH environment that promotes new tissue formation and wound healing. New tissue is protected from painful damage when the dressing is changed. It can be used throughout the healing process.

Antibacterial Wound Gel cleans and protects the wound from bacteria, reducing the risk of infection. It naturally cleans the wound of bacteria, dead tissue, dirt and debris by drawing it into the dressing.

Antibacterial Wound Gel provides a natural alternative for wound healing and protection and can be used throughout the healing process.

Antibacterial Wound Gel is a great all-rounder for the First Aid kit. Soothing and easy to use. Assists the body's natural healing of cuts, scratches, grazes, minor burns, ulcers.

How to apply Antibacterial Wound Gel

Apply a generous quantity of MediHoney Antibacterial Wound Gel directly on to the wound or an appropriate dressing.

Due to its versatility MediHoney Antibacterial Wound Gel can be used in all stages of wound healing.   Ideal First aid to assist the body's natural healing of cuts, grazes, scratches, minor burns.

For external use only.

Precautions: Serious wounds should be managed under the supervision of a healthcare professional.


* Do not cease regular medication without doctor's consent

* Seek medical advice if symptoms persist

* Always use a clean sterile spatula and dressings


 You can buy Mānuka Honey online.

Buy top quality Mānuka Honey direct from beekeepers in New Zealand, at The Mānuka Honey is shipped to your door, almost anywhere in the world.


[i] Department of Conservation . (n.d.). Mānuka/Kahikātoa and Kanuka. Retrieved 14/9/21 from

[ii] Yoji Kato, et al. (2012). Identification of a Novel Glycoside, Leptosin, as a Chemical Marker of Mānuka Honey. J.Agric Food Chem  pp1-25

[iii] Johnston, M., McBride, M., Dahiya, D., Owusu-Apenten, R., & Nigam, P. S. (2018). Antibacterial activity of Mānuka Honey and its components: An overview. AIMS microbiology, 4(4), 655–664.

[iv] McGovern DP et al. (1999). Mānuka Honey against Helicobacter pyloriJournal of the Royal Society of Medicine92(8), 439-439

[v] Miguel, M. G., Antunes, M. D., & Faleiro, M. L. (2017). Honey as a Complementary Medicine. Integrative medicine insights, 12, 1178633717702869.

[vi] Manuka Doctoer. (2019). How Mānuka Honey may help your gut health. Retrieved 14/9/21 from

[vii] Medical news Today. (n.d.). Can people with type 2 diabetes eat honey? Retrieved 14/9/21 from

[viii] National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2018). Antibiotics should not be issued as first line of treatment for a cough, says NICE and PHE. Retrieved 14/9/21 from

[ix] Martinko, Katherine. (2021). 8 Ways to Use Honey to Pamper Your Skin and Hair. Treehugger. Retrieved 14/9/21 from


A Trusted Mark of Quality - A Guarantee of Authenticity & Purity

UMF stands for "Unique Manuka Factor" and is the only manuka honey grading system that is licensed and audited to verify the honey is true-to-label.

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