There are a lot of different Manuka honey brands on the market and trying to find the best Manuka honey can be a challenge, to say the least. There has been a lot of controversy in recent years over honeys that claim to be “real” Manuka with active anti-bacterial properties but they have been found out to be fakes. Given the high price tag and popularity of Manuka, it’s no surprise that many companies are trying to scam consumers … but it’s still disappointing.
We would like to make you aware of the fraud in the Manuka honey industry and point you to products that are the real deal. Choosing the wrong Manuka when you are dealing with MRSA or a potentially deadly infection is no laughing matter – companies should be ashamed of themselves for duping the public.
This article will describe what to look for when purchasing Manuka honey and at the end of the article we will link to several of our favorite brands that are certified and independently tested.
There are only 70 companies that are members of the UMF Association (The Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association) which is based in New Zealand. How do you know if the honey you are interested in buying is a member? It will have its UMF rating on the label. It must have the letters UMF. If it just says “Active 15+” or “Active 20+” then it is not UMF certified and the company is trying to mislead the uninformed consumer into buying their product just because they have a high number followed by a plus sign. Another common thing you will see on the labels of these inferior products is the word “Bio-Active.”
Visit the UMF Association website to see a list of all members.
Here are four high quality brands that are UMF certified and available on Amazon.
Tahi Manuka Honey is our first choice of UMF Manuka honey in part because the company practices ethical beekeeping. They don’t take all of the honey from the hive but leave some honey for the bees. Without this practice, bees may not have the nutrients they need to remain healthy during the winter months. Many other companies take all of the honey and leave sugar water for the bees, leaving them without the nutrients they need to thrive. Interestingly, honey from bees fed sugar water has been found to have lower anti-inflammatory properties than honey from bees fed sugar water.
We also love the taste of Tahi manuka honey and the fact that they don’t use a high heat seal on the jars, thereby preserving the raw goodness of the honey.
They offer their Tahi UMF 15+ Manuka honey on Amazon through their only USA distributor.
Comvita is one of the most respected Manuka honey brands. It is the biggest Manuka honey producer in New Zealand. They deliver a consistent product and are UMF certified. In 2011, they were the only brand of five tested by Britain’s Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) that had anti-bacterial properties that matched the numbers on the label.
Happy Valley was founded in 1975 by Ben and Dot Rawnsley in South Auckland, New Zealand. In addition to producing Manuka honey, they are the only commercial producers of New Zealand Royal Jelly.
Wild Cape Manuka Honey is headed by Bill Savage. The company harvests its honey from the native manuka forests of the East Cape region of New Zealand. They harvest the honey and then take samples that are sent to independent labs. Only the honeys testing high in UMF factor are sold as Wild Cape UMF Manuka Honey.