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Manuka Honey - The Details

This page is about Manuka Honey and we will present basic information about Manuka honey, but with a special focus on Blue Hills Manuka honey produced in Tasmania, Australia.

Most folks familiar with Manuka honey think it comes only from New Zealand. This is completely inaccurate.

Some of the very best Manuka honey comes from Australia, and specifically, Tasmania, which is the source location for the Blue Hills Manuka honey we sell in our on-line store.

We have prepared information about Manuka from Australia confirming that Manuka Honey does come from Australia. We suggest that you read that page before continuing with this section. Please see: Manuka Comes From Australia

Summary of the information shown on this page:

-  Manuka Use
     -  What is Manuka Honey?
     -  What is Methylglyoxal (MGO)
     -  Measuring Methylglyoxal, UMF, and MGO
     -  Methylglyoxal (MGO) Testing – Blue Hills
     -  Methylglyoxal – Effective MGO Level
     -  Comments from users
     -  Honey and Health
     -  YouTube
     -  Manuka Information References – Honey Library

Manuka Use

We are not medical professionals and therefore we do not make any claims related to the health benefits of using Manuka honey. 

Please know that no honey is safe for consumption by infants under 12 months of age.

As a reminder, please note that as you access the information on this web site and on the links to external web sites, you do so under the Terms and Conditions Of Use  and our Medical Disclaimer and Privacy Policy. Please read them before you proceed.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is produced when bees gather the nectar from the flowers of the Manuka bush, also known as Tea Tree bush or more specifically, Leptospermum scoparium.

The Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) is native to New Zealand and Southeast Australia, including Tasmania.

Manuka is the name used in both New Zealand and Australia. ‘Tea tree’ is a common name in Australia and to a lesser extent also in New Zealand. This name arose because Captain Cook used the leaves to make a ‘tea’ drink.

Manuka honey is distinctively flavoured, darker and richer in taste than clover honey, and has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. The finest quality Manuka honey with the most potent antimicrobial properties is produced from hives placed in wild, uncultivated areas with abundant growth of Manuka bushes.

Blue Hills Honeys do not contain: artificial additives, colours, fragrances, or preservatives.

What is Methylglyoxal (MGO)

It is generally recognized that there are a number of bio-active constituents in all honeys but Manuka honey has been shown to contain Methylglyoxal, a very active component which has been proven in laboratory tests to have effective antibiotic and antifungal properties.

The level of the Methylglyoxal in the honey you buy is very important. The Methylglyoxal content is a major factor in how effective the Manuka honey will be in your health program.

Most persons familiar with the use of Manuka honey think that the level of Methylgloyxal should be at least 100mg of MGO per kg of honey. This is where the “100+” number on the label comes from.

Measuring Methylglyoxal, UMF, and MGO

There are several different testing methods used to determine the bioactivity or effectiveness of Manuka honey. There are several ways honey producers measure (test), rate, and indicate the Methylglyoxal content of their products. A Google search will show the background of how and why several methods are used to indicate UMF, Peroxide activity, non-peroxide activity, MGO level and possibly some others bioactive factors.

Two well known references are: MGO and UMF®

These references use different types of tests to determine the effectiveness of the bio-activity of their Manuka honeys.

There are many references to Manuka testing.  Try some Google searches and you will find these plus many more:








The following is a conversion table that will help you know what you are buying. This table has been prepared by Active Health New Zealand and reflects Professor Peter Molan’s findings, showing how the two measures can be compared:

MGO – UMF® Conversion Table
    Active 5+ = MGO 30
    UMF® 10 = MGO 100
    UMF® 16 = MGO 250
    UMF® 20 = MGO 400
    UMF® 25 = MGO 550

Professor Molan is a recognized as a pioneering leader in researching Manuka honey. We recommend that you Google Professor Peter Molan to see what this leading researcher has to say about Manuka honey.

Methylglyoxal (MGO) Testing – Blue Hills

Blue Hills Honey has decided not to utilize an external reference in rating their Manuka honey. Blue Hills Manuka Honey is labeled with the actual measured amount of Methylglyoxal in the jar of honey, stated as mg per kg of honey. The same as the MGO rating.

Blue Hills employs a third-party independent laboratory to measure the level of Methylglyoxal in each batch of Manuka honey prior to packing. The minimum level measured is stated as mg per kg on the product label.

For example, 100+ means that the jar of honey contains 100mg of Methylglyoxal per kg of honey.

Blue Hills employs a third-party laboratory to measure the level of Methylglyoxal in each batch of Manuka honey prior to packing. The minimum level measured is stated as mg per kg on the product label. We provide copies of several typical laboratory test reports for your review.
Blue Hills Laboratory Reports

Methylglyoxal – Effective MGO Level

According to recent research, Methylglyoxal has been found to be the most important of several bioactive agents in providing the health benefits of Manuka honey.

Quote from Charles Dragar, PhD.:

Manuka honey has well proven anti-bacterial properties which assist in wound healing as well as nutritional and immune a system stimulatory properties.

Teatree (Leptospermum scoparium) is a shrub which occurs along the south east coast of Australia, in Tasmania and in New Zealand, where it is called Manuka.

The naturally-occurring compound methylglyoxal was identified in mid-2006 as the dominant anti-bacterial constituent of Manuka Honey. Before this discovery, the anti-bacterial properties of Manuka Honey were compared with varying concentrations of phenol, a laboratory standard disinfectant.

Studies at the Technical University of Dresden in Germany and at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, have now proven that the Manuka’s antibacterial properties are directly related to methylglyoxal content.

Methylglyoxal has been reported in foods such as milk products as well as beer, wine and coffee, with concentrations ranging from 3 to 50mg/kg. Levels in Manuka Honey range from 0 to more than 700mg/kg and levels above 100mg/kg are required for antibacterial efficacy.

Comments From Users

Many users advise that they have seen benefits from using Manuka honey:

     -  May relieve skin conditions by topical application.
     -  Nature’s antioxidant.
     -  May relieve influenza and cold symptoms.
     -  Research from Waikato University says Manuka honey is active against a broad spectrum of bacteria & fungi.
     -  Assists the body’s own immune system.
     -  Natural energy boost.
     -  Suitable as a complimentary therapy in conjunction with prescribed medication.

Honey and Health

For references to how people are using Manuka Honey for its health benefits, click here: Honey and Health


Youtube has a lot of information as well but we cannot reference specific videos as it is constantly changing. But if you go to Youtube and make a search, you’ll find a lot to see. Try a search on some of these:
     - Manuka Honey
     - Tasmanian Manuka Honey
     - Tasmanian Honey
     - Blue Hills
     - Leatherwood Honey

Manuka Information References – Honey Library

A lot has been and is being written about Manuka honey. We have gathered a lot of information about honey and especially Manuka Honey in our Honey Library, including consumer information, scientific journals, etc.

Please see:  Honey Library