Manuka Honey vs. Raw Honey

Manuka Honey vs Raw Honey: Which is Best and Why?

Honey has been considered a powerful natural medicine by humankind ever since ancient age. Bees are the only insects that produce food for humans. They collect nectar from the flowers of plants and use this to produce honey.

Honey is often being hailed for its widespread medicinal benefits and used commercially in many forms worldwide. From skincare to medicine, honey is used in numerous products around the world.

In recent years, Manuka honey has gained extreme popularity for its immense nutritional properties and healing power. It has become a hot topic among honey lovers and it raises some burning questions among them.

Is Manuka honey better than raw honey?

Does it really provide health benefits that are being advertised by sellers?

What is so unique about Manuka honey?

…and the questions go on and on!

To quench your thirst, we will provide a comparative analysis here.

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka is the name of a plant that can be found only in the most remote places in New Zealand. Bees pollinate flowers in Manuka bush and produce Manuka honey. Manuka bush is scientifically known as  Leptospermum scoparium.

The valuable properties of Manuka honey come directly from this rare plant that grows in the wild region naturally.

As a result, the honey contains high natural sugar and is 4 times more powerful and effective than other types of honey. It has an enzyme that contains antibiotic compounds such as methylglyoxal and hydrogen peroxide. Such components are acidic and have strong antibacterial properties.

The honey is so popular that there is a grading system to check its uniqueness. It is known as the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF). It postulates that original Manuka honey from New Zealand should contain Leptosperin, Methylglyoxal and DHA.

The potency in this honey may differ from 7 to 16+, while 16+ refers to superior quality Manuka honey.

It has numerous health benefits including antibacterial properties that are able to cure the viral and bacterial infection. Bacterial infection can’t survive in the waterless environment of Manuka honey.

It has anti-inflammatory properties that heal sore throats and soothe internal wounds. Therefore, it is now used to heal throat inflammation of cancer patients.

Manuka is also widely used in cosmetics nowadays. From facemasks to pimple removal medicine, Manuka honey is the solution that modern beauticians prescribe. It is high in carbohydrates and thus improves energy level with regular use.

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What is Raw Honey?

Raw honey is basically all kinds of natural honeys in their purest form. They are extracted without any refining process.

Processed honey is filtered, heated and pasteurized before we consume it. On the other hand, raw honey is strained only before it is bottled. It has been extracted without producing any heat.

For this reason, it can sustain most of its antioxidants and minerals. Since it has not been refined, pollens can be found in such honey.

Raw honey is higher in mineral and nutritional components than commercially processed honey. It contains 31 different minerals and plenty of other vitamins and enzymes.  It contains higher antioxidants as compared to processed honey.

According to a 2005 study by Blassa M. et al, raw honey contains 4.3 times more antioxidants than processed honey.

Raw honey is well known for its health benefits. It can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, soothe wounds or heal sore throats. The pollen in raw honey helps fight allergy symptoms.

Recently a study in the University of Wyoming found that raw honey can help suppress hunger. No wonder why health-conscious people always include raw honey in their diet chart.

Raw Honey Vs Manuka Honey: Which One is Better?

One thing is clear from the above discussion. That is, both raw and Manuka honey contain higher nutritional properties and more health benefits than commercially processed honey.

Thereby, it is difficult to single out any type as superior since both of them share identical qualities. But we will look into some differences to narrow down our analysis.

  • Raw honey is not experimented by experts. So, there is no way to check its potency before consuming it. On the other hand, Manuka honey is tested by experts to check whether it has all the antibacterial properties or not. Users can check the UMF rating on the label of this honey to make sure they have purchased the best honey.
  • Honeycombs produce raw honey after collecting nectars from the flowers of different plants. But, Manuka honey is produced only when bees pollinate Manuka bush.
  • Raw honey is not rare at all as it can be collected from different plants and different nations. It is also not too expensive. However, Manuka honey is rare and expensive. Manuka bush grows only in New Zealand and some parts of Australia. Purchasing 1kg of Manuka honey of UMF 16+ rating will cost you way more than raw honey of equal amount.
  • Manuka Honey is darker than raw honey. It is also comparatively thicker and spreads less.
  • Manuka has superior antimicrobial properties than raw honey. It contains hydrogen peroxide which is a very strong antibacterial agent. So, it is more effective against viral infections than raw honey.
  • Raw honey has medicinal benefits. But the health benefits of Manuka honey will outweigh them. Manuka honey is called medicinal honey. Some doctors prescribe this honey to chemotherapy patients, who are suffering from inflammation in the throat after the therapy. It is more effective in healing wounds, sore throats, acid reflux etc.


The bottom line is that both Manuka and raw honey offer countless benefits. Manuka honey is pricey but has more medicinal benefits. On the contrary, raw honey is easily available and affordable.

So if you want honey for your daily diet, you can take raw honey. It offers much of the benefits that other kinds of honey can offer and can be especially helpful for allergy sufferers. As it is not pasteurized, it is certainly more nutritious than processed honey.

However, if you want honey to cure sore throat or inflammation or wounds, you should spend a little more money and buy Manuka honey. Because Manuka honey has some unique features and benefits that are unmatched in other kinds of honey.

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One Comment

  1. The only thing that differs the sweetener from New Zealand from ordinary raw honey is that the former is brimming with methylglyoxal. This compound is responsible for potent bacteria-killing properties. But that, ladies and gentlemen, is what marketers call a unique selling point. Manuka honey will be your best choice only if you don’t mind a hefty price tag. For those who aren’t going to pay through the nose for a tasty cure-all, raw linden honey and raw wildflower honey will be great alternatives.

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