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The Manuka Honey vs. Regular Honey: What's the Difference?

Honey is a natural sweetener that has been used for centuries. But what's the difference between Manuka honey and regular honey?

Honey in a glass jar sitting on a table

What is Manuka Honey?

Manuka honey is a type of honey that comes from the Manuka tree. The Manuka tree grows in New Zealand and Australia.

The Manuka honey is made by bees that pollinate the flowers of the Manuka tree known for its medicinal properties.

It is often used as a natural remedy for various ailments like coughs, colds, throat infections and even acne. Though evidence is still limited in this area.

What is the Difference Between Manuka Honey and Regular Honey?

Regular honey is a sweet liquid made by honeybees from the nectar of flowers. It is widely used as a natural sweetener in food and drinks.

The major difference between regular and Manuka honey is considered to be their healing properties. Manuka honey has been said to have more antibacterial qualities than regular honey, which is why it gets used for topical treatments like wound care or skin burns. Regular honey with its antimicrobial qualities might be effective for these topical treatments too. 

Manuka honey has a more robust flavour and aroma than regular honey. And it is more cloudy in appearance. However, this might also depend on the variety of honey you choose. 

The taste difference between Manuka honey and regular honey is that Manuka honey contains more methylglyoxal which gives it a stronger flavour. You may notice 'MGO' displayed on a Manuka honey jar label. This refers to the concentration of methylglyoxal.

Manuka or Regular Honey, which is better? 

If you're acquainted with our jam here at Nourish & Treat (pardon the pun), you'll know that we don't like to peg one food variety over another. They all have a place at our virtual table. 

Both Manuka and regular honey are great and an excellent addition to your toast or yoghurt. Their glycemic index (GI) of each is much the same, which means they have a similar effect on your blood sugar when consumed. They both contain antimicrobial qualities, with Manuka a bit more perhaps. 

Honey comes in so many varieties and different flavours these days. I'd look at which you prefer in terms of taste and texture. 

If wanting to look at these in terms of medicinal use, this would be complementary and probably best chat about individual circumstances with your licensed health professional. 

Manuka honey is more expensive than regular honey, which may also factor into your decision on which to use. 


  • Thanks, Perry for the info and link to Manuka in the UK. It’s fascinating that this little ingredient can have such powerful properties. I’ve added a Healthline link describing some of these also. :)

    Kim on

  • Manuka Honey is a powerful natural sweetener that has a long list of health advantages. It may help to boost your immune system, fight infections, and even aid in the digestion process. So, next time you’re shopping for a natural sweetener, check out Amazon’s honey. I’m a big fan of this one:

    Perry on

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