Manuka honey is made in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native Mānuka Bush. This honey contains higher levels of enzymes and is more antibacterial than other honey. But Manuka honey is also known for its high price tag, sometimes rising to 200 euros a jar. The active agent in Manuka honey is methylglyoxal (MGO). The amount of MGO per kg can be found on the jar. The higher the MGO, the higher the potency, the higher the price.
You can add Manuka honey to tea, smoothies, meals or just take it by the spoonful. Given its antibacterial effects, some people even use Manuka honey as a face mask. Bougie, right?
So, why is it so expensive?
The window of flowering of Manuka is 2 to 6 weeks (depending on weather conditions). This is a very short window of time, which makes the honey more exclusive. On top of that, Manuka honey can help us with a lot of things, making it a very valuable product. It can be used to treat burns and acne, support your immune system, help with digestion and so on. Since I live in Belgium and the product is imported from New Zealand, I’m sure that adds to the cost as well.
I wanted to see what the fuss is about, so I ordered myself a jar of this expensive honey. I went for the 100+ MGO Manuka Honey by Activist. According to their website this amount of MGO provides a ‘mild level of therapeutic benefit’. It’s not until 850+ MGO that they start describing their honey as ‘medicinal’. Although I would have loved to try that one, I went for the 100+ to keep it reasonable, since that jar already cost me 65 euros.
I was very skeptical about this honey, but once I had my first spoon of it, I was sold. This stuff is amazing. This is hands down the tastiest honey I have ever tried. The taste just doesn’t compare to anything else I’ve tried. Just this alone makes it worth the price to me. It’s hard to speak on the health benefits they claim Manuka honey to have, but I did put it on a patch of irritated skin of my arm and it made my skin less red almost instantly.
I would for sure repurchase this honey, but next time I think I will try one with higher MGO to hopefully experience even more of the health benefits. So, is it worth the $$$? Let’s say that I understand why it is so expensive, especially given the small window of flowering. Definitely a privilege to be able to afford it and not an essential product to have, although I would love to never be without it again.