There are different types of honey that come from different sources and in different forms all over the world. Most kinds of honey taste quite the same, mostly in terms of texture and flavor. All honey, in general, is sweet and found in thick liquid forms.
And among all the different types, Manuka honey is the most popular. It has its reasons. People have obsessed over raw honey as well.
But how different are these two from each other? When you are comparing Manuka honey vs raw honey, there will always be fans for either of them. Let’s discuss why they are so popular and then compare the two.
Characteristics, Pros, and Cons
Most people throughout their lives just experience the regular honey that is sold in mass. It is the honey you find in every grocery shop. You may see a wide range of brands on the shelves, but they all taste the same, more or less. They are just sold under different labels.
But since globalization has increased, trading has also increased. Now, if you go to larger grocery stores or super shops, you will be able to see a whole section dedicated only to honey. This time it’s not just different brands but different types of honey too.
The various types you might find are raw honey, Rooftop honey, Lavender honey, Alfalfa honey, Eucalyptus honey, Manuka honey, and so on. But among these, everyone’s new favorite is the Manuka honey. Let’s compare it to raw honey, which most honey enthusiasts tend to try before the other ones.
1. Manuka Honey
Let’s start by talking about Manuka honey. As we know, most honey comes from nectar in plants, especially ones with flowers. This nectar is extracted by bees. The bees swallow this nectar and bring it back to their hive. In the hive, they disgorge the nectar and store it in the honeycomb.
With time, inside the honeycomb, the nectar breaks down into sugars. That is how honey is formed.
Manuka honey follows this same routine. The interesting part of this is that the nectar meant for Manuka honey is extracted from the Manuka plant. That's why the color of Manuka honey is a bit dark or just more pigmented compared to the general honey color, which is either golden or amber. Manuka honey is also thicker in texture.
The Manuka bush doesn’t grow everywhere, which is why Manuka honey is so rare and expensive. And the known countries this Manuka plant grows in are New Zealand and Australia. In New Zealand, the Manuka bush is also known as the New Zealand Tea Tree.
Another interesting thing is that, in Australia, Manuka honey is also made from other plants. They managed to do so by extracting nectar from the Jellybush Tree and the Golden Tea Tree. Manuka honey gained popularity in those countries fast but wasn’t known by foreigners at first.
Later on, research was done on Manuka honey, and reports of the results spread fast. It seemed that Manuka honey was very powerful in fighting bacteria. Of course, honey, in general, was used as a healing medicine throughout history. It is popular for both internal and external healing.
People even use honey for different skin or hair therapy. Manuka honey works as an antibacterial agent as well. It is known to have a UMF (Unique Manuka Factor), which indicates the level of its activity as an antibacterial agent. The more the UMF, the more powerful the Manuka honey is against bacteria.
In the properties of Manuka honey, you’ll find lots of concentrated methylglyoxal and leptospira included. Because of these being present in its characteristics, Manuka honey is purchased all over the world now.
- Injuries: When you get tropical cuts, bug bites, skin rashes, burns, itchy spots, etc., you can smear the Manuka honey in that area.
- Healing: It stops infections on wounds and cleanses it. And it also speeds up the healing process. No need for antibiotics or antibacterial cream anymore.
- Skincare: You can wear the Manuka honey as a face mask to help get rid of acne. It also helps repair damaged and dry skin during winter. And it even helps fade scars, wrinkles, or age lines.
- Colds: Drinking warm water, tea, or milk with a spoon of Manuka honey helps with colds.
- Health: If Manuka honey is ingested, it makes your immune system and your digestive system better and healthier.
- Hair Therapy: Some people mix a bit of the Manuka honey with coconut oil and massage it into their hair. This helps them get rid of dandruff. It also adds more nutrients to your hair and makes it softer.
- Body Heat: Manuka honey works great in generating body heat during winter if eaten at least once a day.
- Medicine: Pharmaceuticals in New Zealand even make medicine from Manuka honey. Lozenges for sore throats are one of the popular examples.
- Beauty Care Products: Some companies are making skincare products with Manuka honey as the base or core ingredient. Moisturizers are the most popular products made from Manuka honey.
- Cost: It is very expensive. And it is only made in two countries: New Zealand and Australia. Its supply isn’t that large, yet its demand is still high—that’s why it’s a bit pricey.
- Unavailability: Manuka honey is very rare. It’s hard to find in most shops. You might have to order it online if the country you’re in doesn’t import it in bulk. And you should try ordering on any international site that will deliver abroad.
- Density: Because Manuka honey is thicker, that makes it harder for you to dip a spoon in and collect some honey.
- It’s also hard to spread Manuka honey on bread or any other similar food. Neither is it possible to drizzle Manuka honey over sweet dishes like pancakes the way you do with other liquid-like honey.
2. Raw Honey
Now let’s discuss what raw honey is. Raw honey is basically honey that has been directly extracted from the honeycomb. This honey has not been filtered in any way and has not been heated to get rid of any impurifications either. Most people don’t consume raw honey on a daily basis because they think it's unhygienic.
Truth be told, there are still people who try raw honey out of curiosity because they want the experience. People who study about honey and are very enthusiastic about it should definitely try raw honey whenever they can.
Scientists haven't really labeled raw honey as something unsafe for your health. In fact, raw honey has way more nutrients or vitamins in it compared to the regular honey we eat, which has already been filtered and purified.
But raw honey can't just be bought in any local stores or even big grocers. If you want to try raw honey, you will have to go on a road trip to the outskirts of the country and visit a bee keeper’s farm where apiculture is practiced.
You will have to spend more time, effort, and money to experience this. But if you want fresh, authentic and unfiltered raw honey, then it’ll be best to go directly to the source.
- Natural: Raw honey is direct and unfermented honey that hasn’t been pasteurized or processed in factories in any way.
- Variety: Raw honey can be made from any plant’s nectar. It can also be made from the Manuka plant. You just need to skip with the various levels of purification of the honey after it has been extracted. But you basically still get the Manuka honey’s qualities along with the raw honey’s qualities.
- Simple Process: People who work in the apiculture field do not have to go through the process of straining, processing, fermenting, etc. for raw honey. It is meant to be consumed directly. So, this means less work for the producers.
- Low Calorie: Raw honey might not seem hygienic to people, but it has no added sugar or concentrated sugar levels in its properties. It won’t add to your weight or add more calories to your diet.
- Yeast: Raw honey may have yeast present since it hasn’t gone through any heating or fermenting process.
- Unattractive: Like regular honey types, raw honey will not look smooth, and its color won’t be crystal clear or transparent-like either.
- Texture: Since the honey is extracted directly from the honeycomb without a strainer, that means there may be dirt particles, lumpy bits of honey, or even broken bits from the honeycomb falling into the containers where the beekeepers are collecting the raw honey.
- Impure: Raw honey is impure, so it’s possible you’ll find bits of wax, pollen, etc. as well. This is because these impurities haven’t been removed from the honey.
Raw Honey vs Manuka Honey
When you want to compare Manuka honey and raw honey, it mostly depends on what the customers like and who are willing to buy them. Taking all things into consideration, it would seem Manuka honey has gained more admiration.
Raw honey has more nutrients compared to other honey since it is directly extracted from the honeycomb. It hasn’t been processed in any way at all. But Manuka honey has stronger antibacterial properties compared to every other kind of honey out there.
It gained popularity very quickly, and imports of Manuka honey have increased because the customer demands have increased.
Even though Manuka honey is expensive, people would still prefer trying remedies through Manuka honey rather than spend hundreds of dollars on beauty care products or medicine from branded pharmaceuticals.
Considering you were still able to afford it and want the Manuka honey for its extra healing qualities, Manuka honey still isn’t something you can use every day, whether it’s for internal or external use. It can only be consumed twice a week at best.
We’ve seen detailed descriptions of both refular honey and manuka honey. Hope you completely understand what is the difference between manuka honey and raw honey. The merits and demerits of both types of honey were also included. Comparing the Manuka honey and raw honey was tricky since they weren’t on the same level of honey making.
The popular Manuka honey we've been discussing this whole time was extracted from beehives' honeycombs, just like how every other honey was made. After that, it has gone through a series of fermentation before being put into containers and sold.
On the other hand, raw honey never reaches the same finishing level as Manuka honey. It is extracted and then stored. It doesn’t go through fermentation or any other kind of processing.
Because of this, it's a bit hard to compare the two, but customers’ demands for Manuka honey is higher than raw honey for various reasons which have been mentioned above. Eventually, if it comes down to Manuka honey versus raw honey, Manuka honey will win the battle.