Manuka 101

Manuka honey is renowned for its health benefits and has been used medicinally throughout history. Only as the popularity of modern antibiotics began its rise, has honey been pushed from its pedestal. However, Manuka has remained a family favourite in many homes. In recent years the health industry has come full circle to rediscover the magical properties of Manuka.

The increase in demand for Manuka honey has seen the introduction of new brands, unbacked claims and buzzwords (mind the pun) to the market. So how can you ensure you’re buying quality Manuka honey?

Biosota follows a scientifically-backed numerical standard for testing Manuka honey, Methylglyoxal (MGO). MGO is the clear indication to a potent, pure, quality Manuka honey. And with expert lab testing right at our fingertips, Biosota ensures every jar of Manuka honey is graded accurately.

We want our customers to both understand and value the importance of MGO, which is why we’ve created the comprehensive guide below.

Read on to discover just what MGO is, how it compares with other rating systems, and what MGO rating you should be looking for when making your Biosota Manuka honey purchase.

What is MGO?

MGO is short for Methylglyoxal – a naturally occurring compound of authentic Manuka honey. Leading Australian research has shown that MGO is a globally recognised and accurate unit of measurement of Manuka honey.

The higher the MGO rating or number, the greater quality and purity of the Manuka honey. Simple! Right? But where do UMF, NPA and ULF ratings come in?


Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) is a rating system used uniquely by New Zealand honey makers. UMF ratings include MGO and dihydroxyacetone tests, among others. This rating system is split between different varying chemical markers found in Manuka honey. UMF is measured in smaller numbers than MGO.


Non-peroxide activity (NPA) represents the level of activity and the Unique Leptospermum Factor (ULF) measures it. NPA is also measured in New Zealand, while ULF is the Australian equivalent to the New Zealand UMF rating system. They are both used globally, so may sound familiar and are often used at the same time or interchangeably.

What MGO level is right for me?

Biosota Manuka honey is unrivaled in its purity, potency and taste. We are proud of our extensive range of honeys, all with varying levels of MGO. While each jar of Biosota Manuka comes with an array of health benefits, it is the potency (aka the higher the MGO) that increases its effectiveness and efficiency.

Our honey goes a long way in helping to relieve, soothe, cleanse and support healing of various ailments such as skin wounds, sunburn, facial cold sores, digestion and cold symptoms. Not to mention, Manuka honey has been proven to improve the gut microbial balance and also includes antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that can decrease healing time.

We love Manuka honey – and you should too! It can work to sterilise and draw moisture from wounds, prevent bacteria growth and encourage wound healing.

Ready to make a purchase? The table below will detail how each grade of activity is defined and help you to discover the honey right for you!
manuka honey usage guide
General wellbeing
We suggest: MGO 30–260+
On the lower end of the MGO scale, honeys graded at 30+ are a great option for a natural, everyday treat. Those closer to MGO 260+ can work well as a maintenance dose to support immunity. Biosota’s Manuka honey straws are a satisfying addition to your cuppa and a great way to maintain a daily dose.
Medical use
We suggest: MGO 300–550+
Honeys graded at MGO 300+ begin to enter the realm of the minimum activity necessary for medicinal use. They can work well for simple wounds, oral care, scarring and much more.

Honeys graded between MGO 300-550+ have a higher potency than minimal grade honeys and are potentially more effective for maintaining digestive health. Studies have also shown that highly graded Manuka honey, used in combination with other methods, significantly reduces sore throat symptoms.
Superior strength
We suggest: MGO 800–1200+
Reaching the higher end of the MGO rating system, MGO 800+ honeys are quite potent, which may increase the efficiency of relieving complex health issues mentioned previously.
Ultimate strength
We suggest: MGO 1443–1717+
As these ratings suggest, these honeys are rarer and are sought after for their potency and effectiveness in addressing concerns mentioned above. Biosota’s MGO 1717+ is one of the highest-grade medicinal Manuka honeys on the market.

At Biosota, we pride ourselves on producing high quality Australian-made Manuka honey. From general immunity to wound care, Biosota stocks Manuka for all needs. Shop today with MGO ratings ranging from 30 to 1717+.

Still need some help completing your purchase? Reach out via chat, email or phone.