Made from the manuka tree's medicinal nectar, the best manuka honey is widely used for fighting infections, easing inflammation, and boosting the immune system. Manuka honey has blossomed in popularity since studies started reporting on the enhanced antimicrobial activity. Now you can find it in just about any health food store. That said, not all manuka honey is created equal.
UMF, which stands for Unique Manuka Factor, is a scale that honey producers have developed to rate the overall potency. It reflects the concentration of MGO (methylgyoxal), Leptosperin, and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are naturally occurring compounds found in genuine Mānuka honey from New Zealand.
NPA (non-peroxide activity) is a number that reflects how much of the antibacterial effects are due to compounds other than hydrogen peroxide, which is largely what sets Manuka honey apart from other types.
KFactor refers to the percentage of manuka pollen in the honey, which indicates how processed it is, the higher the KFactor the less processed it is.
For the most part, the higher the ratings on these terms, the better the quality. Honey with the most superior healing qualities will have an MGO of 400 to 550 or a KFactor of 18 to 22. Some brands use one or a combination of terms to rate their honey, while others skip them altogether. Avoid brands that don't use ratings, as they're likely low-grade options.
Other things to note:
Manuka honey isn't liquid at room temperature. Instead, it consists of fine crystals, so look for a thick, easy-to-spread consistency.
There are brands that are unpasteurized and non-GMO.
If it's not from New Zealand (or sometimes Australia), it's likely not actual manuka honey.
Depending on your needs and preferred price point, these are some of the best brands available on the internet.