Botanical Name: Leptospermum scoparium
Plant Part: Leaves & Twigs
Extraction: Steam distilled
Manuka has been used for centuries by the Maori; the original inhabitants of New Zealand and Australia its native habitat and the only places it grows for its abundance of medicinal properties. Recent discovery of its many aromatherapy benefits has made the rest of us catch up with the Maori and placed this powerful essential oil into the Book of Aromatherapy as and there is still so much to learn about it.
Steam distilled from the hand-picked leaves and sometimes the twigs and branches of this tree which is a member of the Myrtaceae plant family that gives us Essential oils including Myrtle, Cajeput, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree. Leptospermum Scoparium like Melaleuca alternifolia is also referred to as one of the “Tea Trees” but they are totally different species.
Research recently found that the concentration of the components in Manuka Essential Oil varies with the height of the tree…we learn more about it every day.
Manuka has been found by scientists to be one of the most potent essential oils available today, 33 times stronger than Tea Tree for protection against specific bacteria with a stronger antioxidant activity and more benefits yet milder on the skin plus its aroma is much nicer.
It is much higher priced than Tea Tree for due to its rarity, plethora of therapeutic benefits and long shelf life of 6-7 years in comparison to Tea Tree’s 12-18 months.
The name Manuka may sound familiar due to the recent popularity of Manuka honey but should not be confused with each other, as the honey is produced from bees that feed on its flowers to make their honey.
Manuka Essential Oil
- Manuka Essential oil is antibacterial and helps inhibit and prevent bacterial attacks and growth that cause infections in the respiratory tracts, urinary system, colon and other areas in the body.
- A 2014 scientific study documents its effectiveness against four fungi and bacteria each including Candida, Golden Staph and E Coli. The results confirmed its “potent fungicidal properties”, reporting a 100% inhibition in its actions against each one. It is thus of immense benefit in treating infections, and autoimmune diseases as well as for use as a natural antibiotic.
- Manuka soothes and relieves inflammation wherever it occurs in the body from the digestive, circulatory and respiratory systems or in the nasal tracts. It is thus beneficial in prevent toxicity as a result of insect bites, venom or narcotics from entering the blood stream, discomfort from over eating of spicy foods, in treating and preventing fevers, infections, common cold etc.
- Its powerful anti-inflammatory action helps soothe and relieve pain and discomfort from arthritis, rheumatism, sports injuries or strained muscles from over training, sore muscles, stiff joints etc.
- Manuka EO helps relieve issues which arise from over production of Histamine e.g. prolonged, painful coughing, sinus issues, hay fever and other such issues due to overproduction of histamine naturally and safely. It efficiently helps reduce the production of Histamine which worsens coughs and causes them to last longer making each bout racking and painful. Histamine also aggravates the ears, nose and throat, fills them with excess mucous which makes them itchy, Manuka can help.
- Its anti-allergenic properties help sedate or calm the body’s hyper reactions to certain foreign objects to provide relief from allergies and allergic reactions to pollen, dust, pet dander (fur) etc.
- It’s a great natural deodorant not just because of itsfresh, herbaceous, earthy with a tint of floral scent is very appealing to both genders but its potent antibacterial action helps combat the bacteria e.g., Corynebacterium spp. and Micrococcus luteus that feed on sweat to create the nasty odor. Even in a 0.03% concentration, it is still enough to fight off the bacteria.
- Soothes and relaxes the mind and body to help ease anxiety, tension, depression, nervousness etc. beneficial for people dealing with blood pressure or heart issues which can be adversely affected by anxiety or stress.
- It can also help in treating sinus or nasal congestion and respiratory conditions e.g. coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis, asthma, flu etc. due to its potent antimicrobial properties.
- Manuka also shows amazing antispasmodic ability by decreasing tension and contractions in the diaphragm for smoother muscle contraction in the tubular organs of the gastrointestinal tract. This helps prevent spasms in the intestine, urinary tract and stomach which helps treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
- It is effective in eliminating a variety of bacteria, yeasts and fungi which can cause athlete’s foot, toenail fungus and other foot infections. Dilute and massage into the affected feet, cover them with cotton socks twice daily as a great home remedy.