Even if you're an avid essential oil user, you may not know about manuka essential oil.
You may not realize that this essential oil has been around for a long time – and for good reason.
What exactly is manuka essential oil anyways and how do you use it?
Isn't it the same as tea tree oil?
Here's everything you could possibly want to know about manuka essential oil and then some.
Q: Where does manuka come from?
The manuka plant is native to New Zealand.
This plant can vary in size: bushes reach between 2 and 5 meters while trees topple over 49 meters. As you can imagine, the Maori utilized as much of the plant as possible including berries, leaves, smoke, ash, bark, stems, and wood.
Maori took particular advantage of the leaves by crushing them into a paste for use with wound healing. They also chewed the berries for colic and dysentery. These uses have remained well-documented throughout the years and several modern studies show manuka oil is very effective for a wide range of ailments.Q: How is the manuka essential oil made?
But then 20 years ago a Maori-European partnership produced the first Manuka essential oil, distilled from the leaves of the manuka tree using low temperature steam.
Green stems, leaves, and small twigs are harvested. These plant parts are then be distilled using a very low-temperature steam process. This ensures all the vital enzymes and compounds remain intact throughout the entire process of making the best manuka oil.Q: What makes the best manuka oil so special?
Studies show that the best manuka oil distilled from trees in New Zealand's East Cape region contains the highest levels of enzymes known as triketones. Triketones, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and other compounds are what give essential oils like manuka their potent and valuable qualities.
Its Antibacterial: Research has shown that the best manuka oil can be extremely effective on 15 common microbes and bacteria and not only that it's 1000 times more effective against gram positive bacteria than manuka honey.Q: Wait, isn't that the same as tea tree oil?
Yes, and no. Tea tree oil is definitely a powerful antifungal and antibacterial substance because it also contains potent levels of triketones.
Manuka oil, however, contains 20 to 30 times more triketones than tea tree oil and is often more effective for a variety of conditions when compared in studies. These two essential oils can create one extremely powerful tool when combined in salves and solutions.Q: What is NZ manuka oil used for?
Thanks to its abundant properties, manuka essential oil is an effective natural essential oil for several conditions and preventative care applications.
- Athletic shoe problems
- Shiny and soft hair
- Skin aging and reducing wrinkles
- Inflamed skin from sunburns
- Minor rashes, burns, and abrasions
- Beautiful nails and soft cuticles
- Prevention of acne and blemishes
- Protecting at-risk skin on lips, elbows, knees, and ankles
- Mosquito bites, bee stings, and other insect bites or stings
- Chaffed or irritated skin
- Annoying dry and itchy skin and dandruff
- Old scars
- Sore muscles and aching joints
- Congestion and respiratory infections
Most people love the smell of manuka oil. Those that don't love it at first get very used to it quickly because it has a deep and earthy scent similar to tea tree oil – the two plants actually belong to the same myrtle family.
The pleasant scent makes manuka oil easy to use in a broad range of applications throughout your daily life and can be combined with other essential oil which are not as strong.
- Add 10-20 drops to your bathtub to soothe sore muscles.
- Massage a few drops of manuka oil into aching joints.
- Use boiling water or a diffuser to inhale manuka vapors and reduce congestion.
- Aromatherapy applications for relaxation, stress relief, and well-being.
- Apply diluted manuka oil to abrasions, bites, and bruises
- Combine with aloe (or use alone) to soothe from sunburns.
- Add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner
- Add a few drops to your facial moisturizer, cleanser, and toner.
- Rub into nail beds and cuticles.
- Massage onto your scalp 20 minutes before a shower to reduce dandruff.
- Place directly onto acne and blemishes.
- Combine with alcohol in a spray bottle to disinfect hard surfaces and refresh room spaces.
- Use as an instant natural hand sanitizer.
A few essential oils interact negatively with prescription medications or other environmental factors. Citrus oils, for example, can cause UV damage if you apply them to your skin before spending time in the sun.
Manuka oil has no known interactions with prescription medications or environmental conditions.Q: Is manuka oil safe for children and pets?
Yes, nothing indicates that the best manuka oil cannot be used on or near babies, kids, or dogs, it is not recommended for cats. Take special care when applying manuka oil to babies and small animals.