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The bushy, shrubby Manuka tree is most commonly known for the golden honey created by Manuka-loving bees. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that the Manuka tree is one of New Zealand’s great protectors.
Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium, or kahikātoa in Maori) is an evergreen tree native to New Zealand. It has a long flowering period from October to March, during which it is decorated with a dusting of small white or pink flowers.
Also called Tea Tree thanks to Captain Cook’s habit of drinking a Manuka brew, Manuka is from the same family as Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum), and is closely related to Kanuka (Kunzea ericoides).
Unsure how to tell the difference between Manuka and Kanuka? Rub the leaves gently between your fingers - Manuka is spikier and rougher, while Kanuka is soft.
The Manuka tree itself may also hold some hints to its true identity; Manuka trees generally grow to heights of 2m to 5m, while the loftier Kanuka nears 10m. Beneath the bark, Manuka wood is white, while Kanuka is red.
Manuka is a natural protector. The hardy Manuka tree is a pioneering species, meaning it’s one of the first trees to establish on cleared land.
Its full growth provides shelter and protection for small saplings as they develop roots and eventually grow beyond their Manuka cover.
The Manuka tree's nurturing work isn’t done there - for hundreds of years, the Manuka tree has been used for medicinal purposes.
Maori medicine traditionally used nearly the entire Manuka tree - leaves, branches, flowers and bark - to treat a variety of ailments, including head colds, acne, inflammation and rheumatic joints,
But it is the antibacterial manuka oil steam-distilled from the leaves and small branches on the manuka tree that are used in ManukaRx ointment.
The all-natural ManukaRx ointment uses East Cape Manuka oil to help with chapped lips, dry skin, scratches, insect bites and more.
Manuka sourced from the East Cape of New Zealand is famed for its exceptionally high levels of triketones, which boosts the oils anti-bacterial properties making it more effective against many harmful bacteria.
Available here in a pocket-friendly 25g, ManukaRx ointment makes centuries-old natural medicine easily accessible where you need it, when you need it.