What Is The Difference Between Mānuka Oil and Tea Tree Oil?

Although they both come from the same family they are quite different. Tea tree oil has been an industry since WW2, mānuka is only beginning but there are some surprising observations to tell about mānuka oil and tea tree oil.

The Difference Between Manuka and Tea Tree Oils

The Tea Tree Plant

Melaleuca is a plant that belongs to the myrtle family endemic to Australia and a small handful of nearby Pacific islands. By indigenous, it means that something has originated in one place yet it can be found in another, whereas endemic indicates exclusivity.


Tea tree oil is very safe – yet effective – for many topical and household applications due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties.

What Tea Tree Oil Has Been Used For

Tea tree oil has been used for several ailments and domestic uses. This list is by no means exhaustive, but includes:

  • Insect repellent
  • Household cleaner
  • Skin tags
  • Athlete's foot and ringworm
  • Acne
  • Add to shampoo and conditioner
  • Dandruff and psoriasis
  • Bug bites
  • Sunburns and rashes
  • Deodoriser
  • Relief from congestion or respiratory infections

Let's take a close look at mānuka oil.

The Mānuka Plant

Mānuka also belongs to the myrtle family but goes by the scientific name of Leptospermum Scoparium. This plant is indigenous to New Zealand.


Mānuka oil is filled with potent triketones, flavonoids, and other chemical compounds which give the substance powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Mānuka oil extracted from plants grown in New Zealand's East Cape region contain higher levels of triketones than oil from varieties grown elsewhere which make East Cape mānuka oil one of the most powerful natural antibacterial solutions.

What has mānuka oil has been used for, well like tea tree oil, mānuka is extremely versatile and safe for frequent use both topically and in several household applications. Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, mānuka is great for:

  • Soothing sore muscles and aching joints
  • Relieving congestion or respiratory distress
  • Reducing the appearance of or removing skin tags

Its antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal qualities also make mānuka an ideal natural health solution for many of the same problems for mānuka oil and tea tree oil and can be found here.

What Is The Difference Between Mānuka Oil and Tea Tree Oil?

Triketones, flavonoids, and other enzymes are what give essential oils their antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.

The Cawthron Institute in Nelson and the Otago University Microbiology Department have conducted extensive testing of East Cape mānuka oil and tea tree oil against a wide range of human pathogens and concluded that East Cape mānuka oil was:

20-30 times more active than Australian tea tree oil against gram-positive bacteria

  • Several times more effective against strains of fungi,
  • Effective against gram-negative bacteria and viruses.
Tea Tree Oil V Manuka Oil

So that's our take on mānuka oil and tea tree oil but you could say we are biased. Why don't you try some mānuka oil and see the potential for yourself?

ManukaRx use only 100% Pure East Cape mānuka oil in all of their formulations. Head over to our full range of East Cape mānuka oil skincare here.

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