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What is the difference between Tea Tree Oil and Manuka Oil?

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
  • Deodorizer
  • Relief from congestion or respiratory infections


Let's Look at Manuka Oil

 The Manuka Plant

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



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

Manuka 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 manuka oil one of the most powerful natural antibacterial solutions.

What has manuka oil has been used for

Like tea tree oil, manuka is extremely versatile and safe for frequent use both topically and in several household applications. Thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, manuka 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 antifungal qualities also make manuka an ideal natural health solution for many of the same problems as tea tree oil and can be found here.


Manuka Oil vs. Tea Tree Oil: The Key Differences

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 manuka oil against a wide range of human pathogens and concluded that East Cape manuka 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



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