The History of Essential Oils
The first uses of essential oils date back to the Ancient Egyptians, however, history shows they were distilled and used in Asia, India and Europe over a similar time frame - remarkable considering there was no way of sharing information. One of the greatest known advocates for the use of essential oils was the 'father of medicine', Hippocrates of Kos (460BC - 370BC).
While the history books have limited information regarding his methods and practice, Hippocrates was one of the first to treat the body as a whole, and to consider the brain the origin of thought and emotion, rather than the heart. Hippocrates disregarded the notion that illness was due to the wrath of the Gods, or religious reasons, and instead looked to find the cause and then treatment. This included the use of essential oils and plant-based medicine.
New Zealand's Natural Healing History
Natural healing has a long and rich history in New Zealand. For hundreds of years, Māori tohunga (priests and healers) have turned to lush forests teeming with medicinal plants to ease ailments and soothe aches and pains.
Harakeke, Rata, Kawakawa, Mānuka and Horopito are just a handful of the over 200 native plants with medicinal properties and uses. The tohunga had a multitude of ways to extract the essence of the plant - steaming or boiling leaves, raw berries and broth of bark and sticks to name a few. These concoctions were then used to treat everything from toothaches and bad breath to wounds and dysentery. Luckily, science has provided easier ways of extracting the goodness from the plant - no chewing leaves or rubbing of ash required.
Why Mānuka Stands Out From the Essential Oil Crowds
The tohunga's holistic and herbal approach to medicine is increasingly relevant today, as many people look to embrace natural options and remedies. Essential oils have become increasingly popular as an alternative to pharmaceutical products. However, with a drastic rise in popularity, comes a rise in misinformation. It's important to research essential oils before use, as no two oils are quite the same, and can have adverse effects.
ManukaRx has taken the guesswork out of essential oils and created a range of natural products using East Cape Mānuka Oil as the active ingredient.
While all Mānuka oil is antibacterial and has antimicrobial properties, East Cape mānuka oil is more active against certain types of bacteria, thanks to its highly elevated levels of triketones. Many compare mānuka oil with Australian tea tree oil, yet extensive testing by The Cawthron Institute in Nelson and the Otago University Microbiology Department has discovered that East Cape mānuka oil is 20-30 times more active than Australian tea tree oil against gram-positive bacteria. It is also several times more effective against certain strains of fungi and effective against gram-negative bacteria and viruses.
ManukaRx helps to bring the nurturing mānuka plant into the modern healthy home. The ManukaRx range of natural skincare products includes cleansing soap, acne products and multi-tasking balms. Available online, or in select stockists throughout New Zealand.