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In the beginning

We started the journey in 2016 because we were passionate about New Zealand and New Zealand products that could help the world and in particular the healing powers of our unique plant life. We understood that nature had created its own dispensary here and we wanted to be part of the solution of global health ….. Better, naturally ….. became our mantra.

New Zealand’s isolation meant it was one of the last places on Earth to be inhabited by humans and its plants and animals developed without cross-breeding from imported species. When the resourceful voyaging Polynesian people, known as the Maori, arrived (some time between AD 1100 and 1300) they discovered a unique environment of abundant food and water. Most precious of all, they discovered that the plants of this new land provided effective herbal remedies. A most valued plant was a scrubby looking plant known as manuka (which has the botanical name of leptospermum scoparium).

Manuka is a super-plant UV-powered 

With its tiny, dark-green leaves and small white or pink flowers, manuka doesn’t look much like a super-plant. One of the reasons for its extraordinary potency has been put down to our sun. New Zealand experiences much higher Ultra Violet (UV) levels than other land masses, even those at similar latitudes. In fact, UV intensities in the New Zealand summer are at least 37% higher than that of the same latitude in the Northern Hemisphere.  In order to survive and thrive in such harsh conditions, plants evolved stronger bioactives which act as protection for the plant - in much the same way as sun block does for humans.

In places where the sun is longest and strongest, the manuka develops the highest levels of β-triketones and thus the highest levels of potency.

Manuka Better Naturally

What we discovered

We explored the health properties of manuka honey and what we then found was that after the 4 – 6 week early spring flower and the bees had completed their work, had taken the nectar from the flower and turned it into honey to feed the hive, in one special remote area of New Zealand the manuka bush was then being sustainably cut and the leaves and twigs were being steam distilled to produce manuka oil. The next spring the plants then flowered again year and after the bees had sucked out all the pollen from the flower, the leaves and twigs were cut again for oil production, and in this remote community on the East Cape this had been going on for 20 years.

And so what about Manuka oil?

We found that it’s potent natural healer.  It’s known to contain antibacterial, antifungal and anti-microbial properties and because of its chemical composition it is known to be effective in preventing, managing and responding to many skins conditions.

Independent scientific testing has shown β- triketone compounds give manuka oil antibiotic properties and antimicrobial potency which can be beneficial for human skin. The leaves with high triketones are found in just two places in New Zealand.

Manuka Oil Facts

Here are some facts we found out about manuka oil:

  • It was mostly sustainably harvested from the wild and there were some early plantations being grown for oil production
  • It is steam distilled from the leaf and small twigs of the manuka bush over a period of 5 -6 hours due to the heavy oil components
  • Not all oils are created the same – oils from the East Cape of the North Island and a small area of Marlborough in the South Island have the highest level of triketones
  • Oil high in triketones has been proven to have strong anti bacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiviral properties[1],[2]
  • It is part of the same family as Australian Tea Tree oil but it has been tested to be 20-30 times more effective against gram positive bacteria than Australian tea tree oil, in particular against Staphylococcus aureus the bad guy in MRSA (MIC078%w/v)[3]
  • Owing to the health properties of Tea Tree Oil the Australian tea tree industry has grown from 20 tons of production in the 1970’s to over 700 tons annual production today[4]
  • New Zealand manuka oil annual production is currently less than 10 tons

Manuka Oil better naturally


Traditional indigenous Maori healers used manuka potions for a variety of purposes to support natural healing including treating infection, calming burns, reducing swelling, relieving toothache and cleaning wounds. When European settlers first arrived in New Zealand in the 1800s, they often drank a tea made from the infused leaves of the manuka bush.

This long history as a multi-tasking herbal remedy inspired us to develop ManukaRx® to harnesses the potent properties of New Zealand manuka oil. Working with leading chemists and biomedical scientists we developed our first ManukaRx® product late in 2016 and since then we have continued a product development pipeline aiming to help with many bacterial, viral and fungal skin conditions which manuka seems to have been designed for.

Since 2017 our team has grown with the expertise we need to be able to develop our products for global markets as strive to bring the best of New Zealand’s healing power to the world.

Our New Zealand owned business is good for the planet first and foremost, good for our customers, good for our suppliers, good for our partners and good for our people. Some companies have the USP, we have our OSP

  • ManukaRx® Organic – We strive to use organic ingredients wherever possible
  • ManukaRx® Sustainability – We will only use ingredients that are sustainably harvested and produced
  • ManukaRx® Partnerships – we try to form long term partnerships partner with local suppliers so they are able to offer local employment opportunities.

We love what we do and we try very hard to be easy to do business with.


[1] Cooke & Cooke Cawthron Report 263

[2] Rhee G.J., Chung K.S., Klim E.H., Suh H.J., Hong N.D. (1997) “Anti-microbial activities of a steam distillate of Leptospermum    scoparium.” Yakhak Hoeji 41, 132-138. 

[3] Christolph F. & Stahl-Biskup E. (2001) “Death kinetics of Staphlococcus aureus exposed to commercial tea tree oils s.l.” J. Essen. Oil Res. 13, 98-102

[4] Global tea tree oil report 2018 WGR