The story of ManukaRx®

A land alone

Around 85 million years ago the islands of Aotearoa New Zealand drifted apart from the supercontinent of Gondwana. As the eons ticked by, the flora and fauna of this new land developed in unique ways. Birds had no need to fly because there were no land-based mammalian predators. Some reptiles stopped evolving; staying the almost-dinosaurs they still are today. And plants acquired special abilities that helped them to thrive in the unique conditions of the southeast Pacific Ocean.

The last place to be discovered by humans

New Zealand was so well hidden that it was the last place on Earth to be inhabited by humans. However, when the resourceful voyaging Polynesian people, known as the Maori, arrived they discovered a unique environment of abundant food and water. Most precious of all, they discovered an effective natural medicine cabinet.

Compared to other temperate growing areas in the world, New Zealand has very high levels of ultraviolet light, especially in summer.  Plants defend themselves against these higher levels of UV by producing more polyphenols, substances that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. It’s this type of adaptation that could explain why oil from New Zealand manuka (leptospermum scoparium) is considered more effective than oil from Australian tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia).

There were plants for every purpose. There was horopito for fungal infections, kawakawa for indigestion, rimu for burns and ngaio for ulcers. And there was one plant that fulfilled almost every purpose. The Swiss army knife of medicinal plants is leptospermum scoparium, usually known as manuka.

A super-plant powered by UV

With its tiny olive-green leaves and small white flowers, manuka doesn’t look much like a super-plant.  Yet both its leaves and bark contain powerful anti-microbial agents that are up to 30 times more potent than similar species found in Australia.

The reason for this extraordinary potency lies with the sun. New Zealand experiences much higher 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.

Multi-tasking medicine

Traditional Maori healers used manuka potions to treat wounds, skin disorders, eye and mouth problems, muscle inflammation, rheumatism, fevers, burns and a host of other complaints. 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 of multi-tasking medicinal usage inspired a team of resourceful Kiwi business people to harnesses the potent properties of New Zealand manuka oil in ManukaRx®

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ManukaRx made by leading chemists using highest quality manuka oil

Leading biomedical scientists developed the first ManukaRx® product in 2016 and created a versatile ointment for everyday multi-purpose use. Made with certified pure manuka oil, sustainably harvested from the East Cape of New Zealand, this unique product,  the ‘No. 8 wire’ of skin remedies, is both an essential in every home’s First Aid kit and as an everyday aid for the maintenance of healthy and supple skin. 

ManukaRx® Ointment made using East Cape Manuka Oil