You may be aware that Manuka Honey has many health properties including assisting in wound healing, skin hydration, soothing inflammation and helping to prevent infections. Well, it’s not just the honey that is healing. Manuka Oil has some incredible health benefits as well.
Manuka Oil is more powerful at protecting against some bacteria than Tea Tree oil, and has potent anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.
What is Manuka Oil?
The Manuka tree (Leptospermum scoparium) is native to New Zealand. It’s been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Rongoa Maori (traditional Maori healing system) uses the oil of the Manuka tree as an antiseptic, and seeds, bark and leaves to treat diarrhea, pain, inflammation, wounds and burns.
How is Manuka Oil made?
Manuka oil is produced using steam distillation not chemicals. Small branches and leaves are chopped, soaked and then steam-distilled. The steam contains the oil which is then condensed to release pure Manuka Oil.
What are the benefits of Manuka Oil?
Manuka Oil can be used as a substitute for or alongside Tea Tree oil. It’s sensitive on the skin and can be used in room diffusers to protect against germs.
Manuka Oil is found in many of the skin products we’ve collected for you at Manuka Honey of NZ.
Suppress UV-B skin inflammation, wrinkle development and skin thickness. Helping prevent sun-damage to the skin.
Reduce the growth of Herpes Simplex Viruses (HSV) such as cold sores
Delay the onset of radiation-induces mucositis (inflammation of the mouth caused by some cancer treatments), reduced pain and delayed other symptoms. In research this led to less weight loss in the treatment group
Reduce fungal growth
Alongside other natural ingredients that reduce inflammation, Manuka Oil may help to reduce acne and other inflammatory skin conditions
You can use Manuka Oil as an essential oil, or find it as an ingredient in balms, lotions, beard oils, deodorants and facial cleansers.
MGO or UMF measure the amount of compounds found in Manuka Honey that give its health-giving properties. In Manuka Oil it’s the beta triketone fraction that’s thought to be responsible for the antiseptic and antimicrobial activity of Manuka Oil.
M β TK is the classification grading system used for Manuka Oil, and measures the levels of naturally occurring Manuka oil beta triketones. The M β TK quality mark uses the grades 5+, 10+, 25+ and 30+. A grade of 30+ means the oil contains at least 30 per cent beta triketones.
Manuka Oil from the East Cape of North Island, New Zealand has been shown to have the highest concentrations of beta triketone. Choosing products that specify they’re from East Cape Manuka will have the highest health properties.
What’s the difference between Manuka Oil and Tea Tree oil?
Manuka Oil comes from the Leptospermum scoparium tree and is native to New Zealand. Australian Tea Tree Oil is distilled from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree.
While the properties are similar, and Manuka is often called the New Zealand Tea Tree, comparison of Tea Tree Oil with Manuka Oil showed Manuka Oil to be a strong antimicrobial, equal to or better than Tea Tree Oil in reducing bacteria and viral growth.
How should I use Manuka Oil?
The Manuka Oil products we’ve sourced for you include the Manuka essential oil and products that have Manuka Oil as an ingredient.
The Manuka essential Oil can be applied directly to your skin to treat outbreaks of spots, acne, cold sores or athletes’ foot
Add 2-3 drops to a diffuser to create a healthy working environment
Alternatively you can choose one of our products that includes Manuka Oil as a key ingredient, such as the Abeeco Manuka Miracle Cream.
Are there any side effects from using Manuka Oil?
If you’re choosing a product containing Manuka Oil, check the product details for any cautions. You may be advised to avoid Manuka Oil if your skin is inflamed and broken, or if discomfort occurs after using the product.
Avoid using Manuka Oil during pregnancy because of muscle spasms that it can bring on. Or seek the advice from a qualified and experienced aromatherapist or naturopath.
We don’t just pull our information out of thin air. We make sure that all the information we share with you about Manuka Honey and Manuka Honey products has been carefully fact-checked. If you want to read more about the topics we covered in this blog, here are our sources.
Douglas, M. H., et al. (2004). Essential oils from New Zealand manuka: triketone and other chemotypes of Leptospermum scoparium. Phytochemistry, 65(9), 1255-1264.
Harkenthal, M., Reichling, J., Geiss, H. K., & Saller, R. (1999). Comparative study on the in vitro antibacterial activity of Australian tea tree oil, cajuput oil, niaouli oil, manuka oil, kanuka oil, and eucalyptus oil. Die Pharmazie, 54(6), 460-463.
Kwon, O. S., et al. (2013). Topical administration of manuka oil prevents UV-B irradiation-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013.
Lis‐Balchin, et al (2000). Pharmacological and antimicrobial studies on different tea‐tree oils (Melaleuca alternifolia, Leptospermum scoparium or Manuka and Kunzea ericoides or Kanuka), originating in Australia and New Zealand. Phytotherapy Research: An International Journal Devoted to Pharmacological and Toxicological Evaluation of Natural Product Derivatives, 14(8), 623-629.
Maddocks-Jennings, W., et al. (2009). Evaluating the effects of the essential oils Leptospermum scoparium (manuka) and Kunzea ericoides (kanuka) on radiotherapy induced mucositis: a randomized, placebo controlled feasibility study. European Journal of Oncology Nursing, 13(2), 87-93.
Reichling, J., et al (2005). Virucidal activity of a β-triketone-rich essential oil of Leptospermum scoparium (manuka oil) against HSV-1 and HSV-2 in cell culture. Planta medica, 71(12), 1123-1127.