Common Name: Manuka
Scientific Name: Leptospermum scoparium
Origin: New Zealand
Synonyms: New Zealand Tea Tree
Essential Oil Properties and Characteristics
Manuka essential oil is a clear yellow liquid with a distinctive spicy, herbaceous and fresh aroma. Manuka oil contains low levels of monoterpenes and relatively high levels of sesquiterpenes and triketones.
Origin and History
Manuka is a small tree which is a native of New Zealand. Most manuka is harvested from wild plants as very little commercial cultivation is yet carrier out. There are several different manuka chemotypes. The 'coast' type contains low levels of monoterpenes and relatively high levels of sesquiterpenes and triketones. It has been suggested that this accounts for its higher antimicrobial activity.
The leaves of manuka were used by the early Maoris as tropical applications for wounds, cuts, sores and skin diseases. Tropical use of the various parts of manuka was common among early Maoris and settlers.
Manuka oil has been extensively used for generations in New Zealand for its antimicrobial properties. The therapeutic properties of manuka honey are well established. It is used for slow-healing ulcers and would healing.
Method of Extraction
Manuka essential oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs of Leptospermum scoparium.
Precautions During Use (Contraindications)
Manuka oil is non-toxic, non-irritating and non-sensitising
Manuka essential oil has powerful cleansing and antiseptic properties with clinical trials suggesting that it has more of an effect on MRSA bacteria than the more common tea tree oil. Manuka essential oil has a distinctive spicy, herbaceous and fresh aroma.
Source: Battaglia, S. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Second Edition, The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy, 2003, ISBN 0-6464-2896-