Essential Oil: Manuka
MANUKA is one of the youngest additions in the modern field of aromatherapy, however its medicinal uses were known long ago among the original inhabitants of New Zealand, to which this tree is native. The plant was valued for its medicinal properties and wood by the indigenous Maori people; the wood was utilised for gardening tools, fishing, housing structures and weapons.
The Maori also crushed Manuka leaves to apply as a poultice for many skin diseases. The leaves were directly applied to wounds and deep gashes to enhance healing and reduce the risk of infection.
Leaves and bark were boiled together, and the warm liquid was rubbed on stiff backs and rheumatic joins. The leaves and young branches were put into vapour baths.
Captain James Cook used the leaves of the plant as a tea to combat scurvy during long explorations of the southern hemisphere; early European settlers of New Zealand adopted Captain Cook’s use of the plant as a tea.
New Zealand’s tea-tree
Manuka essential oil is harvested and distilled on the east coast of New Zealand and is a more expensive essential oil than its Australian cousin tea-tree and well worth the extra cost due to its impressive variety of medicinal applications.
The main components of this oil are caryophyllene, geraniol, pinene, humulene, linalol and leptospermone. Interestingly, the concentration of these components in the oil varies with the height on the tree where the leaves were extracted.
One of manuka’s key actions is its anti-fungal property, where it excels in eliminating fungal infections as well as bacterial infections.
In fact its antimicrobial ability exceeds that of Australian tea-tree and it is said to be 33 times stronger in killing certain strains of bacteria. It is also effective against the MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staph. Aureus) bacteria, which is resistant to normal antibiotics. Blend manuka oil with geranium to use as a low dilution wash for candida and thrush. Simple ear infections may be remedied by using a drop or two of manuka, diluted in warm olive oil for a gentle, easing treatment.
From toe to tip
Manuka oil deals admirably with flaky scalp issues such as dandruff, which is a degeneration of the scalp skin caused by a lack of moisture and oil in the scalp, and other infections or conditions such as psoriasis.
Its effective treatment of the skin extends to the treatment of itches, rashes, skin diseases, sores, chafing and other skin issues.
It works well in lotions and oil blends with chamomile and lavender oil to calm inflamed conditions.
Manuka oil’s anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties have proven to be effective against herpes caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This same virus also causes chickenpox and shingles, so it can be also used to treat these diseases.
In case of an insect bite or a venomous sting, swiftly apply this oil to the affected spot to reduce pain and swelling.
This oil is a superb cicatrisant to heal wounds and its inclusion in antiseptic washes hastens the recovery of wounds and protects them from developing any infections.
Manuka’s cytophylactic action means that it stimulates the generation of new cells and it thus helps diminish scar tissue and promotes healthy regrowth.
A few drops of manuka in cosmetic creams and lotions makes good use of these remarkable regenerative features as well as helping to preserve the natural product itself.
Perfect for deodorants
This oil inhibits bacterial growth in the body, including bacterial infections in the colon, urinary system, respiratory tracts and other vulnerable areas. Use in public spaces to ward off bacterial attacks and maintain a contagion-free environment.
Manuka can be included in natural deodorants for its antibacterial ability that prevents body odour.
The oil is anti-inflammatory in nature and accordingly helps clear the respiratory system of infection born of colds and flu be that in the chest or sinuses; use in a diffuser or inhale the vapours of manuka in hot water.
Manuka exerts fine antihistamine action on coughs, quickly and easily reducing the production of histamine ,safely bringing relief.
The oil calms down or sedates allergic reactions that are overt reactions of the body to some foreign elements, including pollens, dust, pets and many others.
Manuka is an effective adjunct in massage and body rub blends for inflammation in the muscles and joints and quells pain in arthritic or rheumatic conditions.
Building shields of strength
Manuka oil is beneficial for people with over sensitive nervous systems and those who suffer from stress and anxiety; conditions that often manifest themselves in allergic reactions.
Manuka oil is deeply relaxing, especially for those people who suffer from hypertension - whose blood pressure shoots up at the slightest anxiety or tension, thereby helping to protect the heart.
Manuka strengthens those vulnerable souls who flinch too readily at life’s vicissitudes and fall too easily victim to bullying, passive-aggressive types.
The aroma builds a more robust natural shield or boundary to defend against such negative influences.
It provides protection and resilience for the etheric body, magnifying the aura with centrifugal action that repels those pathological and degenerative entities.
Fungal Infections and Nail Bed Infections: Apply a few drops of with a cotton ball, twice daily. Continue to apply for five days after visible signs of infection have gone.
Itchy Scalp and Dandruff: add 5 per cent to a carrier oil, massage into hair and leave for an hour (then thoroughly wash out); or add 10 drops of manuka oil to a big dollop of shampoo and massage into wet hair and scalp. Leave for five minutes before rinsing.
Athlete’s Foot: Apply a few drops with a cotton ball, twice daily. Continue to apply for five days after visible signs of infection have gone.
Foot Odour: rub into feet three times per week. Also protects against fungal infections.
Insect Bites and Stings: apply to help relieve itching, inflammation and prevent infection.
Aching Muscles and Joints: Add a few drops to a palm full of carrier blend and massage into affected areas.
Botanical name: Leptospermum scoparium
The Plant: A common small tree or shrub found around New Zealand, particularly in drier areas where it is generally the dominant shrubland plant. Manuka sawdust is used for smoking fish and meats to impart a delicious flavour.
The Oil: is derived from the leaves through steam distillation.
Scent: Honey-like, sweet yet herbaceous and medicinal.
Blends well with: bergamot, black pepper, cajeput, cedarwood, cinnamon, clove bud, ginger, juniper, lavender, nutmeg, peppermint, rose, rosemary, sandalwood, thyme, vetivert and ylang ylang.
Indications: anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, anti-histaminic, anti-allergenic, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant and relaxant.
Precautions: Can be a skin irritant but is milder than Australian tea-tree. Use sparingly.