Manuka Essential Oil

Essential oils have been a part traditional healing practices for many years. One such oil is manuka essential oil.

Given below is a brief description of this oil.

Scientifically known as Leptospermum Scorparium, the plant has been used to treat rheumatism, urinary infections, colds, and burns.

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Every part of the manuka plant has health benefits that include using the bark and leaves of manuka to make a decoction that can be applied on stiff joints; the bark can also be chewed to calm the mind and induce sleep.

Physical properties

The manuka plant is a thick shrub with flowers that attracts bees, and manuka honey is also used externally for skin care and other health benefits. The aroma of the manuka plant is earthy and sweet smelling, and it is an excellent alternative to tea tree oil, which has a pungent and medicinal smell.

Origin

Manuka plant, a native to New Zealand and southeast Australia, has gained widespread recognition in recent decades. Originally, it was used by the native Maoris for centuries. The diverse attributes of the manuka plant has made it valuable in healing and health.

How to extract

The process of steam distillation is used to extract manuka essential oil. Steam is passed through the chamber containing leaves, seeds, and branches, at low and controlled temperatures. The oil is naturally extracted with water and no other solvent is used. Manuka essential oil is a considered to be very rare and as a result is also very expensive.

Chemical properties

The chemical composition of manuka essential obtained after steam distillation include gernoil, pinene, linalool, caryophyllene, trichetones, flavesone, leptospermone, and isoleptospermone. The concentration of these components is known to be the best in plants grown in New Zealand’s East Cape. The medicinal properties of the plant vary according to the height of the plant from which the leaves are extracted. Manuka essential oil is honey scented and is a potent antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory agent.

Therapeutic applications

The therapeutic applications of manuka essential oil are as follows.

  • It can be used as an antidote for insect bites and poisonous stings.
  • Its antifungal properties make it an excellent remedy for ear infections.

  • Its anti-inflammatory properties help clear inflammation in the colon, lungs, and digestive system as a whole.
  • Its anti-bacterial properties help ward of infections in the urinary system, respiratory tracts, and colon.
  • It is effective in curing recurrent coughs caused by excess histamine. Studies have shown that it is effective against bacteria such as staphylococcus and streptococcus.

The other benefits of manuka essential oil are it efficacy in treating sores, acne, corns, cold sores, cuts, itching and rashes, migraines, ring worm infections, and athlete’s foot. It can also be used to fight stress and relieve depression and anxiety.

In aromatherapy, manuka essential oil is used to counter body odor. It has feel-good fragrance that has helped it gain immense popularity in relaxing the mind and soothing frayed nerves. It is an effective mood-lifter and when added to a bath. It also stabilizes the skin and aids in rejuvenating outer skin layers. In some cases, it may cause skin irritation, and it is best to discontinue use and consult a physician.

Blends well with

Manuka essential oil can be blended well with essential oils of clove, clary sage, lavender, marjoram, oakmoss, rosemary, geranium, nutmeg, and ylang-ylang.

Precautions

There is no research or reliable studies related to manuka essential oil, though it has been traditionally used for long time. A few precautions to keep in mind are that manuka essential oil should not be used without blending it with other essential oils. Also, it is best to consult an aromatherapy practitioner if you would like to use it internally. Children need to be given low doses and with great caution, and pregnant women should avoid the oil completely. It is also important to take a skin patch test before manuka essential oil is used externally.

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Manuka Essential Oil
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