Even if you're an avid essential oil user, you may not know about mānuka essential oil. That's okay, we forgive you. But thought it doesn't have the history of other essential oils, it does have profound possibilities.
You may not realise, but essential oils have been around for a long time and used throughout history for innumerable applications – and for good reason.
But there is a newer essential oil that is potentially more powerful than most others -- mānuka oil. What exactly is mānuka essential oil anyways and how do you use it?
Here's everything you could possibly want to know about mānuka essential oil, and then some.
Q: Where does mānuka come from?
The mānuka plant is native to New Zealand.
This plant can vary in size: bushes range between 2 and 5 meters while trees reach up to 49 meters. As you can imagine, the Māori utilized as much of the plant as possible including berries, leaves, smoke, ash, bark, stems, and wood.
Māori took particular advantage of the leaves by crushing them into a paste for use with wound healing. They also chewed the berries for colic and dysentery. These uses have remained well-documented throughout the years and several modern studies show mānuka oil is very effective for a wide range of ailments.
Q: How is the mānuka essential oil made?
About 20 years ago, a Māori-European partnership produced the first mānuka essential oil, distilled from the leaves of the mānuka tree using low-temperature steam.
Green stems, leaves, and small twigs are harvested. These plant parts are then be distilled using a very low-temperature steam process. This ensures all the vital enzymes and compounds remain intact throughout the entire process of making the best mānuka oil.
Q: What makes the best mānuka oil so special?
Studies show that the best mānuka oil distilled from trees in New Zealand's East Cape region contains the highest levels of enzymes known as triketones. Triketones, monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and other compounds are what give essential oils like mānuka their potent and valuable qualities.
It's Antibacterial: Research has shown that the East Cape mānuka oil can be extremely effective on 15 common microbes and bacteria. Not only that, it's also up to 1000 times more effective against gram-positive bacteria than mānuka honey.
Q: Wait, isn't that the same as tea tree oil?
Yes, and no. Tea tree oil is definitely a powerful antifungal and antibacterial substance because it also contains potent levels of triketones.
Mānuka oil from the East Cape however, contains 20 to 30 times more triketones than tea tree oil and is often more effective for a variety of conditions when compared in studies. These two essential oils can create one extremely powerful tool when combined in salves and solutions.
Q: What is New Zealand mānuka oil used for?
Thanks to its abundant properties, mānuka essential oil is an effective natural essential oil for several conditions and preventative care applications.
- Athletic shoe problems
- Shiny and soft hair
- Skin ageing and reducing wrinkles
- Inflamed skin from sunburns
- Minor rashes, burns, and abrasions
- Beautiful nails and soft cuticles
- Prevention of acne and blemishes
- Protecting at-risk skin on lips, elbows, knees, and ankles
- Mosquito bites, bee stings, and other insect bites or stings
- Chaffed or irritated skin
- Annoying dry and itchy skin and dandruff
- Old scars
- Sore muscles and aching joints
- Congestion and respiratory infections
Q: How do I use mānuka oil?
Most people love the smell of mānuka oil. Those that don't love it at first get very used to it quickly because it has a deep and earthy scent similar to tea tree oil – the two plants actually belong to the same myrtle family.
The pleasant scent makes mānuka oil easy to use in a broad range of applications throughout your daily life, and can be combined with another essential oil that are not as strong.
- Add 10-20 drops to your bathtub to soothe sore muscles.
- Massage a few drops of mānuka oil into aching joints.
- Use boiling water or a diffuser to inhale mānuka vapors and reduce congestion.
- Aromatherapy applications for relaxation, stress relief, and well-being.
- Apply diluted mānuka oil to abrasions, bites, and bruises
- Combine with aloe (or use alone) to soothe from sunburns.
- Add a few drops to your shampoo and conditioner
- Add a few drops to your facial moisturiser, cleanser, and toner.
- Rub into nail beds and cuticles.
- Massage onto your scalp 20 minutes before a shower to reduce dandruff.
- Place directly onto acne and blemishes.
- Combine with alcohol in a spray bottle to disinfect hard surfaces and refresh room spaces.
- Use as an instant natural hand sanitiser.
Q: Does mānuka oil interact with any prescription drugs or environmental conditions?
A few essential oils interact negatively with prescription medications or other environmental factors. Citrus oils, for example, can cause UV damage if you apply them to your skin before spending time in the sun.
Mānuka oil has no known interactions with prescription medications or environmental conditions.
Q: Is mānuka oil safe for children and pets?
Yes, nothing indicates that the best Mānuka Skin Oil cannot be used on or near babies, kids, or dogs, though it is not recommended for cats. Take special care when applying mānuka oil to babies and small animals by diluting the essential oil with a carrier oil.
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