Leptospermum Scoparium - The Great Protector.
The bushy, shrubby Leptospermum Scoparium or mānuka is most commonly known for the golden honey created by mānuka-loving bees. However, dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that the mānuka tree is one of New Zealand’s great protectors and most versatile plants.
Mānuka (also know as kahikātoa in Māori) is an evergreen tree native to New Zealand. It has a long flowering period from October to March, during which it is decorated with a dusting of small white or pink flowers.
Also called tea tree thanks to Captain Cook’s habit of drinking a mānuka brew, mānuka is from the same family as Australian tea tree (Leptospermum laevigatum), and is closely related to kānuka (Kunzea ericoides).
How do you to tell the difference between mānuka and kānuka?
Rub the leaves gently between your fingers - Mānuka is spikier and rougher, while kānuka is soft.
The mānuka tree itself may also hold some hints to its true identity; mānuka trees generally grow to heights of 2m to 5m, while the loftier kānuka grow upwards of 10m. Beneath the bark, mānuka wood is white, while kānuka is red.
Mānuka is a natural protector. The hardy mānuka tree is a pioneering species, meaning it’s one of the first trees to establish on cleared land.
Its full growth provides shelter and protection for small saplings as they develop roots and eventually grow beyond their protective mānuka cover.
The mānuka tree's nurturing work isn’t done there - for hundreds of years, the Leptospermum Scoparium and sometimes its flower has been used for medicinal purposes by the Māori.
Māori medicine traditionally used nearly the entire mānuka tree - leaves, branches, and bark and the mānuka flower - to treat a variety of ailments, including head colds, acne, inflammation and rheumatic joints,
But it is the antibacterial mānuka oil steam-distilled from the leaves and small branches on the mānuka tree that are used in ManukaRx ointment.
The all-natural ManukaRx ointment uses East Cape Mānuka oil to help with chapped lips, dry skin, scratches, insect bites and more.
Mānuka oil sourced from the East Cape of New Zealand is famed for its exceptionally high levels of triketones, which boosts the oils antibacterial properties making it more effective against many harmful bacteria.