When most consumers think of mānuka they think of mānuka honey and they are generally not aware of mānuka oil.
The properties of medical grade honey for wound care products are widely known but mānuka oil, not so much? We prepared an infographic to summarise the main differences.
Both have been used for medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. But mānuka oil is 100% vegan.
There has been extensive research carried out on the effectiveness of mānuka oil since the 1980’s, its properties and effectiveness are not widely recognised by consumers.
Mānuka oil is an essential oil, steam distilled from the leaf and small branch of the mānuka bush.
Oil sacs, occur in the leaves of mānuka and appear as translucent points on the leaf surface. The oil is extracted from the leaves by heating them to vaporise the oil, which is then distilled off.
A distillation time of about 5 hours is required to extract 80–90% of the oil from mānuka because of the heavy oil components (sesquiterpenes).
The oil from the leaf volatilises into the water vapour flow then passing through the distillation vessel.
This mixture is then cooled in a water-jacketed condenser, returning it to liquid water and oil.
The oil, which is lighter than water, floats on the surface, enabling it to be collected in a separating vessel.
It’s a relatively simple process on the East Cape and you may get an idea from the short video below which shows a ton of leaf being emptied after the distillation process has been completed, this would have made a couple of litres of oil.