Manuka essential oil as a new phenomenon: uses and benefits

Manuka essential oil is a relatively new addition to the world of aromatherapy. However, the New Zealanders have been exploiting the healing benefits of the Manuka tree and its byproducts long before they entered the global market.

The latest studies and peoples’ desire to rediscover traditional medicine once again have helped the manuka essential oil gain deserved recognition on a much bigger scale.

Properties of manuka essential oil

Organic manuka essential oil is derived through steam distillation from leaves and twigs of Manuka tree, also known as Leptospermum scoparium. Native to New Zealand, manuka tree has many uses and byproducts of which antibacterial manuka honey may be the most popular one.

As the valuable monofloral honey produced from the nectar of manuka tree carries antibacterial qualities, so does the manuka essential oil. Here is an extended list of most influential manuka essential oil qualities:

  • Antibacterial qualities protect from bacterial infections.
  • Anti-fungal qualities protect from fungal and yeast infections.
  • Anti-inflammatory qualities relieve symptoms of inflammatory diseases.
  • Antiseptic qualities disinfect the open wounds and protect them from infections.
  • Antimicrobial qualities kill microorganisms and inhibit their growth.
  • Antihistamine qualities prevent and treat allergies and coughs.
  • Cicatrisant qualities promote the healing and fading of scars and marks on the skin.
  • Cytophylactic qualities encourage cell growth and healing of wounds.
  • Relaxant qualities alleviate the symptoms of nervous disturbances, depression, stress, anxiety, and anger.

The antibacterial activity of triketone manuka essential oil derived from the manuka tree grown in the East Cape of the North Island is, when compared to other manuka oils, more dominant and pronounced solely because of the higher levels of Leptospermone and Flavesone within the essence.

Here is a list of other important organic chemicals responsible for healing properties of manuka essential oil:

  • Sesquiterpenes
  • Caryophyllene
  • Geraniol
  • Humulene
  • Pinene
  • Linalool

Manuka essential oil uses and benefits

  1. Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and other infections

Athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, and other infections

Manuka essential oil and its incomparable antibacterial and antifungal qualities kill and inhibit the growth of microbes on the skin, especially on the feet, most commonly affected by fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.

Fungal infections are quite often caused by Candida, a genus of yeast found in human body. Fortunately, a 2014 study published in Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection has evaluated the antimicrobial activity of kanuka and manuka essential oils in treating diseases caused by microorganism infections.  The activity of both essential oils was tested on Candida albicanis, Candida tropicalis, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, etc.

The final analyses of the research showed that both kanuka and manuka essential oils significantly inhibit the examined fungi and bacteria. The examined bacteria were inhibited with 100% rate

You can put these antifungal and antibacterial attributes of manuka oil to use by simply massaging the oil directly on the affected areas or by fixing yourself a foot soak. Add roughly 6 drops of manuka essential oil to a bowl filled with warm water and soak your feet in it for approximately 20 minutes each day.

  1. Gum disease and tooth decay

Gum disease and tooth decay

The antibacterial and antiseptic qualities make the manuka essential oil an effective natural oral care product capable of stopping the thriving of bacteria in the mouth responsible for infections and bad breath.

The human mouth is colonized by 200 to 300 bacteria species, some of which cause infections, tooth decay, and gum disease. The 2004 study published in Oral microbiology and immunology investigated the antibacterial effects of manuka, eucalyptus, lavendula, tea tree and romarinus essential oils on different oral bacteria. The results of the research proved the manuka essential oil to be the most effective of them all, killing the periodontopathic bacterial strains at the concentration of 0.2 % completely within 30 seconds.

If you have bad breath, blend 1 ounce of Aloe Vera gel with 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and 6-10 drops of manuka essential oil. Store the created mouthwash in a glass bottle and shake it before each use. Rinse your mouth with the blend for as long as you can, and then, spit it out. Never ingest the homemade manuka mouthwash!

With manuka essential oil you can also slow the spreading of tooth decay. In order to do so, soak a cotton swab in manuka essential oil and apply it directly on decay couple of times a day. Note that this treatment is just a temporary solution to your problem. Pay a visit to your dentist before the cavity develops in your tooth!

  1. Rheumatism, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout

Rheumatism, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout

The powerful anti-inflammatory activity of manuka essential oil can be used against various inflammatory conditions that are causing pain and discomfort to the body. Rheumatoid arthritis as one of many chronic inflammatory disorders known to humankind causes pain and swelling of joints that can eventually result in joint deformity and bone erosion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005, an estimated 1.5 million of US adults had rheumatoid arthritis, while from 2010 to 2012 approximately 52.5 million of US adults had some form of arthritis, including, fibromyalgia, gout, and lupus.

With such high numbers, the demand for pain-relief medications is quite high. Fortunately, manuka essential oil with its anti-inflammatory and relaxant qualities gives people relief from discomfort in a safe and effective manner, without harmful side effects.

To alleviate your joint and muscle pain simply dilute manuka essential oil with an organic carrier oil, for instance, olive or coconut oil, and gently massage the blend into the aching areas of your body. Alternatively, you can also add 8-10 drops of manuka essential oil to your bath whenever needed.

  1. Dandruff


Dandruff is a common chronic scalp condition characterized by flaking of the skin, most commonly caused by irritated, oily or dry skin, a yeast-like fungus called melasseia, lack of shampooing or sensitivity to the hair product.

Dandruff may not be a serious or contagious condition; however, it can be annoying and sometimes even embarrassing. You can say goodbye to your insecurity with the help of manuka essential oil.  Anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory qualities will help you balance the oiliness of your skin, as well as fight and prevent fungal infections responsible for skin flaking.

To treat dandruff, simply add 2 drops of manuka essential oil to a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and massage the blend into your scalp and hair before washing your hair as you normally would.

  1. Allergies, sinus congestion, asthma, and other respiratory conditions

Allergies, sinus congestion

Allergies trigger reactions which may be present in the form of sneezing or nose congestion or be manifested as hives, itchy, swollen, red welts on the skin that usually fade away within a day.

Manuka essential oil with its anti-inflammatory and relaxant qualities helps the body regain balance when disturbed by the exposure to dust, pollen, pet hair or certain allergen foods. Just a few drops of manuka essential oil applied to the irritated and inflamed skin can help reverse the concerning breakouts.

Nasal congestion caused by allergies, cold, flu or any other respiratory condition can be treated with manuka essential oil aromatherapy set in the comfort of your home as well. The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antihistamine organic molecules contained in the vapor will help you open up your nasal passages and even soothe your inflamed and narrowed bronchial tubes coated in mucus when suffering from bronchitis or asthma.

  1. Depression, stress, and anxiety

Depression, stress, and anxiety

The rich, fragrant, honey-like aroma of manuka essential oil soothes the body as well as the mind. It helps reverse the symptoms of depression, anxiety, panic attacks, stress, and other nervous disturbances by simply influencing the limbic centers of the human brain. These centers are responsible for our emotional reactions, regulation of blood pressure, heart rate, breathing pattern, sleep-wake cycles, and conversion of short-term memory into long-term memory.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, from 1999 to 2012, the percentage of Americans on antidepressants has increased from 6.8% to 13%. These high numbers could be easily lowered with the help of calming manuka aromatherapy.

Whenever you are feeling down, having negative thoughts or are under stress and experiencing the symptoms of panic attack, simply diffuse a couple of drops of “manuka essential oil young living” oils line into the air, settle back, relax, and embrace the enriched atmosphere.

Manuka essential oil benefits will also help you treat:

  • Insect bites and stings
  • Mucositis
  • Damaged skin
  • Impetigo
  • Herpes

NOTE: Always do a patch test on your skin when introducing new essential oil to your routine to make sure you are not allergic to the natural remedy.


Manuka essential oil is a safe, non-toxic natural remedy slowly making its ways into the households of hundreds of people each year. The reason for its rising success lies in its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and relaxant qualities capable of relieving the symptoms of countless physical and mental illnesses.

This oil, that used to be cherished only by New Zealanders, has now gained global recognition partly because of the synthetic over-the-counter products and prescription medicines attached to the never-ending list of harmful side effects. Simply said, people have become more aware and responsible.

Organic manuka essential oil represents one of many entrances into the world of natural and traditional medicine that has been satisfying peoples’ needs in a safe and effective manner for centuries.

Sources and References

  1. NIH Manuka honey
  2. Wikipedia Mānuka honey
  3. NCBI Essential oils from New Zealand manuka

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