Manuka is a native shrub from New Zealand that has been used extensively by the indigenous Maori and later early European settlers for its ability to aid in healing and fighting infection, a member of the Myrtracae family. Its oil is extracted from the leaves by steam distillation, today, these ancient remedies and tonics are still used among tribal members. Manuka being quite oil rich is extracted using the ancient method of steam distillation at low controlled temperatures. This releases the essential oil from small glands in the leaves, branch lets, and seed capsules. It is popularly used in modern skin care products, body oils, creams, antibacterial lotions, soaps and shampoos. It contains anti-dandruff, antidote to insect bites and stings, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-histaminic, anti-allergenic, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, deodorant and relaxant therapeutic properties.
The oil is beneficial for people who suffer from stress, anxiety, and have an over-sensitive nervous system. It refreshes and enlightens human feelings and attitude, and has very calming effects on the human soul, mind and heart. Manuka oil may also help to relax the nerves in the outer layer of the skin and rejuvenate them by activating and regenerating the cells of the outer skin.
Manuka oil is believed to be beneficial for foot and body odour. For body odour, adding 3 to 4 drops of Manuka oil into your body wash or 10 drops into the bath water can minimize strong body odour. For foot odour, washing the feet with Manuka oil soap and soaking them in about 2 quarts of lukewarm water mixed with 6-8 drops of Manuka oil daily may reduce the foot odour.
This oil helps the scars and after-marks on the skin fade away by promoting new cell growth in the affected parts of the body and protecting the wounds from developing any infections. Its antifungal properties make it an excellent remedy for ear infections.
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.