1769, along the coast of New Zealand, the prow of the ship cut the crystal clear waters making its way into the bay. All around the luxuriant and uncontaminated nature was the setting for fairytale landscapes. But the crew could not see these wonders since they were weakened by scurvy. The Captain knew that he'd have to find quickly a place to disembark and stock up on fresh fruit. Finally, in front of them, a beach! On land, the Captain immediately became acquainted with the local population who welcomed him by offering him a special tea, considered an excellent curative remedy and obtained from the leaves of a plant that grew spontaneously in their lands. The Captain did not think much about it and immediately gave the tea to his sick men, who, in a short time, recovered. The Captain was James Cook and the plant went down in history under the name of manuka. Several scientific studies have been dedicated to the study of the manuka plant, scientific name Leptospermum scoparium. Nowadays we can benefit from the properties of the plant thanks to various products obtained from manuka, such as honey but also its essential oil, obtained by steam distillation from the leaves and branches of the plant. The Manuka essential oil is the the topic of today.
Manuka essential oil, useful against acne, tooth decay and cystitis
Manuka essential oil shows interesting antibacterial properties since the active ingredients of the essence are able to destroy the cell wall of bacteria. Manuka oil added to a carrier oil in a concentration of 3% was found to be particularly effective against some types of pathogens, such as Staphylococcus aureus, responsible for folliculitis, boils, impetigo. Not only that, manuka oil is also effective against the bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, the main cause of acne, but also against bacteria that cause urinary tract infections and, even in very low concentrations, around 0.03%, against microorganisms responsible for tooth decay and pyorrhea (Mathew et al, Pharmaceuticals, 2020 - Chen et al, J Microbiol Immunol Infect, 2016). To treat skin problems you can add a drop of manuka oil to a teaspoon of jojoba oil and apply to the affected area. In case of urinary tract infections, you can prepare sitz baths by adding 10 drops of essential oil to half a liter of warm water. For oral health you can prepare rinses by pouring 2-3 drops of manuka oil into a glass of warm water.
Manuka essential oil, against candida and mycosis
Manuka oil shows an interesting action against candida infection (Mathew et al, Pharmaceuticals, 2020). Also in this case it may be useful to prepare sitz baths by adding 10 drops of essential oil to half a liter of warm water. Manuka is also useful against nail fungus. In this case, dilute a drop of essential oil in a tablespoon of vegetable oil, such as jojoba or sunflower seed oil, and apply on the nails by massaging. Finally, it has been observed that Manuka essential oil also acts against the bacterium Malassezia furfur, responsible for seborrheic dermatitis in the scalp (Mathew et al, Pharmaceuticals, 2020). Try adding a drop of essential oil to the shampoo and massage the scalp, then rinse.
Manuka essential oil, anti-aging
Manuka has an anti-aging action since it is capable of counteracting the damage of the sun's rays on the skin, thus preventing premature aging. It has been observed that adding manuka essential oil to creams and lotions can counteract the formation of wrinkles, inflammation and skin blemishes (Mathew et al, Pharmaceuticals, 2020). In particular, manuka oil applications have made it possible to reduce the depth and extension of wrinkles (Kwon et al, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med., 2013). You can add a drop of essential oil to a little of your face cream or to a teaspoon of argan oil and apply to your face as a serum oil.
Manuka essential oil, antiviral
Manuka oil is also useful in case of infection by the herpes simplex virus that can cause cold sores (Mathew et al, Pharmaceuticals, 2020). Dilute three to four drops of manuka essential oil in a tablespoon of jojoba oil poured into a little jar. Use for lip applications several times a day.
Manuka essential oil, warnings
Manuka oil is generally well tolerated and safe (Mathew et al, Pharmaceuticals, 2020). It must always be diluted in oil and not used pure on skin