In New Zealand, where manuka trees grow, the Maori consider male tea tree plants "Kanuka" and the female plants "Manuka". The plant is regarded very highly in this culture as a medicinal species.
The most well-known form of manuka is in manuka honey. This is a honey made by bees feasting primarily on manuka bushes. The honey has an impressive antibacterial profile when made from these plants. This is also reflected in the herb itself, which has been shown to have potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity.
Most of the medicinal benefits of the plant come from its essential oil content, which can vary a lot depending on the region the plant was grown in.
- Gingivitis Mouthwash
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS
- Upper respiratory tract infection
- Anal fissures
- Bacterial infection
- Fluid retention
- Muscle sprains
- Slow healing ulcers
Avoid long-term use alongside food. Tannins may impede mineral absorption.
How Is Manuka Used?
Internally, manuka is used to treat gastrointestinal conditions like diarrhea, colic, inflammatory bowel syndrome, and dysentery. It's also used for urinary tract infection, anxiety, and cold/flu infections.
Manuka is used topically for its antibacterial, and vulnerary actions. It's used to treat slow healing skin and bone injuries, bacterial infections, candida, and eczema. It can be gargled for gingivitis, or for general oral hygiene.
Manuka honey is another common form of the plant. It's become so popular worldwide, it's been standardised by the phenol content. This is expressed as a unique manuka factor (UMF) value set by the Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA). Anything over UMF 5 is considered strong enough to kill MRSA.
- (1:2 Liquid Extract)
- View Dosage Chart
- Leaves, Flowers, Bark
- New Zealand
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Constituents of Interest
- Tea Tree
- New Zealand Tea Tree
Duration of Use
- Long term use is acceptable, but should be taken away from food.
Manuka is a member of the Myrtaceae family of plants. This family contains as many as 133 different genera, and around 3800 different species, many of which are medicinally relevant.
Clinical Applications Of Manuka:
Manuka is useful both internally and topically. It's been shown to be an effective antibacterial agent for various forms of bacteria (including Staphylococcus). It's also an effective antifungal and antiviral (including HSV). The antibacterial effects were the most noteable, with only some chemotypes of Manuka showing potent antifungal benefits.
Manuka can be used for nearly any form of bacterial infections both topically and internally, as well as wounds, ulcers, and gastrointestinal inflammation or infection. It's also useful for skin inflammation like eczema or psoriasis. The muscle relaxant effects make it useful for injuries, muscle tension, colic, and insomnia.
Tannin content may bind to minerals in the gut and prevent absorption.
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(Updated November 2018)