Manuka Essential Oil – A Tea Tree Family Member

manuka oil

Manuka essential oil is a powerful essential oil that should not be confused with Manuka honey. While the honey is currently popular because of its potential healing properties, the fresh, spicy, and aromatic essential oil is another beneficial and extraordinary substance with a range of benefits.1

Indeed, the Maoris have long used manuka essential oil to improve overall health and wellbeing. Now, everyone can enjoy the same benefits. Though manuka comes from the same family as tea tree, scientists have recently learned that manuka essential oil is up to 33 times stronger than tea tree oil for protection against specific types of bacteria.

The History of Manuka

Compared to many other essential oils, manuka oil is relatively new. The tree originates from New Zealand where the natives have known about its healing properties for hundreds of years, but it did not make it into Western aromatherapy culture until much more recently. Because of this, the medicinal uses of manuka are just starting to be understood.

Manuka comes from the same family of plants, Myrtaceae, as tea tree. This family also includes eucalyptus, myrtle, and kanuka. The essential oil is derived from the leaves, twigs, and branches which are picked and then distilled using steam.

Many valuable terpenes are expressed during this process: α-pinene, Linalool, caryophyllene, Geraniol, and isoleptospermone.

Folklore tells a story of Captain Cook using the leaves of manuka prepared as a tea to protect him and his shipmates from scurvy during long expeditions. European settlers of New Zealand later adopted this use.2 

Now, one can gain access to manuka by using it topically after diluting in a carrier oil or aromatically in a room diffuser or personal aromatherapy diffusers like Sexy, Forest, or Ocean MONQ.

Uses for Manuka Essential Oil

There are countless benefits to manuka oil, which is a part of the reason it has seen such popularity over the last couple of years. Some of these benefits are highlighted below.

Treats Dry Scalp

Dandruff is dry, flaky skin caused by irritation to the scalp. If your skin starts to dry out, it can become itchy and flaky, resulting in infections or other problems.

Manuka essential oil can help prevent infection, restore moisture to the scalp, and improve the balance of oils on the skin.

It’s easy to use too—just add a few drops to a carrier oil like jojoba or avocado and massage onto the scalp. Alternatively, add a few drops to warm bath water.3

Remedies Bug Bites

If you experience insect bites or stings, then apply this oil to the bite. The oil will help reduce swelling and pain and stop the bite from becoming even more painful. If you’re not sure what bit you and you’re in a lot of pain or have reason to be worried about the nature of the sting, then get it checked out by a doctor.

For the day-to-day bites that you know aren’t serious, though, this is a great remedy.

Prevents Infection

Much like tea tree oil, manuka essential oil is powerful for inhibiting bacterial growth and reducing chance of infection.4

Relieves Inflammation

Manuka essential oil is a good anti-inflammatory agent, and it is often used to help with colds. Additionally, it can reduce inflammation from injuries or over-training, in addition to relieving sore muscles and stiff joints.

Reduces Allergy Symptoms

If you have a cough or hayfever, then try manuka oil. Histamine aggravates the ears, nose, and throat, making them itchy and filled with excess mucous.

Manuka essential oil can help reduce the amount of histamine that the body produces. Because histamine is released as part of the immune response, some people produce too much of it, which is when manuka con prove a useful remedy.

You can use manuka for coughs and other allergic reactions like sneezing and itching from dust or pet dander.

Boosts Skin Health

Manuka essential oil can also be used to help heal scars, stretch marks, and other skin issues, and to help your wounds heal more quickly.

Add a drop to a fragrance-free lotion and apply to the face where acne has flared up. Diluting with jojoba oil is particularly good for scars.

To promote faster results for a skin abrasion that is healing and beginning to scab over, try applying manuka essential oil diluted in a carrier oil to the area. Always make sure to dilute the essential oil before applying it to the skin and avoid using on open wounds.

Acts as a Deodorant

Bacteria is the main culprit for body odor, and manuka is such an effective antibacterial that it can reduce body odor when applied under the arms. In addition, the fragrance of manuka oil is especially pleasant—a bit floral and a bit earthy.

Some people use it as a chemical-free, synthetic-free replacement for perfume or deodorant since it is plant-based and natural. 

Alleviates Stress

If you are stressed, anxious, or struggling with other emotions, then try essential oils and aromatherapy. Manuka essential may help calm your mind due to the alpha-pinene found in the essential oil.

Manuka infographic

How To Use Manuka Essential Oil

Manuka oil can be used in much the same way as tea tree oil, although they are different oils. There is a lot of confusion about this because the trees that the oils come from sound so similar. Manuka oil comes from the manuka tree, which is native to New Zealand.

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree which is native to New South Wales, Australia. Though they are similar in their properties and use, they have different chemical constituents and scents.

This essential oil can be used mixed with other oils as a massage cream. It can also be added to homemade soaps and creams or diluted to use in a bath or as a steam/aromatherapy treatment. 5


If you want to try using it in topical application, then you can apply it directly to the skin in small amounts. If you are going to do this, apply just one to two drops to the area.

For use in aromatherapy, diffuse a small amount of the oil for up to 30 minutes. You can repeat this three times per day for best results.

Safety and Precautions

Be careful to keep the oil out of reach of children, and ensure that you don’t get any in your eyes o mucous membranes. Wash your hands after using the oil.

If you are taking any medication, are breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, then you should not use manuka oil.

As long as the oil is left unopened, it will last until the “use by” date printed on the bottle. Once opened, you should make sure that you keep the oil in a cool, dark place, and that the bottle is kept sealed when not in use.

Each time you use the oil, check that it still has its distinctive aroma. Pure manuka oil should not oxidize easily. The same things that make it a great antimicrobial and antifungal will stop it from going bad.

Do not use essential oils to self-medicate for undiagnosed conditions, and do not mix them with medication without checking first. 

Aromatherapy Solutions On The Move

At MONQ, we have a wide range of products, some of which contain manuka essential oil as one of the active ingredients, like Sexy MONQ.

MONQ personal essential oil diffusers are easy to use and feature a number of soothing, gentle, natural ingredients that will help you enjoy the benefits of essential oils as a part of your day-to-day health and wellbeing routines.

Our products are superior to traditional aromatherapy systems and are not the same as normal vaporizers. Using our special method of breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose, you get the dose you would expect from aromatherapy, quickly and safely in a discrete, portable solution.

Vaporizing manuka via a personal aromatherapy device can be relaxing and may help relieve congestion, tickly coughs, irritation, and inflammation. It’s a brilliant solution for people who want the benefits of aromatherapy without having to potentially irritate colleagues or family members who dislike the smell in their personal space. You can use these products in public and enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy on the go.  

We have many specialized aromatic blends to choose from, so if manuka essential oil is not your preference, then be sure to browse the rest of the collection. When it comes to plant-based extracts, there is something for everyone, and we are confident that you will find a blend you’ll love. Treat yourself to an aromatherapy session today.


Taylor James

By Taylor James

Taylor is an aromatherapy enthusiast whose favorite use of essential oils is through a portable diffuser created by MONQ. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying nature whether it be on a lake or in a forest.

Favorite MONQ blend: Forest

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The above information relates to studies of specific individual essential oil ingredients, some of which are used in the essential oil blends for various MONQ diffusers. Please note, however, that while individual ingredients may have been shown to exhibit certain independent effects when used alone, the specific blends of ingredients contained in MONQ diffusers have not been tested. No specific claims are being made that use of any MONQ diffusers will lead to any of the effects discussed above.  Additionally, please note that MONQ diffusers have not been reviewed or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MONQ diffusers are not intended to be used in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, prevention, or treatment of any disease or medical condition. If you have a health condition or concern, please consult a physician or your alternative health care provider prior to using MONQ diffusers.

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