by Austine McCarthy, RN
Manuka is a very interesting member of the Myrtaceae family, Manuka Leptospermum scoparium. Coming from the same family are Australia's Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Fragonia (Agonia fragrans), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata and globulus) and Kunzea (Kunzea ambigua). Growing uncultivated on unfarmable land in New Zealand, it is thought that perhaps the stress of the growing conditions contribute to Manuka's important attributes.
Essential oil of Manuka is steam distilled from the leaves and small stems that are gathered after the flowering season is complete. The flowering season is sacred because bees gather nectar to produce the valuable Manuka honey crop.
The essential oil has a yellowish/ brown color, a sharp, earthy odor. Probably not a fragrance that will make the best perfume for date night.
Much of the research is related to the benefits of the Manuka honey, most notably in the wound care arena. Medical grade honey is incorporated into dressings and topicals used to heal chronic wounds such as vascular and diabetic ulcers and decubitus ulcers (bed sores). Read more...