Compared to other temperate growing areas in the world, New Zealand has very high levels of ultraviolet light, especially in summer.  Plants defend themselves against these higher levels of UV by producing more polyphenols, substances that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

It’s this type of adaptation that could explain why oil from New Zealand manuka (leptospermum scoparium) is considered more effective than oil from Australian tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia).

The Cawthron Institute, New Zealand’s largest independent science organisation, concluded that manuka oil was 20 – 30 times more active than Australian tea tree oil against gram positive bacteria and more than 5-10 times more effective against tested species of skin fungi. [1]

The natural advantage of New Zealand manuka oil is why ManukaRX ointment is poised to become the ‘go to’ treatment for common skin problems. Here’s a quick summary of how it can be used:

  • A salve for cracked or chapped skin, especially lips
  • To help prevent infection of minor skin abrasions and cuts
  • As a treatment for minor burns, following first aid with cold running water
  • To soften cuticles and prevent nail fungus
  • Between the toes, to prevent tinea
  • As a nappy rash treatment

Why is NZ’s UV so high?

Ultraviolet levels in the New Zealand summer are about 40%[2] higher than similar latitudes in the northern hemisphere. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. The earth orbits the sun in an ellipse, not a circle. The closest point of approach of the sun to the earth occurs in December/January, which is the southern hemisphere summer. The furthest away is in June/July, which is the northern hemisphere summer.
  2. During the summer months, there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere.
  3. New Zealand has very clean air.

To find out more about ManukaRX, visit our shop page.




Why Maori healers reach for manuka

Maori healers have known about the special properties of manuka for centuries. It was a tree for many purposes; a first aid kit instantly at hand.

Manuka is a small native tree found throughout New Zealand as two varieties – red and white. When compared with red manuka, white manuka grows taller and has smaller leaves and flowers with a stronger scent.

Botanical Name: Leptospermum scoparium
Common Name: New Zealand tea tree
Maori names: Manuka, Kahikaatoa, Kaatoa, Pata, Rauwiri, Rauiri

Generally white manuka was preferred by Maori healers, who used infusions to reduce fevers and treat stomach problems. Manuka gum was used as a salve for burns and to ease coughing. Decoctions from the bark were used to treat diarrhoea and fever. The bark was also used to create infusions that had a sedative effect.

Maori medicine, known as rongoā, is still practiced in New Zealand. Practitioners gather plants from native forests and follow traditional recipes to create creams, balms, teas and elixirs. There are regular rongoā events and workshops held around the country for those who want to learn how to make their own potions.

A more convenient way to experience rongoā is to buy a tube of ManukaRX ointment, which harnesses the medicinal qualities of New Zealand manuka oil.

ManukaRX ointment can be part of your daily or nightly routine. You can use it as lip balm or to keep heels and elbows in good condition. It can even be used as a cuticle cream.

The ointment is also a multi-tasker for skin problems, including:

  • Skin abrasions and minor cuts that are at risk of infection
  • Tinea (fungal infection) between the toes
  • Insect bites and stings
  • Burn treatment, once the burn has been suitably cooled with cold water
  • Scar prevention, when minor wounds are healing