Manuka oil is relatively new to the world of aromatherapy, but has been used medicinally in New Zealand for hundreds of years.
Sometimes called manuka honey due to its fragrant honey-like smell when heated, manuka oil is a strong antibacterial agent that keeps skin clean without drying or irritating. It’s also highly anti-inflammatory, which makes it great for soothing rashes.
The most interesting component of manuka oil, however, is that it’s both cicatrisant and cytophylactic, which means it promotes new skin cell growth. This is particularly useful for wounds and scars of all sizes (think razor burn and acne scars, through to more serious cuts and scrapes), as the new cell growth help to both heal the wound and keep infection out.
In the world of aromatherapy, Manuka is known as a calming scent that relieves stress.
Harkenthal, M., et al. “Comparative study on the in vitro antibacterial activity of Australian tea tree oil, cajuput oil, niaouli oil, manuka oil, kanuka oil, and eucalyptus oil.” Die Pharmazie 54.6 (1999): 460-463.
Carson, C. F., K. A. Hammer, and T. V. Riley. “Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties.” Clinical microbiology reviews 19.1 (2006): 50-62.