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Guide To Kanuka Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses

Kanuka essential oil (Kunzea ericoides or Leptospermum ericoides), also called white tea tree oil, belongs to the same plant family as tea tree and manuka essential oils.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words Guide To Kanuka Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and photo of a kanuka (Kunzea ericoides) plant.

Plant family: Myrtaceae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of the tree, which is native to New Zealand.

Aroma: Sweet, herbaceous, with an earthy note. The scent is similar to tea tree oil but more delicate and calming.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is kanuka safe to use during pregnancy? Consult a professional.

Is kanuka essential oil safe for children? Consult a professional.

Cautions: Avoid an oxidized oil as it may cause skin sensitization.

Do not confuse kanuka with manuka or kunzea.

Main components:

  • alpha-pinene  55.5%
  • viridifloraol     7.2%
  • 1,8-cineole     3.9%
  • (+)-limonene  3.9%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Kanuka Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1: Use kanuka to help relieve muscle pain and swelling for conditions such as strains, sprains, and sport injuries. The essential oil is beneficial for the respiratory system and may help relieve coughs, colds, and flu. The oil may also help acne heal and help prevent body and foot odor. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, kanuka oil tonifies the Qi and strengthens the Shen.

Suggested essential oils to blend with kanuka:

  • To relieve muscle aches and pains: black pepper, ginger, kunzea, spike lavender, pine, or rosemary.
  • To relieve cold and flu symptoms: eucalyptus, lemon, lemon myrtle, manuka, pine, tea tree, or thyme.

Aromatherapy Science: Kanuka uses include relief of muscle pain and swelling, sprains, strains, and sports injuries. The oil is relaxing and good for skin care.

Aromatics: Kanuka has relaxing effects useful in blends for muscles and joints. This essential oil also can soothe irritated skin.

Complete Guide to Clinical Aromatherapy and the Essential Oils of the Physical Body: Kanuka may help relieve colds and support the immune and respiratory systems. The oil also helps fight fungus and is a skin astringent. For colds you can use kanuka as part of a steam inhalation or in a bath blend.

Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness: Kanuka may help relieve sore muscles, strains, back pain, burn pain, intestinal complaints, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and other chronic inflammatory conditions.

Pain Relief

Use this blend to help relieve fibromyalgia, arthritis, and chronic inflammatory pain.

  • 6.5 tablespoons carrier oil or lotion
  • 20 drops kanuka essential oil
  • 20 drops plai essential oil
  • 10 drops sweet marjoram essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil

Blend ingredients. Put into a 4-ounce bottle or container. Apply sparingly to painful areas as needed. Adapted from Penny Price Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Kanuka balances all energy centers and increase feelings of joy and an abundant life.
Stillpoint Aromatics: Use kanuka for the second chakra to support relationships and creation energy, for the fourth chakra to support unconditional love, and for the sixth chakra to support perspective and balance.

Base Formula: Use kanuka to help relieve fungus and on acne-prone skin. Two suggested blends:

Fungus Reducer Shoe Spray

  • 16 drops kanuka
  • 11 drops lemongrass essential oil
  • 11 drops cornmint essential oil
  • 1/2 cup roman chamomile hydrosol

Blend all ingredients in a glass spray bottle. Spritz footwear after use and let air dry.

Winter Diffuser Blend

  • 5 drops kanuka essential oil
  • 4 drops sweet orange essential oil
  • 3 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 3 drops clove essential oil

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Photo Credit: Krzysztof Golik, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons