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Guide To Manuka Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

Manuka essential oil (Leptospermum scoparium), also called New Zealand tea tree, has many of the same benefits as Australian tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). However, manuka has an aroma different from tea tree.

Aromatherapy supplies with the words A Guide To Manuka Essential Oil and Its Benefits and Uses and photo of a manuka tree

Basic Manuka Facts

Plant family: Myrtaceae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of a small flowering evergreen native to New Zealand.

Aroma: Woody, earthy, balsamic.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Middle

Is manuka essential oil safe to use during pregnancy? I found conflicting information. Consult a professional.

Is manuka safe for children? Yes, for children age 2+. For younger children, consult a professional.

Cautions: None known.

Main components:

  • leptospermone   8.7–19.4%
  • (e)-calamenene  0.6–18.5%
  • alpha-pinene      1.3–11.0%
  • cadina-3,5-diene 3.0–10.0%
  • delta-cadinene    4.8–7.2%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition

Manuka Aromatherapy Benefits

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: The scent helps relieve fear and low libido.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Manuka may help relieve bronchitis, mucous congestion, coughs, and flu. The oil may also help get rid of lice and fungus (including ringworm and athlete's foot) and help heal skin wounds, cuts, and contusions.

The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition): Uses for manuka essential oil in skin care include helping heal acne and pimples, abscesses, bed sores, blisters, boils, burns, carbuncles, cold sores, cracked skin, dermatitis, eczema, sunburn, and insect bites and stings. The oil may also help get rid of lice, dandruff, oily skin, and fungus and help relieve aches and pains, muscle tension, joint stiffness, sprains, rheumatism, colds and flu, congestion, and nervous debility.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume 2: Manuka is mild and nontoxic. The essential oil is useful for relieving a range of skin conditions and muscle and joint stiffness and pain.

The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, manuka tonifies the Qi and strengthens the Shen and can help relieve fatigue, lethargy, poor focus, and depression. Suggested essential oil blends with manuka:

  • To relieve pain and inflammation: German chamomile, helichrysum, kunzea, or lavender.
  • To relieve muscle aches and pains: black pepper, ginger, kunzea, rosemary, or pine.
  • To get rid of skin fungus: patchouli or tea tree.
  • To relieve stress, nervous, tension, and anxiety: cedarwood, geranium, lavender, mandarin, neroli, sweet orange, or sandalwood.

Aromatherapy Science: The emotional uses of manuka include releasing fear, anxiety, stress, and low libido. The oil helps blend all aspects of self, along with molding and shaping emotion and reality. This essential oil supports patience, calm, caring, and connecting all chakras to the heart chakra.

Manuka Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Hand Scrub
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 10 drops manuka
  • 6 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops peppermint essential oil
  1. Combine the salt and sugar in a glass bowl.
  2. Stir the melted coconut oil and the essential oils into the dry ingredients.
  3. Store the mixture in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

Note: If you have sensitive skin, replace the salt with another 1/4 cup sugar.

Facial Scrub

Blend and gently scrub face:

  • 1 teaspoon finely ground oatmeal
  • 3 drops carrier oil
  • 1 or 2 drops manuka essential oil

Source: Llewellyn's Complete Book of Essential Oils

Other manuka essential oil uses include:

  • To help relieve congestion, use the essential oil in a steam inhalation. To help relieve nasal congestion, coughs, and sinusitis and possibly prevent colds and flu, diffuse manuka oil.
  • For a massage oil to relieve the muscle aches of cold or flu, blend 4 drops manuka and 4 drops eucalyptus globulus essential oil in one tablespoon of carrier oil.
  • To help control anger, stabilize emotional turmoil, and lift moods, diffuse manuka with three parts Roman chamomile and two parts pine.
  • For energy work, use manuka to activate the first, third, and fourth chakras. The oil clears meditation space and grounds energy.
  • For insect bite or sting relief, mix 3 drops manuka in one teaspoon carrier oil. You can also use this blend to help get rid of athlete's foot or other fungus.

Dandruff Relief


  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops manuka essential oil
  • 2 tablespoons evening primrose oil

Massage the blend thoroughly into scalp for 1 to 2 minutes. Shampoo hair as usual and rinse well.

Source: 150 Ways to Use Essential Oils from Eden's Garden

Tension-Relieving Compress


  • 2 drops manuka
  • 2 drops ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel or carrier oil

Apply the blend to the upper back and then cover the back with a warm towel. You can also place a dry towel on top to keep in the warmth. As the towel cools, you can replace with another warm towel 2 or 3 times.

Source: Shanti Dechen CCAP, CAI, LMT. "Autumn is Here: The Metal Element." Autumn 2016.3, NAHA Aromatherapy Journal, pp. 15–19.

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Photo Credit: David J. Stang, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons