Manuka Tree

Botanical Name : Leptospermum scoparium
Family: Myrtaceae
Genus: Leptospermum
Species: L. scoparium
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales

Common Names:Manuka or Tea tree or just Leptospermum

Habitat :Manuka  tree native to New Zealand and southeast Australia. It is found throughout New Zealand but is particularly common on the drier east coasts of the North Island and the South Island, and in Australia in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. Manuka (from M?ori ‘m?nuka’) is the name used in New Zealand, and ‘tea tree’ is a common name in Australia and to a lesser extent also in New Zealand.

Description:
Manuka  tree is a prolific scrub-type tree and is often one of the first species to regenerate on cleared land. It is typically a shrub growing to 2–5 m tall, but can grow into a moderately sized tree, up to 15 m or so in height. It is evergreen, with dense branching and small leaves 7–20 mm long and 2–6 mm broad, with a short spine tip. The flowers are white, occasionally pink, 8–15 mm (rarely up to 25 mm) diameter, with five petals. This species is often confused with the closely related species Kanuka – the easiest way to tell the difference between the two species in the field is to feel their foliage – Manuka leaves are prickly while Kanuka leaves are soft.

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Medicinal Uses:
Manuka products have high antibacterial potency for a limited spectrum of bacteria and are widely available in New Zealand. Similar properties led the Maori to use parts of the plant as natural medicine.

Kakariki parakeets (Cyanoramphus) use the leaves and bark of Manuka and Kanuka to rid themselves of parasites. Apart from ingesting the material, they also chew it, mix it with preen gland oil and apply it to their feathers.

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The Cawthron Institute testing showed East Cape Manuka Oil to be active against a wide range of micro-organisms that cause irritation and infection of the skin and body. Some of them serious such as MRSA (more commonly known as the H-bug) and other more common ones such as those that cause Athletes foot . The Cawthron concluded that East Cape Manuka Oil was 20 – 30 times more active than Australian Tea tree Oil “ for gram positive bacteria. Further testing has confirmed that East Cape Manuka Oil is effective in combatting bacteria including those associated with acne, and foot and body odour.

Aromatherapy researchers have found this unique Manuka Oil to have antibacterial /antifungal, anti-allergenic and anti inflammatory properties and to therefore help in the relief of “skin, mucous membrane and rheumatic ailments.” They have found it to be well tolerated by the skin and to be helpful for itchy and irritated skin and scalp. For the pysche it is reported to be beneficial for stress, nervousness and anxiety .

Manuka Cream and Manuka Soap made out of munaka oil is used in Acne, Pimples, Eczema, Ring Worm, Skin Rash, Chafing, Itching, Dandruff, Bed Sores, Athlete’s Foot, Nail Bed Infections, Foot Odor, Body Odor, Cuts, Abrasions, Insect Bites & Stings, Sunburn, Muscle Ache, Aching Joints,
and Aromatherapy for Stress and Anxiety

Infusions and poultices were made from the leaves and inner bark and the seed capsules and sap were chewed . Early european migrants produced a tea from Manuka leaves for refreshment and health.

Manuka honey, produced when honeybees gather the nectar from its flowers, is distinctively flavoured, darker and richer in taste than clover honey and has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. The finest quality Manuka honey with the most potent …antimicrobial properties is produced from hives placed in wild, uncultivated areas with abundant growth of Manuka bushes. However a very limited number of scientific studies have been performed to verify its efficacy.

The University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand has formed the Waikato Honey Research Unit to study the composition of honey and its antimicrobial activity. The Active Manuka Honey Association (AMHA) is the industry association that promotes and standardizes the production of Manuka honey for medical uses. They have created the Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) standard which grades honey based on its anti-bacterial strength. Because of its antimicrobial properties, Manuka Honey is added in small amounts D-Dartos Oral Suspension and other products. In January 2008 Professor Thomas Henle, University of Dresden (Germany) identified methylglyoxal as the active compound in Manuka honey. This is now shown on products as MGO Manuka honey. E.g. MGO 100 represents 100 mg of methylglyoxal per kilogram

Other Uses:
The wood is tough and hard, and was often used for tool handles. Manuka sawdust imparts a delicious flavour when used for smoking meats and fish.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leptospermum_scoparium
http://www.manuka-oil.com/
http://www.astrologyzine.com/manuka-oil.shtml

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