Native to New Zealand and Australia and still predominantly produced in those countries.
The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves and branches of the plant.
Antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial among others. It shares many properties with it's distant relative Tea Tree - Manuka is also known as New Zealand Tea Tree.
In massage and skincare Manuka is used in preparations for treating bacterial problems such as acne, oily skin and spots. It's strongly antibacterial and so can be useful in treating cold sores etc while it has antifungal properties which make it suitable for treating athlete's foot and other fungal infections. It can have a strong drying effect on the skin so should ideally be blended in a richly moisturising base oil such as jojoba or sweet almond. Manuka is also used to treat burns and other skin abrasions such as bruises and small cuts or scratches.
When burned or vaporised Manuka is used to treat the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, chest congestion and any other bronchial or sinus problems. It kills airborne viruses and has a beautiful aroma which can lift the spirits - especially of those convalescing.
You may find that Manuka blends especially well with Basil, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Orange, Patchouli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Pine, Ravensara, Rosemary, Sage, Sandalwood, Tea Tree and Thyme.