MANUKA Leptospermum scoparium
Also known as New Zealand Tea Tree or Tea Rose plant, this pretty, sweetly fragranced, flower covered shrub is in fact a tough shield and protector plant. In New Zealand it grows largely on areas that early settlers had cleared by burning in the hope of establishing the land for agricultural uses. But many areas were soon covered with this tenacious shrub - much to the disdain of the farmers, who found it impossible to restrain it. It was as though this plant spread a shield across the burn-scarred landscape, healing the fire damage and preventing the soil from further depletion. Incidentally the Maoris have long used this herb in their healing practices, not least for burn damaged skin and today it is used for this purpose even by the New Zealand fire service.
Manuka is strongly antibacterial and can be used in many infectious conditions. It is effective against cold sores and makes an excellent room freshener in a sick room. Its beautiful aroma lifts the spirit and aids convalescence while killing airborne bacteria. Manuka is very helpful in many congestive conditions of the respiratory system, such as sinusitis, colds, catarrh, bronchitis, etc. One of its greatest strength is its effectiveness for treating burns and all kinds of skin abrasions, like cuts and bruises. In aromatherapy skin care products it is particularly useful in preparations for oily skin, acne and other inflammatory skin conditions. It is also highly effective for treating athlete's foot and other skin fungi. However, it has a strong drying effect on the skin and should therefore be use in conjunction with very rich and nourishing base oils.
Manuka received its English name 'New Zealand tea-tree' from Captain Cook, who first described it and used the name 'tea tree' somewhat indiscriminately to describe any plant that could be used for making tea. Manuka belongs to the Myrtle family and is very distantly related to the Australian Tea tree with which it even shares some of its properties. However, the scent of Manuka is far milder and more agreeable than that of tea-tree oil. Walking through Manuka shrub is like walking on a fragrant cloud, it lets the spirit soar. Yet its tangled shrubby growth that prevents intrusion defines a very clear line, lest one has wings - like the honey bees for whom the profusely flower covered bushes are a veritable nectar pasture. Incidentally Manuka honey is also used for healing. Modern research has shown it to have quite remarkable antibacterial properties. The Maoris have long known about the wonderful virtues of this beautiful plant - slowly modern science is catching up!
Manuka can be used for protection, purification and healing rituals. The Maoris, who are a warrior culture and regard warfare as a sacred activity, have used the strong yet very light Manuka wood to fashion weapons and arrows. It can also be used in ceremonies that celebrate the Great Goddess, as she loves all plants that provide ample nectar for her sacred bees.
A sweet, aromatic, slightly balsamic scent with a hint of Geranium. Blends well with Myrtle, Geranium, Pine, Cypress, Neroli, Orange, Amber, Elemi, Oakmoss and Vetivert.