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The Mānuka Shop at Arapaoa Island Mānuka
Leptospermum scoparium
Manuka Oil Production
Manuka Oil Chemistry
Arapawa Island

Mānuka Oil Chemistry

Our products contain the fragrant oils of red mānuka (Leptospermum scoparium) and white mānuka ('kānuka') (Kunzea ericoides), native New Zealand tea-trees that are abundant on Arapaoa Island.

Mānuka products were commonly used by Māori to remedy a wide range of ailments.  Today mānuka oil is known for its antibacterial, antifungal, pain relieving, decongestant and muscle relaxing properties. Arapaoa Island mānuka yields an oil with a particularly sweet and pleasant fragrance.

Mānuka oils typically contain 120 or so different compounds. Properties reported in the scientific literature for some of the main compounds are given below.


Skin absorption enhancer. Anti-microbial activity.


Anti-inflammatory activity.


Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial activity. Anti-inflammatory activity. Possible muscle relaxant. Possible anticarcinogenic agent. Anti-histamine activity. Anti-malarial activity reported.


Skin absorption enhancer. Anti-inflammatory in bronchial asthma. Analgesic activity. Kills lice. Anti-bacterial.


Possible anti-tumor/tumor preventative activity.


Skin absorption enhancer. Lice/flea killer. Potential anti-tumor/tumor preventative properties (undergoing testing for treatment of human mammary cancer).


Anti-bacterial activity.


Non-opiate, non-asprin-like peripheral analgesic (pain-reliever). Anti-mutagenic activity.


Auto-oxidation products reported as showing antimalarial activity.