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Magical Manuka/Tea Tree Oil

by Catherine

While in New Zealand for graduate school, I was introduced to an essential oil that 3 years later would cure Candida patches on my husband’s skin. Manuka oil is used in New Zealand for just about everything. We call it tea tree oil here in the States.

Manuka OilManuka oil is antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and suitable for sensitive skin. The honey from the Manuka tree is even used to treat mouth sores, sore throats, and thrush. The key difference is the absence of Manuka oil in all-natural household cleaning and disinfecting products. It is much gentler, less reactive oil, and is usually used more for skincare and topical applications.

Manuka oil, unlike typical tea tree oil has been proven effective in fighting gram-positive bacteria, think staph, strep, anthrax and MRSA. Let’s just say, the stuff is not fooling around. Also, your body never develops a resistance to it, so it will work and continue to work for a prolonged period of time.

The reason I thought of Manuka Oil when my husband started to exhibit white patches on his chest and back was that I had lived with a woman in New Zealand who used a cream with Manuka oil in it to treat her Rosacea. When I knew her, her skin was beautiful—fair, even, healthy and wrinkle-free. She showed me pictures of herself when her Rosacea was at its worst. In the pictures, her skin was inflamed and almost swollen, with visible capillaries, bumps and discoloration. At the time, she had been treating it with oral prescription medications and topical metronidazole. It was like putting a band-aid over a hole in your chest—you are taking action, but it isn’t going to save you. She was convinced there was an underlying problem, but her doctor never looked past the Rosacea to find it.

Back to my husband. He was no longer in a moldy living space, was working on eliminating yeast and sugars from his diet, but needed help with these weird fungal patches on his skin. We had even tried Lotrimin cream on them per a dermatologist’s suggestion. The Manuka oil then popped into my mind. (Note: It is important to look for Manuka Oil from the East Cape region of New Zealand. You can find it at most health food stores or online. Research has found that samples of Manuka Oil from that region contain higher levels of antimicrobial activity than the samples from other regions of the world.) I found some, and we began applying small drops if it directly on the patches. For some places, it was almost instant, but others took about 3 days to clear. The oil worked wonders and never irritated his skin.

Thus, in true mad-scientist fashion, I began experimenting with it on other fungal-related infirmities. Now in our house, we use drops of Manuka oil in saline nasal rinses when we’ve been exposed to mold, in soaking baths for my kids when their skin in dry and itchy in the winter, mixed with shampoo to help control flakes, and for insect bites, just to name a few. It is definitely worth purchasing to keep in your arsenal of homeopathic cures. I intend to continue trying the oil in other household applications and will update the blog on my findings as I do so.

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