Why love Manuka oil? Because it’s nature’s cure-all.
If you’re new to Manuka oil, it’s an essential oil distilled from New Zealand’s Manuka plant (read more about it in our guide to Manuka).
Anyway, Manuka Oil has properties that not only nourish and moisturise your skin, but protect your skin from all kinds of nasties.
Manuka oil is known to boost the skin’s healing capabilities, and it’s also used in the medical community to combatting some of the world’s most antibiotic-resistant infections – that’s because of its ability to draw moisture out of the bacteria in an affected area, preventing and fighting off inflammation and infection.
How do I apply Manuka oil?
Manuka oil is a concentrated oil.
Like most other essential oils, it can be applied:
- Internally (but only as a mouth gargle – it shouldn’t be ingested)
- Externally (around the home)
Aromatic application of Manuka oil is great for your respiratory system (sinus problems, anyone?), and helps support your immune system and general well-being. That’s because the ‘aroma’ you breathe is a vapour of the oil and contains all the same properties as the oil itself.
Aromatic application includes–
- Direct inhalation (holding a bottle of Manuka oil close to your nose)
- Indirect inhalation (adding a drop to a handkerchief, shirt collar, pillow case etc.)
- Hot water vapour/steam tent (with a towel over your head, lean over a bowl of hot water with 1–2 drops of Manuka oil in it and inhale the steam – great for coughs and colds!)
You can apply Manuka oil directly to the skin (just a drop will do), or dilute it by adding it to a carrier oil, such as coconut oil. Use 10 drops of Manuka oil to every 30ml of carrier oil and you’ve got a great power balm you can use on everything!
Many essential oils are safe to consume, but we don’t recommend you ingest Manuka oil. Used inside your mouth (don’t swallow), it makes a great treatment for coughs, ulcers and cuts. Just add 4–5 drops of oil to a glass of warm water and gargle.
Because of its great antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, Manuka oil makes a great addition to your laundry and cleaning products. It’s the perfect solution to killing the mold that appears in the cracks in bathrooms!
We started off using Manuka oil for its preventative and healing properties (check out our GoodSport Anti-Chafe Balm), but it doesn’t end there – check out just how many uses Manuka oil has!
The A–Z of ways to use Manuka oil every day
- Abrasions, cuts and scratches – apply Manuka oil (concentrated or in carrier oil) after gently cleaning wound
- Acne – add a few drops to your daily face wash or dab directly onto acne as a spot treatment
- Athlete’s Foot – apply a drop of Manuka oil to each affected area twice daily. Continue to apply for 5 days after the visible signs have disappeared
- Bee stings – apply a drop of oil to relieve itching and inflammation
- Body odour – rub oil onto areas prone to sweat daily
- Boils – apply 2–3 drops and cover with a plaster, repeat regularly
- Carpet deodoriser – combine 5–6 drops of Manuka oil with 1 cup of baking soda. Add to a shaker, sprinkle all over your carpet and sit for 15 minutes. Vacuum as usual
- Chafe – after gentle cleaning, apply 2–3 drops to chafed skin (but if it’s chafe that bothers you, you need to check out our great anti-chafe balm)
- Colds – at the first sign of a cold, give your immune system a boost by applying Manuka oil to lymph nodes: below ears, under the arms and at the top of the legs in the groin. Also apply to the arched area on sole of foot
- Coughs – gargle 3–4 drops of Manuka oil in a glass of warm water (do not to swallow)
- Dandruff – add 8–10 drops of oil to your shampoo and massage into wet hair and scalp, leave 5 minutes before rinsing and drying
- Dermatitis – add 8–10 drops to your body wash
- Dishwasher – add a couple of drops to each load to get your dishes extra clean and cut deposits on the inside of your dishwasher
- Ears – clean earring hooks and stems with oil to fight infection and irritation
- Foot odour – rub oil into your feet 3 times a week. To combat foot odour in shoes add 2 drops to each shoe
- Fungal infections – apply a few drops to a cotton ball and dab onto fungal infections (including nail bed infection). Apply twice daily, and continue to apply for 5 days after visible signs have disappeared
- Head lice/nits – add a few drops of oil into your own shampoo and conditioner to deter head lice/nits
- Insect bites – apply a drop of oil to relieve itching and inflammation
- Joint pains – massage 3–4 drops Manuka oil into tired, aching muscles and joints, or make a massage oil by adding to a quality vegetable oil (10 drops to every 30ml oil)
- Lacerations – cleanse regularly with water containing a few drops of Manuka oil
- Laundry – add a few drops of oil (up to a teaspoon full) to the washing machine to disinfect laundry and kills bacteria
- Moisturiser – mix a few drops of Manuka oil with coconut oil for an easy, all-natural moisturiser
- Mold killer – Combine 10 drops of Manuka oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Spritz the affected areas and let dry (don’t wipe off)
- Mouth ulcers – Use a cotton tip/bud to apply oil directly to the ulcer, repeat daily. Make a gargle (4–5 drops of oil in a glass of warm water), use twice daily
- Muscle pain – make a massage oil (see joint pains), or add a few drops to a bath before and after exercise to relieve muscle fatigue
- Nasal congestion – make a hot water vapour/steam tent to relieve nasal congestion
- Oily skin – as with acne, add a few drops to your daily face wash
- Pet care – add Manuka oil to your pet’s normal shampoo to give them a shiny, healthy coat and provide natural antiseptic skin protection. For horses, cattle and dogs (not cats) apply Manuka oil to wounds, bites, stings and scratches (it’s an excellent treatment horse’s hooves!)
- Rashes – add 8–10 drops of oil to bath to relieve irritation, or mix with carrier oil for a soothing balm
- Revitalise – add 8–10 drops of oil to your bath water to relax and revitalise
- Sore throat – gargle 4–5 drops of oil in a cup of warm water 2–3 times daily
- Sunburn – relieve stinging and itching burned skin by rubbing a 2–3 drops of oil onto affected areas (or mix with carrier oil to make soothing balm)
- Surface disinfection – soak a dishcloth overnight in a bowl of water with a 4–5 drops of Manuka oil. Wipe surfaces with dishcloth to disinfect and kill germs
- Toothache – apply oil to the sore tooth or gum
- Warts – use a cotton bud to apply a drop of Manuka oil to warts twice daily