Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)


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Various parts of the New Zealand Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) tree were used traditionally by New Zealand Maori for a large number of medicinal complaints. Like the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia, use of Manuka's leaves as a tea substitute by sailors on board the first English ships to visit New Zealand led to its acquisition of the name "Tea Tree". Manuka and the closely related Kanuka (Kunzea ericoides), however, are quite distinct from Melaleuca species. The medicinal properties of Manuka honey as an antiseptic and healing application for wounds and ulcers, have become well known, and medicinal manuka honey dressings are now used clinically in several countries. More than one bioactivity rating scale is used by manufacturers, and while exact mechanism(s) of actions remain elusive, clearly something from the manuka tree itself imparts a level of activity not seen with other honeys. In this presentation, Phil will discuss not only Manuka honey and essential oil, but also other potential therapeutic uses of extracts and other products made from the Manuka plant itself. He will cover its traditional use, recent research findings, and modern day use by herbal practitioners including clinical case studies.

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