New Zealand Manuka is a shrub that can grow in the wild as high as 8 metres tall. Known as Manuka it can also be referred to as Red Manuka or Kahikatoa locally. The botanical name is Leptospermum scoparium. Many mistake Manuka for Kanuka, as Kanuka can be known as White Manuka. However this is Kunzea ericoides another product offered growing in Tasmania, Australia.
The oil is extracted from the aerial parts of the plant by steam distillation. East Cape Manuka is known for its many unique properties and is grown and harvested wild. Harvesting can be difficult as the better quality oil comes from plants situated in coastal hillside areas exposed to wind and salt where the soil can at times be both very wet and dry.
Manuka Oil has exceptional scientific pharmacological efficacy. Scientific research on New Zealand East Cape Manuka oil (MTK™ > 20%) is showing it has unique and superior antimicrobial properties (amongst many others) compared with oil sourced from other geographic regions within New Zealand; this is attributed primarily to the high ß-triketone content. In particular there is very strong antibacterial (against Gram-positive bacteria), antiviral and anti-parasitic activity.1
The oil itself consists of over 100 individual chemical components. The majority of the chemical components (molecules) that constitute Manuka essential oils and other essential oils are terpenoids; namely monoterpenes (C10 terpenoids), sesquiterpenes (C15 terpenoids) including oxygenated hydroxyl and carbonyl derivatives (aldehydes, alcohols and esters).2
Terpenoids are the largest class of natural products, while terpenes have a variety of roles in mediating antagonistic and beneficial interactions among organisms. They defend many species of plants, animals and microorganisms against predators, pathogens and competitors, and they are involved in conveying messages to conspecifics and mutualists regarding the presence of food, mates and enemies.3
Genuine pure New Zealand East Cape Manuka oil is also remarkably high in another defined group of compounds known as ß-triketones. In general Manuka oils from different geographic locations around New Zealand can be simplified into 3 basic chemotype groups based on the ratio of the monoterpenes: sesquiterpenes: ß-triketones. Further chemotype groupings can be defined based on individual compounds within the oil.4
Ultra are pleased to offer oil from the East Cape of New Zealand containing high Manuka ß-triketones harvested and distilled by ‘Manuka Oil TriketonesTM’
1,2,3&4 Manuka Oil TriketonesTM
Demand shows a significant increase as new applications and aromatherapy brands are entering the market. There is pressure on the supply chain as surplus stock, which has been accumulated to support growth, has been deleted in recent months. Once the success of other brands and new products is realised and copied by others the demand is expected to go up. Despite few minor supply delays, activities in New Zealand should help support this growth long term.
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