New Zealand Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is a hardy, evergreen plant that grows throughout New Zealand. Often seen hugging the country’s beautiful coastline as a shrub, or growing up to eight metres tall as a tree.
Widely known as Manuka, it’s also commonly called Red Manuka, Kahikatoa or Tea Tree but should never be confused with Australian Tea Tree. Traditionally, New Zealand Maori have utilised all parts of the plant for practical and medicinal uses.
Manuka oil is the essential oil extracted from the leaf and twig of the Manuka plant using a steam distillation process. The essential oil has rare very strong Gram positive antimicrobial properties that correlated to the levels of ß-triketone compounds that can be found in the oil.
These are known as Flavesone, Leptospermone, Isoleptospermone & Grandiflorone; and are collectively known as Manuka oil ßeta-Triketones (MβTK™). These MβTK™ levels vary in concentration, depending on the location of the harvest. Very high MβTK™ levels above 25%, are found in Manuka oil sourced from the East Cape of New Zealand.
Manuka oil is graded using the MβTK™ grading system which shows the percentage of Manuka β-triketones present in Manuka oil.
What is MβTK™?
How is Manuka oil graded?
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