Manuka Oil Efficacy

Present on this page is the current published scientific literature on the pharmacological, antimicrobial, herbicidal, insecticidal and attractant efficacy of MβTK™ Manuka oil. The scientific efficacy of β-triketone rich East Cape Manuka Oil in dealing with many human and animal health issues is assembled in the list below. These are predominantly from published, peer-reviewed, scientific publications demonstrating the usefulness and potential, in single or multiple health categories.

There has been considerable research into the antimicrobial efficacy of Manuka oil. Research has found that higher β-triketone Manuka oil content enhances antimicrobial properties to most micro-organism's, in particular Gram-positive bacterium40. These antimicrobial properties are also substantiated from other research groups published in the peer-reviewed scientific journals presented below.

A combination of complementary oils, like Manuka oil and TTO, can lead to superior synergistic, broad-spectrum antimicrobial oils. This is exemplified in LEMA® oil41,28, which is an effective mixture of the most active fractions from both East Cape Manuka oil and Australian TTO. East Cape Manuka oil shows a greater killing power for Gram-positive organisms while TTO is better at killing Gram-negative organisms. Combining the concentrated fractions of these two oils results in broader spectrum antimicrobial activity, as shown in the table below. This table also shows comparisons between low, high, higher & pure triketone oils.

Antimicrobial Properties for Manuka oil, refined β-Triketones, TTO and LEMA® oil

Organism Organism Type East Cape Manuka Oil* Pure Manuka β-Triketones TTO LEMA®
Escherichia coli Gram-negative < 1:10 - 1:500 1:700
Pseudomonas aeruginosa Gram-negative < 1:10 - < 1:10 1:10
Klebsiella pneumoniae Gram-negative < 1:10 - 1:800 1:600
Staphylococcus aureus Gram-positive 1:1500 1:1500 1:400 1:1200
Streptococcus pyrogenes Gram-positive 1:2000 1:2000 1:1500 1:1400
Streptococcus faecalis Gram-positive 1:2000 - 1:400 1:1200
Listeria monocytogenes Gram-positive 1:2000 - 1:700 1:1100
Propionibacterium acnes gram + ve 1:700 1:2000 1:900 1:1400
Candida albcans Yeast < 1:30 1:500 1:700 1:1200
Aspergillus niger Fungi < 1:50 - < 1:50 1:300
Tricophyton mentagrophytes Fungi 1:1000 1:2500 1:1000 1:1500
Microsporum canis Fungi 1:1000 1:3000 - -

*East Cape Manuka oil (MßTK™ 25+)
LEMA® oil is a registered patented product of New Zealand Manuka Bioactives Ltd.

For references to Antibacterial scientific literature, click here.

Research has demonstrated that Manuka oil has antifungal properties against the pathogens listed in the table below. As can be seen there appears to be a strong correlation with the β-triketone content.

Organism Organism Type East Cape Manuka Oil* Pure Manuka β-Triketones
Aspergillus niger Fungi < 1:50 -
Tricophyton mentagrophytes Fungi 1:1000 1:2500
Microsporum canis Fungi 1:1000 1:3000

*East Cape Manuka oil (MßTK 25+)

For references to Antifungal scientific literature, click here.

Scientific literature

  • Reichling et al. [2005-2011]53,54,55,14 High β-triketone Manuka oil chemotype exhibited high levels of virucidal activity against Herpes Simplex Virus 1 & 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) and some HSV-1 resistant strains. An in depth summary of these papers can be found in the Thesis of Magsombol [2012]56 on the antiviral properties of essential oils.

Scientific literature

  • Chen et al. [2014]57 looked into the efficacy of Manuka and Kanuka against inflammation caused by infections. Their very promising results showed low cytotoxicity for solutions up to 10% and both oils showed strong inhibition effects on inflammation and anti-allergic properties. They suggested that short term non-toxic doses of the two oils may be effective for treating lesions caused by insect bites, or for repairing infectious wounds.

Scientific literature

  • Lis-Bachin et al. [2000]43 tested Manuka Oils, Kanuka Oils and TTO along with a few monterpenes for their antioxidant potential. They found that only Manuka consistently showed signs of this activity.

Scientific literature

  • Kwon et al. [2013]58. Manuka oil has been shown to have protective properties for skin from UV-B irradiation. In mice studies they showed UV-B induced skin photo-aging was reduced when used at 10%, and that it also suppressed inflammation.

Scientific literature

  • Poultry mites; George et al. [2009, 2010]59,60,61 showed Manuka oil were extremely effective at killing red poultry mites (Dermanyssus gallinae). They also showed that Manuka oil was effective over a range of temperatures, humidity's, and on both adult and juvenile mites.
  • House dust and stored food mites; it was shown by Jeong et al. [2009]62 that high β-triketone Manuka oil (10-60x) and the isolated triketone leptospermone (90-500x) was many times more effective than common synthetic insecticides (DEET, Benzyl benzoate) against two house mite species and one stored food mite.

Scientific literature

  • Song et al. [2013]49 has recently showed that the β-triketone rich East Cape Chemotype Manuka oil of New Zealand has excellent activity against challenging to treat antibiotic resistant bacteria involved in skin and ear infections of dogs.

Scientific literature

  • Manuka oil along with Phoebe oil (Brazilian walnut extract) is a good attractant for both Emerald ash borer63,64,65,66, Redbay ambrosia beetles67,68,69 and Goldspotted Oak Borer70 presumably due to rich levels of certain sesquiterpenes.

Scientific literature

  • The β-triketones of Manuka have strong selective natural herbicidal qualities, Dayan et al. [2007, 2011, 2012]71,72,73 have shown it specifically inhibits the enzyme p-hydrophyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD), the same molecular target site as that of the commercial herbicide mesotrione. With Manuka oil this is often seen as temporary bleaching in some grasses and broad leafs.