Manuka Oil is a Handy Home Companion

My last post was about enjoying the weekends while we've got the light and warmth here in New Zealand. Then, Saturday night, the phones throughout the house squealed a new story. We're back in the levels.

At one year since this story began for us, I can't help remembering how things felt a year ago. I was considering what I wanted to purchase so that I felt more prepared, or somehow safer. I bought a random collection of extra seeds, more seedlings, glue sticks for kid craft projects, extra books and puzzles from the library (thank goodness), and of course, lentils and rice and oats by the kg to complement the kale and silverbeet and parsley and apples on offer from the garden.

Last March we played with the idea of promoting our manuka products as support to winter wellness, but in light of Covid, the whole conversation felt so loaded around claims and people's health concerns, so I decided not to updial this message.

Now, I feel that I want to tell you about this incredible oil so that you can have it on hand for your first aid kits and response to the challenges of winter coughs and colds.

In this Issue:

  • Manuka Oil
  • How we use Manuka Oil in our family
  • The Big NZ Manuka Bundle is available thru March
  • Country Calendar profiles our Manuka oil supplier
  • Protect our Winters gives a shoutout to us

Manuka Oil

Its flowers are sublime, bright pink or white in an ocean of leafy dark green. You know something must be going on because the plant is so incredibly unique in its presentation. Manuka is a fast-growing plant that is often the first to re-populate an area after a fire, becoming the nurse trees for slower-growing natives.

Manuka oil is a very different product than manuka honey, but they come from the same plant. Manuka oil is an essential oil that is obtained by distilling the branches and leaves to release and collect the volatile oil. It does not give the oil easily, requiring a longer distillation time to unlock it from the plant. Far less than 1% of the plant branches and leaves are captured as manuka oil.

Essential oils are the plant's way of protecting themselves so it's not surprising that each plant oil has protective gifts. While manuka oil has not had quite the quantity of research devoted to it as the honey, it does have a body of research that shows that it is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. One linked study from a 2014 study:

"These results indicate that the potent anti microorganism and anti-inflammation properties of kanuka and manuka essential oils make them strong candidates for use in treating infections and immune-related disease."

In New Zealand, there's an oil produced on the East Cape that has a specific chemotype that has a particularly high characteristic of antimicrobial effect, even on gram-positive bacteria like staphylococcus aureus. This chemotype is measured as beta-triketones and is unique to manuka plants from the East Cape New Zealand.

Manuka oil is getting attention right now.Overseas you'll see brands noting their beta-triketone level or that they are offering East Cape or New Zealand Manuka. Manuka oil is developing a following.

From Goodbye SANDFLY to Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm to Goodbye NITS, we have been using manuka oil for 22 years. We know that the manuka oil in our products is a key part of the performance for each one.It's a pleasure to see manuka oil's gifts backed by science and understanding.

How we use Manuka Oil in our Family

Many people that know the oil will associate it with acne treatments as it helps keep the skin clean without stripping the skin. In our house we have three more uses for manuka oil. I consider them all to be a high alert prevention response, and have seen many situations turned around by using manuka oil early in the first aid response or early response in feeling unwell.

1) First Aid Soak

For every scrape, cat scratch, oyster cut, stubbed toe, scraped knee or splinter, we use 3 to 6 drops of essential oil in warm water to soak for 10 minutes. This is the most amazing way to clean a small skin wound before dressing it with our Manuka Balm and a plaster or gauze. If the area is not soakable, you can either use a cloth to make a warm water compress or have a bath (you can use 6 to 8 drops in a bath).

2) Mouthwash and Gargle

It doesn't taste great, but it's a heck of a friend to have for a sore throat or post dental work. Put just one drop in a few sips of warm water with a 1/4 tsp of salt and gently swish or gargle for 15 seconds at a time and spit out. I do this before bed when I'm feeling that I might be getting sick feeling. The more challenged I feel, the more often I gargle, up to 4 x per day.If I'm chasing a sore throat, I often follow with below treatment for the ears.

3) Ears

For sore ears or the feeling of a sore throat that's up passages and headed for the ears.Put one drop into a half teaspoon of olive oil soak a small cotton strip and place into both ears before bedtime. Put a soft cloth over the pillowcase to protect your linens as the oil can come out a little when you sleep on your side.

I have to put this next bit in so I've ticked the boxes with claims (and my husband).Please see a Doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms or progress in recovery at any time.

Oh and, we keep a manuka oil on our sailboat, in our bathroom, and in our traveling first aid kit.

NZ Manuka makes life better

We've heard time and time again that our OUCH Manuka Balm is the one thing you reach for every day. So, we've put together the Big NZ Manuka Bundle in our online shop.

Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm 12g tin x 2 for on the go

Goodbye OUCH Manuka Balm 50g tin for home and refill

Goodbye OUCH wild manuka 100% essential oil ml dropper

The larger 50g tin is useful for all of the little skin irritations, and also big enough to handle quite a few massages. We use it to refill our little tins.

Gentle enough to use on children, powerful enough to clean and calm upset skin.

For everything from bites, scratches, and stings, to dry skin and chapped lips. Once you start using this product, you'll wonder what you did before you had OUCH around.

Use the two small tins to be your 'first aid kit on the go' having one in your purse, backpack, or pocket means you have a loving response to skin adventures.

Our Manuka essential oil is from the East Cape of New Zealand. This is the phenotype that has a very high concentration of beta- trike tones- which means it has strong antimicrobial properties and benefits. Use a couple of drops in a warm water gargle to chase a sore throat. Use 6 drops in a bowl of warm water to soak a cut that needs to be cleaned and supported.

The Big NZ Manuka Bundle


Country Calendar features our Manuka oil supplier

I absolutely love being connected to the people behind the products. Our company has been working directly with Mark Kerr and the team at Tairawhiti on the East Cape for about 15 years. And, of course, a soft spot for Country Calendar!

68 more trees in New Zealand with

Protect our Winters

Doing stuff together is what makes being in business good. We offered the Do Good box for the holidays and as a result, there will be 68 more trees with Protect our Winters in New Zealand than there would have been. That makes me smile.

Thank you!