October 16, 2013

Manuka essential oil for horses

A native New Zealand bee (probably Leioproctus sp.) visits a manuka flower (Leptospermum scoparium) on on Tiritiri Matangi Island. © Avenue
A native New Zealand bee (probably Leioproctus sp.) visits a manuka flower (Leptospermum scoparium) on on Tiritiri Matangi Island. © Avenue

Bush Magic: New Zealand Ti Tree

L. scoparium (Manuka) is a shrub or small tree that grows abundantly throughout New Zealand. It is considered native to New Zealand, although it has been found growing in Eastern and Western Australia, New Guinea and Southeast Asia.

Parts Used: The leaves and branches are steam distilled to produce the oil.

Cultivation: We practice sustainable harvest from wild forest and bush areas. The areas have not been cultivated, the area is spray free and the oil production does not destroy the tree.

Harvesting: Wild trees and shrubs used in Golden Manuka Oil, are still pruned by hand just before and after flowering, and the material is steam distilled.

Characteristics: The oil produced by Golden Manuka is a yellow to pale brown oil with a honey-like, sweet aroma, and spicy, sharp taste.

Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) Essential Oil in clear glass vial.
Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) Essential Oil in clear glass vial. © Itineranttrader

Active Constituents: Analysis of manuka oil showed it contained monoterpene hydrocarbons, a-cubebene, b-pinene, r-cymene, g-terpinene, a-copaene,b-caryophyllene, aromadendrene, calamanene, limonene, and myrcene; the oxide 1,8-cineole; a terpene alcohol,linalool; and esters.

L.scoparium has a range of therapeutic actions and medicinal uses similar to Tea Tree. Linalool has effective sedative effects and is rapidly absorbed through the skin and nasal mucosa. Research has shown it does have a more powerful antiseptic and antifungal action when compared to Australian Tea Tree.

Research carried out by the Cawthron Institute and Waikato University has shown a broad-spectrum antibiotic action.

Manuka oil is an effective bactericide killing a broad spectrum of bacteria and a range of stubborn fungi.

It is safe for healthy tissue and does not inhibit normal cell growth and rejuvenation.

Manuka oil is a powerful organic solvent and will disperse pus or infected wounds, and neutralise the venom of minor insect bites. It is a mild local anaesthetic, and is non-irritating.

I routinely keep a bottle in the animal’s first aid kit. I have used it successfully to treat wounds and cuts, seedy toe, thrush, mudfever and rainscald, in a blend with Lavender to treat hives and skin reactions to insect bites. I use it diluted in a rinse once a week after washing the horses as a skin conditioner. It is an ingredient in the BG Insect Spray, N.E. Salve, N.E. Hoof Conditioner, BGL Liniment, and BG Balm.

Canine Use – we have used it, diluted on skin “hotspots”, added to animal shampoo, and to repel fleas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *