The Beautiful Simplicity of Emu Oil

Benefits of Emu Oil

Emu oil for beauty is simple and effective. I’ve talked about taking your skincare and paring it down to just the essentials before in recent articles here. When simplicity wins, you win with an easier beauty regimen that’s just right for your skin and hair. Emu oil is the next level oil you should be exploring for your routine. I’ve found that the benefits of emu oil are extraordinary and time-tested. Here are some of the beautiful benefits of emu oil, that you are going to definitely want to test out for yourself, with a bottle of your own from Koru Naturals.

History

This is an oil you should look into that comes from an interesting Australian flightless bird. The Aborigines of Australia were some of the first people to discover all the ways the emu bird, this Wonder Down Under, could be used successfully for holistic healing, haircare, and especially on the body and face for skin health.

When it was first discovered, the back fat of the bird was used to create the emu oil. The reason the oil is so beneficial number one comes from this fact. This oil contains a bounty of omega fatty acids, including 3, 6, and 9. The trifecta of “good for you” oils as a skin treatment is legendary. This can’t be overstated. What emu oil naturally contains is amazing. Omega-9 specifically is called oleic acid, which is also in many other nut butters (shea butter) and vegetables oils, like olive or grapeseed oil. Oleic acid is responsible for keeping skin supple and radiant.

 Antioxidants Are Plentiful

Another reason, other than the fatty acid content of the emu oil, is that it’s also loaded with antioxidants that help hydrate aging skin, help with skincare issues like eczema or psoriasis, and can even act as a corrective agent to improve the appearance of age spots, fine lines, and other skin imperfections. What doesn’t this simple oil do? It’s a powerhouse all around to add to your skincare regimen.

 Hydration Is Plentiful with Emu Oil

The moisturizing properties of emu oil are insanely effective. It’s able to penetrate much deeper than other oils for true, deep down moisture. I’ve found this is the most luxurious part about using emu oil. After my shower at night, I slick on a layer of emu oil on my damp skin, including my face, to lock in the moisture. It’s truly the best face serum and not expensive like most others on the market for hundreds of dollars. The next morning when I wake up, I notice just how silky soft and gorgeous my skin feels. It’s a nightly treatment that is absolutely essential to my routine now because I just can’t get over how great my skin feels to the touch. My hands and nails enjoy the nourishment too because as a nail hydrating oil it’s helped to stop breakage and ragged cuticles. 

 Plus, it’s been helpful to reducing the appearance of stretch marks and old acne scars. As a mother of two, I thought stretch marks were just a part of life. Once I introduced emu oil into my bodycare regimen, those marks look so much better!

Your Hair and Scalp Will Love Emu Oil Too

Not only does emu oil work wonders on the skin, but you can also use it on your scalp and hair. For scalp issues, like hair itch relief, emu oil can help hydrate and nourish the scalp balancing out your natural oils to reduce the appearance of dandruff and dry scalp. 

 You can also use emu oil as a treatment mask. Just mix a few drops of emu oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and slather on your hair from root to tip. Leave on for 20 minutes and then shampoo and condition as you regularly do. You’ll find that your hair is fortified, soft, and less frizzy overall. Use this intensely hydrating treatment mask about once a week for best results.

 I sometimes will rub some emu oil in the ends of my hair before I go to the gym or to the pool to protect my strands. Then I just pull it into a topknot and go. It’s an easy way to hydrate and pull my hair up for activities.

 A Note on the Emu’s Environment

Today for Koru Natural products, the emu oil is created from United States farming sources, where all the extraordinary birds are treated humanely. They aren’t subjected to antibiotics or keep in poor conditions. That was an important fact for me before I started using emu oil. Having this oil as a part of my life for years has been such a benefit for my skin and hair’s health and condition, but I had to know the birds were being treated well too.

 If you are interested in finding an exceptional oil that treats so many skin and hair issues, you’ll be so glad you looked into simplifying your skincare with this one product. It’s definitely something I always have on my vanity now for so many reasons. You’re going to love it too!

Lanolin: the perfect skin care ingredient

The sheep’s gift to humans

Why is lanolin so good for our skin? Because it works better than any other ingredient! The structure of lanolin is very similar to that of human skin lipids, making it compatible and effective as skin moisturizer.

Lanolin serves to protect the sheep from the elements, keeping their coats protected and dry in all seasons. But, the sheep’s wool grows continuously, so it can get hot and dirty if the animal is not sheared. Lanolin is extracted from this wool, making it not only natural but cruelty-free.

Dry skin is caused by a loss of water in the upper layer of the skin, known as Trans Epidermal Water Loss. Moisturizers work by forming a layer on the top of the skin that holds water in, but still allowing air to flow freely. Although there are many moisturizing substances available, lanolin is the most effective one from natural sources, working to prevent TEWL while protecting the skin.

All Lanolin products in the Koru Naturals collection are made with the best lanolin available.

View our collection of pure lanolin, lanolin creams, and lotions.

Mythology that warms our hearts

Mānuka and Māori Mythology

“In the beginning before the world was light, Rangi the sky-father and Papa the earth-mother were bound together, their offspring caught in the darkness between them. Their strongest son, Tane Mahuta, put his shoulder to Papa and thrust upwards with his powerful legs, creating life and light.”
− Maori legend

And Tane Mahuta became the Maori God of the forests. Tane Mahuta married Tawake-toro, and together they had the Mānuka tree! This is how deep  Mānuka’s roots are in New Zealand’s history and culture.

The Māori often say that Mānuka has “whakapapa”.  Literally translated, whakapapa means “genealogy”. But, it is actually a deeply spiritual concept that is a fundamental principle in Māori culture. Your personal whakapapa places you in the context of your ancestors and the lands where they lived, and centers your identity in the context of your personal history.

So Mānuka has whakapapa, and this is why New Zealanders take everything that is Mānuka so seriously.

Tāne Mahuta doesn’t just exist in mythology, but is also a gigantic kauri tree alive today. Tāne Mahuta stands at an impressive 170 feet tall, and it’s trunk is 45 feet wide, and it may be over 2,000 years old. You can hug this kauri tree at the Waipoua Forest of Northland, New Zealand, and feel a surge of inner peace and deep respect for its ancient history.

At Koru Naturals we know that when we go through great lengths to ensure the purity and quality of our Mānuka Honey and Mānuka Oil, Tāne Mahuta is watching us approvingly!

Sources:

http://treefellas.co.nz/the-legend-of-tane-mahuta/

Ministry of Education.

Image Copyright

How to avoid Manuka Oil scams

High triketone content Manuka Oil
Ask some basic questions before buying Manuka Oil

A consumer’s guide to New Zealand Manuka Oil

The three natural health jewels of the Pacific

Australia and New Zealand have a historically deep commitment to natural health. Traditions of native peoples were transferred to the European settlers and were subsequently adopted by people around the world.

The most famous natural health products of the Pacific are Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil from New Zealand, and Tea Tree Oil from Australia. At Koru Naturals we carry both Manuka Honey and Manuka Oil from Te Araroa, in the East Cape region of New Zealand.

As with any other natural product, an educated consumer is key to making informed purchase decisions and fighting adulteration and omissions of critical information (1).

Education

In the last few years we have seen a significant increase in the level of awareness of quality issues with Manuka Honey. Now most U.S. consumers know that they have to get UMF® certified honeys, and they have to ask pointed questions about storage conditions. For Manuka Oil, however, the awareness is lacking, mainly because it’s a fairly new product for the U.S. and there is quite a bit of chemistry involved in the understanding of quality. But, if you are interested in Manuka Oil, and you should be because it’s a wonderful product preferred by aromatherapists and natural health people, please bear with us as we tell you what questions to ask before buying.

Triketones tell the story

All essential oils contain compounds that serve as chemical markers for purity. For example, two chemical markers for peppermint are menthofuran and viridifloral, which can be used to detect adulteration (2). For Manuka Oil the markers are a family of compounds called triketones, primarily ß-triketones that are unique to Manuka oil, the main ones being leptospermone and isoleptospermone (1, 3, 4).

As with other essential oils, geography and climate make a difference. Although Manuka trees grow all over New Zealand, the type (known as chemotype) that grows in the East Cape has the highest triketone content, and is therefore the best for extracting Manuka Oil (4).

There are two main producers of Manuka Oil in the East Cape: Natural Solutions from Te Araroa, which supplies our oil, and the New Zealand Manuka Group from Gisborne, which sells under the brand Melora and also supplies oil in bulk to companies in the U.S. Both companies produce excellent oil and comply with the basic requirement of listing the triketone content on the label. Natural Solutions simply lists the minimum percentage on the label. For example, our current oil has at least 41% triketones, so it’s labeled 40%+. The New Zealand Manuka Group has developed a more complicated nomenclature to provide the same information: MβTK™, which stands for MANUKA OIL ßeta TRIKETONES. So, for example, a Manuka Oil produced by this firm with at least 10% triketones would be labeled MβTK™ 10+ (5).

Both the Natural Solutions and the Melora oils are bottled in New Zealand, which provides a high level of confidence on quality and integrity. The same cannot be said for Manuka Oils bottled in the U.S. Many U.S. sellers don’t even disclose the triketone content of their products or whether they have been diluted. For the Manuka Essential Oils that are imported in bulk and bottled in the U.S. there are some important questions to ask to avoid buying adulterated oils:

  • Is the oil bottled in facilities equipped to handle essential oils or it’s done in someone’s kitchen, basement, or garage?
  • Is the oil sent for analysis after bottling?
  • Is the equipment used appropriate for handling manuka oil?
  • What was the triketone content of the bulk oil, and what is the content after bottling?

Given the long history of adulteration of valuable essential oils, we recommend buying Manuka Oil exclusively from sources that can be trusted, with particular emphasis on transparency regarding the levels of triketones and the reliability of the bottling operation. Manuka Oils bottled at the source in New Zealand offer the best assurance of integrity.

(1) https://www.facebook.com/notes/essential-oil-university/manuka-essential-oil-a-must-have-oil-for-aromatherapy-enthusiasts/10155518914423083/

(2) https://www.omicsgroup.org/journals/detecting-essential-oil-adulteration-jreac.1000132.php?aid=40867

(3) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942204001116

(4) https://tararuacropping.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/essential-oil-manuka-may-2014_kanuka.pdf

(5) http://www.mbtk.org.nz/

When Simplicity Wins: Pure Lanolin Lip Balm

Pure Lanolin Lip Balms

Follow Kelly as she continues to simplify her life, this time tackling lip balms

Let’s get honest here

Right now, look into your handbag or cosmetic kit, and calculate how many lip balms you have. Over five, 10, even 20? If you are a lip balm lover, like I am, you probably have quite collection in your lip care arsenal. The problem with that is how good are the ingredients in each of your lip balms? They might be packed with fragrances, preservatives, and fillers you definitely don’t need. Some of them may even be irritating your lips! That’s exactly the opposite of what you want in a lip balm. Simplicity wins on this one again. It’s truly better to narrow down the ingredient list of what’s in your lip balm to one simple ingredient. Pure lanolin.

Pare Down Your Lip Balms

Don’t fall for all that cosmetic industry hype. Finding a lip balm that is simple, inexpensive, and effective is truly what your lips need. In my own life, I was finding that the more ingredients in my lip balms, glosses, and lipsticks, the more irritated my lips were all the time. I couldn’t get away from flaky, dry lips no matter how much lip product I continued to pile on them.

The Simple Solution Exists

The solution for me was Koru Naturals Pure Lanolin Lip Balm. I’m so glad that I’ve found them. Koru Naturals Pure Lanolin Lip Balm comes in sets of four tubes or pots, or you can also get it in one larger single pot.

I have a few pots in strategic places around my home to slick on my lips anytime I like. Here’s a tip I’ve found to wake up to silky lips: leave a pot by your bedside to put on a layer at night. That’s it! The feeling of having soft smooth lips just can’t be beat. All because I’ve found the single most effective lip soother, pure lanolin.

What’s up with so many Millennials singing in the shower?

Showers and skin health

Research shows that 81% of people born between 1980 and 2000 like to sing in the shower, versus only 53% for the rest of the population. Why? Nobody knows. But what’s clear is that getting clean is only part of showering, and for all ages.

Believe it or not, shower statistics is a very active field. More numbers that apply to all people in the U.S.: 50% like to start the day with a shower, and for 60% showering is the only way to feel awake and refreshed. More than 75% of respondents like to brainstorm in the shower, with many claiming to have their best ideas under the running water.

Researchers have speculated that creativity works through an incubation period that eventually leads to a clear idea (1). Maybe the hot water pries open the thinking cage? But, clearly, if you are singing you are not thinking. So perhaps, if you are dealing with something difficult you should sing less and brainstorm more while showering!

From crystallizing thoughts, helping people face the day, and nurturing fantasies of singing careers, shower habits go well beyond personal hygiene. As an addict to long hot showers, I’m not going to tell you to shower less frequently and make it shorter. But, as a skin care company, we have a few reminders and recommendations to avoid the skin damage that may result from the frequent running of hot water over your body:

1. Use gentle moisturizing soaps or body washes. For soaps, we recommend the emu oil soap or the lanolin soaps.

Emu Oil Soap
Emu Oil Soap
Lanolin Soap
Lanolin Soap

2. For body washes, Manuka honey does an excellent job.
3. Hair and scalp may also suffer, so we recommend our sulfate-free keratin emu oil shampoo, followed by direct application of emu oil to the scalp.
4. Pat your skin with a towel rather than rubbing vigorously, which can cause irritation.

 

5. You must moisturize your skin after showering. In a hurry, running late, or just being lazy, this is easily neglected. But remember that hot water may strip critical oils from your skin, so moisturizing is critical.

On the Lamb Lanolin and Emu Oil CreamOn the Lamb Dry Skin Cream

The question is how to make it easy so it gets incorporated into the daily routine. From what our customers tell us moisturizers in pump dispensers are easier to incorporate into the after-shower routine than creams or lotions in tubes or jars. Our favorites are the two On the Lamb Dry Skin pumps and the Wild Ferns Lanolin Lotion. Just take an extra few seconds to apply a moisturizer all over to seal in the moisture and replenish the natural oils that keep your skin healthy.

Rotorua Mud Bath
Rotorua Mud Bath

And what happened to the old soak in the tub for hours bath? It seems to have gone down the drain, together with so many other relaxing and fun things erased by hectic lives. But, baths are still a treat, and the Rotorua Mud Bath is just wonderful. Maybe on a weekend or holiday you’ll find the time to relax in a tub with Rotorua Mud.

 

So go ahead, enjoy your long showers, but please keep our recommendations in mind.

1Creativity—the unconscious foundations of the incubation period, Ritter and Dijksterhuis, Hum Neurosci. 2014; 8: 215

Vitamin C in skincare: how difficult can it be?

by Tamara Green

NZ Fusion Botanicals
NZ Fusion Botanicals

Pretty difficult, apparently. We had so many customers ask why the NZ Fusion Botanicals Vitamin C and Manuka Honey Brightening Serum is better than other Vitamin C serums that we decided to investigate what’s so special about it. And, after many hours spent talking with the cosmetic experts that designed the product and to chemists at some of the companies that make the ingredients, we have our answer (drum roll, please): we’re not sure.

Well, it’s pretty frustrating that after talking to so many experts we still don’t know exactly why this serum works so well. But, the reality is that although cosmetic science has advanced so much in the last few years, the performance of a particular combination of ingredients is still difficult to predict.  Even when using top ingredients and the best minds in the field, some outcomes are better than others. And in the case of this serum, the outcome has been fantastic.

Digging deeper into the ingredients, we can guess why this combination was particularly successful. The first thing we see on the ingredients list is that the focus on natural ingredients and ancient knowledge about plant extracts, which are the two primary principles of NZ Fusion Botanicals, were clearly applied to this product. There is not a single nasty chemical in this serum, and we see a number of plant ingredients that have long histories of benefiting the skin.  Even with my limited knowledge of skin care ingredients, I can see several fascinating components. I see aloe leaf juice and cucumber extract, both known for calming irritated skin and hydrating your skin. Of course, there is also Vitamin C in the form of ethyl ascorbic acid. Fruit extracts are the source of Alpha Hydroxy Acids, known to improve the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Niacinamide, or Vitamin B3, needs no introduction after how much Dr. Oz has extolled the multiple skin benefits of this ingredient.

And then, Manuka Honey 20+, the queen of all skin care ingredients, deserves its own paragraph. We have known for a long time that you can take two skin creams with similar ingredients but one has Manuka Honey and the other one doesn’t, and the one with the Manuka Honey is far superior.  And other honeys are not the same. So maybe skin care is like nutrition where no other honey is as good as pure Manuka Honey.

As I apply this NZ Fusion Vitamin C Serum tonight, I’m thinking that creating skin care products has a lot in common with cooking: ingredients are of course critical, but temperature, size and material of the cookware, time, and other factors make a huge difference. And, as in cooking, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case in the serum. If it works great, just use it. After all, that is all that matters!

When simplicity wins

by guest beauty blogger Kelly R

Olive squalane
Pure plant beauty oils

When Simplicity Wins

Beauty can be overwhelming at times. This is especially true of skin care. With so many different products to choose from, it can be hard to narrow down exactly what’s right for your own skin type. Plus, when you are using too much on your skin, those fine layers can become confused giving you all sorts of problems to deal with.

Issues that might show up in your skin are aging fine lines, deeper wrinkles, dryness or dehydration, and even sensitivity problems with redness and inflammation thrown in for bad measure. All you want is beautiful skin, right? It’s not too much to ask for, we’re happy to say. Here’s the real deal on skin care: when simplicity wins, your skin will win too. It’s just that simple. Koru Naturals has been bringing simple skin care solutions with natural and organic ingredients to people everywhere since 2002. Here’s a few ways to pare down your skin care routine to more effective products that truly work wonders for your skin.

When Simple Is Best

Paring down your skin care routine is going to be a great first step to start with on the road to better behaving skin. If you have a whole litany of skin care items you use in your routine, it’s time to cut out the ones that aren’t absolutely necessary. You are probably overdoing it if you have over ten skin care items on your vanity shelves.

The goal here is to get your skin to perform better with fewer products. You don’t really need multiple cleansers, exfoliators, and serums all cluttering up your life. Break it down to four items that are actually going to work for your skin. Your skin can only absorb and change so much that when you are overwhelming it with products it’s going to react, and not in the way you want it to. Radiant, youthful skin can be yours when you figure out that simple is best.

Try To Pick Four Products You Need

When looking to simplify your skin care routine, get it down to four products at first. Those four products are a cleanser with makeup remover, a targeted facial oil, a moisturizer, and an eye cream. You want clean skin that is well hydrated and protected, especially if you have to heal some damage in your skin from over-exfoliation or too harsh chemicals in all of your products. Stress on your skin can be reversed if you can commit to subjecting it to less skin care trauma, which means getting rid of unnecessary products.

The Beauty Of Pure Oils

When talking about facial oils, it’s important to choose ones that will have the active ingredients you need to pamper and hydrate your skin. Two perfect ones to look at are

Rose Hip Seed Oil and Pure Olive Squalane Oil. Each has very unique skin care benefits that will help your skin.

Rosehip seed oil
Rosehip seed oil

Rose Hip Seed Oil is pure and cold pressed to help heal that top layer of dehydrated skin. This “extra virgin” oil from NZ Fusion Botanicals is extracted using a single simple press to get out all that natural oil from the seeds of the wild rose bush. A gorgeous oil which when patted on gently morning and night will give you the smooth, soft skin you crave. Vitamin E, which is found in naturally high amounts in the rosehip seeds, is going to help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, fade old acne or eczema marks, and even helps with sun damage and sensitive skin.

Olive squalane
Pure olive squalane

Pure Olive Squalane is another winning singular oil to try on your face. This type of oil is a natural skin antioxidant because it’s able to lock moisture into the skin, strengthen the skin’s tissue, and even calm irritation. The harvest is straight from olives of the highest quality to get that all important squalane into the bottle. This kind of beneficial oil is suitable for all skin types, but aging skin and even people with psoriasis or rosacea can truly benefit from the moisturizing power of pure Olive Squalane Oil added to their skin care routine.

Above all when you use high quality skin care that is truly targeting your skin’s needs, you won’t have to buy all those excess products. The effective part of skin care comes from having a simple routine that works. Incorporating pure oils along with the right cleansing routine is going to give your skin the simple care it really needs.

Little country, big impact: the history of Wild Ferns Skin Care

New Zealand is a small country with a big global impact. Nestled deep in the South pacific is the archipelago of islands that make up New Zealand. The main North and South Islands are home to about 4 million people, and feature wide open spaces, dramatic scenery, and a diverse culture.

Creativity and innovation are the main drivers of the Kiwi export economy, and family businesses have a dominant presence. Today we are covering the history of the Parrs family, manufacturers of the popular Wild Ferns line we represent.

Parrs products started in Auckland in 1951 when Des and Margaret Parr first manufactured dolls dressed in traditional Maori costumes under the brand name Maori Reflections. In the 1980’s Greg and Janet Parr were the first ones to make soap bars with the famous Therapeutic Thermal Mud from Rotorua. These soaps were such a success that the operation was expanded to making a broad range of skin care products with the most famous natural ingredients from New Zealand: Manuka Honey, Bee Venom, Lanolin, Rotorua Mud, Kiwifruit, and Native Flowers.

After the initial success of the Rotorua Mud soaps, Maori Reflections merged with the incipient skin care operation. The resulting company retained the deep interest in New Zealand culture and traditions, and these values were maintained and strengthened as the company grew exponentially.

Today, Wild Ferns products are sold throughout the world and are immensely popular in countries as diverse as Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, the U.K., Poland, and the U.S. There are six product lines that correspond to these basic ingredients:

  • Manuka Honey

Manuka is a flowering tree native to New Zealand. The honey that is collected from its flowers has long been renowned for its remarkable beneficial properties. A number of natural components in Manuka Honey combine to nourish, soothe, and heal sensitive skin.

View all Wild Ferns Manuka Honey products

 

  • Bee Venom

Purified Bee Venom from New Zealand combined with Manuka Honey results in a younger looking complexion and healthier, firmer skin. The VENZ Purified Bee Venom used in these products is harvested without harming the bees.

View all Wild Ferns Bee Venom products

 

  • Lanolin

Lanolin has long been renowned for its extremely beneficial moisturizing and nourishing properties and therefore is ideal as key ingredient in skin care. Lanolin is readily absorbed into the skin making it look younger and softer while improving the suppleness and elasticity associated with healthy, youthful skin. Proof of this is in the hands of shearers and wool workers around the world – they are known for having particularly soft hands that retain their youthful look due to their constant handling of lanolin-rich sheep’s wool.

View all Wild Ferns Lanolin products

  • Rotorua Mud

In Rotorua the inner heat of the earth has found its way to the surface bringing with it Rotorua’s earth magic geothermal mud. Rich in rejuvenating minerals this mud has natural cleansing, healing, and rebalancing properties. Rotorua Mud is excellent for use in skin care and has a very strong affinity for moisture.  On drying, Rotorua Mud generates heat which helps in eliminating toxins and pollution particles.  It easily absorbs excess oils from within the pores, detoxifying and purifying the skin. Unlike the environmental devastation caused by the mining of Dead Sea Mud, Rotorua Mud comes from a sustainable source and is collected in an environmentally sound way.

View all Wild Ferns Rotorua Mud products

  • Kiwifruit

New Zealand is the home of the finest kiwifruit. Not only are kiwifruits attractive in appearance but they are naturally high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and Omega 3, all beneficial for the health and enhancement of your skin.

View all Wild Ferns Kiwifruit products

 

  • Flowers

A collection of luxurious pampering products created with nourishing Manuka Honey and botanical extracts of New Zealand’s beautiful native flowers. These flowers are not only beautiful but they also have properties to assist in the health and wellbeing of the skin.

View all Wild Ferns Flowers products

 

Wild Ferns products comply with the basic principles of all Parrs products:

  • 100% New Zealand made
  • Not tested on animals
  • Environmentally friendly packaging, including natural inks
  • Paraben free
  • Mineral Oil free
  • Highly beneficial to the skin
  • Ethical, sustainable sourcing, and traceability of all ingredients

Wild Ferns products are unique and honest, like New Zealand itself.

To learn more about:

Family businesses in New Zealand

Parrs Products Ltd

Dreaming of East Cape Te Araroa

East Cape Te Araroa

It’s so much fun to dream about the beautiful places our products come from! Like the Te Araroa Mānuka products (yes, in Māori there is a funny accent on the “a”). Te Araroa is the Eastern-most tip of New Zealand, and part of the East Cape region.  Even by New Zealand standards, the region is wild and rugged, full of fields of purple lupine and golden grasses. No crowds here: population about 600, mostly Māori.

The Mānuka Tree is deeply intertwined with the history of Te Araroa. The Māori used every part of the tree for an amazing range of products: medicine, weapons, tools, canoes, and firewood.

Captain Cook was the first Westerner to use Mānuka for health, brewing Mānuka leaves to treat the serious stomach problems of his crew. Later, European settlers adopted some of the uses but they mostly saw the Mānuka tree as a noxious weed that made development difficult. Little did they know that decades later products of the Mānuka tree, mostly oil and honey, would become one of New Zealand’s main export industries!

Mānuka trees are everywhere in the East Cape Te Araroa landscape. As trees, they don’t look like much. They are low, bushy, scraggly little trees. But they are survivors that can grow and prosper everywhere, regardless of conditions. You can see why they were seen as weeds. They definitely act like weeds! All weeds have a secret to prosper, and the Mānuka

East Cape Te Araroa Manuka Oil

secret is the oil that accumulates in the leaves and stems. This Mānuka oil is the most powerful antibacterial and antifungal oil in nature and it helps protect the plants against microbial invaders. And specially the East Cape Te Araroa Mānuka Oil, which is the most powerful available. Natural Solutions, our Te Araroa partner, uses spring water from the area to extract this oil by distillation, making it the best Mānuka Oil available.

At flowering time the Mānuka trees become a symphony of colors that lasts about six weeks. This explosion of color dramatically changes the landscape of the East Cape, and this is the signal to the bees to get really busy producing  what will become the famous and rare East Cape Te Araroa Mānuka Honey.

East Cape Manuka Honey

So the next time you hold a bottle of our Mānuka Oil or a jar of our honey, remember this beautiful, rugged, wild area in the spring bursting with color, flowers, and bees – all combining to produce some of the most powerful, natural oils and honeys that Mother Nature ever produced – elixirs of health!

Learn more about the Manuka Tree from Robert Vennell’s The Meaning of Trees Blog

Learn more about Te Araroa and its wonderful and challenging trail