11 Manuka Essential Oil Benefits For Health & Beauty

One of the best medicinal oils is manuka essential oil. It contains properties to fight off various infections or bacteria on your skin to keep you healthy. Manuka essential oil benefits come in handy for beauty needs too. You can use this oil to regenerate new skin cells and feed them a steady diet of antioxidants as well.

While manuka essential oil is sometimes confused with Australian tea tree oil or tea tree melaleuca, it has its own unique benefits and aroma. Now, let’s check out the best manuka essential oil benefits for staying healthy, glowing, and smelling fabulous!


Homemade antibacterial manuka soap on a wooden board with lemons
Manuka essential oil makes such a great ingredient in face products due to its potent antibacterial properties.

Bacteria lurk just about everywhere — from on your skin to under your toenails. Luckily, manuka is a strong antibacterial agent that can help keep your skin and surroundings clean. One study tracked manuka with various bacteria, including E.coli.[1] The study found that manuka inhibited the growth of these bacteria, even after a longer incubation period.[2]

Suggested uses: Acne relief face wash, dermatitis lotion, manuka and lemon hand soap, vitamin E and manuka nail serum.


Woman looking in her bathroom mirror while rubbing manuka essential oil on her injured elbow
Are you suffering from inflamed skin? Why not take a natural approach by using manuka essential oil on the affected area?

There are countless reasons your skin might become inflamed. Usually, it happens as a symptom of an infection, a response to insect bites, or due to an allergic reaction. You can use manuka oil’s anti-inflammatory properties to potentially soothe your skin, as it works great to calm those areas in distress.[3]

Suggested uses: Sunburn cream, calming joint rub with eucalyptus, insect bite remedy.

Fun fact: Manuka flowers are usually white, but sometimes bloom pink! Both the pink and the white blooms are used to create manuka essential oil.


Manuka essential oil has a very high antioxidant content, which makes it a fantastic natural wrinkle fighter!

Manuka essential oil’s skin benefits include anti-aging capabilities. This benefit stems from its antioxidant content. In fact, one study comparing manuka essential oil with kanuka and melaleuca oils found that manuka had the highest antioxidant activity.[4] So, you can use manuka to help rebuild and protect skin cells that have suffered natural damage from the sun or mild toxins.

Suggested uses: Overnight face and neck serum, anti-wrinkle whipped body butter, glowing skin face mask, collagen-building skin lotion.

Remember: Always use a carrier oil or carrier product when using essential oils topically. Manuka is especially powerful and should never be applied undiluted to your skin.


Pink manuka flowers in full bloom against a clear blue sky
While the manuka flower may be sweet to look at, it has powerful antimicrobial qualities that can kill off microbes.

Manuka is a natural antimicrobial superpower. Actually, the honey made from manuka trees has been studied even more than the oil itself for its antimicrobial effects.[5]

Still, manuka essential oil also shows promise for being powerful enough to kill off microbes in food to keep them safe for eating. Additionally, another use for manuka essential oil on your body is to help keep your skin free from microbial infections.

Suggested uses: All-natural hand sanitizer, antimicrobial makeup brush cleaner, manuka and peppermint body wash.


Three white manuka flowers
Although more research is required, there is promising research about manuka essential oil’s antihistamine qualities.

Limited research shows that manuka essential oil can reduce your body’s production of histamine. This health benefit of manuka essential oil can be especially helpful during a mild allergy attack or reaction by potentially lowering your inflammation.[6] However, more scientific research is needed to explore this ability further.

Suggested uses: Allergy rash cream, bug bite spot treatment, inflamed dermatitis relief oil.


Woman rubbing her foot with manuka essential oil anti-fungal cream
It could be worth adding some manuka essential oil drops to your athlete’s foot cream given its potential anti-fungal qualities.

Fungus is a natural part of our lives as humans. Sometimes fungus can be healthy, but too much of it can cause issues. For example, an overabundance of candida (yeast infections) can be extremely agitating if left untreated.

One of the health benefits of manuka essential oil is its fungus-fighting power. Studies have shown that it can be used to reduce and kill off fungal infections.[7] However, it should be noted that said studies focused on isolated fungus and human skin cells in a laboratory environment. While the results were extremely promising, tests are still being performed to confirm the safe use of manuka oil in pharmaceuticals. 

Suggested uses: Athlete’s foot cream, preventative weekly skin scrub, spot treatment lotion.


Woman grabbing her ankle in pain while on a run
If you need to soothe or awaken your body, keep some manuka essential oil nearby as it has a mild skin-cooling effect.

Applying manuka essential oil topically can produce a mild skin-cooling effect.[8] This can help to soothe or awaken your body. These manuka essential oil benefits are great for your health and beauty routine by encouraging your pores to tighten thanks to its cooling touch and ability to slightly constrict your blood vessels. Ultimately these effects help to alleviate mild inflammation and reduce redness.

Suggested uses: Red pimple spot treatment, sunburn cream, swollen knee or ankle rub with eucalyptus, blackhead cleaning face mask.

Oral Health

A woman looking in the mirror as she brushes her teeth in the bathroom wearing her pajamas
Manuka essential oil may not instantly come to mind when it comes to your oral health, but recent research has found that it could beneficial as a mouthwash.

Other than your skin health, what is manuka essential oil good for? According to recent research, manuka oil may be beneficial for your oral health as well.

For example, one study using it in a mouthwash showed it helped reduce pain and symptoms of mucositis.[9] These manuka essential oil benefits for your mouth stem from its antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits.

Suggested uses: all-natural mouthwash with orange oil, DIY toothpaste, coconut and manuka oil pulling (a way to remove toxins by swishing oil in your mouth).


Woman holding a pink DIY manuka essential oil bath bomb with both hands in her bath
Rat studies have shown that manuka offers anti-photoaging benefits.

UV radiation is no joke. Manuka essential oil may actually help reverse that damage on your skin to better protect you in the future. One study using manuka essential oil topically on mice proved it can minimally increase skin thickness,[10] thus better protecting skin cells from harmful UV rays. It’s important to note that it remains to be seen if this effect also occurs in humans.

Suggested uses: all over body lotion, face and neck before sun cream, after sun face mask, bubble bath bomb.

Calming Aromatherapy

An electric essential oil diffuser surrounded by essential oil candles

Manuka essential oil is not commonly used in aromatherapy. Although, it’s informally called calming and sedating when inhaled. However, although it smells great, more research is needed to fully understand the full aromatherapy impact of manuka essential oil.

Suggested uses: Diffuse manuka essential oil, manuka oil meditation rub, manuka oil aromatherapy candle.


Woman spraying homemade manuka essential oil deodorizing spray on her sports shoes
When there’s an unpleasant smell plaguing your house or shoes, be sure to reach for deodorizing manuka essential oil!

The many manuka essential oil benefits are so comprehensive that they can cause more than one effect. Manuka is deodorizing because it’s so antibacterial, which allows it to eliminate odors as it kills the source of the bacteria. It’s a natural deodorizer without harmful chemicals.

Suggested uses: all-natural deodorant, sneaker deodorizer, refrigerator freshener.

Final Takeaway

White manuka flowers in full bloom

While manuka essential oil still has limited scientific research, it’s a promising oil you’ll want to get your hands on. All the health and beauty benefits we listed above are reason enough to believe in this powerful medicinal tree oil.

In fact, in New Zealand, the indigenous Maori people use manuka oil in their traditional medicinal preparations.[11] We think they’re onto something! So make like the Maori and manuka-it-up for all your needs.

Manuka Essential Oil Benefits for Health & Beauty


Scientific References: