Northland Mānuka growing in New Zealand

How Ultraviolet Sunlight Makes New Zealand Plants Ultra-Valuable

New Zealand flora and certain plants like mānuka seem to be taking the skincare and essential oil world by storm. What makes New Zealand's high Ultraviolet sunlight levels a factor in their unique potency? Find out here!
Why Māori Healers Reach for Mānuka for Ointment Reading How Ultraviolet Sunlight Makes New Zealand Plants Ultra-Valuable 2 minutes Next Lessons on Leptospermum Scoparium: New Zealand's Mighty Mānuka

Why are New Zealand's plants so valuable, and what does that have to do with Ultraviolet sunlight? Compared to other temperate growing areas in the world, New Zealand has very high levels of ultraviolet light, especially in summer. Plants defend themselves against these higher levels of UV by producing more polyphenols, substances that have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.

Northland Mānuka growing in New Zealand

It’s this type of adaptation that could explain why oil from New Zealand's mānuka plant (leptospermum scoparium) is considered more effective than oil from Australian tea tree (melaleuca alternifolia).

The Cawthron Institute, New Zealand's largest independent science organisation, concluded that mānuka oil was 20 - 30 times more active than Australian tea tree oil against gram-positive bacteria and more than 5-10 times more effective against tested species of skin fungi. 

The natural advantage of New Zealand mānuka oil is why ManukaRx® ointment is poised to become the ‘go-to’ treatment for common skin problems. Here’s a quick summary of how it can be used:

  • A salve for cracked or chapped skin, especially lips
  • To help prevent the spread of bacteria in minor skin abrasions 
  • For minor burns, following first aid with cold running water
  • To soften cuticles and prevent nail fungus
  • Between the toes, to help with foot conditions
  • For help with nappy rash

Why is New Zealand's UV Level So High?

Ultraviolet levels in the New Zealand summer are about 40% higher than similar latitudes in the northern hemisphere. There are three main reasons for this:

  1. The earth orbits the sun in an ellipse, not a circle. The closest point of approach of the sun to the earth occurs in December/January, which is the southern hemisphere summer. The furthest away is in June/July, which is the northern hemisphere summer.
  2. During the summer months, there is less ozone in the southern hemisphere than in the northern hemisphere.
  3. New Zealand has very clean air.

These are just some of the reasons why New Zealand flora, like mānuka, are thought to be incredibly valuable with potent natural healing potential. Discover the benefits and many uses of our East Cape Mānuka Skin Oil today for yourself!

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