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Kanuka Essential Oil


Kanuka (Photo 1243002) by Kathy Warburton. Licensed under CC BY 4.0

Kanuka Essential Oil, is also sometimes known as White Tea Tree Essential Oil. I've used Kanuka Essential Oil occasionally since the late 1990s, but it is still harder to source than is Manuka Essential Oil or Tea Tree Essential Oil.

If the GC/MS reports that I've reviewed are an accurate representation of most steam distilled Kanuka Essential Oils, the oil seems to be somewhat more closely related in composition to Australian Tea Tree Essential Oil than to New Zealand Manuka Essential Oil. However, Kanuka is much higher in monoterpenes than is Australian Tea Tree. It contains about 5% cineole.

Botanical Name

Kunzea ericoides / Leptospermum ericoides

Common Method of Extraction

Steam Distilled

Kanuka Essential Oil

Plant Part Typically Used



Pale Yellow



Perfumery Note


Strength of Initial Aroma


Aromatic Description

Kanuka Essential Oil smells sweet, herbaceous and earthy.

Kanuka Essential Oil Uses

  • Chronic Inflammatory Conditions Including Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia
  • Sore Muscles
  • Strains
  • Back Pain
  • Pain Associated with Burns
  • Intestinal Complaints

Source: Neryls Purchon and Lora Cantele, Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Toronto ON: Robert Rose, 2014), 70.

Major Constituents

  • a-Pinene
  • Viridifloraol
  • 1,8-Cineole
  • (+)-Limonene
  • p-Cymene
  • Calamenene
  • Gamma-Terpinene
  • a-Selinene

Source: N.G. Porter, A.L. Wilkins. Chemical, Physical and Antimicrobial Properties of Essential Oils of Leptospermum scoparium and Kunzea erocoides. (Phytochemistry 50, 1998), 407-415. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 316.

Kanuka Essential Oil Safety Information

Tisserand and Young do not indicate any special precautions when using Kanuka Essential Oil. However, they precaution to avoid use of the oil if it has oxidized. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 316.]

General Safety Information

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. For general dilution information, read AromaWeb's Guide to Diluting Essential Oils. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. Before using this or any essential oil, carefully read AromaWeb's Essential Oil Safety Information page. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Shelf Life

View Shelf Life Information

Important Information About the Profiles

The essential oil information provided on AromaWeb is intended for educational purposes only. The references to safety information, constituents and percentages is generalized information. The data is not necessary complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate. The essential oil photos are intended to represent the typical and approximate color of each essential oil. However, essential oil color can vary based on harvesting, distillation, age of the essential oil and other factors. Profiles for several absolutes are included within the directory, and are denoted as such.

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