Mānuka Tea – Leptospermum scoparium
Mānuka, also known as leptospermum scoparium, kahikātoa and New Zealand tea tree is a prolific evergreen shrub that is native to New Zealand.
Most commonly known throughout the world for the mānuka honey that is made from this nectar, mānuka has a long and rich history with the people of Aotearoa. Thanks to the wide-ranging healing properties that mānuka possesses, the native Māori had many traditional uses for mānuka and kānuka.
When Captain James Cook travelled around New Zealand in the early 1800s, his crew were suffering from scurvy. To remedy the condition, he made a strong brew of tea using leaves from the mānuka tree. This is how mānuka got the name ‘tea tree’.
Mānuka/kahikātoa is common throughout the North, South and Stewart Islands in lowland to low alpine regions up to 1800 m above sea level.