In the orbit of Blood Type Science teachings, we are well acquainted with the notion of the host organism's individual endowment ("terrain") as complex mediator of processes of health and disease, AND as a key factor in therapeutic selection. In the field of Aromamedicine, an empiric in vitro tool for both diagnosis and treatment selection in cases of infectious illness is the aromatogram (pronounced aro-MAT-o-gram). Impressive as it is, it is often incomplete without taking into account the patient's olfactory preference (along with other host variables), a factor not yet understood, yet uncannily accurate.
Developed in France, birthplace of Aromamedicine itself, by M. Girault (1969) et al (1972), the aromatogram involves the collection of specimen from the infected patient, the laboratory culturing of infectious agent, and the impregnation of multiple agar samples with this culture; each petri dish's center contains a disk of filter paper saturated with a different essential oil, each chosen for likely effectiveness versus the likely pathogen (note that it is not even necessary that the pathogen be definitively identified). Each disk is rated for its effectiveness in "repelling" proliferation of the cultured agent, measured by diameter of surrounding uninvaded substrate. Then, a combination/program of those essential oils most clinically antipathogenic is prescribed as treatment in that case.
"Terrain" is shown to be significant in at least two known ways:
(1) Olfactorily: A patient for whom two essential oils, for example, have shown equal anti-infectious effectiveness in vitro may greatly prefer the fragrance of one of these two remedies - usually the one that proves, in vivo, to be of markedly greater therapeutic value.
(2) Immunologically: An essential oil relatively ineffective against a given pathogen may otherwise positively affect the host terrain, enabling his own resources to prevent the proliferation/spread of that pathogen.
Most English speakers associate "Aromatherapy" with massage, bath oils and room fragrancing, as these constitute the major forms of essential oil use in the so-called "English School" popular also in the US, Australia, and Germany. This school is sometimes called "Holistic Aromatherapy" and commonly uses patient/consumer olfactory-preference as a key, if not essential, treatment selection factor.
Aromamedicine, on the other hand, is practiced by a large minority (about 20%?) of medical doctors in France, where the laboratory aromatogram is standard procedure. Essential oils are there blended and prescribed for administration via inhalation, oral ingestion, vaginal pessary or douche, rectal suppository or enema, and/or topical application. The oils are, in France as in the US, also readily available to the general public in health shops, increasingly in organic therapeutic grade/quality.
Kurt Schnaubelt, PhD, is a Swiss biochemist greatly responsible for popularizing French Aromamedicine in the US, by means of his books (see below), lectures and articles, as well as his organic line of essential oils, "Original Swiss Aromatics, and his educational program at the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, in San Rafael, California. He is energetically pioneering an inclusive art and science of Aromamedicine; his consumer-empowering ideology is decidedly anti-"Licensed-Practitioner-Only", flying in the face of the UK's massage/aromatherapist "Don't-try-this-yourself-at-home" warning-laden approach, while endeavoring to upgrade the scienticfic legitimacy of Aromamedicine through increased controlled clinical experimentation and validation of long-known holistic/anecdotal findings.
Dr. Schnaubelt is joined by Robert Tisserand, Marcel Lavabre, and Len and Shirley Price of the English School, Peter Damian of Germany, and Drs. Daniel Pénoël and Pierre Franchomme et al of the French School in publishing about the Aromatogram for lay consumption.
The role (limbic and other) of host olfaction in human health is still largely a medical mystery, holding promise of providing an important key to our understanding of bio-individuality. This, coupled with other "terrain"-mediated variables in the interaction of infectious agents and essential oils presents clinical Aromamedicine as a particularly exciting field of enquiry in genomic naturopathy and all individuality-geared medicine.
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Refs. and Further Reading:
Belaiche, Paul, & Girault, M., Traité de Phytothérapie et d'Aromathérapie, Paris, Maloine SA, 1979
Damian, Peter and Kate, Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche, Rochester, Vermont, Healing Arts Press, 1995
Durante, Alain and Malherbe, Sylvie, "The Aromatogram: A Vital Key to Optimizing Treatment in the French Practice of Aromatherapy", Aromatic Thymes, Vol 7.3, Fall/Winter, 2000
Franchomme, Pierre, and Pénoël, Daniel, L'Aromathérapie Exactement, Limoges, 1990
Lavabre, Marcel, Aromatherapy Workbook, Rochester, Vermont, Healing Arts Press, 1990
Price, Shirley, and Price, Len, Aromatherapy for Health Professionals, 2nd edition, Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, 1999
Schnaubelt, Kurt, PhD, Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy, Rochester, Vermont, Healing Arts Press, 1998
Schnaubelt, Kurt, Medical Aromatherapy: Healing with Essential Oils, Berkeley, Ca., Frog Ltd., 1999
The first I'd ever read or heard re: induced abortion as a risk factor for serious later illness was through macrobiotics, in the mid 1980's. Its practitioners were at that time certain that one major "yang" cause of multiple sclerosis was previous abortion, explaining its sudden dispersal of the intensely centripetal Ki flow of early pregnancy as later leading to MS or other weakening of the legs (see Michio Kushi's Natural Healing Through Macrobiotics, Japan Pubs., Tokyo, 1978).
Throughout the 1980's and 90's I was reading and hearing snippets of information linking abortion to breast cancer, and I'd often marveled at the rise of both, within the same demographic, over the same last 3 decades of the last century. Various macrobiotic practitioners, including Naburo Muramoto, had espoused a belief in this link.
Recently, I read The Cost of "Choice": Women Evaluate the Impact of Abortion (edited by Erika Bachiochi, Encounter Books, San Francisco, 2004), especially for its middle section, "Abortion and Women's Health", containing three chapters. The chapter on the Abortion-Breast Cancer link, by Angela Lanfranchi, MD, cofounder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, is positively compelling, supplying data that show the following:
1. Breast cancer is the ONLY major cancer that has continued rising in incidence
2. There are 17 statistically significant studies showing a link between abortion and later breast cancer, 8 of which were conducted in the US.
3. Abortion before age 18 or after age 30, with no prior term birth, increases breast cancer risk substantially.
4. The more estrogen a woman is exposed to in her lifetime, the higher her risk for breast cancer (e.g., early menarche, late menopause, estrogen replacement therapy, birth control pills).
5. The earlier in life that a woman's breasts develop from Type 1 (female infant to early pregnancy) and Type 2 (adult female through early pregnancy) to mature Type 3 and 4 lobules (Late pregnancy/lactation-readiness ONLY) the lower her risk of breast cancer. Type 1 and 2 lobules are known to be where cancers arise, and these proliferate dramatically during the first 32 weeks of pregnancy. Youthful full term pregnancy thus protects a woman, lowering her risk of breast cancer(And this is why childless women have a higher rate of breast cancer: They, too, never develop those Type 3 and 4 lobules that act, effectively, as a prevention factor).
6. It is only after 32 weeks of pregnancy that a woman's breasts stop growing larger and THEN mature into Type 3 and 4 lobules in preparation for breastfeeding. ANY premature birth, before 32 weeks, more than doubles breast cancer risk. NOTE: There is NO medical dispute that premature deliveries cause increased breast cancer risk. (But were you told?)
7. Women who first give birth after age 30 (an increasingly prevalent cultural pattern in the US today) are at increased risk for breast cancer.
[Note: About 95% of my first-time postpartum clientele is over 30]
There follows an essay by Elizabeth Shadigan, MD, supplying more numbers:
Approximately 25% of all pregnancies in the US are deliberately terminated (between 1.2 and 1.6 million/year). Therefore, if there is even a small positive or negative effect of induced abortion on subsequent maternal health, many, many women - and their families - will be affected.
Dr. Shadigan cites current research suggesting that a history of induced abortion is associated with an increased long-term risk of:
1. breast cancer
2. placenta previa
3. pre-term birth
4. maternal suicide
A girl's decision to have an abortion instead of a full-term pregnancy at age 18 can almost double her 5-year and lifetime risk of breast cancer at age 50, regardless of race. Again, we see the finding that the risk of breast cancer is increased if the abortion is performed before a first full-term pregnancy. In sum, Dr. Shadigan confirms that the risk of breast cancer increases with induced abortion when:
(1) the induced abortion precedes a first full-term pregnancy
(2) the woman is a teenager
(3) the woman is over the age of 30
(4) the pregnancy is terminated at more than 12 weeks' gestation
(5) the woman has a family history of breast cancer.
Get this: ALL (100%) of the women in one study who had a family history of breast cancer AND aborted their first pregnancy as teenagers developed breast cancer by age 45.
Induced abortion was found to increase risk of later placenta previa by approximately 50%. Substantially increased risk for very early premature deliveries (at 20-30 weeks) where there's been a history of induced abortion, was also found.
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The three MD's presenting in this section are outraged that 'political considerations' prevent this knowlege from being shared with patients or presented to their colleagues at conferences, as if preventing educated consent can be considered either Good Medicine or Good Politics.
Recently I had dinner with a friend who was discussing the way(s) in which political considerations have driven AIDS research and disclosure. I asked him, "Can you imagine a man with AIDS NOT being asked by his own doctor whether he's homosexual?" We agreed that that would be scandalous; the patient with serious and perhaps terminal illness is not permitted (by the responsible physician) ignorance of known risk factors impacting his illness...usually.
Most importantly, responsible preventative measures must be taught to the public. We caution people about "safe sex", but not about abortion's risks? (So how "safe" was that sex?)
Dr. D'Adamo has stated, in his Blood Type Encyclopedia, that there is research implicating vasectomy as a prostate cancer risk-factor. This link, too, is not generally known. Even the birth control pill's health risks were considered "politically incorrect" to mention in the early days of the Sexual Revolution. What does that tell us about that Revolution? Are there subversive elements embedded within it, demanding public ignorance of its risks?
If women (and men) need to be "Free to Choose", then these must be EDUCATED choices. Induced abortion can have serious health repercussions, as can IUDs, Birth Control Pills, "unsafe sex", and vasectomies. All women and men deserve to have these risks candidly explained.
Three (more) cheers for Peter D'Adamo, N.D., for his book on arthritis, published in 2004 but just acquired by yours truly. Like all of Dr. D'Adamo's books, it breaks ground.
Those of us who support his work, who have come to put great stock in his nutritional and fitness guidelines for our own and others' blood types and have seen the phenomenal results, are at pains to accept wholesale much of what passes for Medicine or "good nutrition", particularly amongst published consumer literature. I, for one, find myself reading medical texts and nutrition books through a Blood Type filter, because I believe in genetic endowment and markers and their relatively predictable and variously-mediated causes and routes of disease.
I had picked up The Arthritis Cure (revised edition) by Jason Theodosakis MD, just weeks before D'Adamo's book arrived. I can appreciate Dr. Theosodakis' training, experience, and even his findings. But I confess to having scanned it with a gnawing dissatisfaction, knowing that something crucial was missing -- something that would, among other benefits, put it all together for me personally, or at least point me to the one or two paragraphs in the book that would individualize his program. Likewise the myriads of other books by MD's, homeopaths, herbalists, et al., on the subject.
Case in point: Everyone admits that there are over 100 "different arthritides", including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and syndromes, infectious, psoriatic, etc. Why does one person succumb to one type and another to another type of arthritis? Why does one person obtain relief from a course of chondroitin sulfate while another deteriorates? To which type is John Doe prone and why? Can he head it off in advance? Can he treat it successfully? This is "where the rubber meets the road": Prevention, Palliation, Cure, and overall good health. One wanders away from these other books sort of stunned: "OK, but which do I have? What do I do?" Many such readers give up on even attempting to understand and self-treat; in exasperation they default to the ineffective establishment and the pharmaceutical industry's risky and pricey products, thus adding their weight to the already massive public health burden. Having myself undergone the doctor-hopping/doctor-shopping process in younger days, until I landed upon those specialists who were truly equipped to diagnose my illnesses, I am loathe to play that game again,an all too prevalent American pastime. Thankfully, I am not experiencing intense or constant symptoms; I am not "laid up"; my concern isn't all that "urgent".
In Arthritis: Fight It With The Blood Type Diet, Dr. D'Adamo maps out the Arthritis territory (as he does that of several other conditions in their own respective books) in his "What's Your Blood Type-Arthritis Risk?" quiz at the front of the book. Immediately one encounters 11 risk factors common to all, and 9 risk factors unique to each of the 4 blood types! These 7-8 pages are easily worth the price of the entire book. But, as usual, Dr. D'Adamo goes on to clearly and simply present the dynamics of the disease, its diagnosis, the blood type connection, various treatments, and the Individualized Blood Type Plans for each type. I challenge the reader to find, anywhere else in the literature, a presentation of arthritis this cleanly harvested, sorted, and stacked for lay consumer-readability. It is both an elegant accomplishment and an eminently meaty read.
I read the B section right away, as that is my blood type. I learned how to skew my already-B-appropriate diet toward the sort of immune-boosting, inflammation-fighting, and detoxification-enhancing nutrients that can protect me from, and even reverse, B-type arthritic changes and symptoms. For type B, Dr. D'Adamo states that viral infections and autoimmune processes play a prominent role in the development of a particular type of joint disease and in the choice of appropriate prophylactic and treatment modalities. Upon reading this, I was immediately galvanized: A bout of viral gastroenteritis, just last month, indeed taught me the deep mysteries of vague medical words like: Prostration, Malaise, Weakness, and "aches and pains". Having "recovered" and returned to life-as-usual, I seem to have (suddenly!) manifested toxic souvenirs of that virus in a joint or two that I'm anxious to release. Once again, D'Adamo's assessment seems immediately spot-on (and it only cost me 12 bucks, in paperback).
Briefly, the other blood types acquire arthritides through different routes and manifest them differently. While your basic wear-&-tear osteoarthritis is common to all types, Type O inordinately suffers inflammatory reactions to grain lectins and experiences a high correlation of digestive, and depressive, disease with joint problems; Type A's stress reactions and susceptibility to vascular inflammation play key roles in the arthritic process; Type B, again, shows a propensity for viral/autoimmune routes; and Type AB, as usual, may be subject to both Type A and Type B susceptibilities.
FOUR different dietary rubrics, allowing for much individual variation within each blood type (rendering compliance easy),
FOUR different approaches to fitness/exercise, likewise, and
FOUR different lists of dietary supplements (helping the reader to navigate that overwhelming section of the health food store!)
...should make this book another of Peter D'Adamo's bestsellers. I assure you: My interest is less in touting Dr. D'Adamo per se than in facilitating a healthier world: Public understanding and safe self-treatment could relieve the medical/insurance establishment - and taxpayers - of much of this tremendous burden. It is estimated that 80% of the US population over age 50 suffers from some form of arthritis; think "Baby Boomers" and you'll cringe as we now storm the gates of Seniorhood!
Dr. D'Adamo has published similar blood type centered books on Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Allergies, Fatigue, Menopause, and Aging, in addition to the blockbuster Eat Right 4 Your Type (1996) and its sequels:
Cook Right 4 Your Type (1999)
Live Right 4 Your Type (2001)
The Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia (2002)
Eat Right 4 Your Baby (2003) (covering reproductive health, pregnancy, postpartum and infancy)
You, too, can cut through the morass of "general" medical and health literature out there, make sense of your unique condition (as I've observed many doing via D'Adamo's teachings) and ride the wave of The New Medicine toward greater health and -- just as exciting -- deeper understanding of the human body, human history, and the rich variety of human life.
I am a serious book collector, and San Francisco used to be a serious town for the likes of me. I buy 'em used, sometimes by the carton-load, and upon occasion I resell to selected fair buyers.
Independent booksellers have taken a beating, first by the big national chains, and then by the Internet. Recently Powell's, the huge ("square block of a million books") used book store in Portland, Oregon, has been sending its agents down to San Francisco to offer PUNY lump sums for the entire inventories of targeted local used book sellers, to induce them to drop out of the increasingly difficult market, and thus increase Powell's share.
The San Francisco Chronicle article breaking the story behind two recent local shop closings, involving incentives offered by Powell's of Portland, was waved in my face by Tracy, the petite owner of Lifetime Books, a used book shop in town. She knew that I, of all people, would want/need to know.
The story broke this summer, just after one SF shop closed without warning, another announced its imminent closing, and yet another was winding down toward closing. I plopped down in the big naugahyde armchair by Tracy's bookpile-covered front counter, so that she and I could hash this out, after picking up dinner for us both, next door. I knew it'd be a long discussion, and that Tracy would be indignant and very vocal.
Tracy explained/ranted that she would NEVER sell out to Powell's. She was disgusted that her colleagues were doing so, rather than soliciting offers from herself and other struggling locals in the business. So committed, in fact, was Tracy to the Cause of Independent (local) Bookselling that she'd recently started up a second (unrelated) business, just so that she wouldn't be starved-out as a book retailer! This was, indeed, her consuming interest.
Tracy (O, age 50) was a tiny spitfire (5 feet tall, without the Harley helmet or spike heels), and her counter was a neighborhood hub. She knew titles, authors, editions, everything a bookseller needs to know, yet she was no intellectual: She was, rather, a very diligent hound, scouring the papers and Web for news of library sales, garage sales, etc. She'd regularly comb thrift shops and sniff through all sorts of charity bins. And then, at her counter while hobnobbing with her usual customers and friends, she'd mylar-cover the dust jacket of each hardcover she'd acquired.
I knew Tracy's buying preferences pretty well. Any bag of my outgoing tomes that I knew she'd want, she'd in fact want. She'd issue Store Credit in return (which I'd immediately use!). Kind of a symbiotic thing.
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A few weeks ago, I brought a bag of surefire titles to her store, but an employee was behind the counter, saying Tracy hadnt come in: She didn't feel well (was having a headache and a "pinched nerve in her neck"), so there'd be no purchases that day. I had a heavy load, so I left and sold the books immediately elsewhere.
A couple of days later, I passed by to say hello, but Tracy was still out sick. "What's wrong?" I asked, seeing that same (previously very part-time) employee. I was told she was still in pain, so she'd decided to ... go for a chiropractic adjustment.
"But what's the DIAGNOSIS?" I asked. "This isn't like Tracy, to be down for days on end. Has she seen a doctor?" "No", he replied, "And I know what you mean...But then, she says she THINKS the chiropractor MIGHT actually have helped".
"'THINKS'? 'MIGHT'? And helped WHAT?" I argued. "She doesn't even know what's wrong! She has a severe headache for DAYS? it came on SUDDENLY?" I was disgusted. I would have given her a piece of my mind -- I bought a book and left.
Four days later, I was passing Tracy's store and thought I'd go in and get the lowdown from Tracy herself. But there was that employee again (I've since become friendly with him)! "Still??!" I asked.
"Tracy died", he said softly. And then, "And this is her brother, in from Colorado...It WAS more than a pinched nerve...". The brother sat glassy-eyed in the big naugahyde chair. "I just cremated my sister", he said, gazing from some distant mental tundra. Long silence.
"Did she pop an aneurysm?" I asked. The two men looked at me, astonished. "How'd you know?" asked the brother, suddenly alert.
"Because of her sex and age, because of the abruptness of onset, the symptom of headache, but most of all, frankly, because of the outcome".
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Just a week previously, Tracy and I had discussed what the imminent (9/30/06) closing of a landmark bookstore a block away would mean for her own business. She was hoping to adopt some of those customers as her own. "We'll see", she said, ever the optimist. "I'm ready for 'em".
And she was. Her eye for titles had gotten better and better, with every year --- PLUS: She was on the upswing, having just started the 2nd business and moved to a new apartment, which she'd wanted me to help her decorate... But - DANG! - I could really read her the riot act here: She went to her CHIROPRACTOR, with a sudden, excruciating headache and neuro-deficit symptoms, thinking "pinched nerve", and "I need 'an adjustment'". She even told her boyfriend, after she'd come-to from a repeated faint: "Don't you DARE call 9-1-1!"
Look, folks, I can be as holistic as the next guy - sorta - but Tracy urgently needed medical attention: Specifically, an angiogram or MRI. She'd even had a few days' window to obtain it immediately: This isn't England or Canada, where such testing only comes after weeks or months on some waiting list; any San Francisco Emergency Room would have worked her up for Intracranial Hemorrhage. (As it turns out, that's what happened, when it was too late: Tracy was indeed admitted to the hospital, where she promptly lapsed into a coma, convulsed, and died.)
I'm continually amazed by people who choose Chiropractic over emergency medicine, especially for sudden-onset headache. And I'm positively vitriolic toward practitioners who DON'T say, "Y'know what? See a medical doctor first: Your life might depend on it".
My friend Shelley, also 50, also type O, had collapsed at her own store in 1999, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where her cerebral aneurysm was surgically repaired; she survived: Gradual but complete recovery, returned to work, etc.
But Tracy will not return to work, at this crucial time for her Pet Obsession. Tracy will not be a part of what becomes of her Cause or her store. (Powell's of Portland? "Over my dead body!" Tracy would have quipped, winking, and stomping in her inimitable clipped and bug-eyed way [Thyroid]. And then she'd give off a big burst of a laugh.)
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1. Go out today and support your local independent (used) bookseller. Browse those stacks, and make it a habit. Do it for Tracy! Take up the Cause!
2. Don't categorically write off Allopathic Medicine. As you can see, the stakes are just too high. Be definitively diagnosed; THEN make educated choices. Remember Tracy, who, a couple of weeks ago, had a new business, a new apartment, and more spunk and spark than any 5 women half her age. She was dying, and she went to the Chiropractor.
3. If you're a Chiropractor, remember Tracy. It's okay to suspect the worst and do the prudent thing. Otherwise, someone could lose a sister, a wife, a daughter...or a friend.
Essential oil of Tea Tree (occasionally spelled "Ti-Tree", to clearly distinguish it from the Tea bush -- Camellia sinensis -- lest there be any confusion) is now very popular and readily available, recognized by health practitioners all over the world. By "Tea Tree" is meant Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree indigenous and exclusive to Australia, especially New South Wales.
Other Melaleucas exist:
Melaleuca cajeputi ("CAJEPUT" or "CAJUPUT"): Grows wild in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Java, Australia and SE Asia.
Melaleuca quinquenervia viridiflora ("NIAOULI" or "MQV"): Native to Australia, New Caledonia, and the French Pacific Islands. Its essential oil is produced mostly in Australia and Tasmania.
TEA TREE has a long history with aboriginal Aussies. By WW2, Aussie soldiers and sailors were issued Tea Tree to self-treat numerous ailments of service, from wounds to tropical infections.
TEA TREE is usually used versus yeasts/fungi, viruses, sepsis, and, perhaps most uniquely, as a very strong immune-booster, favored for its versatility and tolerability (can be used topically, undiluted, as well as internally).
NIAOULI is an excellent expectorant with anti-allergy and anti-asthma properties. It is antiseptic (as are virtually all essential oils), an endocrine tonic, and a strengthener of asthenics, among its many, many applications. It synergizes with Tea Tree, Ravensara, and Calophyllum for use on all mucous membranes, and is usually used topically.
CAJEPUT is very effective against a slightly different bacterial spectrum and is used similarly to Niaouli as well as Tea Tree, but, unlike the above 2 Melaleucas, it can be a skin-irritant.
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We move to an entirely different Genus/species: MANUKA is, often mistakenly, called "Tea Tree" by some relatively unfamiliar with Aromamedicine. Manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) is an important component of Maori natural medicine. This shrub's leaves were actually used as tea by Captain Cook when he arrived in New Zealand. Some say Manuka/Leptospermum was "The original Tea Tree". And for certain indications, it happens to be used similarly to the way Tea Tree is. However:
1. It is not predominantly Terpinene, as is Tea Tree.
2. It contains significant Geraniol and Linalol, giving it a sweet, gentle fragrance -- nice in the vaporisor -- as opposed to the more medicinal smell of the Melaleucas.
It's an entirely different plant.
Both Melaleuca and Leptospermum belong to the Myrtaceae family (as do Eucalyptus, Clove and Myrtle, for example). And some may call Leptospermum "New Zealand Tea Tree". But Leptospermum/Manuka can be quite drying to the skin and should therefore be highly diluted in carrier oil. The Maori use it for muscular pain and rheumatism. Also: Leptospermum lacks the amazing immunity-enhancing power of Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).
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Always check your "Tea Tree" products (and ALL botanical products!) for Latin classification. It's a pretty safe bet that "Tea Tree"-inclusive products such as mouthwashes, body washes, toothpicks, etc., contain Melaleuca, rather than Leptospermum: In the US, anyway. For stimulating immunity, especially, you want Melaleuca, i.e., Australian Tea Tree (safe to use straight from the bottle). In fact, look for "Manuka", NOT "Tea Tree", if it's Leptospermum (very hard to find in the US) you want, and remember to dilute it! My guess is that most who claim "Tea Tree" is a skin-irritant for them are using Leptospermum.