22 March 2021

Manuka Oil supports cold sore management

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - Herpes (HSV-1) is the virus responsible for the common Cold Sore. Researchers in Germany have published results that Manuka Essential Oil reduced virus isolates causing infectivity by > 99%. Manuka Oil may be formulated into formulations in viable concentrations at a fraction of one cent.

In the United States, between 50% and 80% of the population is estimated to be infected with the HSV-1 virus; typically lying dormant in the nervous system. The virus can breakthrough and become active when the host's immune system weakens. Recurring breakthroughs can lead to a chronic condition, which can be difficult to treat. Manuka Oil has now demonstrated success against HSV-1.

A challenge faced by scientists and humankind alike is microbial drug-resistance. Antibiotic resistance is one example by which most people are familiar. Viruses can also develop resistance to modern drug therapy.

Strains of the HSV-1 virus have developed resistance to the drug Acyclovir which is the go-to OTC active in ointments for treating Cold Sores. Schnitzler and colleagues from the esteemed Hamburg Eppendorf University, Department of Virology, investigated various Essential Oils as potential anti-viral alternatives. They reported that mechanisms of action differ markedly for Essential Oils versus synthetic drugs. Essential Oils have more complex chemical profiles than standalone drug actives. Other studies, including Thomsen et al (2013), demonstrate these molecular complexities prevent microbes from developing resistance to tested Essential Oils, even at sub-lethal concentrations.

Schnitzler et al. published in the respected German journal Pharmazie of their results with Manuka Essential Oil. They reported the oil has high virucidal activity against HSV-1, including strains of the virus that are resistant to Acyclovir. In viral suspension tests, Manuka Essential Oil reduced the infectivity of both acyclovir-sensitive and acyclovir-resistant virus isolates by > 99%.

Acyclovir works by interfering with viral DNA replication. The mechanism by which Manuka Oil exerts its effect is hypothesized to be via a direct antiviral HSV inactivation, either before or during attachment to the host cell.

The Potential in Lip Balms

The potential for topical application of Manuka Oil in a lip balm is significant. At a concentration of only 0.001%, Manuka can be formulated with or without synthetic actives with the potential to aid in reducing the incidence of cold sores.

Dee-Ann Prather, Managing Director of Down Under Enterprises, referring to Manuka Oil as support against Cold Sores commented, "This is really exciting stuff! Manuka Oil offers formulators functional benefits at a per unit cost of less than one penny."

For a typical 5ml lip balm product, this all-natural Manuka Oil ingredient would add less than 0.37 cents to the formulation. These findings support compelling reasons to incorporate Manuka Oil in existing and new formulations in lip care.

About the Company

Down Under Enterprises grows, produces, exports, and markets traceable and sustainable native Australian essential oils and botanicals grown on our farm, Buhlambar, and from small growers across Australia producing unique essential oils and botanicals from plants native to Australia.


For more details on Mānuka Oil, visit our WEBSITE