Teaching Tuesday-Under the Radar Essential Oils-Cajeput

In creating my shopping list for Unique Garden Essences, I realized that there are several essential oils that many people may not be familiar with. While most everyone has heard of lavender and basil, how many have heard of copaiba balsam and cajeput? So I am starting a new series to describe EO's that may not have ever been on your radar, but should be! While you will get an overview of these EO's, rest assured that there will be a few more secrets revealed about them in my book! 

So let's get started with Cajeput. Botanically known as Melaleuca Cajuputi, Melaleuca Minor, and Melaleuca Leucadendra, Cajeput essential oil is made from a tree that originated from the Malaya coastal plains. Nicknamed Swamp Tea Tree, Punk Tree, White Tea Tree, White wood, and Paperbark Tree, this vigorous tree grows to a height of about 45 feet, as it crowds out most other trees in its area. Cultivation of this tree is minimal since it is known to spontaneously regrow once it is destroyed.

Largely produced in Napal, Australia and Indonesia, the essential oil of Cajeput is clear to slightly yellow, with a sweet, woodsy, slightly camphoraceous, medicinal odor. It is classified as a top note, but has a sweet, fruity middle note that dries out softly. It possesses antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antineuralgic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, insecticide, sudorific, tonic, vulnerary, and some say analgesic (pain relief) properties.

Cajeput is especially beneficial for arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, colds, coughs, cystitis, flu, insect bites, muscular aches and pains, oily skin, sinusitis, sore throat, urinary tract infections, pms and menopause symptoms, and viral infections. During cold season you can use cajeput much as you would eucalyptus, add it to a diffuser to disinfect the air and to clear congestion. It is also a great addition to your bug repellent formulations, but it may cause skin irritation so keep this in mind as you formulate.Additionally, it should be avoided during pregnancy.

Cajeput is considered stimulating and penetrating. It stimulates and promotes clear thinking. You can put 10 drops into one ounce of a carrier oil, use 4 drops in two cups of hot water for a steam, use in lotion formulations, or even in the bath. You should always perform a patch test though, especially since this EO can be a membrane irritant. This EO's use dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. It has been revered primarily for its antiseptic properties. In fcat, it has long been a popular household medication in countries such as China, India, and Malaya, where it has predominantly been prescribed for stomach issues, rheumatism, cholera, and various skin diseases. It also has been widely used as a room spray to fend off insects and bed bugs.

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