Cajeput oil is derived from the Melaleuca leucadendra or cajeput tree. This tree is native to Australia and Indonesia and is closely related to the tea tree, paperbark, punk, niaouli, and eucalyptus trees. The tree is also found in Vietnam, Java, Malaysia and South East Asia. The cajeput tree is known as the white bark tea tree as it has a characteristic white bark. The oil is also known by different names like white tea tree oil, swamp tea tree oil, and others.
What is Cajeput Oil?
It is an essential oil produced by steam distillation of the leaves and twigs of the Cajeput tree. The oil contains cineol as its active ingredient. It is very fluid and transparent. It has a warm, aromatic odor with a camphoraceous taste that is followed by a cool feeling in the mouth. It is wholly soluble in alcohol and is a colorless oil.
The uses of this oil are brought on by its curative, invigorating, and purifying properties. It also is used as an analgesic, antiseptic, and insect repellent. It has many traditional medicinal uses that include clearing acne, easing breathing difficulties by clearing the nasal passages, treating colds and coughs, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, eczema, sinus infection, pneumonia, etc.
It is known for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It is also an anti-neuralgic that helps in relieving nerve pain, and acts as an antihelmintic for removing intestinal worms. The uses also includes prevention of flatulence due to its carminative properties. The oil is known for healing muscle and joint pain. It also helps in maintaining healthy skin.
One drop on a cotton ball placed between the gum and cheek will help in reducing toothache. Another benefit is that it can heal injuries without infections or scarring. Mixing one part of cajeput oil with three parts olive oil and applying to the hair every night can help one get rid of head lice. Gonorrhea can be treated by application of vaginal douche of this oil daily.
Diluted cajeput oil is very beneficial in treating acne, bruises, rheumatism, scabies, and even simple burns, when applied topically. You can apply it directly on ringworm infections and athlete's foot infestation for relief. Impetigo and insect bites can also be treated with the application of this oil. When added to water and gargled with, it helps in treating laryngitis and bronchitis. Other benefits not only include treatment of throat infections and yeast infections, but also parasitic infections like roundworm. It is also used as an aromatherapy agent to relieve stress.
The possible side effects may be rapid pulse, perspiration, skin irritation, etc. It may also cause miscarriage, bleeding, breast tenderness, endometrial hyperplasia, weight gain, and infertility. These adverse side effects are very rare, and can occur if there is excessive use.
Disclaimer:You should use the oil only under the recommendation of a qualified naturopath or aromatherapist. Do not take it during pregnancy and when breast feeding. You should not use it in case of inflammation. Asthma patients should avoid use of this oil.