The star of this article has been praised and used as a tonic by the indigenous people for centuries. The benefits of Cajeput essential oil are quite many. However, it is especially recognized for its antibacterial properties. It can help with a wide variety of bacterial infections when it is used in a moderate quantity.
The skin is not the only one that benefits from the oil’s strong bacteria-killing effects. The internal organs will also be protected against all sorts of inflammations and germs.
This essential oil is one sure way to relieve cramps, indigestion and restore the gut flora. It has also been found to have strong antioxidant qualities. This means free radicals will no longer be able to cause cell degradation when you use the oil of Cajeput.
I will tell you more about this oil in the first chapter of this article. It is a rather long chapter but it contains lots of informative details. Things like extraction, composition and the right dose of this active ingredient will be among those details. You’ll also get to learn here the working mechanism of this essential oil.
In the second chapter I’m going to tell you how to use Cajeput essential oil in various ailments. These ailments include almost all bacterial infections one could deal with throughout the year. This essential oil is great at preventing the flu and other inflammatory illnesses!
Keep on reading till the end and you’ll find a few inspirational blend recipes too. Add this new ingredient in your Aromatherapy kit and start using it every time and any time. If you’re familiar with Tea Tree or Niaouli essential oils, Cajeput will also find its place in your cabinet.
Did You Know?
- Cajeput comes from the Indonesian term of “kayu putih” and it means “white wood”.
What Is Cajeput Essential Oil and What Makes It So Good against Bacterial Infections
Botanical name: Melaleuca leucadendron (var. cajuputii)
Texture: Thin oil.
Aroma and Color: Strong camphorous scent with a clear or pale yellow appearance.
First of all, you should know that Cajuput and Cajeput are both correct terms that refer to the same product.
This type of essential oil is related to Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia/ viridiflora). It is also related to Eucalyptus (globulus). In properties and characteristics, Cajeput resembles more with Niaouli essential oil. This means that Niaouli makes a good substitute.
The essential oil is extracted from the fresh leaves and twigs of the Melaleuca leucadendron tree (aka Cajeput tree).
The extraction method used is steam distillation, which gives high quality oils. However, there’s a need of good quality materials to get that high quality essence. Also, the plant material is usually fermented before the distillation takes place.
Why is it fermented first? Cajeput twigs and leaves are fermented before distillation to discourage mold growth. This method also ensures that there’s a maximum of beneficial molecules extracted.
Plants have a complex chemical composition. Many molecules and hydrocarbons may be too big to make it into Cajeput essential oil. The fermentation process helps break down some of these chemical constituents. That way, a large amount of them will make it into the final product.
When crushed, the leaves emit a strong camphorous scent, which can be sensed in the oil as well. This tree is native to Australia, but it is found in Indonesia and Madagascar too. Malaysia and Vietnam are the other places where Cajeput grows naturally.
Chemical composition of Cajeput oil
To obtain 2.60 pounds (1.2 kilos) of essential oil there’s a need of around 220 pounds (100 kilos) of Cajeput twigs and leaves.
The oil of Cajeput contains:
- 50 – 65% Eucalyptol, also known as cineole.
- 2% viridiflorol and nerolidol.
- 3% alpha and beta terpineol and linalool.
- Beta caryophyllene – according to studies, this compound could help with depression and anxiety.
All these substances give the oil anti-parasitic and antifungal properties. They also give it strong antimicrobial qualities.
The main constituent has pain relieving qualities. It is also antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. Also, cineole has been found to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Last but not least, cineole is a good antioxidant. This means that when you apply Cajeput essential oil on the skin, it will prevent further damage of free radicals.
Safe dosage and storage
Even though it is a natural product, an essential oil (EO) can still be dangerous if used undiluted. There is no proven recommended dose because this one usually varies. The right dose may vary for each person depending on their gender, age and health condition.
The recommended Aromatherapy dose is 3 – 6 drops of EO per Oz. (30 ml) of vegetable oil. This represents 1% dilution. Make sure you‘re not allergic to this oil before you make a blend. Pour a tiny diluted drop on the inside of your forearm and wait 30 minutes. Start with a low dose and watch your body’s reactions first.
Just like with any other variety, Cajeput oil must also be kept in a cool place and away from direct light. All essential oils must be kept in dark glass bottles. Blends and dilutions can be kept in dark plastic bottles too.
The oil will evaporate quite fast if you leave it uncapped for too long!
- Always consult a doctor before using this oil if you’re pregnant, nursing or suffer from other health conditions.
- Children under 12 should not use Cajeput oil either.
- Don’t use it undiluted because it can sensitize the skin or cause irritation.
- Cajeput essential oil may trigger asthma attacks so keep away if you suffer from this condition.
- Do not take this oil internally without medical approval.
- Always combine it with another milder essential oil before diffusing. Citrus oils are the best choice in this case.
- You should also avoid doing steam baths with Cajeput oil.
Did You Know?
- Cajeput oil is one of the ingredients in Tiger Balm Red. It is a Chinese ancient ointment that ameliorates muscular pain.
Purifying and Disinfecting Uses of Cajeput Essential Oil
Looking back at the chemical composition, we can see the oil has very strong disinfecting properties. On top of that, it can also relieve the pain by numbing the affected area. Cineole warms the skin where it is applied by stimulating the circulation. This characteristic can help numb the skin underneath and relieve the pain.
The air is full of bacteria and viruses that can be inhaled any time. That’s why you catch a cold or flu so fast! The good news is that research shows that essential oils can kill airborne pathogens. One study showed that in half an hour more than 200 strains of bacteria were destroyed. The best oils for this task are those with high antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
Cajeput essential oil is more than qualified for this activity. The best way to get good results is to diffuse 3 – 4 drops mixed with a few drops of a citrus oil of your choice. Make sure the room where you diffuse them is well ventilated.
The recommended time for diffusion is 20 minutes per hour. Diffusions under 60 minutes have been proven effective on the human body and mind.
Cajeput oil can help you unwind and cope with stressful situations or depression. As a bonus, it is good at preventing viral lung infections too. Here’s more on lung health and ways to prevent or improve lung conditions.
The stomach is a complex vital system with a sensitive flora. This flora is often disrupted by diseases, stress or antibiotics. When that happens, you can suffer from diarrhea or constipation, food poisoning or bloating.
These are all conditions that can be improved with a blend that contains Cajeput essential oil. It can, of course, be used in combination with other oils that are good for digestion, like Peppermint for instance.
Do not take this oil internally without seeing a doctor first. A safe way to benefit from the oil’s properties is to apply a few diluted drops on the stomach area. Massage it with clockwise movements and keep the skin warm for the oils to penetrate the skin faster. They will reach the blood and the gut very fast.
The skin can become easily infected if its protective barrier or the immune system is weak. This usually happens when too many harsh commercial products are used.
They usually strip the skin of its natural sebum, which is also its protective barrier (the hydrolipid film). A low defense mechanism allows bacteria and germs to enter the skin cells and cause inflammations and infections.
As we know by now, Cajeput essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal qualities. And they are all strong because of the high content of cineole.
The oil can be used on skin infections like boils, cold sores, cysts, chickenpox, shingles or athlete’s foot. It can also be used against fungal nail infections and psoriasis.
You can blend 3 – 6 drops/ Oz vegetable oil and apply on the affected areas with gentle massage movements. Or you can mix 10 drops of Cajeput oil in bath salts, milk or honey and add to your bath water. Read more on the health and skin benefits of bath therapy.
Did You Know?
- Low amounts of Cajeput are used to flavor foods and drinks of many sorts.
Inspirational Essential Oil Blends with Cajeput
If you got here then you must have liked what you discovered about this aromatic oil. If that’s the case I’m happy to give you a few blend recipes to help you start using this natural ingredient.
# Digestive Blend
- Cajeput EO: 3 drops
- Peppermint essential oil: 2 drops
- True Lavender essential oil: 2 drops
- Olive oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Pour these oils in a small roll-on bottle, shake well and apply on the stomach area and the lower back. Massage the blend gently and keep the area warm. You can apply this blend after each substantial meal.
# Respiratory Blend
- Cajeput essential oil: 3 drops
- Sweet Basil essential oil: 1 drop
- Cedar Atlas essential oil: 2 drops
- Macadamia oil: 1 Oz (30 ml)
Apply a small amount around the nostrils and on the forehead and massage it in. This blend will help relieve the nasal passages and repair the dry and irritated skin around the nose. While you take a hot bath, you can also add a few diluted drops in and inhale deeply. That will also help decongest your chest and respiratory passages.
# Fever Relief Blend
- Cajeput EO: 10 drops
- Roman Chamomile EO: 8 drops
- Melissa EO: 8 drops
- Carrier oil: 2 Oz (60 ml)
Blend all the ingredients together and apply on the chest, arms, temples and spine and keep warm. Keep at it for as long as necessary, 2 or 3 times a day.
The oil of Cajeput (Cajuput) can be used to prevent numerous skin or body infections. This is possible thanks to its high content of Eucalyptol also known as cineole. Other chemical constituents make the oil a good antioxidant too. Used in moderation, this oil can help with so many common ailments.
As long as you take into consideration the safe dose and the precautions, there shouldn’t be any dangers. If you suffer from other ailments, make sure you consult a doctor before using this oil.
There aren’t yet any interactions known, but certain drugs may still interact with it. Your doctor will know whether there could be side effects or not if you take Cajeput essential oil with other drugs.
Do not interrupt a prescribed treatment in favor of this essential oil! Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy and should be used in parallel with your prescribed treatment, and always with the doctor’s consent. Other health conditions like diabetes or asthma should not be taken lightly when dealing with essential oils.
Have you ever used or even heard about Cajuput oil before? Will you use it now that you know all these details about it? What are you thinking of using it for? Go on, share your experiences with us so we can all learn and maybe draw more inspiration.