Nature offers us many antiseptic and anti-inflammatory recipes and substances, including the cajeput essential oil. While people interested in natural remedies may be familiar with it, there is much confusion about cajeput oil, especially because of its resemblance with the tea tree oil. Knowing what cajeput essential oil is will help you identify this oil easily and use all its beneficial properties.
What is cajeput essential oil?
The Cajeput Essential oil is obtained from the branches and leaves of a tree from the Malaleuca family. It is related with the Tea Tree and Niaouli. This means the cajeput essential oil has some common characteristics with the tea tree oil, but they have different percentages of chemical composites.
The name Cajeput or Cajuput (both correct) come from Indonesian (Kayu Putih), meaning ‘white wood’. It is also related with the Eucalypt. It originates in Malaysia but also grows in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Australia. While the best oil is obtained from the wild trees of Cajeput in Indonesia and Malaysia, they are also grown by farmers, especially in Vietnam.back to menu ↑
Cajeput essential oil benefits
The essential cajeput oil is known for its beneficial properties:
- Used as perfume with fresh notes for cosmetic composites, soaps, and essences
Cajeput essential oil has a sweet scent, resembling that of rosemary oil. If you find its smell too strong, you can combine it with fruit and citric oils that will ease its flavor. Those will not affect the therapeutic effects of the cajeput. Researchers say that citric oils will even enhance its antiseptic effects because of the content of vitamin C.
Cajeput oil has been used for centuries in South Eastern Asia and Indonesia to treat common colds, being known as an antiseptic that hurries healing of wounds, a stimulator of the breathing system, and a cutaneous tonic. Although it is mostly recommended in aromatherapy and cosmetic industry, traditional Asian medicine considers cajuput essential oil a perfect alternative to eucalyptus for medical purposes.back to menu ↑
Cajeput Essential Oil Uses
- Breathing problems, sinusitis, and bronchitis. The beneficial effect is mostly obtained by inhaling of the Cajeput oil extract. Massaging the chest area and the neck with a composition of essential oil of cajeput will ease breathing problems, helping the patient regain the necessary breathing rhythm
- Rheumatoid and sciatic pains. Rubbing the affected area with the cajeput oil will ease the pain
- Colic and abdominal spasms, dysentery. An abdominal massage with cajeput essential oil will relieve the symptoms of abdominal diseases, and it can be a great aid for the medical treatment of cramps in children
- Calming and antiseptic effects. It eases the pain given by insect stings. However, it can’t be used for prevention, as the insects will like the smell of the oil on the skin. This oil is perfect for emergency treatment, especially for people suffering from allergies to insect stings and bites
- Headache, ear and neck pain. Apply the essential oil on the affected areas. It is a powerful antiseptic, which can ease your pains immediately
- Psoriasis and acne. The cajeput essential oil is not a direct treatment for skin problems, but it is perfect to treat the unwanted inflammations and pains
Cajeput essential oil uses in Cosmetics and Aromatherapy
Besides medical uses, the cajeput oil is used in small dosages (0.5-2%) as an ingredient in creams against dermatitis and eczema. It is used as a vegetal base for ointments against varicose, and as an ingredient for antiseptic and corporal hygiene products.
The cajeput essential oil is used as a vegetal base for chest ointments to treat cold and flu. It is the most suited vegetal base for massage ointments for scalp and neck. It is also inhaled directly to treat respiratory diseases. For preventing colds and flus, a few drops in the bathing water are recommended. It also has a pleasant smell, being a great addition to homemade perfumes.
Another treatment method is to mix maximum 10 drops of Cajeput oil with bath salt, honey, and milk. Use this mixture in your bath. The flavored steams will decongest the breathing system, helping you relax. The skin will benefit from the oil action, preventing the cutaneous infections, such as herpes, nail infections, and abscesses. After the bath, massage your body with a mixture of Cajeput oil and vegetal oil or apply it on the affected areas of the skin.
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Keep in mind that skin diseases must be analyzed by a doctor before determining the right type of treatment
Less Known Facts about Cajeput Essential Oil
While cajeput is perfect to treat mild inflammations and breathing problems, its preventive properties are just as important. It is just as useful for medical ointments against muscular pains. It is one of the main ingredients of the Chinese ointment ‘Power of the Tiger’ – one of the most effective pain relieving natural treatment known in Asia.back to menu ↑
How is it obtained?
The oil is obtained from the branches and leaves of the Cajeput tree (Melaleuca leucadendron). It is important to know its Latin name, as in some parts of Asia, Cajeput tree is often mistaken with its close ‘relatives’ Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) and Melaleuca quinquenervia / viridiflora (niaouli). It is also mistaken with the simple eucalypt because of the high concentration of eucalyptol (cineol).
Each one of those oils is used for treating different conditions, due to their different benefits and characteristics. This is why it is important to remember the Latin name of the Cajeput tree (Melaleuca leucadendron). If you can’t find the exact Cajeput oil, consider Niaouli oil, which is the closest that you can get to Cajeput oil.back to menu ↑
Dosage and Cautions
The oil is obtained by distillation of steams. The concentration of eucalyptol in cajeput oil is 45%-65%, if the right extraction method was used. This concentration is famous for its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory effect.
This substance is a good anti-oxidant, which is capable of preventing the degradation of skin. The oil contains beta-carotene, a substance studied a lot lately. It is considered a beneficial cannabinoid for the human body, without the addiction given by other cannabinoids. This means it can also act as an anti-depressant and anxiety treatment.
There is no recommended dosage of cajeput oil, as it depends on the treatment, general state of health, age, and sex. For aromatherapy, the dosage is 3-6 drops of essential oil diluted in 30 ml of vegetal oil. If it is not diluted, it can irritate the skin. Therefore, always dilute it, and test it on a small area of the interior side of the arm. Wait for 30 minutes to see if any reaction occurs. It is always recommended to do so if you use the cajeput oil (or any other type of essential oil) for the first time.
Make sure to cover the bottle with the lid whenever you are not using the oil, as it easily evaporates and it is flammable. When you mix it with several essential oils, keep it in glass bottles. If you dilute it with vegetal oil (olives, Argan), you can keep it in plastic bottles as well. Generally, essential oils must be kept in dark places, out of direct sunlight.
Always ask the doctor’s advice before using the Cajeput oil, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or suffering from asthma or more severe breathing problems. While Cajeput essential oil is a treatment itself for these conditions, it may interact with other treatments you are following. Not recommended for children under 12. Do not opt for internal usage without the consent of a doctor.back to menu ↑
Practical Questions about the Cajeput Oil
The cajeput oil has a big concentration of substances with anti-fungal properties, and it is also a good anti-inflammatory solution. But how does it work?
Thanks to the content of eucalyptol, it is one of the few essential oils capable of destroying the bacterial in the air we breathe. Bacteria of this kind are everywhere. The best method to destroy these pathogen agents is to disseminate the oil in the room for 20 minutes/hour. Make sure the room is clean, and never leave the oil to disseminate for more than one hour. While in the first hour, the oil has beneficial effects, helping you relax, inhaling it for a longer time will cause the very opposite effect (high blood pressure and anxiety).
You can also pour it on a cotton disk and inhale it for a few minutes when you are not at home. Inhaling those molecules will help you improve or prevent pulmonary or digestive diseases. You can also mix the cajeput oil with other oils and apply the mixture on your stomach to improve digestion and stomach flora.
Cajeput essential oil is one of the less known gifts of nature. It is rarer than the tea tree oil and eucalyptus, and this is why people prefer its alternatives. On the other hand, this oil has different benefits and properties. This makes it unique and more effective for breathing problems. You can use it as an antiseptic as well. Combining it with other essential oils enhances and boosts its positive effects.back to menu ↑
Sources and References
- WebMed Cajeput Oil
- NCBI Cajeput-Type Oil for the Treatment of Furunculosis
- Wikipedia Cajeput tree