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Cajaput Essential Oil (Cajeput)
Adam Michael has this to say “Cajaput also known as cajeput essential oil is commonly used in inhalations for treating the common cold and other respiratory infections and it is used in a number of proprietary cold treatments. Used in a steam inhalation it will effectively clear the nasal passages while inhibiting the bacteria that proliferate in the mucus formed during colds and flu.
Cajaput is obtained from the leaves and buds of the tree Melaleuca leucadendra. The tree has a whitish bark which has given the oil its name, derived from the Malaysian ‘caju-puti’ meaning ‘white tree’. The oil is extracted by steam distillation and is greenish-yellow in colour which distinguishes it from several other oils from closely related varieties of Melaleuca. The greenish tinge is due to traces of copper found in this tree.
The active principles of cajaput include cineol, with terpineol, pinene and various aldehydes. The aroma is decidedly medicinal, camphoraceous and very penetrating. The trees of the Melaleuca group are a sub-species of the family Myrtaceae which includes all the eucalyptuses, clove and myrtle. The predominant property which is shared by all members of this family is the ability to combat and sometimes prevent infection.”
Botanical Name: Melaleuca leucadendra
Safety Data: Cajaput is a powerful stimulant, and it is not advisable to use it for inhalations before bedtime unless it is mixed with a sedative oil to counteract this effect. Cajaput essential oil can irritate the skin, so it needs to be used with caution, and well diluted and must never be allowed to come into contact with the mucous membranes.