Essential Oil Profile: Cajeput

by Amelia E. Hoard, RN


Common Name: Cajeput

Synonyms: cajuput, white tea tree, swamp tea tree, punk tree, paperbark tree, M. minor

Latin Binomial: Melaleuca cajeputi

Family: Myrtaceae

Production Method: Steam distilled from the fresh leaves and twigs.

Countries of Origin: Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Java, Australia and south east Asia

Typical Constituents: 1,8-Cineole (41.1-70.8%), a-Terpineol (6.5-8.7%),

r-Cymene (0.7-6.8%), Terpineol (0-5.9%), g-Terpinene (1.2-4.6%), [+]-Limonene (3.8-4.1%),

Linalool (2.7-3.6%), a-Pinene (2.1-3.2%), b-Caryophyllene (0.7-2.5%), b-Myrcene (0.9-2.0%),

a-Caryophyllene (0.5-1.6%), b-Pinene (0.8-1.5%), Terpinen-4-ol (0.6-1.5%),

b-Selinene (0-1.5%), a- Selinene (0-1.5%), Guaiol (0-1.2%)

Description of Oil: Colorless to orange-brown or yellow-green with a smoky, woody, leather like odor.

Description of Plant: A tall evergreen tree with thick pointed leaves and white flowers. The trunk has a white spongy bark which flakes off easily.

History, Folklore and Myth: Cajeput has myriad uses in the East and West including: a remedy for colds, headaches, throat infections, toothache, sore muscles, fever, and skin diseases.

Properties and Uses: Analgesic, Antispasmodic, Balsamic, Decongestant, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Insecticide, Stimulant

Precautions and Contraindications: possible irritant to skin or mucous membranes

Other Interesting  Information: Known in ancient India as Kayputi it has long been a popular household medication against stomach and skin troubles. Often used as a room spray to ward off insects and bed bugs.



Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. Virginia, Queensland, Australia: The Perfect Potion. 1995.

Lawless, Julia. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Shaftesbury, Dorset. Element Books. 1995.

Tisserand, Robert, and Tony Balacs. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. 1995.

Sellar, Wanda. The Directory of Essential Oils. London: Random House. 2005

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