16 Uses and Benefits of Cajeput Essential Oil

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Cajeput essential oil isn’t one of the best known essential oils, but it has many uses and important benefits. Cajeput oil is related to both Eucalyptus oil and Tea Tree oil, and it provides some of the benefits of both of those oils as well as having its own unique properties. It has a higher concentration of the cineole found in Eucalyptus oil than Tea Tree oil, and it is the cineole that gives cajeput essential oil its expectorant and analgesic properties.

Cajeput used to be known as White Tea Tree Oil and the two oils come from the same species of tree. Cajeput oil comes from the Melaleuca Leucadendron tree also known as the Melaleuca Cajuputi tree, while Tea Tree oil comes from Melaleuca alternifolia tree. The trees in the Melaleuca family are native to Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Cajeput oil is an ingredient in Tiger Balm muscle rub and in Olbas Oil decongestant. The oil is also an ingredient in the medicines used to combat bacterial infections in ornamental fish. Other commercial uses of Cajeput oil include its use as a disinfectant in dentistry and in pharmaceutical work, in expectorant cough formulations, in throat lozenges and gargles, and as a fragrance in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes.

Cajeput essential oil has a long history of medicinal use in the East, where it is considered to be somewhat of a cure-all by people who have limited access to other remedies, and is used to treat colds, headaches, toothache, throat infections, aching muscles, skin diseases and the fever produced by cholera.

In the Western herbal tradition Cajeput essential oil is used to treat laryngitis, bronchitis, cystitis, rheumatism, and as a vermifuge to expel parasitic worms.

The essential oil is steam distilled from twigs and leaves after they have fermented for some time, and is a pale yellowy-green, mobile oil with a strong camphorous-medicinal aroma, similar to the aroma of eucalyptus but with a fruitier note.

While Cajeput oil and Tea Tree oil come from the same family, they are distinctly different in their composition.

Cajeput essential oil composition:

  • 1,8 – cineole 14 – 69%
  • Alpha-Terpineol 5.9 – 12.5%
  • α – pinene 8%
  • β – pinene 1%
  • Limonene up to 10%
  • Linalool 3 – 4%
  • Geraniol traces

Tea Tree essential oil composition:

  • Terpinen-4-ol 37.0 – 46.9%
  • Gamma-Terpinene 10.0 – 28.0%
  • 1,8-Cineole 3.0 – 3.6%
  • Para-Cymene 0.5 – 12.0%
  • Alpha-Terpinene 7.9 – 10.4%

Cajeput essential oil blends well with eucalyptus, clove, bergamot, angelica, lavender, geranium, and thyme oil.

Cajeput essential oil has many health and medicinal benefits, making it a good essential oil to add to your natural remedy first aid kit.

Its actions are as follows:

  • Mild analgesic – remedy which deadens pain.
  • Antimicrobial – agent which destroys pathogenic micro-organisms.
  • Antineuralgic – relieves nerve pain.
  • Antispasmodic – prevents and eases spasms and convulsions.
  • Antiseptic – destroys and prevents the development of microbes.
  • Anthelmintic – a vermifuge, destroying or expelling intestinal worms.
  • Diaphoretic – an agent which causes sweating.
  • Carminative – settles the digestive system, relieves trapped gas and flatulence.
  • Expectorant – helps to promote the removal of mucus from the respiratory system.
  • Febrifuge – combats fever.
  • Insecticide – repels insects.
  • Sudorific – an agent which causes sweating.
  • Tonic – strengthens the whole or specific parts of the body.

Safety Data – non-toxic, non-sensitizing. May irritate the skin if used at high concentrations.

Before using any essential oil as a treatment, it’s a good idea to do a patch test to make sure that you don’t experience an allergic reaction.

Cajeput essential oil can be used on its own or it can be blended with other essential oils to create a synergistic blend.

This essential oil is not considered safe for use by pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding or young children.

1. Antiseptic


Use diluted Cajeput essential oil to clean cuts, scrapes and other wounds and to keep them free from infection. Dilute 10 drops of the essential oil in 2 oz of cooled, boiled water and use the wash to clean the affected area. Reapply as needed, especially if the wound is oozing fluid or pus.

Cajeput oil can be a first aid remedy for any deep cuts and puncture wounds that may introduce the anaerobic tetanus bacteria. Cajeput will help to protect you until you can get to your local clinic or hospital for a tetanus shot.

Use Cajeput as a disinfectant around the home, to wipe down kitchen counters, clean bathroom fixtures, wash out pet bowls and cat litter boxes, and to disinfect garbage cans and diaper pails.

Add 10 drops of Cajeput oil to your washing machine and run it empty on a hot wash cycle to disinfect the drum and kill the bad odors that can build up. You can even add it to the wash cycle if you’ve got some particularly grimy clothes or linens to wash, or for cleaning pet bedding.

You can also make a spray to carry around with you to use before you handle shopping cart handles, door handles, etc, when cold and flu season are in full swing, or when a bug like Norovirus is doing the rounds. It’s a good sanitizer to use when visiting a public restroom too.

2. Decongestant

Relieve the uncomfortable congestion that comes with respiratory infections by inhaling a steam prepared with Cajeput essential oil.

Heat a pan of water until it reaches a boil, then pour the water into a bowl. Add 6 – 8 drops of Cajeput essential oil to the hot water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the bowl, being careful not to get too close to the hot steam and keeping your eyes closed. Inhale deeply to draw the decongestant steam through your respiratory passages. Take breaks to blow your nose and remove the loosened mucus. Keep inhaling until the steam runs out. Use as often as you need to, to keep your nasal passages, sinuses and chest clear of mucus.

Mix a few drops of Cajeput oil to a little coconut oil or other oil, and rub it onto your back and chest as an alternative to Vicks Vapor Rub. You can also dab a little of the mix under your nose.

A longer lasting salve can be made by melting a little beeswax and mixing it with the oil. Use 1 part beeswax to 4 parts of coconut or olive oil, and add your essential oil to this mixture. When the mixture cools, it will harden to a waxy salve consistency which is easier to use than a runny oil.

Sprinkle a few drops of Cajeput oil onto a cotton handkerchief and inhale while you’re out and about to help keep your airways clear.

3. Aromatherapy For Bronchitis

Cajeput essential oil can be inhaled via a steam in the same way that it is used as a decongestant, and it can also be beneficial if you infuse the air in your room with its healing properties. It is especially recommended to diffuse Cajeput oil into your bedroom while you sleep to ease breathing and help to clear the infection.

The best way to do this is to use an essential oil diffuser that uses ultrasonic vibrations to create a humidifying mist of essential oils and water.

Because Cajeput essential oil contains Limonene you will need to select a diffuser that is suitable for use with citrus oils.

4. Circulation

The warming effect on Cajeput oil helps to stimulate strong circulation which improves the functioning of your organs and the elimination of waste products and other toxins. As a sudorific Cajeput oil also encourages sweating which will allow better elimination of toxins from your body and the removal of impurities from your skin more effectively.

5. Mild Pain Reliever

As a mild analgesic, Cajeput essential oil can help to alleviate pain. Cajeput oil diluted with a carrier oil can be applied anywhere that you are experiencing pain. It’s particularly useful as a headache remedy. Just massage a little diluted oil into your temples and onto the back of your neck. You should feel relief from the headache in about 20 minutes, which is roughly the same amount of time that you would need to wait for a painkiller like acetaminophen to take effect.

Another good way to use Cajeput essential oil, is to ease the pain of backache. Again simply dilute the oil and rub it into your aching back. The warmth that the oil produces will also add to its analgesic effect, in the same way that a heat rub eases back pain.

Cajeput can also be used for earache. Mix one drop with 1 teaspoon of warmed olive oil and slowly drip into the affected ear.

Apply this pain relieving oil to your skin as often as necessary to keep the pain at bay. While the essential oil may not be strong enough on its own to deal with more severe pain, it can take the edge off the pain if you have used up the recommended safe allocation of painkillers for the day.

6. Arthritis

For joint pain and stiffness caused by arthritis you can benefit from Cajeput essential oil in several ways. The analgesic properties of Cajeput will ease pain and the warmth inducing properties of the oil will improve circulation to reduce inflammation.

Dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil and massaged into aching joints. Or add 15 to 20 drops to a warm bath and enjoy a relaxing soak.

7. Muscle Cramps

Cajeput essential oil can ease cramping muscles and bring fast relief from pain.

Dilute a few drops of Cajeput essential oil with a carrier oil and rub directly onto the affected muscle, or make a hot compress using a washcloth soaked in very hot water and lightly wrung out. Add 6 drops of Cajeput oil to the cloth and place the compress over the cramping muscle.

8. Fever Reducer

While your immune system raises your body temperature as an important part of fighting off infection, a fever that gets too high can be dangerous. Cajeput can help to reduce the severity of a fever by stimulating your body to sweat more which is your body’s natural cooling mechanism.

Dilute 10 drops of Cajeput essential oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil and rub over your neck, chest, back and abdomen.

9. Eliminates Trapped Gas

Trapped gas in incredibly painful and people have even mistaken the pain for heart attacks. Cajeput oil will quickly work to move the gas causing the pain. Simply dilute a few drops of Cajeput oil in a little coconut oil or other carrier oil and rub over the area (upper or lower abdomen) where the gas is trapped. The essential oil will be absorbed safely through your skin and will stimulate the muscles in your digestive tract to move the gas.

Cajeput essential oil can also be diluted with water and taken internally to relieve gas, but you should seek the advice of a natural physician on the dilution and the dose to take. Essential oils should not be used internally without qualified guidance.

This calming oil can also prevent digestive disorders like colic, indigestion and cramps.

10. Skin Care

Cajeput essential oil can be used as an astringent toner after cleansing. Its antibacterial properties help to prevent spots and rashes, and it tightens pores and brightens the complexion.

Cajeput is a useful oil for oily skin and helps to clear away the excess oil that leads to blocked pores, blackheads and acne.

Mix 10 drops with 2 oz of filtered water and store in a clean bottle. Wipe this over your skin with a cotton pad after cleansing.

To treat spots, dilute 2 drops of Cajeput essential oil with 2 teaspoons of water and use a Q-Tip to apply the oil directly onto the spots twice a day.

If you have acne, you can add some Cajeput essential oil to your regular moisturizer to provide a long lasting bacteria killing layer on your skin.

Cajeput essential oil stimulates circulation which helps to bring an increased flow of nutrients and antioxidants to your skin.

Another good use for Cajeput essential oil is to disinfect your makeup brushes and sponges and to clean your hairbrushes and combs.

11. Eczema

Cajeput is a good essential oil to use on eczema. It protects the broken skin from infection and provides relief from the irritation and soreness.

Use Cajeput oil diluted with water as an antibacterial skin wash, or add it to a moisturizing oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil to provide a protective barrier to damaged skin.

12. Insect Repellent

Insect Repellent

Cajeput essential oil can keep annoying and biting insects away from your skin, and out of your home. Dilute Cajeput oil with a carrier oil and rub over any exposed skin to prevent bites and stings while you’re outdoors.

Use Cajeput in an oil burner or an aromatherapy diffuser to fill your bedroom with a natural insect repellent.

If you’re going to be in an area where mosquitoes carry disease, dip your mosquito net into a solution of Cajeput oil and water for extra protection.

Cajeput will also keep ants away from your kitchen. Mix 20 drops of Cajeput oil with water in a spray bottle and spray your doorways, window ledges and any other entry points with the mixture.

13. Intestinal Worms

Taken internally under the supervision of an alternative health physician, Cajeput will expel parasitic worms. The essential oil must be diluted with water and taken exactly as directed by your physician.

Many essential oils are suitable for dilution for internal use, but because they can interact with other medicines that you could be taking, or have effects on other health conditions, it is advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced natural health practitioner so that you can be sure that you are using the oil in a safe manner.

14. Menstrual Cramps

Cajeput essential oil is a very effective home remedy for menstrual cramps. Massage diluted Cajeput into your abdomen and lower back to bring fast relief. Its antispasmodic properties will relax your cramping uterus and the oil’s mild pain relieving ability will provide an extra layer of relief.

15. Cystitis

Under the direction of a naturopathic physician Cajeput can be diluted and taken internally to combat the bacteria that cause cystitis.

You can also use the oil for the relief of the pain caused by cystitis by diluting it with a carrier oil and massaging it into your lower abdomen and pelvic region. Used in this way Cajeput should be considered an aid to whatever other cystitis treatment you are using. It isn’t strong enough when used this way to combat the infection by itself.

16. As A Mouthwash and Antiseptic Gargle

Cajeput essential oil can be diluted with water and swished around the mouth to eliminate bad breath. It will also kill the bacteria responsible for gum disease. Dilute 4 drops of Cajeput essential oil in 4 oz of water and rinse your mouth with the mixture. Spit thoroughly and then rinse with pure water and spit again.

For sore throats you can gargle with the same mixture. Gargle for one minute then spit and rinse with fresh water.

Try not to swallow any of the mixture, but as it will only be the tiniest amount don’t panic if you do.

You can also use diluted Cajeput oil to clean and disinfect your toothbrushes and retainers.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.