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Botanical Name: Melaleuca quinquenervia
Plant Part: Leaves and Twigs
Processing Method: Steam Distilled
Description / Color / Consistency: A light, clear, pale yellow liquid.
Aromatic Summary / Note / Strength of Aroma: A middle note of medium aroma, Niaouli Essential Oil has a sweet, fresh, camphoraceous smell.
Blends With: Basil, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Myrtle, Orange, Pine, Rosemary, Peppermint, Tea Tree and Thyme.
Product Abstract: Niaouli Essential Oil comes from an evergreen tree with a flexible trunk, spongy bark, and pointed leaves with spikes of sessile flowers. Niaouli Essential Oil did not appear in Europe until the 17th century. Captain Cook gave it the botanical name while on route from Australia, though the French still sometimes refer to it as Gomenol.
Cautions: Dilute before use; for external use only. May cause skin irritation in some individuals; a skin test is recommended prior to use. Contact with eyes should be avoided.
Storage: It is recommended that oils packaged in metal containers (for safe shipping) be transferred into dark glass containers to maintain freshness and attain maximum shelf life.
Naiouli essential oil is an excellent choice for use with respiratory concerns, skin infections and acne.
HISTORY OF NIAOULI OIL
Niaouli Essential Oil is a light, clear to pale-yellow liquid with a strong and penetrating camphoraceous aroma. It is aromatically close to Tea Tree and Eucalyptus essential oils and is further known for having similar properties as Tea Tree Oil, albeit with a subtler scent.
Niaouli Oil comes from the young leaves and twigs of Melaleuca quinquenervia, an evergreen tree or shrub from the Myrtaceae family that is native to Australia, Papua New Guinea, and the French Pacific Islands. The Niaouli tree is a close cousin of the Tea tree (Maleleuca alternifolia) and Cajeput tree (Melaleuca cajeputi), having a similar appearance. The Niaouli tree, which is also known as the paper-bark tea tree or the punk tree, typically grows between 10 and 20 m tall and has a flexible trunk with spongy white, brownish or grey bark, pointed leaves, and delicate cream-colored, pale-yellow, green or red flowers. The British explorer Captain James Cook is said to have given the botanical its name while on the route from Australia during his voyages in the mid-1700s (although the French still sometimes refer to it as Gomenol, after Gomen, a region in New Caledonia).
Traditionally, Niaouli has been valued for its cleansing properties, widely considered to bolster immunity. It is believed that centuries ago, babies were wrapped in Niaouli bark to confer strength and protection in communities where the trees grow wild. Traditional use of Niaouli that first sparked European interest was observed during the 19th century in New Caledonian coffee pickers, who used the tree's leaves to treat wounds and prevent infection. Upon subsequent exploration and discovery of its purifying properties in France, Niaouli Oil became widely used as a cleaning agent in hospital obstetric wards – appropriately still protecting the newly born. Niaouli trees were first introduced to the United States in 1900 and have since become classified as exotic invasive species and noxious weeds. Their essential oil, however, has received a much warmer reception, becoming known for its many benefits in aromatherapy, natural body care, and household cleaners.
NIAOULI OIL BENEFITS & COMPOSITION
Niaouli Oil benefits for aromatherapy and natural cosmetics stem from its purifying properties and stimulating scent. The echoes of its traditional use as an antiseptic can still be perceived in the increasingly popular use of this oil in cleansing applications and in blends to support the body's natural defenses against colds, flu, and infections. Niaouli Oil is known to penetrate the pores for a deep cleanse to underscore the skin's natural radiance; it is a wonderful essence to promote a rejuvenated appearance, helping to balance complexion and reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes. It is also known as an effective natural air freshener and insect repellent, helping to discourage the presence of unwanted pests around the house and enhance the atmosphere in any personal space. Many of these benefits can be traced to a chemical composition high in 1,8-Cineole, α-Pinene, and Viridiflorol.
1,8-CINEOLE is known to:
α-PINENE is known to:
VIRIDIFLOROL is known to:
Used in aromatherapy, Niaouli Oil is reputed to have a clarifying influence that helps to sharpen mental focus and boost mood, which in turn can help encourage quality sleep. Its powerfully potent scent is further known to help clear the airways and promote easier breathing, thus facilitating feelings of relaxation, which can be particularly helpful when dealing with stressful emotions. Despite its strong scent, Niaouli Oil is gentle when used topically – even for sensitive skin – and can be added to natural cosmetics and body care formulations for its cleansing and balancing benefits. A cooling oil, Niaouli is known to have a comfortably soothing touch when used in massage.
CULTIVATING AND EXTRACTING OIL FROM NIAOULI
Niaouli trees grow best in full sunlight and flower throughout the year. This species thrives in water-rich environments such as moist wetlands, lowland areas, swamps, and along riverbanks, although it can also tolerate drier upland soils. Along with wind, water helps to disperse Niaouli seeds in areas where it grows naturally. This role is not to be underestimated, as Niaouli is known as a prolific generator of seeds, producing up to 200 million per year. It germinates so well and is such a hardy species that it can easily take over an area once it sets down roots – hence its reputation for being invasive in many regions.
Not only is Niaouli a strong seed producer; it is also known to produce a high content of essential oil, which makes it a highly attractive species for commercial cultivation. However, it poses a risk to other species growing in the wild in the event of a forest fire, as its heavy oil concentration both intensifies the flames and makes them more difficult to extinguish. Niaouli itself sustains little damage from fires, as its wood is known to be hardy enough to withstand their intensity. Surrounding species, however, are not known to fare as well and are often destroyed, freeing up space on the forest floor.
Ever the opportunist, Niaouli uses the aftermath of a fire to its advantage, as the addition of organic matter to the soil from dead trees makes it especially fertile for germination. Due to the ease with which it proliferates, its capability of withstanding extreme conditions, and its high oil content, Niaouli is a highly valued commercial botanical.
Niaouli Oil is extracted from the tree's leaves and twigs by a process of steam distillation. Leaves provide between 0.7 and 1% essential oil. They are typically picked and left to dry for a few hours in the shade before they are subjected to distillation. About 6-10 mL of Niaouli Essential Oil can be extracted from 1 kg of plant material. After the oil has been extracted, leftover plant material may be used in biofuel applications.
NIAOULI OIL USES
Niaouli is a middle note that blends well with the similar oils of Tea Tree and Eucalyptus. It also blends well with the evergreen oils of Juniper, Myrtle, and Pine, as well as with the cooling oils of Peppermint, and Cajeput. Further compatible essences include Lavender, citrus oils such as Lemon, Lime, and Orange, and herbaceous oils such as Basil, Rosemary, Fennel, and Thyme.
The simplest way to enjoy the benefits of Niaouli Essential Oil is to add a few drops to a diffuser for a purifying aromatherapy experience that is believed to support the body's natural defenses. When diffused during meditation, Niaouli Oil is said to elevate the spirit and awaken the senses. It can also be diffused in a steam inhalation to help clear airways and promote deep breathing. For a soothing aromatherapy blend, try diffusing Niaouli with Bergamot or Lavender. If you are looking for a cool, cleansing blend to refresh the senses, try diffusing Niaouli with Peppermint and Eucalyptus.
To keep the air in your home or office space smelling fresh and clean, you can make a mist spray with 30 drops each of Niaouli, Eucalyptus, Cajeput, Peppermint, Orange, and Rosemary oils in 120 ml of pure water. This blend will help to perk up your mental energy when you need to keep focused and it will help you maintain a positive headspace. The combination of oils in this spray are known to be good for the airways and will also promote easier breathing to help facilitate feelings of relaxation. You can also make a botanical based household cleaner to discourage pests by adding several drops of Niaouli Oil to a 50:50 blend of pure water and isopropyl alcohol. A good rule of thumb when using botanical essences in household cleaners is to start with a concentration of 2% essential oil and then tweak the formulation based on what smells good to you. Just be sure to shake the blend well before use.
For use in a cooling and comforting massage, dilute 2 drops of Niaouli Essential Oil in 1 tablespoon of a preferred Carrier Oil, and gently rub the blend into preferred areas of the body. To make a more complex blend, you can add up to 15 drops of preferred minty or herbal essential oils, or a spicy oil with refreshing qualities for the skin, such as Black Pepper. Due to its smoothing influence, massage with Niaouli Oil is also reputed to help improve the appearance of scarring and stretch marks.
If you prefer to soak in a cleansing and refreshing bath infused with the invigorating aroma of Niaouli, you can make an easy bath blend with a few basic ingredients. Simply combine 2 cups of either Sea Salts or Epsom Salts (you can also use 1 cup of each) with ¼ cup of baking soda and 60 mL of 1-2 preferred carrier oils. Add to this mixture 3-5 drops of Niaouli Essential Oil and thoroughly combine. Add ¼-1 cup of this blend to a bathtub full of warm water, making sure that the salts have dissolved completely before entering.
To leverage the benefits of Niaouli Oil in skincare, a simple way to incorporate it in your beauty routine is to add a couple of drops to a single use amount of a regular cleanser or exfoliating scrub for a smoothing and purifying botanical boost. You can make an easy mask to help cleanse pores, draw out impurities, and improve the appearance of acne and blemishes by adding a few drops of Niaouli Oil to a preferred facial mud or clay. To add moisturizing properties to this mask, add a few drops of a preferred carrier oil – we recommend Meadowfoam Oil for those with oily skin seeking a balanced texture.
Used in hair care, Niaouli Oil is a great cleanser for the scalp, known to help manage dryness, improve the appearance of flakiness, and support fuller looking hair in a similar manner as Tea Tree Oil. You can add a couple of drops of Niaouli Oil to a bottle of your regular shampoo or conditioner, or you can make an easy hair mask with 5-10 drops of Niaouli and 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil. Massage this blend into your roots for 10 minutes and let it sit for at least another 10 before washing out.
GUIDE TO NIAOULI OIL
Botanical Name: Melaleuca quinquenervia
Plant Part: Leaves and twigs
Country of Origin: Madagascar
Extraction Method: Steam Distilled
Aromatic Character: Penetratingly camphoraceous and woody
If you are looking for more cleansing aromatherapy oils to help open the airways and use in a soothing massage, check out our articles on Niaouli's cousins, Tea Tree Oil and Eucalyptus Oil for a breakdown of their similar uses and benefits. For more ideas on how to enhance your aromatherapy blends and cosmetic formulations, be sure to browse our product pages and find the best oils for you!
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Niaouli Essential Oil is for external use only. Due to the highly concentrated nature of Niaouli Essential Oil, it must be diluted with a carrier oil prior to topical use. We recommend consulting a medical practitioner prior to using this product for therapeutic purposes, particularly for those who are pregnant, nursing, or who have a pre-existing medical condition.
Possible side effects from the use of Niaouli Essential Oil include headaches or nausea from inhalation, and skin irritation or allergic reaction from topical use. To avoid such reactions, it is recommended to perform a skin patch test prior to using this oil topically and not to exceed recommended concentrations for aromatherapeutic use. To perform the skin patch test, dilute 1 drop of Niaouli Essential Oil in 4 drops of carrier oil and apply a dime-sized amount of the blend to a small area of skin that is not known to be sensitive. In the event of an adverse reaction, discontinue the use of the product and see a medical healthcare professional for appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, it is best to consult with a physician prior to use.
Niaouli Essential Oil must not be used near the eyes, inner nose, ears, or on any areas of the skin that are known to be sensitive. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, particularly those under the age of 7.