Latin Name: Melaleuca leucodendron
English Names: Cajuput Tree, Tea Tree Oil
Sanskrit / Indian Name: Kayaputi
An evergreen tree of small or moderate size with pendulous branches.
Fresh leaves and terminal branchlets yield, on steam-distillation, a volatile oil, known in the trade as Oil of Cajuput (Oleum Cajuputi) and used in medicine. Besides cineole, the oil contains a-terpineol and its esters, l -a-pinene, l -limonene, dipentene, sesquiterpenes, azulene, sesquiterpene alcohols, valeraldehyde and benzaldehyde.
It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antidandruff properties. The oil is used internally as an expectorant in chronic laryngitis and bronchitis, and as carminative; overdoses cause gastro-intestinal irritation. It acts as an anthelmintic, especially against roundworms. The oil relieves toothache if introduced into hollow carious teeth. It forms a constituent of ointments and liniments and is considered efficaceous as a counter-irritant in chronic rheumatism. It is valued as a mosquito repellent and has the advantage over citronella oil in that it is less volatile.