Cajeput Oil

Other Name(s):

Aceite de Cajeput, Cajeputi Aetheroleum, Cajeputier, Essence de Caia-Pouti, Essence de Cajeput, Huile de Cajoupouli, Huile de Cajeput, Kajuput, Kajuputi leucadendra, Kayaputi, Melaleuca leucadendra, Melaleuca Leucodendron, Melaleuca quinquenervia, Myrtus leucadendra, Paperbark Tree Oil, Punk Tree.


Cajeput oil is produced by steam distillation of fresh leaves and twigs of the cajeput tree (Melaleuca leucadendra) and the paperbark tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia). Don't confuse cajeput oil with tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) or niauli oil (Melaleuca viridiflora).

Cajeput oil is used to treat colds, headaches, toothache, and tumors; to loosen phlegm so it can be coughed up (as an expectorant); and as a tonic.

Some people apply cajeput oil to the skin for mites (scabies) and a fungal infection of the skin (tinea versicolor).

Cajeput oil is also used either alone or in combination with other ingredients in commercially available antiseptic lotions to treat joint pain (rheumatism) and other pains.

Some people inhale cajeput oil as an expectorant.

In dentistry, cajeput oil is used to relieve gum pain after a tooth is removed or lost.

In food and beverages, cajeput oil is used as a flavoring in very small amounts.

How does it work?

Cajeput oil contains a chemical called cineole. When applied to the skin, cineole can cause surface warmth and irritation, which relieves pain beneath the skin.


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Uses & Effectiveness

Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Toothache.
  • Colds.
  • Headaches.
  • Tumors.
  • Use as a tonic.
  • Thinning mucous (congestion) and making it easier to cough up, when taken by mouth or inhaled.
  • Fungal skin infections, when applied to the skin.
  • Joint pain (rheumatism), when applied to the skin.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of cajeput oil for these uses.

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate (detailed description of each of the ratings).

Side Effects

Very small amounts of cajeput oil are LIKELY SAFE when added to food as flavoring, but the safety of taking larger amounts by mouth is unknown.

Cajeput oil is POSSIBLY SAFE for most people when applied in medicinal amounts to unbroken skin, but it can cause allergic reactions.

It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to inhale cajeput oil. It can cause breathing problems.


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Special Precautions & Warnings

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking cajeput oil if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Children: Cajeput oil is LIKELY UNSAFE when inhaled or applied to the faces of children. It can cause serious breathing problems.

Asthma: Inhaling cajeput oil might cause an asthma attack.


Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6) substrates)Interaction Rating: Moderate Be cautious with this combination.Talk with your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Cajeput oil might slow down how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking cajeput oil along with some medications that are broken down by the liver might increase the effects and side effects of some medications. Before taking cajeput oil, talk to your healthcare provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Medications that might be affected include amitriptyline (Elavil), clozapine (Clozaril), codeine, desipramine (Norpramin), donepezil (Aricept), fentanyl (Duragesic), flecainide (Tambocor), fluoxetine (Prozac), meperidine (Demerol), methadone (Dolophine), metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol XL), olanzapine (Zyprexa), ondansetron (Zofran), tramadol (Ultram), trazodone (Desyrel), and others.


The appropriate dose of cajeput oil for use as treatment depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for cajeput oil. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

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