10 Niaouli Oil Benefits You Wish You Knew Before
Not many are aware of the niaouli oil benefits and that’s exactly why we thought of writing this post. The tree of niaouli has therapeutic uses and has been known to treat a variety of ailments.
Did you know that the locals in those days used niaouli to purify water? Yes, that’s true. The people of Madagascar used it to treat fevers, headache, muscle pain, and congestion.
And this isn’t it. There is much more that niaouli can offer. Let’s understand its properties, compounds, and uses in detail.
What is niaouli oil?
Niaouli essential oil is as a pleasant oil with an earthy aroma. It is extracted from the leaves and twigs of its tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia) through the process of steam distillation. (1)
Niaouli oil can easily blend with other camphorous and medicinal essential oils. It is excellent for treating skin infections, acne, and respiratory problems. Its fresh aroma clears the mind and is found effective for mood upliftment, insomnia, and emotional stress.
The oil is also used in exorcism rituals for cleaning the tools due to its cleansing effect. The oil is also used to to rise spiritual connections. (2)
About the plant:
Niaouli belongs to Myrtaceae family. Though the tree grows to a height of 8-15 meters, a few can also reach 25 meters. The leaves are arranged alternately and are lance-shaped, leathery with a tone of dull grayish green. Each leaf is 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide.
The flowers of the niaouli trees are arranged in spikes with petals measuring 3 mm in length. The stamens are white, greenish, or creamy, arranged in bundles of five around the flowers. The stamens vary from 5 to 10 per bundle. The flowers bloom in early spring.
The fruits are capsular and cylindrical, each measuring about 1 to 2 inches in length.
Scientific name of niaouli oil
The botanical name of niaouli is Melaleuca quinquenervia.
History of niaouli oil
The tree of niaouli is also known as broad-leaved paperbark, punk tree, or paperbark tea tree. The earliest description of niaouli was written in 1979 by Antonio Jose cavanilles, a Spanish naturalist. The Latin name of niaouli was provided in 1788 by Captain Cook’s Pacific.
The tree is native to New Guinea and East coastal Australia. The essential oil of niaouli was used as an analgesic and antiseptic. In those days, it was widely used for decorating the parks and streets in Florida.
Color, Consistency, and Smell of niaouli oil
- The color of niaouli essential oil is clear.
- The consistency of niaouli essential oil is thin.
- The smell of niaouli essential oil is camphorous and earthy.
Properties of niaouli essential oil
The medicinal properties of niaouli oil include: (3)
- Analgesic – Reduces pain
- Anti-rheumatic – Prevents rheumatism
- Antiseptic – Prevents sepsis
- Bactericidal – Kills bacterial growth
- Balsamic – Has healing properties
- Cardioprotective – Protects heart diseases
- Immunomodulatory – Strengthens the immune system
- Cicatrisant – Helps in healing wounds
- Decongestant – Clears congestion
- Expectorant – Treats cough
- Febrifuge – Lowers fever
- Insecticide – Kills the growth of insects
- Stimulant – Raises nervous activity
- Vermifuge – Fights intestinal worms
Chemical compounds in niaouli oil
The chemical compounds in niaouli essential oil include α-pinene, γ-terpinene, β-pinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, myrcene, terpinolene, Linalool, benzaldehyde, p-cymene, α-gurjunene, benzaldehyde, terpinen-4-ol, β-caryophyllene, α-terpineol, viridiflorene, δ+γ-cadinene, ledol, caryophyllene oxide, viridiflorol, E-nerolidol, and α-muurolol.
The components in niaouli oil that are present in large amounts include 1,8-cineole, viridiflorol, and terpinolene. (4)
Health benefits of niaouli oil
Though niaouli oil benefits are numerous, the most noteworthy ones proven by studies recently include:
- Stimulates blood & lymph circulation
- Strengthens the immune system
- Helps in healing wounds
- Prevents gingivitis
- Rich source of antioxidants
- Has strong anti-larvicidal activity
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Has strong antifungal properties
- Effective against virus
- Prevents Cervicitis & Vaginitis
1. Stimulates blood & lymph circulation
Niaouli essential oil is found helpful in increasing the rate of circulation in the blood as well as lymph. When this oil is massaged properly (but diluted with a carrier oil), it can enhance the flow of blood in the body. Besides this, it has also been found effective in increasing the circulation of lymph.
2. Strengthens the immune system
Niaouli essential oil is found to be a strong immune-modulator. It increases the white blood cells or WBC count in the body. White blood cells and their other components are found specialized to counter-attack the foreign invaders and sublimate their effects. It is also found that this oil is good enough to activate the T cells & B cells, and can be helpful in preventing the autoimmune diseases. (5)
3. Helps in healing wounds
Niaouli essential oil is well admired for its vulnerary property, meaning that it is helpful in healing wounds faster. No wonder is if often used in wound-healing ointments and lotions. Besides external wounds, the oil of niaouli can also cure internal wounds, acne, cuts, and ulcers. (6)
The phenolic compounds present in niaouli oil activate the leucocytes and the plates at the site of infection, preventing microbial intrusion further. The oil also works as a good disinfectant and inhibits progression of infection or growth of the microorganism.
This oil also promotes the reformation of the ruptured tissues at the site of infection and assists in the development of new cells. Due to this, the process of wound healing quickens. This oil can be a great disinfectant, antiseptic, and antimicrobial.
4. Prevents gingivitis
Niaouli essential oil is highly helpful in preventing gingivitis. Gingivitis is caused due to infection of mutant Streptococcus. However, a clinical study conducted on 49 patients reported that 2.5% of niaouli essential oil and 0.2% of chlorhexidine gel has been found effective in treating severe chronic gingivitis. (7)
5. Rich source of antioxidants
Like other essential oils, niaouli essential oil is a potent antioxidant. Oxidation is a byproduct formed inside the body after the metabolic process. These free radicals are O2 – -, HO-, which reach different parts of the body and create harm on different levels.
These free radicals can rupture the cell walls and can sabotage the tissues. They are even capable of generating numerous diseases. The level of lipid peroxidases falls, SGOT/SGPT levels rise, causing extreme damage to liver cells.
Besides this, these free radicals can cause a big harm to different tissues and can even induce dopamine deficiency diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
But the compound methanol present in niaouli oil is 80% more effective in suppressing the free radicals. Being a potent antioxidant it can be proved to be a good alternative medicine and can provide a good remedy for stress, depression, wrinkles, and other cell & tissue injuries. (8)
6. Has strong anti-larvicidal activity
Niaouli essential oil has a strong anti-larvicidal activity. The oil showed a significant impact on suppressing the Anisakis simplex virus. In 48 hours, the oil of niaouli has the capacity to reduce the larval vitality of Anisakis simplex. In a study, it was clearly seen that the oil with 7 μL/mL showed better larvicidal activity after a duration of 4 hours of incubation. (9)
7. Helps reduce inflammation
Niaouli is a well-known anti-inflammatory oil. Inflammation occurs when a foreign object invades your body. It can be considered as the most important phenomenon of your immune system. Inflammation has 4 major symptoms associated with it:
- Raised body temperature
The temperature of the body raises to kill the pathogen(s) and thereby, releasing endopyrogens. The redness and swelling indicate that macrophages are busy fighting the pathogens. The dead cells during this defense procedure get collected in the form of pus cells and are deposited at the site of infection, below the skin, which further, gets diffused when the tissue ruptures.
Niaouli can inhibit the lipopolysaccharide induced production of TNF- α, IL-10, and IL-1β by 50% and the level of prostaglandin by 30%. The main compounds that help in this process include α-terpineol, terpinene-4-ol, and 1,8-cineole. (10)
8. Has strong antifungal properties
Niaouli is a potent antifungal and has been found effective on different yeasts and dermatophytes. The vapors of niaouli essential oil are even effective in inhibiting fungal growth and affect their sporulation.
9. Effective against virus
Niaouli is a well-known antiviral. It prevents the growth of the virus and has been found effective against TMV (Tobacco Mosaic Virus). During a study, when niaouli essential oil was sprayed on the leaves of tobacco plants for 10 days, lesser lesions were found in per square area of the leaves of the plants. Even the plaque amount decreased after 4 days of the treatment.
10. Prevents Cervicitis & Vaginitis
Essential oil of niaouli has also been found effective in the treatment and prevention of of cervicitis (inflammation if the cervix) and vaginitis (inflammation if the vagina).
Vaginitis occurs due to Trichomonas vaginilis or Candida albicans. It has been found that after regular application of niaouli oil (diluted) for 4 weeks on the intravaginal, vaginitis was cured. It is also found effective on the symptoms of cervicitis such as leukocoria, burning, and itching. Niaouli is also found effective against the infection caused by Candida albicans.
What blends with niaouli oil?
Niaouli oil blends the best with:
- Coriander oil
- Fennel oil
- Juniper berry oil
- Lavender oil
- Lime oil
- Pine oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Myrtle oil
- Peppermint oil
- Tea Tree oil
- Rosemary oil
- Eucalyptus oil
- Neroli oil
How to use niaouli oil?
As said earlier, the people of Madagascar use niaouli oil for multiple issues like fever, muscular spasms, headache, and body pain.
- For treating acne or pimples, mix a few drops of this oil with 2 tablespoons of any carrier oil. Massage your face gently with this mixture and wash after 20 minutes with lukewarm water.
- The oil can also be used against psoriasis. However, for desired results on a problem like psoriasis, it is good to blend it with spikenard oil.
- For wounds & cuts, mix 15 drops of niaouli oil with ½ pint of water. Apply this mixture on the wounds to get better results.
- For treating joint and muscle pain, mix 8 drops of geranium oil with 5 drops of black pepper oil, 10 drops of niaouli oil, and 5 drops of sweet marjoram oil. Store this mixture in a dark bottle and protect it from sun. Whenever you experience muscle or joint pain, take a few drops of this mixture and mix it with 2-3 tablespoons of carrier oil. Massage using this mixture for better results.
- For respiratory disorders, the best way to treat is to inhale the aroma of niaouli oil. Use a diffuser for this. The oil is less irritant for the skin.
Side effects of niaouli oil
- Prolonged use of niaouli essential oil can cause problems in the central nervous system and respiratory system. This is because it has huge amounts of 1,8-cineole in it.
- The oil must not be used on children.
- The oil is not meant for oral consumption.
- It can cause severe burns if you used without dilution.
- The oil should never be used if you are under any medication for epilepsy, damaged liver, cancer, etc.
- Pregnant women and lactating mothers should not use this oil.