Reports of the physicochemical properties of cajuput oil are summarised in Table 2. Uses
Cajuput oil is classified as non-toxic (rodent LD50 of 2-5g/kg, Tisserand and Balacs 1995) and non-sensitizing, although skin irritation may occur at high concentrations (Lawless 1995).
Lassak and McCarthy (1983) described the medicinal uses of cajuput oil:
The oil is used internally for the treatment of coughs and colds, against stomach cramps, colic and asthma; the dose is one to five drops. It is used externally for the relief of neuralgia and rheumatism, often in the form of ointments and liniments. External application of a few drops on cotton wool for the relief of toothache and earache.
The oil is also reputed to have insect-repellent properties; it is a sedative and relaxant and is useful in treating worms, particularly roundworm, and infections of the genitourinary system. It is also used as a flavouring in cooking and as a fragrance and freshening agent in soaps, cosmetics, detergents and perfumes (Sellar 1992; Lawless 1995).
The antimicrobial constituents of cajuput oil have been identified as including 1,8-cineole, (-)-linalool, (-)-terpinen-4-ol, (l)-a-terpineol (Nguyen Duy Cuong et al. 1994) and 3,5-dimethyl-4,6-di-O-methylphloroacetophenone (or cajeputol) (Lowry 1973).
The use of platyphyllol and similar compounds as sunscreens, bactericides and fungicides has been patented (Joulain and Racine 1994).
CAJUPUT OIL SUPPLY SOURCES, QUALITY AND PRICE
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If you suffer with asthma, you will no doubt be familiar with the uncomfortable sensations as your bronchial tubes begin to narrow and your muscles around them start to tighten. A sticky mucus known as phlegm begins to produce and increase within your bronchial tubes and you begin to wheeze, cough and struggle to breathe.