Melaleuca viridiflora

Niaouli (botanical name Melaleuca viridiflora) is also occasionally known as gomenol and belongs to the Myrtaceae family. An essential oil obtained by steam distilling the tender leaves and twigs of the plant that is used as a substitute for lavender in its native country for nearly all purposes. Niaouli is seldom used as an herb and it is actually the essential oil obtained from its leaves that is of importance. Niaouli essential oil possesses potent antiseptic properties, particularly against yeast. The niaouli plant is actually an evergreen tree having a supple trunk with a spongy bark. This tree bears piercing linear leaves and spikes of sessile flowers that have a yellowish hue. The niaouli trees are usually tall often growing to a height of 10 to 15 meters. The trunks of the trees are straight, smooth and whitish. The trees have ringed boughs and the younger ones have a somewhat reddish hue.

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Australia is the country of origin of the niaouli tree, which is now found growing in other places, such as the French Pacific Islands and New Caledonia. As aforementioned, niaouli essential oil is extracted from the young leaves and twigs of the tree by the steam distillation method. This essential oil has a pale yellowish-green hue and a fresh camphoraceous (camphor-like) scent that reminds one of the essential oil obtained from the tea tree. As this tree is found in abundance in Australia, the country is also the major hub for producing niaouli essential oil.

Since niaouli possesses potent antiseptic properties, the places where the trees grow are disinfected by the leaves dropping on and covering the ground. In addition to creating a healthy environment, it also helps to purify water. Going by the records in history, this herb was extensively used in the obstetric wards of the French hospitals owing to its potent antiseptic attributes. Even today, niaouli essential oil is very popular and forms an active ingredient in many toothpastes and mouth sprays.

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The normal process of obtaining niaouli essential oil is to extract it by vapor or steam distillation method from the tender leaves, twigs and shoots of the herb. This essential oil possesses a nippy and clear floral scent and is used for its therapeutic properties - decongestant, refreshment and insecticidal. On several occasions, niaouli essential oil is blended with other essential oils, such as lavender, lime, lemon, juniper, rosemary, myrtle, Scotch pine as well as sweet fennel in different formulations to treat several types of illnesses. In fact, this herb has a long history of use by various cultures around the world. Since its antiseptic properties ensures fresh and healthy environment, places where niaouli trees grow are usually do not have malarial attacks. While niaouli trees are able to protect us from malaria, it is also used to purify water. People of different cultures extensively used niaouli for these two properties of the herb. An herbal tea prepared using tender niaouli leaves is effective in encouraging strong bowel movements. As mentioned earlier, this herb and its products have extensively been used in the obstetrics and gynecology wards in several hospitals for their strong antiseptic properties. Presently, niaouli essential oil as well as its products are frequently used in radiology treatments on the skin with a view to prevent burning during treatments with radiation. The best thing about this essential oil is that it is not only easily obtainable, but also simple to use. Niaouli essential oil works by preventing sensation during radiological tests and, thereby, safeguards the skin from burning.

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Often, niaouli essential oil is used to treat cancer patients since it has the aptitude to stimulate blood circulation. At the same time, this essential oil augments the growth of white blood cells (leukocytes, which strengthen the immune system). In addition, this essential oil may be applied topically or massaged to relieve muscle cramps as well as pain. When taken internally, niaouli essential oil is useful for treating intestinal infections as well as infections of the urinary tract. If you are using this oil to wash external wounds, remember to always dilute the oil to very low concentration before use. Herbalists often prescribe niaouli douse to help in treating skin disorders like boils, acne, cuts, insect bites and even ulcers as this essential oil possesses potent properties that can stimulate tissues.

In addition, use of niaouli essential oil also brings about clarity of thoughts and improves the ability to concentrate. It also helps to stimulate spiritual feelings in an individual and drive away depression. Niaouli essential oil is said to be non-toxic and non-irritant. At the same time, this oil possesses potent stimulating properties and hence, it needs to be used early during the night. Always remember to dilute niaouli essential oil by blending it with any suitable carrier oil that possesses soothing properties before use. Most importantly, while buying niaouli essential oil from any herbal medication store, ensure that you are purchasing the genuine and unadulterated quality of the oil.

The essential oil extracted by steam distilling the young leaves, twigs and shoots of the trees possesses a somewhat sweet and fresh aroma. As mentioned before, the color of this oil varies - from being colorless to light yellow to a greenish tinge. Different qualities of niaouli essential oils are available in the market and, hence, it is necessary that you buy the finest quality and unadulterated oil if you intend to use it for therapeutic purposes. Unlike many other essential oils, niaouli essential oil does not result in any toxicity or cause irritation when used externally or internally. On the other hand, this essential oil possesses numerous positive attributes that are beneficial for our wellbeing. Since it possesses significant anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-bacterial, analgesic and disinfectant properties, it is widely used in preparing various effective medical formulations. While niaouli is generally available in the form of oil, one may also use this essential oil in vapour therapy owing to its analgesic and disinfectant properties. Presently, apart from being available in the form of oil, niaouli can also be obtained in the form of lotions and creams. The lotion or cream form of niaouli essential oil is easier for topical application on the skin as a medication.

Chemical analysis of niaouli essential oil has displayed that the major components of this oil include y-terpineol, 1.8-cineole, a-phellandrene, linalool, a and b-pinene as well as piperitone. This essential oil is said to be safe for use since it does not cause any toxic reactions, irritations or sensitize the skin. Niaouli essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic or medicinal properties. It is anti-rheumatic, anti-bacterial, analgesic, balsamic (an aromatic ointment for medicinal use), decongestant, expectorant, insecticide, febrifuge (aids in reducing fever), cicatrisant (helps to heal wounds), vermifuge (aids in expelling worms from the intestine), stimulant as well as vulnerary (a medication used to promote healing of wounds).

The best health benefit of niaouli essential oil is derived from its disinfectant attributes. This particular property of this essential oil helps to strengthen the body against contagions, to nurture the digestive system as well as facilitate healing all types of skin infections. When used in vapour therapy, niaouli essential oil has the aptitude to aid in promoting concentration as well as clearing the head, combating contagions, relieving pains and also in harmonizing the digestive system. When combined with any other essential oil for massage purpose or added to bath water, niaouli oil effectively combats infections, heals all skin infections, provides relief from pain and tones up the digestive system. It is useful for people suffering from arthritis, gout and rheumatism. In addition, this essential oil also helps to keep the oily skin clean by clearing up the skin pores, thereby, preventing infections.

Niaouli essential oil and oil obtained from eucalyptus, cajuput and tea tree have a number of common attributes. In fact, the chemo-types of niaouli essential oil display an assortment of activities that are very helpful medicinally as well as pharmacologically. This oil is highly effective for massages and rubs to alleviate throbbing muscles and joint aches.

The essential oil obtained from the leaves and twigs of niaouli trees is widely used in aromatherapy owing to its potent antiseptic properties and aptitude to stimulate various functions. This essential oil is widely used to clear contagions like bronchitis, sinus and catarrh.

This essential oil possesses potent top and middle note offering a unsullied and sweet aroma, something akin to the smell of camphor, and reminds one of cardamom and eucalyptus. It is generally believed that niaouli essential oil possesses strong antiseptic and analgesic (pain relieving) attributes.

Niaouli essential oil is also safe for use by children provided it is used in very low concentrations - the intensity of the oil in a blend with any carrier oil needs to be one per cent or even lower. This essential oil is rich in cineol content and this makes it similar in attributes to the essential oil extracted from eucalyptus.

General properties

  • antiseptic
  • antiviral
  • fungicidal

Blends well with

General uses


While the niaouli essential oil is usually known to be placid, it can cause irritations. Hence, it is advisable to lower the concentration of this oil by blending it with other essential oils or carrier oils before use.


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