This week I was reminded of an oil that I don’t use very often. It came up as one of the oils in the synergy I was creating for my client and I was reminded of what an interesting oil it is.
Honey Myrtle (Melaleuca teretifolia), belonging to the Myrtaceae family, is a shrub which grows to a height of around 5 meters and is indigenous to Australia where it grows in sand and clay, in swamps and in low areas that fill with water in wet weather. The plant is too small to be used for its wood. It is grown in the south west of Western Australia and distilled for its essential oil.
The essential oil with its fresh, uplifting, lemony, with a hint of honey arom, is steam distilled from the twigs/branches and leaves. It has been found to blend well with myrtle, lemon, grapefruit, bergamot, vetiver, jasmine, hyssop, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, fir, niaouli, rosalina, and sandalwood.
The oil contains up to 70% citral (neral and geranial) giving it the highest aldehyde content of all Melaleucas, which while giving it significant perfumery and therapeutic potential, also brings the cautions that it could be a skin sensitizer, as well as a mucous membrane irritant.
As this is a new oil there is no literature with respect to its traditional uses, either physical or psychological. However a study published by the University of Western Australia showed Honey Myrtle to be anti-infectious, it was shown effective in concentrations of 0.25% against Candida albicans, Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli (E.coli) and more research is ongoing.
It is considered to have analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-convulsant, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, calming and sedative properties and it is an insect repellent
It is uplifting, relaxing, calming and brings relief to mental stress. It is thought to be particularly helpful for high pressure workers, students, or those wanting to switch off from pressure situations. It could calm noisy children. Considered helpful when one needs to clear and focus the mind and assists concentration.
Certainly it is an oil both with lots of potential and a place in my aromatherapy practice.