Blue Cypress Oil
Botanical name: Callistris intratropica
Common name: Blue Cypress, Northern Australian Cypress Pine
Distillation: Steam-distilled from the wood, bark and leaves
Colour: Light cobalt blue
Aroma: Rich, resinous, woody, smoky, honey-like
Odour notes: Base note
Main Chemical constituents: Guaiazulene, guaiol (20-30%), guaienes, selinenes, eudosmols, beta-elemene, furanones
Properties: anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, analgesic
A member of the Cupressaceae family, Callitris Intratropica is found in Northern Australia, predominantly in the Northern Territory, around Darwin and on Melville Island. The tree grows to a height of 15 to 45 m and has always been sought after for its highly fragrant wood.
The steam-distillation of the wood, bark and leaves of Callistris Intratropica produces an unusual essential oil. It contains a small proportion of guaiazulene which gives the oil a clear cobalt blue colour and its name of ‘Australian Blue Cypress’. The oil mostly contains sesquiterpenes with balancing, calming, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in contrast with Cupressus Sempervirens which contains up to 75% monoterpenes with stimulating, decongesting and expectorant properties.
The oil of Blue Cypress has a rich, resinous, woody, honey-like aroma. It has the same traits as Cupressus Sempervirens but with a softer note. It is a wonderful base note and fixative in blends particularly when mixed with other woody notes and citrus scents.
TRADITIONS AND USES
The Tiwi people of Bathurst and Melville Islands (North Territory) have used the Blue Cypress tree for thousands of years as a skin wash for sores and cuts, as an analgesic to relieve abdominal cramps and as an insect repellent.
THERAPEUTICALLY – As an anti-inflammatory and anti-viral oil
Due to its guaiazulene content, the oil has good anti-inflammatory properties and has been found useful in treating rheumatoid arthritis, general joint pain and swelling. It is also an anti-irritant, soothing nappy rash and relieving pain from insect bites and burns.
Its anti-viral properties make it very useful and effective against common warts, shingles and cold sores (herpes simplex). It can be applied neat on the injured area.
Psychologically, Blue Cypress oil has calming and reassuring properties. It has been used efficiently to ground emotionally distraught or nervous patients with immediate and lasting effect.
USING BLUE CYPRESS
The oils blends well with other wood notes and citrus oils.
As a base note, it has brilliant fixative properties