Also commonly called ‘Tick Bush’, Kunzea is found in North East Tasmania and South East Australia. This tall erect bush can grow up to a height of 5m although it is usually smaller. It is characterised by small, soft lanceolate dark green leaves displayed on long arching branches. It bears numerous small white flowers crowded on short lateral bracts.
TRADITIONS AND USES
Early pioneers and hunters noted that native animals often slept under this species and assumed that the ticks and mites that infected them, were coming from this plant. Hence, its common name of ‘Tick Bush’. The opposite is now believed to be true: Instead of being infected by the bush, native animals are seeking relief from it by brushing against or sleeping under its branches.
The essential oil of Kunzea is obtained by steam-distillation of the aerial parts. Its aroma is clean, refreshing and invigorating like a blend combining Pine, Rosemary and Eucalyptus.
Its main chemical components consist of mono and sesqui-terpenes with a balancing and stimulating effect. A typical analysis of the oil would show:
- Alpha-pinene (39%)
- Cineole 1.8 (15%)
- Globulol (12%)
- Viridiflorol (9.4%)
Therapeutic applications - An ideal oil for skin disorders
The oil has been found useful for:
- Improving skin conditions involving eczema, dermatis rash, undernail infections. leg ulcers and chilblains
- Relieving symptoms of influenza
- Relieving muscular aches and pain
- Promoting repair of soft tissue injuries, such as strains and sprains
- Repelling insects
- Treating insect bites, cuts, minor burns. Spot application of the neat oil over the injury will procure immediate pain relief
- Refreshing the atmosphere of a room
Like Tea Tree and Lavender, the oils of Kunzea can be used neat over an insect bite or small cut. Otherwise it needs to be diluted in a carrier to be applied over a larger surface of the body.
Avoid during pregnancy.
Muscular aches and pain:
- Rosemary 4 drops
- Kunzea 3 drops
- Sandalwood 3 drops
Use a 3% dilution in a carrier oil to massage over the tired area
Influenza and cold
- Kunzea 4 drops
- Pine 3 drops
- Euc. Globulus 3 drops
10 drops in a burner