Niaouli Essential Oil Benefits, Uses & More!

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I’ve always been fascinated by alien plant species – and what exactly makes them alien. In most cases, the trees (or their seeds), have at some point in time been carried from one place to another. That’s the gist of what makes them alien I suppose – foreign perhaps. As far as I understand, these plants are generally harmful to the environment around them.

Whether it’s because they evolved safety mechanisms for different environmental conditions (where they originated from), or whether their faults lie simply in their natural characteristics, these plants always have some effect on the fauna and flora – good or bad.

However, in researching the nature of most alien plant species – I stumbled upon one that really struck me as being particularly interesting, the Niaouli Tree (also known as the Melaleuca). It’s rare that any invasive species offers more than a head full of hassles for most landowners. However, Niaouli isn’t your everyday alien, and I’ll explain why below.

What Is Niaouli Essential Oil? How Do You Make Niaouli Essential Oil?

Hand dropping oil into bottle with row of bottles in background.

Essential oil dropper.

Niaouli essential oil is produced from the leaves and smaller branches (twigs) of the Melaleuca tree, native to Australia – however, the tree has also been found to grow naturally in New Guinea. The tree was introduced to various countries and territories through colonial expansion during the 19th century and even made it as far as the USA. The tree was often introduced to an area for a specific reason and – for instance, was used in Northern America to help dry up the everglades.

However, no one accounted for the Melaleuca’s incredible ability to germinate on a huge scale and the tree quickly took over entire areas in which it was planted. The inflorescence on the branches of the tree are used to spread the plants seedlings on the wind. The plant also produces fruits that contain seed loads which drop to the floor and help germination.

In fact, on average a single Melaleuca tree produces roughly 200 million seeds per year! You can imagine how quickly this became a problem for those cultivating the tree and how it could take over an entire area within the space of a few years.

The high oil content of these trees also make them incredibly dangerous in forest fire scenarios – as they burn long and hot which makes a fire difficult to extinguish. The additional downside (to those not cultivating the tree for other purposes), is that they actually respond well to fires and generally germinate faster after a fire because the soil conditions are perfect (dead organic matter makes for rich humus content in the soil) and the seeds of the Melaleuca germinate rapidly after heat exposure and tend to explode – spreading seeds everywhere.

Those that aren’t destroyed in the fire, eventually take root and grow back. They’re hardy trees and getting rid of them is no easy task – which is why they’re considered incredibly invasive plants in many regions.

In fact, the only way to really get rid of one of these plants is to remove every piece of the tree from the area as even a branch or relatively well-sized twig can grow into a brand new tree if left in suitable conditions for long enough! Besides the downsides of being an alien species, it’s really actually quite an incredible tree. Nature’s own survivalist.

Using The Niaouli Tree

That being said, the Niaouli tree can also be an incredibly useful tree if you know how to use it. Perhaps the problem of getting rid of (or reducing) the Niaouli tree is not one of eradication, but rather one of cause and consumption. By this, I mean that if we manage to find uses for the tree in our modern society – and utilise it for better purposes, our naturally high rate of consumption will definitely work towards reducing the plant’s population.

Besides the essential oil which the tree produces (and can be used in a variety of different, everyday products such as teas, skin care treatments, digestion issues etc), the Niaouli tree can also be used for its wood – which is strong and durable. The wood can be utilized for construction, as well as firewood and charcoal production.

The bark of the tree, for instance, can be peeled down and used to cover roofs because it’s naturally high in suber – a membrane layer that is found between the wood of the tree and at the base of the bark, which is water-resistant and helps to protect the wood from rot. One of the most exciting aspects of the Naouli tree is that it also produces a very sweet honey when pollinated by bees – yet another widely popular product we consume.

So again, perhaps changing our perspective is a better solution to controlling and reducing the infectious spread of the Niaouli tree. It’s the old ‘life gives you a lemon, make lemonade’ routine that’s shaped so many lives – and I don’t see why it can’t be applied here. Make the tree a welcome part of the economy – rather than using harmful and toxic chemical herbicides to kill them off (waste time and money), find some way to feature them in our means of production and you’ll solve the overpopulation of the tree as well as benefit society.

Niaouli Essential Oil Vs. Tea Tree Essential Oil

Niaouli and Tea Tree essential oils can be easily confused because they both have very similar properties and smells. The aromatic profile of these oils can be likened to a camphorous sweet smell that is both pungent and pleasant. Both are commonly used in oil burners and distillers as a means of purifying and freshening up a living space as well as making you feel calm and at peace. However, some prefer the smell of Niaouli oil because it is more subtle than Tea Tree (which is quite potent) and has more floral hints.

Both oils work well as natural antiseptics and can be used to treat a variety of skin ailments such as open wounds, acne scars, bacterial infections (such as athlete’s foot) and even internal infections. In fact, Niaouli oil has been used for many years in teas as a means of stimulating digestion and detoxifying the body as well as being used to purify water.

As a natural insect repellent, both oils can be used quite effectively – however some would recommend Tea Tree essential oil for use as a repellent because it has a more potent smell than Niaouli. To use as a repellent, Tea Tree oil can be applied topically or burned to ward off mosquitoes and other annoying, or even poisonous insects.

Basically, I would recommend Tea Tree essential oil for more specific skin-related issues and for use in more concentrated doses. Niaouli works better for everyday use in a variety of doses (never using too much though) and is better for ingestion as again, it’s less potent than Tea Tree oil.

Top 5 Uses for Niaouli Oil

1. Niaouli Essential Oil For Cicatrisant

Woman cleansing her skin with essential oils.

Woman cleansing her skin with essential oils.

Scars are often unsightly, painful or sensitive and can take a long time to heal depending on the nature of the wound and how you treat it. Treating a scar depends on the nature of the wound – for instance some scars (such as second or third degree burns) cannot simply be treated with essential oils alone (even though than can help the recovery process).

However, essential oils (such as Niaouli Oil) can be used to treat scars and superficial wounds quite well. The natural antibacterial and antiseptic qualities of the Niaouli oil will keep the skin infection free and prevent any new bacteria from growing in the region. The oil also speeds up your skin’s ability to naturally replace and regenerate new skin cells – which means that the wound will heal faster and eventually fade away with continued use, but this depends entirely on the nature and size of the wound.

2. Niaouli Essential Oil For Blending

Because of Niaouli oils’ sweet, camphorous odor, it generally blends well with other floral oils, such as lavender oil, lemon oil, orange oil or even stronger, muskier oils such as eucalyptus essential oil. However, blending oils is an experimental process that I would recommend to any enthusiasts, as blending is not limited to just one recipe. Of course, recipes are there for more specific treatments or methods which can be taken advantage of.

3. Niaouli Essential Oil For Acne

African American woman with clear skin.

Woman with clear skin.

Who knew there was niaouli essential oil benefits for skin? Niaouli essential oil is highly recommended for acne treatment. This is because it has a low comedogenic rating and has a wide variety of health benefits that most commercial skin care products don’t offer. As I mentioned earlier, the oil is a natural cicatrisant and thus can be used to speed up the recovery of acne scars and allows your skin to heal itself.

The oil also has strong antibacterial properties. This helps to reduce and remove any free-radicals that may gather on the surface of your skin. It works to mitigate any further damage. The high limonene and cineole content in the oil also helps to replenish your skin’s natural sheen. These compounds also reduce the amount of sebum oil your skin produces. In many cases, a sebum imbalance is usually the main reason for blocked pores and further damage.

4. Niaouli Essential Oil For Cold & Cough Treatment

Around winter time or on those especially cold days, most of us have experienced the sore throat or scratchy cough that comes with the weather. Don’t turn to chemical cough syrups or refined throat lozenges to treat these reasonably common ailments. Instead, use a natural treatment such as Niaouli oil. Niaouli oil is a medically tried and tested expectorant – which means it can loosen as well as detoxify the membranes in your lungs, helping you expel any excess mucus or phlegm that can further your infection.

To take advantage of Niaouli oils expectant properties, I’d recommend adding roughly 6-8 drops of the oil into some hot, steaming water and breathe the steam in deeply. You can also inhale the oil directly out of the container or add a few drops to a clean cloth and breathe through it.

I’d also recommend blending the oil with eucalyptus or lemongrass essential oil to make a strong chest rub. You can apply this to your pillowcase (and obviously rubbed on your chest) while you sleep. This should help to enhance your breathing at night. It’s also good to apply the rub after a warm shower. This is because your skin will absorb more of the oil and the heat of your body will allow the smell to be more potent.

5. Treating Worms & Internal Infections With Niaouli Essential Oil

It is well known that essential oils can be used to treat the infection of intestinal worms (such as tapeworms and roundworms). You can also use them to ease other intestinal infections that may lead to cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

As a rule of thumb, never take too much of any essential oils and especially not if you’re a pregnant woman. Also, be sure to consult a medical professional if you think you have a serious infection or worm as it might be something else entirely – medical opinion is always a great precautionary measure.

Can Niaouli Essential Oil Be Used For Dogs?

Dog walking with owner.

Dog and owner on a walk.

In general, I think that most of us are so close to our pets that we tend to treat them like we would our friends or family. Which is okay when you’re playing with them (or sometimes even feeding them) but not when you’re medicating them! As a rule of thumb here, I’d recommend taking your pet to a vet if whenever things go awry. This is for the simple reason that they know more than most on the subject.

However, it has been documented that in small and very specific amounts, Niaouli oil can be used to treat intestinal infections in dogs and can be used to freshen up their fur and help to repel insects and fleas/ticks. When administering any essential oil to your dog (certainly not cats), always be sure to monitor them closely and always use very small quantities.


Researching harmful plant species never proved to be so rewarding before! I suppose you could say that one man’s trash certainly is another man’s treasure. Well, there’s a valuable tip for living a greener life! Generally speaking, niaouli works best as a replacement for Tea Tree oil. Truth be told, you can use it in more general circumstances than Tea Tree.

It has a wonderful smell and tastes great too, which means it can be used in almost every room in your house – for use in the kitchen and cleaning the bathroom, to freshening up your living room and bedroom, very few oils are as adaptive as Niaouli oil. It’s also quite affordable and quite readily available, so acquiring it won’t be hard. I recommend at least giving it a try, as I’ve found it to be quite valuable in my home.