About Kunzea Essential Oil
It can help with Arthritis and be used as an alternative to Tea Tree oil. Kunzea Essential Oil is an anti-inflammatory that can ease stress and anxiety.
It became a bit of an invasive species, therefore harvesting the plant for essential oil has helped to control its spread. It is a hardy native plant, tolerating severe climate conditions such as frosts and high winds.
History & Traditional Uses
The first botanical reference to Kunzea was apparently in 1791. It was grown in England and classified as Leptospermum ambiguum. However, in 1828 the name Kunzea was applied to the genus in honour of Dr. Gustav Kunze, a German botanist, (1793-1851) and so this unique genus of plants was accorded due recognition, which remains to this day.
Nowadays, approximately 40 odd species are accepted as Kunzea.
Traditionally used to assist relief of arthritis and rheumatism, muscle aches, cold and flu symptoms and also insect bites.
Agriculture, Harvesting & Distilling
Kunzea ambigua was one of the first native Australian plants introduced into England for cultivation and study. The species is most commonly found growing wild in sandy soils along coastal regions and has been cited as attractive to native insects, birds and small animals. Witnesses would observe these animals seeking shelter under the branches of the Kunzea plant and it was thought to provide protection from ticks and mites, hence the common name “tick-bush” was soon adopted.
Harvested using a combination of hand and mechanical methods The shrub tops are placed into large bins along the way, and when full, taken to the stillhouse, and lid sealed tightly. The bin is connected up to the distillation system, and steam is passed through the leafy material with careful supervision. The steam rises taking with it the volatiles (oil) and then travels through the condenser. As it cools, the oil and water separates, and the oil is taken.