Photo credit: arnistm.
Cajuput is derived from the old Bahasa Indonesia spelling,
kaju putih, which means
white wood. In old Bahasa Indonesia spelling, the letter of
J is read as
DJ is read as
J. Cajuput (Melaleuca leucadendra Linn.) has many synonyms such as Melaleuca cajuputi Roxb., Melaleuca cumingiana et lancifolia Turcz., Melaleuca minor Sm., Melaleuca saligna B., Melaleuca viridifolia Gaertn., Myrtus leucadendra Linn, and Melaleuca saligna Gmel.
There are also many common names for cajuput, such as, ai kelane, bai qian ceng (白千
层), bru galang, cajeput, cajeputol, cineol, elan, eucalyptol, gelam, ghelam, ilano, inggolom, irano, irono, kayu gelang, kayu putih, lren, ngelak, nggielak, sakelan, swamp tea tree, waru gelang, and white tea tree. Cajuput, Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia Linn.) and Gum tree (Eucalyptus obliqua) are from the same family plant of Myrtaceae. Their leaves can be distilled to make an essential oil, in which have similar effects and smell.
Cajuput can grow on a barren land, heat resistant and can sprout back after a fire. Cajuput can be found from the lowlands up to 400m asl. Cajuput can grow near the coast, behind mangrove forests, in a boggy ground, or forming a small forest on dry land until wet.
Cajuput tree is 10-20 m high, multi-layered leather stem, white with grayish colored of its irregular exfoliate skin surface. Small stem with branching that hang down. Single leaf, quite thick like leather, and short stalk. The leaves when squeezed, or crushed will smell of cajuput oil. (Sentra Informasi IPTEK)
Cajeput oil is a volatile oil from the fresh leaves and twigs of cajuput. It used as a stimulant, rubefacient in rheumatism, muscle and joint pain, flavoring, stimulant, antiseptic, expectorant, and anthelmintic. Precautions to use by pregnancy women, breast feeding mom, and a person with hypersensitivity to tea tree plant. (Medical Dictionary)
An Indonesian original product manufactures, in Jakarta, Indonesia, which is found in 1963, has been exported through out the world, and is found to be sold online on Amazon.com.
Cajuput Oil vs. Insects
Though in the bottle of Cap Lang cajuput oil is only said to help relieve muscle aches, abdominal pain, flatulence, nausea, and itching from insect bites. But, I managed to use it to treat eczema, and itcy rashes that I often suffered.
So far, I could not find any referrences on scientific evidence which indexed in PubMed. Only a study by Malaysian scientists who demonstrated aerosol spray of cajuput oil effects against dangerous mosquitoes. But, this 2012 study explained to what I had been experinced in my early post, on how a louse died from a single drop of cajuput oil.
An aerosol spray of cajuput oil was evaluated against the dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus, at low cost housing flats, in Section 10, Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The study suggested that extracts of cajuput essential oils possess an adulticidal effects (the ability to kill adult heartworm as distinct from that used to kill the microfilarial, or larval stages), and could be considered, as well as to be utilized for future dengue vectors control. (Abu Bakar A, et al. 2012)
Cajuput Oil to Awaken from Un-consciousness Seizure
Back in May 28, 2011, after I watched Champions League Final football match between Barcelona vs. Manchester United, in local TV channel, my three years old son, Michael, experienced an absence seizure, due to high fever.
Absence seizures involve an interruption to consciousness, where the person experiencing the seizure seems to become vacant, unresponsive for a short period of time, usually up to 30 seconds, and slight muscle twitching may occur.
To avoid a tongue biting by my unconscious son, I used cajuput oil to awake him, by rubbing the oil all over to his nose and lips, because his mouth is blocked by his teeth. Not less in five seconds, he was awaken. Then, I took a warm water to compress all of his body. After that, I left him with my wife at 4 am, in the morning, to get an anti fever drugs in nearest pharmacy.
My mom always told me that seizure may be dangerous, if the kids were not being awaken first, before being taken to the hospital. In a case of tonic clonic seizures, death may occur on the way to the hospital, due to tongue biting, urinary incontinence, and the absence of breathing. My mom was experinced in dealing with seizures, because I often got seizures, when I was below the age of five years old.
Can I Drink Cajuput Oil?
Even though all cajuput oil manufacturers forbid the products for internal use, and only for external use. But, according to dr. Adji Suranto, SpA, an Indonesian pediatric, a member of Perhimpunan Dokter Indonesia Pengembang Kesehatan Tradisional Timur (Indonesian Doctors Association of Advanced Eastern Traditional Health), in Jakarta, cajuput oil can be used as an oral medication to treat colds, throat infection, worms intestine, cholera, colic and as a gargle for mouth cavity infections.
For internal use, one to ten drops of 100% cajuput oil, mixed with a grain of sugar cubes (about 4 grams), and dissolved in a glass of drinking water. When used as an oral medication, it should be dissolved first to pay attention on the proportion. But, if the oral medication is used excessively, it might lead to an increasing of heartbeat and excessive sweating. (Majalah Anakku)
Cajuput to Treat Diabetes and Obesity
A study is indexed on Journal of Natural Medicines, April 2013, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 264-270, by Azis Saifudin, Shigetoshi Kadota, Yasuhiro Tezuka, from the Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan. The study demonstrated the water and methanol extracts of 28 Indonesian medicinal plants, in which among them were cajuput, for their protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP-1B) inhibitory activities.
PTP-1B is a negative regulator of the insulin signal transduction cascade, initiated when insulin binds to the insulin receptor. PTP-1B is used as a target for the treatment of impaired glucose tolerance, and type 2 diabetes. PTP-1B deficient mice are more sensitive to insulin, improved glycemic control, and resistance to diet induced obesity, than wild type control mice. (Liu G, et al. 2002)
With four other plants water extracts, the water extracts of cajuput at 2.05 μg/mL, exhibited strong inhibitory activity. The results suggest that, all 28 Indonesian medicinal plants may contribute for the treatment, or prevention of type 2 diabetes, and obesity through PTP-1B inhibition. (Saifudin A, et al. 2013)