Niaouli Essential Oil

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Niaouli Essential Oil
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Niaouli Essential Oil – General Description

Niaouli essential oil is a clear, thin, pale yellow essential oil derived from the leaves and twigs of niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia) through steam distillation process. Note that Melaleuca quinquenervia should not be confused with Melaleuca alternifolia aka.
Tea Tree.

Niaouli, often referred to as broad-leaved paperbark tree or paper bark tea tree, is a small- to medium-sized spreading tree of the allspice or Myrtaceae family, characterized by its thick white and beige papery bark; leathery dull- or grey-green ovate leaves; and white bottlebrush-like flowers. The tree flourishes in seasonally flooded silty or swampy soil, particularly in the plains, swamps, and savannas of New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, and coastal eastern Australia where they are native. [1]

Niaouli essential oil has a strong, fresh, earthy, musty aroma with a note of camphor and blends well with basil, cajeput, eucalyptus, fennel, juniper, lavender, lemon, lime, myrtle, orange, pine, rosemary, peppermint, tea tree, and thyme essential oils. This essential oil is widely utilized in the perfume and fragrance industry and is incorporated in a broad array of cosmetic products and pharmaceutical preparations such as gargles, cough drops, toothpastes, and mouth sprays. [2]

Niaouli Essential Oil – Uses and Reported Benefits

Niaouli essential oil is considered in traditional medicine and herbalism as a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent capable of effectively eliminating skin conditions such as acne and boils, bladder infections, and respiratory ailments, including asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cough, and sore throat. Its efficient ability to deter microbial growth makes it an exceptional remedy to burns, cuts, and insect bites as well. [2] Furthermore, external application of niaouli essential oil extracted from the niaouli leaves of the cineole chemotype has been reported to induce relief from neuralgia and rheumatism. [1] Aside the previously mentioned, niaouli essential oil possesses other beneficial properties including analgesic, antispasmodic, balsamic, stimulant, and anthelmintic activities. [3]

Niaouli Essential Oil – Scientific Studies And Research

Niaouli and immune function: Niaouli essential oil has been reported to boost one’s immunity and potentiate the body’s capacity to fight against infection. A 2008 Korean study conducted by researchers from Jeonju University had demonstrated that in vivo treatment of niaouli essential oil potentiates T cell-mediated cellular immunity and macrophage activity, evidencing the possible clinical application of niaouli essential oil in thwarting and controlling infectious diseases caused by intracellular pathogens. In this study, mouse models that were immunized with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) and intraperitoneally administered niaouli essential oil (less than 500 μl/kg body weight) were studied to determine the in vivo immunomodulatory effect of niaouli essential oil. Considerably higher expression of an activation marker, CD25, on freshly isolated draining lymph node T cells proved the in vivo efficacy of niaouli essential oil for immunity potentiation. Moreover, higher proliferative response, IFN-gamma production in lymph node T cells, and noticeably higher production of TNF-alpha and IL-12 by splenic macrophages were observed in the mouse group treated with niaouli essential oil. [4]

Niaouli as antibacterial: An earlier French study examined the antimicrobial activity of eight essential oils yielded from aromatic plants against enteropathogenic and spoilage bacteria strains and found that niaouli essential oil exerted a high inhibitory effect on Gram-positive bacterial strains tested. [5] In 2006, Donoyama and Ichiman from Tsukuba University of Technology, Japan, published their study concerning which essential oil is better for hygienic massage practice through the journal International Journal of Aromatherapy. The study tested for the antibacterial inhibitory effect of six essential oils against colony-forming units of Staphylococcus aureus strains using a disc method to measure the inhibition zones. The test findings revealed that eucalyptus and niaouli essential oils exhibited higher growth inhibitory effects than the other essential oils evaluated. Both essential oils were then diluted to 1%, 3%, or 6% v/v with jojoba oil base, and their antibacterial effects were correlated in vitro with their concentrations. Massage sessions with niaouli essential oil were found to be more hygienic than those with eucalyptus essential oil. [6]

Niaouli as transdermal drug delivery enhancer: Several studies point out too the ability of numerous essential oils to improve the penetration of different drugs through membranes, especially the skin, and niaouli essential oil has been reported to be among them. Monti et al. (2002) investigated six terpene-containing essential oils for their capacity to promote permeation of estradiol through hairless mouse skin in vitro. Estradiol is a form of estrogen, a female sex hormone produced by the ovaries, and is used to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal dryness, prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis, and remedy estrogen deficiency among women with ovarian failure. Results from tests on essential oils at a concentration of 10% w/w in propylene glycol concretely proved niaouli essential oil as the best permeation promoter of estradiol. Tests on the terpene components of niaouli essential oil, namely, 1,8 cineole, alpha-pinene, alpha-terpineol, and D-limonene, confirmed the better promoting activity of the whole essential oil too, authenticating the potential of niaouli essential oil as a transdermal penetration enhancer for moderately lipophilic drugs such as estradiol. [7]

Effect of Isolated components of Niaouli on blood glucose and more: Moharram et al. (2003) isolated four polyphenolic acid derivatives and three ellagitannins from the leaves of niaouli, namely, gallic acid, ellagic acid, 3-O-methylellagic acid, 3,4,3′-tri-O-methylellagic acid, 2,3-O-hexahydroxydiphenoyl-(α/β)-D-4C1-glucopyranose, castalin, and grandinin. Grandinin, established to be the principal component of niaouli leaves in this study, displayed free radical scavenging properties and a noteworthy dose-dependent hypoglycemic effect, decreasing the blood glucose level in basal condition and after heavy glucose load in normal mice. The test results had further revealed that in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, grandinin reduced their elevated levels of blood glucose, blood urea nitrogen, and serum lipid peroxides. [8]

Niaouli Essential Oil – Molecular Components and Chemistry

Trilles et al. (2006) investigated the chemical composition of the essential oil derived from niaouli leaves collected from seven harvesting locations. Through gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, forty-two components were identified, the chief ones being 1,8-cineole (0.1-76%), viridiflorol (0-67%), ρ-cymene (0-40%), γ-terpinene (0-33%), α-pinene (0-30%), α-terpineol (0-24%), terpinolene (0-19%), limonene (0.1-16%), and ledol (0-21%). [9]

Niaouli Essential Oil – Contraindications and Safety

As with other essential oils, Niaouli EO should not be taken internally. When used diluted, it is generally regarded as nontoxic and nonsensitizing for skin use, but its use by pregnant and nursing women is contraindicated. Use this essential oil with care, keeping contact away from mucous membranes and the eyes. Dilute this essential oil with a carrier oil such as foraha (aka. Tamanu), jojoba, grapeseed, almond, or olive oil, prior to use.


[1] Melaleuca quinquenervia: Overview. Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved from

[2] Niaouli 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil- 10 ml. Amazon. Retrieved from

[3] Nature’s Kiss Niaouli 10ml Essential Oil, 0.34-Ounce. Amazon. Retrieved from

[4] Nam S. Y., Chang M. H., Do J. S., Seo H. J., Oh H. K. (2008). Essential oil of niaouli preferentially potentiates antigen-specific cellular immunity and cytokine production by macrophages. Immunopharmacology and Immunotoxicology. 30(3): 459-474. doi:
10.1080/08923970802135187. Retrieved from

[5] Ramanoelina A. R., Terrom G. P., Bianchini J. P., Coulanges P. (1987). Antibacterial action of essential oils extracted from Madagascar plants. Archives de l’Institut Pasteur de Madagascar. 53(1): 217-226. Retrieved from

[6] Donoyama N., Ichiman Y. (2006). Which essential oil is better for hygienic massage practice? International Journal of Aromatherapy. 16(3-4): 175-179. Retrieved from

[7] Monti D. et al. (2002). Effect of different terpene-containing essential oils on permeation of estradiol through hairless mouse skin. International Journal of Pharmaceutics. 237(1-2): 209-214. Retrieved from

[8] Moharram F. A. et al. (2003). Polyphenols of Melaleuca quinquenervia leaves–pharmacological studies of grandinin. Phytotherapy Research. 17(7): 767-773. Retrieved from

[9] Trilles B. L. et al. (2006). Occurrence of various chemotypes in niaouli [Melaleuca quinquenervia (Cav.) S. T. Blake] essential oil from New Caledonia. Flavour and Fragrance Journal. 21(4): 677-682. Retrieved from

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