Melaleuca cajuputi Roxb Myrtaceae Gelam Paperbark Tree Kayu Puteh

Melaleuca Cajuputi
Melaleuca cajuputi flowers Melaleuca cajuputi tree

Description: Melaleuca cajuputi Roxb. is a medium sized tree with an often twisted trunk when the tree is very old. Bark is light brown, flaky and peeling. Leaves are simple, slightly curved, with 5-7 longitudinal veins. Flowers are white and borne in dense spikes. Seeds are borne in a capsule.[1-3]

Origin: Native to tropical Asia and Australasia.[4]

Phytoconstituents: Cajeputol, cineole, ^-pinene, eugenol, phellandrene, a-terpineol, eugenetin, isoeugenetin and others.[2'5'6]

Traditional Medicinal Uses: In Malaysia, it is used for the treatment of colic and cholera. It is also used externally for thrush, vaginal infection, acne, athlete's foot, verruca, warts, insect bites, cold sore and nits.[5] Cajuput oil is distilled from the leaves and used by the Burmese to treat gout. The Indochinese uses cajeput oil for rheumatism and pain in the joints and as an analgesic.[2] The oil is used externally in Indonesia for burns, colic, cramps, earache, headache, skin diseases, toothache and wounds. When administered internally, it can induce sweating and act as a stimulant and antispasmodic. In the Philippines, the leaves are used to treat asthma.[26]

Pharmacological Activities: Antibacterial.[6]

Dosage: For treatment of coryza, influenza, cough, asthma, dyspepsia, earache, toothache, rheumatism, osteodynia, neuralgia, wounds, burns, post partum haematometra. The reported dose for the above ailments is 20 to 40 g of fresh leaves or 5 to 10 g of dried leaves in the form of a decoction or infusion.[7]

Adverse Reactions: Contact dermatitis may occur. Glottal spasms or bronchial spasms or asthma-like attacks may occur if the oil is applied to the facial areas of infants and small children.[8]

Toxicity: Due to the high cineole content, life-threatening poisonings can occur with overdoses of cajuput oil (more than 10 g). Symptoms of poisoning are reduction in blood pressure, circulatory disorders, collapse and respiratory failure.[8]

Contraindications: Do not consume orally in severe liver diseases and presence of inflammatory condition of gastrointestinal tract or of the biliary ducts. Cajuput oil preparations are not to be applied to the faces of infants or small children.[8]

Drug-Herb Interactions: No information as yet.

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