Australian Kunzea Oil

Australian Kunzea Essential Oil

Australian Kunzea is a natural treasure when it comes to essential oils. It could potentially be the greatest essential oil Australia has ever produced! It is a member of the Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family and is steam distilled from the leaves of the Kunzea ambigua plant. The compounds within the oil have demonstrated several therapeutic benefits and uses.

Kunzea ambigua, also known as "White Cloud", "Tasmanian Kunzea", "Zea Oil" and "Tick Bush", is a tall shrub, that grows up to three metres in height, with abundant white flowers during Spring. It is native to the cooler coastal areas of Australia (Southern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania). It grows profusely in the wild, especially in Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands.

What is Kunzea Essential Oil used for?

Over 30+ years, a combination of peer-reviewed scientific studies and anecdotal research has been conducted on the Kunzea species and the several components embedded in the oils unique organic structure. 

This has led to Kunzea oil having been recognised for several approved therapeutic indications. We have developed a range of Zea Relief Kunzea products for various uses and benefits. They have been naturally formulated for health, wellness and lifestyle. 

In comparison to other oils, the therapeutic potential of Kunzea is still in its infancy. However, the studies that have been conducted to date on the Kunzea species and the constituents within the oil have begun to attract the attention of health and wellness professionals throughout the world. It has stimulated a great deal of exploration into its usage in aromatherapy as well as in conventional medicine. We are excited to see what the future holds! 

The Zea Team behind Australian Kunzea Products

Kunzea Oil - Production

The demand for Kunzea Oil continues to increase, particularly in the last three years as this Australian native has begun to receive more attention worldwide. At present, there are  2-3 tonnes of Kunzea Oil produced per annum nationally.

Currently, Kunzea is predominately wild-harvested in North East Tasmania, however, this has begun to change in recent years as a significant investment has been made into increase supply and some producers have started to establish kunzea crop plantations for the first time, to increase cultivating capacity and standardise the product.

At Zea Relief, all the Kunzea oil we supply and use in our Kunzea product range has been organically sourced and free from harmful pesticides.

Kunzea Oil - Composition

While many of us are familiar with common essential oils such as Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree and Lemon, Australia Kunzea is one native essential oil that is often forgotten and its powerful properties are only known by very few people.

It is the organic composition of Australian Kunzea that makes it so unique. It has a high content of several important C15 compounds, with a typical analysis of the major components as follows:

  • Alpha-pinene 35-52%

  • 1,8 cineole 9-16%

  • Alpha-terpineol 2%

  • Bicyclogermacrene 4-5%

  • Globulol 7-11%

  • Viridiflorol 7-12%

While a lot of oils can lay claim to similar benefits to Kunzea, it is the high content of these C15 compounds in the organic composition of Kunzea ambigua that makes it unique. Studies have demonstrated that these constituents have anti-inflammatory properties.

Producing Kunzea Oil with a high viridiflorol content is of particular interest to us at Zea Relief, as it one of the core components in the composition of the oil that enhances its anti-inflammatory properties. This is important when formulating our Kunzea Relief Products.

Research is currently being conducted at UTAS on the effect of steam distillation and composition of the oil from Kunzea ambigua. Early results have demonstrated that a longer distillation process can result in an increase in viridiflorol content from ±10% to ±17%. 

Many producers of Kunzea ambigua are dedicated to understanding each of the existing natural constituents in Kunzea oil. Further trials are being conducted on different harvesting techniques, on the use of superheated steam and into the antibacterial and anti-fungal properties of kunzea ambigua essential oil.

      Benefits of Kunzea Oil

      Besides its various therapeutic uses, this refreshing and aromatic oil has a number of key benefits over alternative essential oils. Some Kunzea Oil benefits include:

      1. Safe and suitable for most skin types
      2. Organically grown (without certification)
      3. Sustainable wild harvested in Tasmania
      4. Helps decrease inflammation and pain
      5. Aromatically uplifting and invigorating

        Kunzea Oil Facts

        Common Names: Australian Kunzea, Tick Bush, White Kunzea, Tasmanian Kunzea, White Cloud, Zea

        Genus & Species Names: Kunzea ambigua

        Plant Family: Myrtaceae

        Country of Origin: Tasmania, Australia

        Aroma: Clean, fresh and medicinal, with a touch of spice

        Method of Extraction: Steam distillation

        Shelf Life: 3-4 years

        Plant Parts Used: Leaves

        Uses: It can also be used in an oil burner, vaporiser, bath, massage oil, spa, saunas, potpourri and room deodorisers

        TSCA CAS: 97553-36-1

        EINECS: 307-193-3

        Density: 0.850 – 0.950

        Refractive index: 1.465 – 1.485

        Optical rotation: 0° to 50°

        Caution: As with most essential oils, it is not recommended that you apply the oil undiluted to the skin unless advised by a healthcare practitioner. Instead, we would recommend using Zea Relief Products when applying to the skin.

        Aerial view of the Kunzea ambigua plant in Tasmania