Australia has an array of beneficial flora and is home to some of the most beautiful and therapeutic essential oils in the world. Some of these oils have been introduced over the years and have become household names, such as Tea Tree and Eucalyptus, whilst others have only recently been discovered and are growing in popularity.
Here are 15 relatively new, Australian essential oils that are grown, cultivated and harvested in our own backyard. They have all been organically and sustainably sourced from local producers.
1) Kunzea - TAS
Kunzea is the signature essential oil in our Zea Relief products and is the driving force behind our business because, quite simply, we love it!
Kunzea has a fresh, clean, almost spicy, distinctly Australian-bush aroma and is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also one of the best oils to pop in your diffuser for helping to cleanse the atmosphere or aid in congestion, coughs or colds.
Commonly known as ‘tick bush’, early pioneers and hunters assumed native animals were becoming infested with ticks, mites, insects from sleeping under the kunzea bush. We now know that the opposite is true and native animals in fact seek relief from infestations by brushing against, sleeping, or lying under the Kunzea ambigua bush1.
After many years of testing, Kunzea has been listed as a therapeutic good for its anti-inflammatory properties and, because of this, we’ve focused on producing the Zea Relief products that may help reduce the pain and suffering of people with inflammatory conditions such, as arthritis and muscle pain2.
To learn more about Kunzea, check out our blog post on the uses and benefits of Kunzea.
2) Nerolina - NSW
Melaleuca quinquenervia CT nerolidol/linalool
Nerolina oil is distilled from the leaves and small branches of the Melaleuca quinquenervia paperbark tree. It has a floral and slightly woody scent and is one of Australia’s sweetest scented leaf oils.
Nerolina is great to use in a diffuser to help calm, relax and cleanse the atmosphere. Being a floral-green note, nerolina blends well with other florals4.
Beautiful on its own or try blending Nerolina with Rosalina or Kunzea for an added antiviral cleansing effect, or with Tasmanian Lavender for a deeper relaxing effect.
3) Rosalina - NSW
Rosalina is a relatively new and unknown oil compared to popular oils such as Tea Tree and Lavender, but is commonly referred to as “Lavender Tea Tree”. This is because Rosalina is both therapeutically and aromatically similar to both these oils, so great for those who want the calming effect of Lavender but may dislike the scent. It also provides a less harsh scent than Tea Tree but provides similar medicinal properties.
Rosalina is wonderful to use for tension, anxiety and for sleep problems as well as a safe way to help treat coughs, colds and other respiratory problems. Rosalina is a child-friendly alternative for colds and, therefore, relatively suitable for the whole family5.
Rosalina is beautiful on its own but does blend well with many of the other Australian native oils, particularly Eucalyptus.
4) Southern Rosalina - TAS
Gentle and soothing, Southern Rosalina is another gorgeous essential oil from Tasmania.
Southern Rosalina is only harvested on the pristine Flinders Island in the Bass Strait. Not unlike Northern Rosalina, it offers a unique scent comparable to Lavender and Tea Tree, although a little ‘softer’ - favouring more it’s the floral lavender aroma and soothing properties.
While both Rosalina and Southern Rosalina are distilled from the leaves of the Melaleuca ericifolia species, it is the composition of this Tasmanian growing plant that makes it unique and deserving of a place on the list.
Analysis' show that Southern Rosalina has a lower level linalool content, which gives it a refreshing floral back note, and a higher level cineole content, which is an important molecule for respiratory support and relief.
Southern Rosalina has a unique aroma and has versatile therapeutic uses and is a beautiful addition coming soon to our collection of Australian Native Zea Essentials.
5) Blue Cypress - NT
Blue Cypress essential oil is distilled from the timber and bark of this tall native pine found in monsoonal Northern Australia. This oil is, not surprisingly, a beautiful blue in colour and has a sweet, woody and honey-like aroma.
Blue Cypress has long been used by first nations people of Australia for many ailments, such as aches, pains and healing, but has only recently become more well recognised for its healing to the skin, such as rashes and dermatitis5.
This essential oil is also very soothing and grounding, so wonderful to help with anxiety and to calm the mind in meditation. It blends beautifully with Frankincense for deep relaxation of the mind and is also a beautiful “sweet” woody scent to lighten other deeper, pungent and balsamic essential oils.
6) Coastal Tea Tree - TAS
Coastal Tea Tree is steam distilled from the leaves of the Leptospermum laevigatum trees, it is one of the most unique additions to our Australian native essential oil collection!
While it may share a lot of therapeutic benefits and uses as other traditional species of Tea Tree, aromatically it is very different. When we sampled Coastal Tea Tree while visiting Flinders Island, we were mesmerised by its sweet, citrus and earthy scent. We knew we had to start promoting this beautiful oil.
Sustainably wild-harvested in small quantities on the pristine coastal dunes of Flinders Island, it is still very new to the aromatherapy scene and only produced in small quantities. We are excited to be one of the first companies to include Coastal Tea Tree in our Zea Essentials Range, and we are sure you are going to love it!
Like traditional Tea Tree, Coastal Tea Tree offers anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is wonderful to pop a few drops in your diffuser to help with upper respiratory complaints or, dilute in a base and apply to bites, stings or other sites in need of healing.
Read our recent blog post on Flinders Island and its growing essential oil industry.
7) Fragonia™ - WA
Fragonia is a newcomer to the essential oil industry and, although studies are currently being undertaken on this native oil for more scientific data, it has been noted for its anti-inflammatory and possible immune-stimulant properties.
It has a fresh, clean, delicate, camphor-type aroma and is wonderful to clear the mind and lift the mood. Fragonia is an excellent oil to support the body and mind during times of emotional upheaval2.
It blends beautifully with Kunzea, Eucalyptus, Lemon-Scented Gum and Coastal Tea Tree.
8) Lemon Ironbark - QLD
Lemon Ironbark is a versatile oil that has properties that act as an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and nasal decongestant. In addition, this oil is a spasmolytic and nervous sedative, and therefore useful in anxiety states6.
As well as being a great option to add to the diffuser during cold and flu season, or to ease an anxious mind, Lemon Ironbark is also our go-to scent to freshen a room, mop the floor, clean benches or freshen the washing. Just add a couple of drops to water and wash, mop or spray to create a clean atmosphere whilst also helping to target bugs and bacteria.
9) Honey Myrtle - WA
Like many of the Australian native oils, Honey Myrtle is another newcomer to the essential oil world.
As you would expect from the name this oil has a delightful, fresh honey-like aroma and has been found to help with fatigue, depression, and stress5.
Honey Myrtle also has a high citral content and can be used as an antiseptic and deodoriser. Great for killing germs and helping with mental clarity, honey myrtle is the oil of choice to use when feeling “under the weather” and foggy brain particularly if ill with a head cold. It will help kill germs and brighten your day.
If you’re a fan of Lemon Myrtle, you will love Honey Myrtle. It still has that gorgeous lemon scent but has an added warmth combined with the honey undertones.
It blends well with Blue Cypress, Eucalyptus, Nerolina, Rosalina and Sandalwood.
10) Buddha Wood - SA
Buddha Wood essential oil is steam distilled from the timber of the Australian native Eremophila mitchellii tree. It is amber-brown in colour and has a fresh incense top note with a woody, whiskey-like aroma1.
There are recordings of our First Nations people using this plant for its antibacterial qualities and to treat cuts and sores, as well as using the twigs of the Buddha Wood tree in smoking ceremonies to enhance mental wellbeing5.
It has been claimed that Buddha Wood can be used to relieve muscular aches and pains, due to its anti-inflammatory and possible analgesic properties1.
It is also used in meditation and blends with other woody and floral scents5.
11) Anise Myrtle - NSW
Anise Myrtle is a rare rainforest tree found in mid-northern New South Wales and the essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and branchlets. The aroma is fresh, rich and more appealing than traditional aniseed. If you like the scent of licorice you will love Anise Myrtle.
Little is known for traditional uses of anise myrtle, although it is known to attract fish to fish lures. It is also used to eradicate unpleasant odours and blends beautifully with Lemon Myrtle, Lemon Ironbark, Eucalyptus or Coastal Tea Tree.
In modern-day aromatherapy, anise myrtle has been used to relieve anxiety, stress, sleep, and digestion issues5.
12) White Cypress Leaf - NSW
White Cypress is another relatively new essential oil and is steam distilled from either the wood or leaves.
At Zea, we distil White Cypress Leaf essential oil from the needles and twigs of the Callitris glaucophylla tree. It is sourced from environmentally sustainable harvesting farms in driver areas of central New South Wales.
This Australian native has a strong, fresh pine aroma, with grounding and calming benefits5.
White cypress blends beautifully with many other Australian native essential oils, such as Kunzea, Rosalina, Lavender and Buddha Wood. Start experimenting yourself and see what beautiful blends you can create with this gorgeous scent.
13) Eucalyptus Lemon Scented Gum - NSW
Eucalyptus Lemon Scented Gum is thought to contain the highest amount of citronellal in the world (80%)7 and is well known for its insect repellent properties8.
It was used by the Australian First Nations people and early colonisers to help with digestive disturbance. It is also commonly used for its antiseptic and anti-viral properties, making it a good oil to diffuse for relief of coughs and colds.
Eucalyptus Lemon-Scented Gum has a strong aroma and its freshness and crisp notes are wonderful to help waken and stimulate. This would be a good oil to diffuse during the day at work or when studying.
Due to its strength, use Eucalyptus Lemon-Scented Gum sparingly in blends. One drop in a diffuser with Kunzea or Coastal Tea Tree would be plenty for a perfect air freshener and deodoriser.
14) Strawberry Gum - NSW
Strawberry Gum is steam distilled from the plant leaves and twigs of the Eucalyptus olida to extract a divine smelling crystal-like oil - it looks and smells like sweet strawberry with a hint of cinnamon.
Not your typical essential oil, Strawberry Gum crystallises under 30°C4.
Due to its sweetness strawberry gum oil is widely used in perfumery but can definitely be used in aromatherapy to add that perfect lolly-like edge to a blend.
To use in an oil burner, the strawberry gum crystal can be liquified with gentle heat. It can also be worn as a perfume or blend as it gives an amazing, sweet diversity to many oils.
15) Pink Peppercorn - NSW
Pink Peppercorn is not technically an Australian native, but is found thriving throughout Western NSW.
Traditionally Pink Peppercorn has been used for improving stamina, alertness, digestion and circulation. It is also known for its ability to help with joint troubles.
While it may be unrelated, Pink Peppercorn can often be used as a substitute for Black Pepper oil. With its slightly sweeter aroma, it is becoming increasingly more popular in both aromatherapy and perfumery.
Pink Peppercorn is not necessarily an oil you would diffuse on its own, though will blend beautifully with wood and citrus essential oils to give that subtle warm, spicy note.
Embrace locally-cultivated essential oils
Using Australian essential oils connects us to our wonderful country and the unique native plants we have to offer. Many of these oils have only recently been discovered, just like our kunzea oil, with so many more to discover.
When I first started working with kunzea oil about 20 years ago, not only had I personally never heard of it but so many of my customers and clients had never heard of it either. Now we know how incredibly powerful and versatile it is for our general health and wellbeing.
At Zea, we aspire to offer premium quality essential oils and are particularly partial to and proud of our Australian range. These oils not only bring us an array of variation in the aroma but also bring so many medicinal and therapeutic benefits.
Australian Essential Oils are perfect to use on their own but blend together easily and synergistically to bring you warmth, wellness, and abundance. Take a look at our Australian Natives Range and add some of these beautiful oils to your collection.
About the Author - Michelle Brass ND
With over 25 years of experience in the natural health industry, Michelle has dedicated her life to helping others embrace the therapeutic benefits of nature. Throughout her time as a health practitioner, she has used and recommended countless traditional and conventional treatments to her clients - as she believes an integrative approach to health and wellness is very important. Michelle is passionate about using and promoting essential oils and, in particular, Kunzea Oil, as she has seen them help thousands of people over the years. She knows that using essential oils in your daily life can help bring balance to the mind, body and soul. She is constantly trialling and testing new products with her loyal clients.
- Webb, M. A. Bush Sense: Australian Essential Oils & Aromatic Compounds. 2000.
- Zeck, Robbi ND. The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation. 2004
- Trevena, G. A guide to Australian Native Essential oils, 5th Edition. 2012
- Native Oils Australia. https://www.nativeoilsaustralia.com.au. Accessed 26 May 2020.
- Battaglia S. The Complete Guide To Aromatherapy. 3rd ed. Black Pepper Creative Pty Ltd; 2018.
- Holmes P. Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics. Volume 1: Principles and Profiles. Singing Dragon; 2016.
- Boland, D.J. et al., Eucalyptus Leaf Oils - Use, Chemistry, Distillation and Marketing, ISBN 0-909605-69-6.
- Stacy D. Rodriguez; Lisa L. Drake; David P. Price; John I. Hammond; Immo A. Hansen. 2015. The Efficacy of Some Commercially Available Insect Repellents for Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) Journal of Insect Science 15 (1): 140. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/jisesa/iev125. Accessed 26 May 2020.