Actually, a relative of our Manuka, Leptospermum petersonii has a wonderfully clear lemon scent, and the bacteria fighting ability of the more familiar Tea Tree. According to my friendly distiller, what it really excels at is as an powerful insect repellant. And it smells much nicer than lemongrass or citronella!
I’m thinking of melting some wax and making a candle for the deck with the Lemon Tea Tree Oil instead of citronella candles. And wondering if wiping down the kitchen counters with a spray of Lemon Tea Tree in water will keep the ants away as well as Peppermint Essential Oil does.
Emotionally it is said to be useful for anxiety, stress, depression and for easing nervous tension.
My Australian distiller says:
Lemon tea tree is used in natural insect repellents for humans—we prefer it alone in a carrier oil, but others add Tea Tree and lemongrass plus the carrier oil—all in very small percentages, naturally. It does work, and is, from our point of view, the use for the oil.
I personally wouldn’t add E. citriodora—the Lemon Tea Tree will stand on its own. Haven’t tried it with Cedarwood—we're more producers than blenders, but we get feedback from all sorts of people.
Leptospermum petersonii is being used for dog wash additives, but I’m not privy to the percentages. We have had evidence that the distillate water is extremely effective for clearing up mange skin problems, and helping to keep dogs free of fleas—it is anecdotal, but a client has 35 working cattle dogs, and will take all the distillate water we produce, and the percentage of oil in the water would be extremely small.
My daughter the groomer is going to be trying this lovely lemony oil on the dogs she grooms this summer. If what the distiller says about the flea freedom is true, and I have no reason to doubt him, then I think we have a gold mine here.
Note, further feedback from clients indicates that applying the EO to a horse’s mane and tail help keep the horseflies away. All sorts of “anti-insect” uses for this delightful stuff!
WARNING: Contains citral, a strong sensitizer. Avoid use on broken skin. Avoid use during pregnancy (see this blog post on High Citral Oils vs Pregancy). Maximum dilution for topical use: 0.7% (4 drops per fluid ounce). Please also see our blog post on the benefits of inhalation vs. ingesting essential oils.
Images courtesy of The Paperbark Co.