Cajuput oil is a volatile obtained by distillation from the leaves of the myrtaceous tree Melaleuca leucadendra, and probably other Melaleuca species. The trees yielding the oil are found throughout the Malay archipelago, the Malay Peninsula and over the hotter parts of the Australian continent; but the greater portion of the oil is produced from Sulawesi. The name “cajuput” is derived from its Malay name, “kayu putih” or "white wood".
The oil is prepared from leaves collected on a hot dry day, which are macerated in water, and distilled after fermenting for a night. This oil is extremely pungent, and has the odor of a mixture of turpentine and camphor. It consists mainly of cineol (see terpenes), from which cajuputene, having a hyacinth-like odor, can be obtained by distillation with phosphorus pentoxide. The drug is a typical volatile oil, and is used internally in doses of 2 to 3 minims, for the same purposes as, say, clove oil. It is frequently employed externally as a counterirritant. It is an ingredient in some liniments for sore muscles such as Tiger Balm and Indonesian traditional medicine Minyak Telon.
cajuput in Indonesian: Minyak kayu putih