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uncompromising purity in essential oils

Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) essential oil as an alternative to Rosewood

Linalool is a component of many essential oils, known for its relaxing, sedating effects. It forms a key part of Lavender oil, which is of course a first choice for restful sleep and calm days.

There are however several oils that have a higher content of linalool. One such oil is Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora) which contains over 85% linalool! This would make Rosewood a go-to oil for anything relaxing if not for the fact that it is considered to be an endangered species.

Since 2010 Rosewood has been listed on CITES appendix II. CITES is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. It is an agreement between governments that aims to ensure that trade in wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.

Whilst not at risk of extinction, the trade in Rosewood oil products is controlled. This means that supplies are limited and prices high. Also, since the UK left the EU, the requirement for additional permits and checks has further increased prices.

With Rosewood swiftly becoming a precious oil for use in very specific situations, alternatives are needed. This means that lesser known oils with similar properties are now coming to the fore.

One place you wouldn’t expect to find a linalool-rich oil is in the Melaleuca (Tree Tree) family. Tea Tree oils are generally known for their penetrating, cineol-rich oils and stimulating effects. They would generally be considered at the opposite end of the spectrum from Rosewood. However, linalool chemotypes do exist and their essential oils are worthy of consideration.

Known as Rosalina or Lavender Tea Tree, Melaleuca erificolia is a possible contender for use in place of Rosewood. This species of Tea Tree thrives in the wet, marshy conditions of Australia and Tasmania. It has needle-like leaves and fluffy white to yellow flowers.

The aroma of Rosalina is said to be like a blend of Eucalyptus and Lavender. Refreshing, but also sweet and soothing. Clean, and a little bit spicy. Its scent is reminiscent of Rosewood due to the high linalool content. Whilst not as high as that of Rosewood, it is significantly higher than that of Lavender:

It is worth noting that Rosalina has a unique combination of relaxing linalool and stimulating 1,8-cineol (at around 15%). This means that in addition to its sedating qualities it is also supportive to the skin and respiratory system. An ideal choice for use at bedtime for both adults and children, it promotes free breathing and restful sleep.

Click the link to find out all about Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia) essential oil including recipes and blend ideas.