Backhousia is a genus of 7 species of small to medium sized trees, Lemon Myrtle grows naturally and natively in the rainforest of northern tropical Australia. The leaves are desired, as they are shiny and strongly aromatic (lemon-scented of course), accompanied by white flowers, both exhibiting a refreshing, relaxing and uplifting aroma.
This tree is currently grown in plantations in northern NSW and Queensland. Grown in rows, with a height kept to about 4 metres. Once machine harvested, they are immediately steam distilled for quality oil production.
There is no history of use with the indigenous people prior to white settlement. Settlers around the mid 19th Century had discovered Lemon Myrtle, towards the end of the Century, essential oil was though to have been distilled. Several small wild population distilleries were set up. This continued through to World War 2, as there was a short supply of lemon essences after, it ceased. Revived again during the 1980's, the leaf was rediscovered as a flavoursome herb and has been used as a spice or condiment for the "bush tucker" market. Rather like a lemon bay leaf for the indigenous people of Australia. Plantations were setup by the mid 1990's.
Used in the art of fine perfumery, in flavour formulation and manufacture. A wide range of body care products and cosmetic formulations, and aromatherapy products. May be beneficial to clear the mind and assist concentration. This oil is used similarly to other lemon-scented oils.
Caution : Always use diluted, as with all high citral oils - they are potential skin irritants.
Blends well with : Cypress, Eucalyptus varieties, Niaouli, Sandalwood and Tea Tree.