Australia is the hottest, driest continent on earth. When rain falls, it tends to fall in large amounts at a time, so the plants and animals have evolved to cope with drought, floods, fires, and rapid changes in temperature. Native aromatic plants include the Eucalyptus and the paperbark or Melaleuca family, of whom Tea Tree, Niaouli and Cajuput are members.

We recently visited Australia, spending time with our suppliers of Tea tree oil in New South Wales and Sandalwood oil in the Kimberley region of West Australia.

Our Tea tree oil is produced by Jenbrook farms, who are situated in the Bungalwyn basin, a little south of Brisbane. They farm 360 acres of tea tree organically, surrounded by forests of native tea tree. This region is where Tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia evolved as a natural hybrid. As the whole area is waterlogged, like one great big sponge, the conditions are very suitable for fungi and other microorganisms to flourish. The tea tree evolved its own unique essential oil as an anti-fungal agent to prevent its base getting rotted in the humid conditions. In this region the oil is naturally high in terpinen-4-ol, an important anti-microbial component.