Australian Blue Cypress is native to Australia and grows in the Northern Territory (including Melville & Bathurst Islands), northern Western Australia, Cape York and northeast Queensland.
It is a medium to large sized tree, reaching up to 20 metres in height. The timber is very aromatic, resistant to termites and splits quite readily into fine chips or kindling for lighting cooking fires.
Australian Blue Cypress essential oil is extracted via steam distillation of the stem and branches.
The trees are harvested and are then steam distilled for around 48 hours. The harvesting of quite big trees requires heavy machinery and a long distillation process which both add significantly to the cost of the oil.
Resinous compounds in the bark react during distillation with other aromatic compounds to create guaiazulene, an anti-inflammatory compound similar to chamazulene that gives the essential oil its dark blue colour.