Kunzea ambigua – sometimes known as tick bush – grows well in Tassie’s native bush. Chances are if you haven’t noticed its white blossoms, you’ve gotten a whiff of its gentle, aromatic fragrance. It is an Australian native plant found in coastal areas of Tasmania, and it grows wild and abundant in Freycinet and towards the northeast.
A shrub growing up to 5 m high, it bears small white flowers in spring which fill the air with a sweet honey scent and makes a wonderfully aromatic tea when brewed. White Kunzea pairs well with native pepper berry and wattleseed.
This is such an elegant, floral beauty. We love to use it in everything. Stunning honey-like fragrant leaf with hints of eucalyptus and citrus. A wonderful addition to sweets, broths, teas and cocktails.
◎ Common Name: White Kunzea Flower, Tick Bush
◎ Scientific or Latin Name: Kunzea ambigua
◎ Comparison: Citrus
◎ Seasonality: Fresh - Spring. Dried - All Year.
◎ Region: Eastern Australia
◎ Taste Profile: The leaves and flowers have a strong, robust flavour which is further enhanced with cooking. A unique herb, it has similar qualities to rosemary with aromatics of citrus, eucalypt and sweetness of honey.
◎ Types: Nowadays, approximately 40 odd species are accepted as Kunzea. We sell our White Kunzea Flower as dried whole leaf. Most recently it features as a scent in some exciting new Home & Body products.
Besides its various therapeutic uses, this refreshing and aromatic oil has a number of key benefits over alternative essential oils. Some Kunzea Oil benefits include:
- Safe and suitable for most skin types
- Organically grown (without certification)
- Sustainable wild harvested in Tasmania
- Helps decrease inflammation and pain
- Aromatically uplifting and invigorating
Traditional Aboriginal Food and Uses
We all know tea tree oil – a natural antibacterial oil native to Australia. But what about the oil from Tassie native kunzea? Though lesser known than tea tree, kunzea has been used topically by Aboriginal communities in Tasmania to relieve irritated skin and muscular aches and pains for thousands of years.
Western & Modern
Kunzea is the active ingredient in many Australian anti-inflammatory creams and balms, soaps and body sprays. Kunzea honey is also on the market and the bush’s leaves are used in cooking – a natural flavour enhancer perfect for a succulent, mid-winter roast. It's also used as an infusion in gin making.
The leaves make a tasty tea or as a strong flavour in cooking. Use generously in game meats and roasts and sparingly with seafood and white meats, or try frying it in butter alongside your meat or vegetables. It is delicious sprinkled in bread dough before baking. The best qualities are released when cooked dry e.g. roasts, fried similar to rosemary.
Kunzea essential oil is highly sought after for its fragrance and has also been registered with the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) as providing temporary relief of the pain of arthritis.
With an increasing number of medicinal benefits being unearthed, Kunzea Oil has become the key active ingredient in the growing selection of over-the-counter products - including liniments, massage oils, natural creams, and ointments. Medical benefits: the temporary relief of arthritis and rheumatism; relief of the symptoms of influenza; relief of muscular aches and pains; helps relieve nervous tension, stress and mild anxiety.
Warndu Products featuring White Kunzea Flower
Try the sweet and citrus flavour of our White Kunzea Flower as a dried whole leaf. This delightfully fragrant flower can also be found in our newest range of Home & Body products, the Botanical Bath Soak and Botanical Face Steam, or in our Pure Kunzea Essential Oil.
Note: The term 'Bush Tucker' and 'Bush Food' are not Warndu's preferred terms for Australian Native Ingredients or Australian Botanicals.
Images: © Luisa Brimble