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Meet the Australian family business behind Tasmania’s best-kept pain relieving secret

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Wild-harvesting a little-known native Australian plant from pristine northeast Tasmania and bottling its essential oils, has created a viable business for a Tasmanian family.

For the past few years, the Brass family has been selling their Zea Relief products using Australian Kunzea Essential Oil as their active ingredient – a world first in commercialising the oil for its pain-relieving and therapeutic benefits.

Entrepreneur Hayden Brass, along with his parents, Michelle (a naturopath) and Simon (a horticulturalist), have worked together to develop a product range, Zea Relief, for fast-acting and long-lasting natural relief to those who need it.

Michelle says: “Having worked with essential oils for 20 years, I have never come across an oil quite like Australian Kunzea”. Two of their products have now been listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for the relief of a number of different physical ailments and in the past six months Zea Relief has partnered up with OneMandate Group as a sponsor for Boundless Plains to Share – the largest ever campaign on Australia’s agricultural potential and its relationship to Asia.

What does Zea Relief have to offer?

The products use oil extracted from the terminal – or outer – branches of the Kunzea Ambigua shrub. Also known as ‘White Cloud’ or ‘Tick Bush’, it’s a shrub that grows up to three metres high with abundant white or pink flowers and is found in the cool coastal areas of  southern NSW, Victoria and Tasmania. Kunzea belongs to the Myrtaceae family, the same botanical family as gum trees, paperbarks and bottlebrushes.

Kunzea usage goes thousands of years back to native Aborigines who continue to use it to relieve red, dry and irritated skin conditions and to relieve muscular pain and tightness. You can even use it on insect and spider bites, minor burns, for sinus congestion and flu symptoms among many other conditions.

How it works is by relaxing sore muscles to reduce inflammation, while also increasing blood flow to calm painful nerve endings. The oil’s key components target the source of the inflammation by going deeply into the skin to help promote the body’s natural healing process.

As well as the natural benefits, the aroma of Australian Kunzea oil is often compared to the native scent of the Australian bush. “Customers often remark on the pleasant fragrance of our products, “says Hayden. “They love the clean, fresh and invigorating aroma of the Kunzea oil”.

Hayden and Michelle Brass

What next for the Brass family?

The Brass family also have plans to conduct research into how the oil could help internal inflammation and uncover its full potential.

“It’s as a tribute to a good family friend we lost to cancer he had developed after so many years of inflammation due to chronic Crohn’s disease. We can’t bring back our friend, but he has inspired us to make a move to help beat chronic inflammation,” said Michelle.

Hayden, who now also runs his own marketing consultancy for small businesses throughout Australia, says: “We are on a mission to help people throughout the world live a more fulfilling, pain-free life.” He also has a Bachelor of Commerce, where he focused on entrepreneurship, digital and traditional marketing.

“Our biggest challenge so far has occurred in the passed few months. My lovely father and business partner suddenly and tragically passed away at the end of August 2016,” Hayden went on to reveal to Anthill.

“This not only hit us very hard emotionally, but it also has made the last few months very challenging for mum and I as we take on his role within the business. He had built a close and caring relationships with a lot of our customers over the years and he is sorely missed. I plan to carry on my Dad’s legacy and help many more people, as he would have wanted.”

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