Tea Tree Oil
Parts used - volatile oil distilled from the leaves
As an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal
Effective against fungal skin infections including athletes foot.
Effective against vaginal infections including yeast infections.
Reduces the risk of infections and aids healing of cuts, abrasions and burns.
Reduces acne with fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide.
Soothes insect bites.
Helps reduce dandruff - add a few drops to shampoo when you wash your hair.
Helps relieve cold sores and warts.
How Tea Tree Oil Works
Tea Tree Oil contains substances called terpenes which have a powerful antibacterial action. Terpenes are able to kill many bacteria, including some that are resistant to standard antibiotics, like staphylococcus aureus. Other bacteria are so weakened that the body is able to destroy them.
In some cases tea tree oil can cause irritation to the skin and vagina, however it is generally considered safe for external use.
Do Not Take Internally. As with many essential oils tea tree oil is toxic if ingested.
Be sure that the oil you use is from Melaleuca alternifolia. Since tea tree oil has become so popular other species are sometimes used and these can cause skin irritation and be less effective.
History of Tea Tree The Tea Tree is a small tree native to areas of wet or swampy ground in New South Wales or southern Queensland in Australia. The oil, which is distilled from the leaves of the plant, has a pleasant nutmeg odor and is pale yellow in color.
Europeans were first made aware of the Tea Tree by Captain Cook after his expedition to Australia in the 18th century. It is said that his crew made tea from this aromatic plant - hence it's name.
The settlers soon discovered however, as the native Aborigines had long before, that this plant has many valuable uses. They used it to treat burns, cuts, insect bites, athletes foot and other skin complaints and soon the Tea Tree became a valuable part of their medicinal arsenal.
During World War ll Tea Tree Oil was added to machine cutting oil in munitions factories in Australia. This was done to reduce the number of infections caused by cuts and abrasions to the workers hands.
Tea Tree Oil became popular again in the late 1970's and since that time a Tea Tree industry has evolved. You can find Tea Tree in a wide range of products including skin ointments, shampoos, soaps and toothpastes.
It has been widely studied to examine it's effectiveness against a variety of complaints including acne, athletes foot, corns, skin and vaginal infections, as well as it's ability to kill antibiotic resistant bacteria like staphylococcus aureus. These studies have shown very positive results.
Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only. It is based on scientific studies or traditional usage. Consult a health care professional before using supplements or making any changes in prescribed medications. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease