Essential Oil Series - Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)


Photo Credit: Naturally Australian Products

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil is known for its potent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Tea Tree oil is rich in terpinen-4-ol, a very effective antimicrobial which is also antifungal. Tea Tree oil has been long valued for its antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. In the 1920s, it was used in dentistry and surgery to help clean wounds and prevent infections.

Chemical Families: Monoterpenes, Sesquiterpenes, Monoterpenols, Oxides

Botanical Family: Myrtaceae

Extraction Method: Steam Distilled

Note: Top-Middle

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) Essential Oil Highlights:

  • Tea Tree oil has a very distinctive medicinal aroma.

  • Tea Tree oil is one of the best oil to combat bacterial, fungal and viral infections. It is a great immune stimulant. If you feel like you are coming down with something, gargle with a drop of tea tree oil mixed with water.

  • Tea tree oil is a strong pure concentrate; very little is needed to achieve results. Therefore it should be used sparingly.

  • Safety: Tea tree oil is not recommended for internal use without medical supervision.Tea tree oil may cause skin irritation in people with sensitive skin. If this is your first time using tea tree oil, put a small patch on the inside of the arm to see if there is any concern about possible side effects. Normal precautions should be taken which include noting if any redness or skin irritation develops or persists. If this happens, discontinue use and your skin should revert to normal.

Here are just some of the many ways you can use your Tea Tree essential oil:

  • Keep a bottle of tea tree essential oil in your first aid kit - It can be applied neat (without dilution) on minor cut wounds, burns, insect bites.​​

  • Relief congestion from cold or cough - Most respiratory conditions can benefit from the use of tea tree oil, including allergies. Tea Tree oil can alleviate allergies by suppressing histamine release and cytokine production. To relief congestion: Boil a bowl of water. Add tea tree oil to the hot water and breathe in the steam.

  • Boost your immunity system using a diffuser - Tea Tree oil is a good oil to diffuse as an aerial antiseptic. It is a good agent against a wide spectrum of microorganisms, such as Staphylococcus species (including MRSA), dermatophytes and Candida species. Place 5-8 drops to 1 cup of water in a diffuser.​​

  • Use tea tree oil to treat acne – Tea Tree oil has excellent potential in the treatment of acne because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions. It reduces the number of lesions. The components, including terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol, and α-pinene, are active against Staphylococcus aureus, S. epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes. Apply it on the spot, or add tea tree oil to your lotion at 5% dilution.

  • Hair care - If you want to reduce dandruff, or if you simply want to have shinier and softer hair, apply a diluted amount of tea tree essential oil to your scalp. The stimulant in tea tree makes it easier get to your scalp moisturized, thereby reducing the amount of dandruff and dry skin.

  • Use tea tree oil to treat toenail fungus – According to webmd, applying tea tree oil topically twice daily for six months can cure fungal toenail infection in about 18% of people who try it. It can also improve nail appearance and symptoms in about 56% of patients after three months and 60% of patients after six months of treatment.

Tea Tree essential oil is an active ingredient in these azendea products:​​

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References:

  1. Worwood, V. (1991) The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy

  2. Black and Butje, Aromahead Institute (2015) Essential Oil Data Sheet​

  3. Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil.​

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