Tea Tree Oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor and a colour that ranges from pale yellow to nearly colourless and clear. It is derived from the leaves of the tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, native to southeast Queensland and the northeast coast of New South Wales.
When used topically, tea tree oil is believed to be antibacterial. Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat acne, athlete's foot, lice, nail fungus and insect bites.
Tea Tree Oil is available as an oil and in many over-the-counter skin products, including soaps and lotions. However, tea tree oil should not be taken orally. If swallowed, it can cause serious symptoms.
Common Names: tea tree oil, tea tree, Australian Tea Tree Oil,Tea Tree Essential Oil, melaleuca oil
Latin Names: Melaleuca alternifolia
- Tea Tree Oil comes from steam distillation of the leaves of the tea tree. The tea tree grows on the swampy southeast coast of Australia.
- The aboriginal people of Australia have traditionally used tea tree oil as an antiseptic (germ killer) and an herbal medicine.
- Today, external use of tea tree oil is promoted for various conditions such as acne, athlete’s foot, lice, nail fungus, cuts, mite infection at the base of the eyelids, and insect bites.
Research on tea tree oil use for specific conditions shows:
- Acne. Research suggests that a treatment gel containing tea tree oil might be effective at relieving acne.
- Dandruff. A tea tree oil shampoo used for four weeks has been shown to be effective at treating dandruff.
- Athlete's foot. A tea tree oil cream, applied twice daily for one month, has been shown to be effective in relieving symptoms of athlete's foot.
- Lice. When used in combination with lavender oil, tea tree oil has been shown to be effective at treating lice eggs.
- Nail fungus. Research hasn't shown tea tree oil used in its pure form or in combination with other antifungal therapies to be effective in treating toenail fungus.
- Tea Tree Oil should not be swallowed. Taking it orally can cause serious symptoms such as confusion, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination), breathing problems, and coma.
- Most people can use topical products containing tea tree oil without problems, but some people may develop contact dermatitis (an allergic skin rash) or skin irritation on the parts of the body where the product was used.
- Little is known about whether it’s safe to use tea tree oil during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
- Amongst other benefits, Tea Tree Essential Oil is highly valued for its powerful deodorizing properties.
- Because of this, it is commonly used in personal care products such as lotions, creams, gels, washes, shampoos and various cosmetic products.
- The benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil are also widely recognized when it comes to skincare. When diluted and applied topically it has been seen to help reduce symptoms of acne, burns, sunburn, insect bites, blisters, eczema, chickenpox, cold sores and athlete’s foot.
- Other’s have said that this essential oil has helped with dandruff and other hair complaints. In fact, Tea Tree Oil is known to be one of the best essential oils for head lice.
In addition, Tea Tree Essential Oil blends well with Clary Sage essential oil, Clove Bud, Geranium, Lavandin, Lavender, Pine and Rosemary essential oils. You can also read our Tea Tree Oil reviews below to see how other people are enjoying Tea Tree Essential Oil.
When used topically, Tea Tree Oil is generally safe and might be helpful in treating acne and other superficial skin infections.
Avoid oral use of Tea Tee Oil, which is toxic when swallowed.
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