Tea tree oil also known as melaleuca oil is an oil known for its fresh camphoraceous odor and a pale yellow colour to colourless. Tea tree oil is toxic when taken by mouth, but it is widely used in low concentrations in cosmetics and skin washes.
It is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia belonging to the Myrtaceae family.
Tea-tree oil should not be consumed because it is toxic and according to the American Cancer Society, it is known to cause rash, blood cell abnormalities, stomachache, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, hallucinations, confusion, drowsiness, and even coma.
Tea tree oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment. One study found that tea tree oil worked as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide in controlling the symptoms of acne. It appears to be effective with toenail fungus and possibly athlete’s foot.
Studies of tea tree oil for other conditions such as gum disease, vaginal infections, and dandruff have been inconclusive but never less it is touted as a “medicine in a bottle”, and treats a variety of ailments.
Uses of Tea Tree Oil
- Relieves itchiness from rashes as well as helps reduce rashes.
- Can be used as an all-purpose cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with 1-2 tsp. of tea tree oil and the rest of the bottle with water.
- Treats acne.
- Helps to prevent lice naturally; just add a few drops to your shampoo.
- Helps heal and soothe sunburns.
- Naturally, cures bad breathe by gargling in the mouth but do not swallow.
- Works as as antiseptic on small cuts.
- Use topically by massaging into the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet to alleviate allergies.
- Add several drops to the bath water to treat vaginal infections.
- Diffuse tea tree oil throughout the home or inhale from steaming water for viral infections.
- Apply undiluted directly to warts morning and night, until wart begins to disappear. Dilute if necessary for sensitive skin.
- Tea Tree Oil can be combined with a simple steam inhalation technique to naturally cure congestion, sore throat, chest infections, and clearing up mucus:
- Fill a large cooking pot or bowl with water.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Remove the pot from the stove and add 2 to 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil into it.
- Cover your head with a towel and lean over the top of the bowl so that the long ends of the towel are hanging down at the two sides of the bowl.
- Inhale the vapors for about 5-10 minutes.
- Repeat the process each night before going to bed until symptoms are cured completely. If symptoms persist for more than 5 days, it is best to consult your doctor.
Tea tree oil is popularly found as a pure essential oil. It is also an ingredient in creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, and shampoos. It should not be used by pregnant women or on children under six months old before consulting a health care provider.