Tea tree oil uses are topical in nature to help with wounds and skin conditions. Do not take internally, as it can be toxic.
This essential oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree, which grows only in the northeast coastal region of New South Wales, Australia.
It is important to note that this "tea tree" is not related to the Camellia Sinensis plant from which all black, green, wulong and white tea are made.
Australian Aboriginals have used this remedy for thousands of years for cuts and skin infections. Tea tree leaves contain terpenoids, a chemical compound known to kill fungus and bacteria.
These antiseptic properties make the oil from the leaves an exceptional skin disinfectant.
It is ideal for treating acne, athlete’s foot, boils, cuts, scrapes, earaches, fungal infections, including nail infections, hair and scalp problems, herpes outbreaks, insect and spider bites, scabies and warts.
This therapeutic oil is effective against twenty-seven out of thirty-two strains of P. acnes organisms and many other skin funguses.
It is known to inhibit the following organisms: Candida albicans, Propionibacterium acnes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyrogenes, Trichomonas vaginalis, and Trichophyton mentagrophytes.
Clinical trials indicate that using the oil encourages healing and reduces the chance of scarring.
An Australian study showed that a five percent solution of this oil works as well as a similar mixture of benzoyl peroxide in acne treatments, and most individuals tolerate the oil.
Most pharmacies carry prepackaged preparations of this oil. To apply to skin, clean the site with soap and warm water and then paint the area with a liberal amount of full strength solution.
Use two or three times daily. Do not dilute unless instructed otherwise by a physician or noted as specific instructions on the bottle's label.
If irritation develops with use, try mixing the oil with distilled water, vegetable oil, primrose oil or Vitamin E. If irritation continues, discontinue use.
Mixed with water, use a gargle for colds, sore throats and mouth sores (but do not swallow). It may also be used as a douche for vaginitis.
Use caution when using this oil around the eyes, nose, mouth or other tender areas as it may cause a burning sensation.
Some people are allergic to this essential oil, so be alert to reactions such as rash or itching. Always use a small amount for first application to ensure tolerance of the product.
As with any herbal treatment, always check with your healthcare provider before using tea tree oil to ensure it is appropriate for your medical situation.