Healthy Living

Explaining Essential Oils- Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

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Explaining Essential Oils- Tea Tree 

Tea Tree Essential Oil  

Botanical Name: Melaleuca alternifolia 

What is it? 

Tea tree oil is made from distilling the leaves of the native Australian plant, Melaleuca alternifolia. It was first brought into modern culture by Captain James Cook in 1770. He observed the aborigines use of the tea tree leaves for healing purposes and shared this information with the rest of the English speaking world.  

How can I use it? 

Antiseptic.  Tea Tree oil is naturally anti-microbial and antiseptic and can clean a wound naturally and effectively. It is very beneficial in preventing infection and bacterial growth. 

Acne Astringent. With its anti-microbial properties, Tea Tree Essential Oil has been proven to reduce the occurrence of acne blemishes and breakouts. The Medical Journal of Australia published a study that this oil was just as effective as benzoyl peroxide against acne breakouts, proving it is a viable, natural option. 

Natural Hand Sanitizer. This oil is a great natural alternative to isopropyl alcohol gels. It has been scientifically proven to kill viruses and bacteria such as E. coli, S. pneumoniae and H. influenza. 

Fungal Treatment. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Tea Tree oil has been proven to be an effective treatment against many fungal infections such as Athlete’s foot and interdigital tinea pedis. 

Ear Infection Treatment.  Placing a diluted solution of Tea Tree Essential Oil in the ear canal has been shown to help naturally treat ear infections and reduce the pain associated with inner ear inflammation.  (Check with your healthcare provider for safety precautions first) 

What are the benefits? 

In the 19th century, a physician named Dr. A.R. Penfold discovered medicinal uses for Tea Tree oil that are still used today.  Dr Penfold worked as a chemist at the Government Museum of Technology and Applied Sciences in Sydney, Australia. His study on the medicinal uses of tea tree oil concluded this oil was a stronger antiseptic bactericide and therefore was a better more natural option for antiseptic use prior to surgery and in wound care.   

What are the risks?  

Tea tree oil is not safe for use around pets and is specifically toxic to dogs. Do not diffuse this oil around animals and do not apply it to them topically.  Tea tree oil is meant for human use.  

Be sure you are using a bio-friendly, 100% therapeutic grade oil. Do not ingest a low-quality oil, as they may be filled with other products and not 100% pure.  

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