Friday, February 7, 2014


Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is an essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor and a color that ranges from golden coloured pale yellow to nearly colorless and clear.The tree tea oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. Tea tree oil should not be confused with tea oil, the sweet seasoning and cooking oil from pressed seeds of the tea plant Camellia sinensis (beverage tea) or the tea oil plant Camellia oleifera.

Tea Tree Oil History and Extraction
Native to the Australian coast it is alleged that for ages, Tea Tree have been made use of by Australian aborigines as a remedy to treat various ailments, through oil extraction and mashed leaves. However, the modus operandi of using Tree tea oil came to effect between the year 1920 and 1930 with the publication of Arthur Pinfolds successive research papers that indicated the manifestation of antibacterial properties, which was twelve times more potent than phenol. Nevertheless, after the Second World War, the interest in naturally manufactured goods dwindled due to a sudden upsurge in the development of powerful antibiotics. Nonetheless, the resurgence of interest in natural products during the 1970s, paved the way for Tea Tree Oil yet again.

What are the risks of taking tea tree oil?

Risks. Topical tea tree oil has been reported to cause allergic reactions that can be severe. Tea tree oil may also cause redness, itching, and blistering. It may aggravate burns and skin conditions like eczema. Using large quantities of tea tree oil on the skin could cause severe side effects.

For topical use only. Tea tree oil must never be used in the eyes or swallowed. Even in small amounts, swallowing tea tree oil could potentially cause severe reactions, including severe rash, nausea, confusion, and coma.

Properties and Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

A multifarious combination of naturally occurring substances in Tea Tree Oil helps generate an extensive assortment of benefits.  The chief constituent of the oil consists of Terpinen-4-ol Terpinene Cymene, Pinene and Cineole. Tea Tree Oil in its unadulterated form contains thirty five to forty percent Terpinen-4-ol concentration with a maximum of five percentage of Cineole, which offers the potent antibacterial benefits. Hence, the oil is effective against persistent microorganisms such as E.coli and staphylococcus. The oil promotes optimal health offering resistance sore throat, tonsillitis, colds and coughs.  With potent natural antiseptic properties, the oil inhibits formation of scar tissues offering protection against numerous infective diseases.

Possessing intrinsic antifungal substances the oil is beneficial for an array of fungal infections such as Candida, thrush, athlete’s foot and fungus occurring on the toenails.  Owing to its antiviral effectiveness Tea Tree Oil also prevents the occurrence of Herpes related viruses such as corns, herpes, rashes on skin, warts, boils and cold sores.

Due to its antiviral compounds most valued as a vaporiser in the treatment of aromatherapy, inhalation of Tea Tree Oil, destroys disease-causing bacteria and assuage symptoms of asthma, bronchial congestion, sinusitis, sore throats, coughs and running nose.

Anti inflammatory/ Anaesthetic
With additional benefits of anti inflammatory and anaesthetic compounds Tea Tree Oil prevents inflammatory diseases, alleviating pain with a marked reduction in swelling.

Since the oil contains natural expectorant substances, it provides immense relief from chest congestion, bronchitis, cough and cold.

The oil enhances immune and circulatory health and improves secretion of hormones.

Tea Tree Oil has the ability to accelerate healing which is due to the presence of Cicatrisant compounds that besides preventing infections and eradicates the scars left behind by acne, chicken pox boils skin eruptions and scars.

Containing Balsamic compounds Tea Tree Oil promotes optimal health and boosts the absorption of essential nutrients preventing attack of deadly diseases.

Considering Tea Tree Oil’s anti bacterial and antiviral properties, it is but natural that it offers protection from insects and bugs. Blending a few drops of this miracle oil with water is excellent to repel fleas and mosquitoes. In addition combining a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to regular shampoo gets rids of nits and head lice. The oil is effective against intestinal worms such as hookworms, tapeworm and round worms.

The oil makes the sweat glands active and helps perspiration. Through this, it offers many advantages like eliminating unwanted toxins from the body, opens pores and keeps the body moist and fresh. The oil also flushes out excess salts and fluids from the body and aids elimination of toxins from the uric acid.

Other Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Air Sanitizer
Cotton balls soaked in Tea Tree Oil, tucked away in containers, and taken out when needed, removes odours from the kitchen while cooking. It also eradicates the smell of dampness and medicines. Likewise, a few drops of the oil in the humidifier do wonders by keeping the air fresh with a sweet smell.

All Purpose Cleaner
Most household cleaners and disinfectants contain harsh toxic substances harmful for health. Some of them possess compounds such as formaldehyde, which are carcinogenic in nature. However cleaning products containing Tea Tree Oil is nature and environment friendly proving five times stronger than the normal cleaners are. As a household cleaner Tea Tree Oil keeps germs and bacteria at bay preventing diseases.  Two cups each of water and Tea Tree Oil combined in a spray bottle, acts as an excellent magical cleaner getting rid of the dirt on kitchens counters, floors, tiles, home fixtures, railings, bathrooms, shower curtains, door knobs and handles.

Stain Remover
Tea Tree Oil soaked in a moist cloth helps remove stains from floors.

In Laundry
Blending a few drops of Tea Tree Oil to the normal laundry prevents clothes from staleness by keeping them fresh and fragrant.

Mildew and Moulds
Tea Tree Oil is very effective for cleaning mildew and moulds from the atmosphere and furnishing fabrics

Products containing Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil is one of the main ingredients used in beauty health and personal care products such as deodorants, sunscreens, aromatherapies, soaps, shampoos, balms and lotions.  It is a vital ingredient in the products manufactured for pets.

Antiseptic Creams
Creams consisting of Tea Tree Oil produce excellent therapeutic results for skin irritations, athletes’ foot, insect bites and relieve sunburns.

Tea Tree Oil offers various benefits for hair care.  Shampoos with this oil as the main ingredient helps cure scalp infection, ringworm, dandruff and keeps the scalp clean by eradicating nits and lice. However, specific ingredients such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphate combined with the oil produce side effects causing pustules and irritation. Hence, it is extremely important to choose products with utmost care.

Soaps containing Tea Tree Oil help remove skin imperfections since it acts as an effective antiseptic.  It is also beneficial for acne, fungal infections and rashes.

Mouthwash/ Toothpastes
Tea Tree Oil is one of the main ingredients used in mouthwashes and toothpastes since it contains antibacterial properties alleviating plaque, cavities, bleeding of the gums and halitosis

Most deodorants are harmful for sensitive skin causing allergies and irritation.  Containing aluminium and other harsh chemicals, these deodorants end up damaging the clothes with use. However, Tea Tree Oil with potent substances and minty fragrance plays the role of a natural deodorant and helps reduce the risk of irritation and build up of bacteria.

Pet care
The presence of Tea Tree Oil in pet care products encourage a healthy coat and heal abrasions, wounds, skin chafing and itching. Applying a few drops of Tea Tree Oil on the coat protects the pet from fleas and ticks.

Utilization of Tea Tree Oil
There are possible chances of side effects while using Tea Tree Oil in its chaste uncontaminated form. Hence diluting the oil with other carrier oils such as olive, jojoba, sweet almond, grape seed and coconut proves effective and prevents any kind of adverse reactions.

Safety and Precautions

Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It has been reported to cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children.

Nursing and pregnant women ought to keep away from Tea Tree Oil.  Despite the claims that Tea Tree Oil sans harsh toxins and chemicals is harmless and effective for topical use, in some rare cases there has been evidence of allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin and pets. However when taken internally the oil causes serious side effects since the oil falls under the category of Schedule 6 Poison in Australia.

Skin Examination
Nevertheless, like every other product it is advisable to do a patch test before use.  In case of any allergic reactions, discontinue use and get in touch with a medical professional.

There are endless possibilities and benefits with the use of Tea Tree Oil.  The oil makes an amazing alternative for all health and household needs!

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