Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca Oil, is derived from the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant native to Australia. It has a pale yellow color and a camphoraceous odor which smells like a clean, fresh disinfectant. Tea tree oil has many healing properties; it is an immuno-stimulant, antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and a skin restorative. One plant can do all this? Yes!
Tea tree oil is extremely versatile and has been used for thousands of years to heal a variety of ailments. According to the American Cancer Society, the indigenous people of Australia used the tea tree plant as a traditional medicine by inhaling oils from crushed tea tree leaves to treat colds and coughs. The leaves were also crushed into a paste or soaked and then used as a wrap over wounds, skin ailments and sore throats. In the 1770s Captain Cook observed the Australians using the leaves and decided to try it himself as a way to prevent scurvy, and it worked. In the 1920s Arthur Penfold, an Australian chemist, published a series of reports on the effects of tea tree’s antimicrobial activity which boosted its desire among the general public. During World War II it was used by nurses, soldiers and sailors. After WWII, the demand declined because of the introduction of antibiotics and the diminishing image of natural medicines. In the 1970s tea tree oil became more popular again due to the growing trend of living a more natural lifestyle and the fact that those antibiotics that people had been using were starting to become resistant to certain bacteria. Tea tree oil was reintroduced as a valuable product because it isn’t resistant to any bacteria and, in fact, helped to kill all types of bacteria. In the ‘80s commercial plantations were established to produce large scale production of tea tree oil. Its popularity has continued to rise ever since as many people are trying to get back to basics for home products. The combination of its germ-fighting qualities and immune system stimulants results in a very powerful and versatile natural product.
Immuno-stimulant means it sparks your immune system into fighting diseases and illnesses, which makes tea tree oil excellent for aromatherapy for people with HIV and other compromised immune systems due to cancer treatments, disorders, sicknesses, etc. Tea tree oil works in harmony with children’s and babies’ bodies by making them sweat, which helps to sweat out a cold when they are sick. It can be applied to the skin directly or added to the tub for a beneficial steam bath. It can also be used in preparation for patients for surgery as it increases recovery rates and reduces the risk of post-op infections.
With today’s hectic lifestyles and endless expensive products available to take care of your home and body, it is a miracle that one product can cover all your needs while watching your health, your wallet and the environment.
Tea tree oil can be used for (but not limited to) the following: acne, dandruff, athlete’s foot, cold, flu, sore throat, candidiasis, killing bacteria, fungal infections, bad breath, eye ailments, minor wounds, insect bites, insect repellent, sooth sunburn, ear infections, cold sores, canker sores, diaper rash, cloth diaper cleaner, toe nail problems, chicken pox, shingles, yeast infections, genital sores, gum infections, pneumonia, respiratory illness, aftershave, arthritis, asthma, bladder infections, blisters, boils, bronchitis, bruises, calluses, chapped lips, dry hair, dry skin, ear aches, eczema, flea bites, gout, lice, head lice, bedbugs, herpes, hives, blisters, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac, sprains, splinters, tick bites, bedsores, deodorizer, dishwashing liquid, humidifier steam, washing machine liquid, all purpose cleaner, cosmetic cleaner, and it is a staphylococcus (mrsa) preventative. (list obtained from various websites)