Why Tea-Tree Oil Should Be in Every Medicine Cabinet


Im sure that you have heard of tea tree oil, but do you know how to use it?  What is it and where does it come from? Let me start by telling you that tea tree oil may actually be the cure allof essential oils. It can be found in everything from toothpaste to household cleaners. Its available as oil, as a diluted watermiscible preparation, and in soaps, salves, and creams.  

Tea Tree Oil Ethnobotany


Amazing tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been used for centuries by the native people of Australia to treat wounds and burns, as Australia is the home of Melaleuca alternifolia. They would crush the leaves and apply them to the skin and place a warm mud cast over the area. Studies in the 1920s showed that the antiseptic properties of tea tree oil were 13 times stronger than carbolic acid, the main antibacterial in use at that time. 

The medicinal tea tree should not be confused with the tea plant (Camillia sinensis) that gives us green or black tea. Of the more than three hundred species of the genus Melaleuca, it is M. alternifolia that provides the most favorable healing properties.

Tea Tree Oil as an Antiseptic

Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to intact skin or to wounds to reduce the possibility of infection. They are differentiated from antibiotics by the ability of antibiotics to be transported by the blood and lymphatic systems to destroy bacteria within the body, and from disinfectants which destroy germs found on inert surfaces.

The discovery of antibiotics led away from the use of natural antiseptics. However, things have changed and we are now more conscious of and need to be more cautious of the overuse of antibiotics. There is a very real role here for tea tree oil, then. Tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial. It kills many bacteria and fungi. The full strength oil has the ability to penetrate through intact skin to destroy deeper pockets of pus. Studies from the Tea Tree Oil Research Organization of the University of Western Australia show that it is unlikely that bacterial resistance to tea tree oil can develop even despite long term continuous use.

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