Tea Tree is best known as a very powerful immune stimulant. It can help to fight off infection. Used in vapor therapy, it can help with colds, measles, sinusitis, and viral infections. For skin and hair, Tea Tree has been used to combat acne, oily skin, head lice, and dandruff. Tea Tree is “first aid” in a bottle.
Botanical Name: Melaleuca alternifolia
Plant Part: Leaves
Extraction Method: Steam
Strength of Aroma: Medium to Strong
1. Captain James Cook named the Melaleuca alternifolia plant “Tea Tree”
Even though Tea Tree has been used for centuries by the aboriginal people of Australia, it only came to the attention of Western Culture in 1732 by Captain James Cook and his botanist Joseph Banks when Cook observed the Bundjalung people of eastern Australia using it as a tea. They then also created a tea that was both spicy and refreshing hence the name “Tea Tree” was coined.
Joseph Banks also noticed the aboriginal people used it for medicinal purposes including ointments, inhaling the vapours of leaves being burnt for coughs and colds and creating infusions of leaves and water. This was used for body washes for both skin ailments and sore throats.
2. Effective antimicrobial properties
In 1920 to the 1930’s a series of papers published by Arthur Penfold in collaboration with FR Morrison report about the antimicrobial activities of the Tea Tree Oil.
Upon evaluations, it was found that it was 11-13 times more active than Phenol (a mildly acidic toxic white crystalline solid obtained from coal tar in dilute form (under the name carbolic) used as a disinfectant) and safer for topical applications.
3. Is as effective as benzoyl peroxide on Acne without the side effects
According to the US National Center for Biotechnology Information; Tea Tree Essential Oil has been shown to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide (a key ingredient in acne treatments) with fewer side effects.
4. It was an important part of World War 11
In World War II, the cutters and producers of Tea Tree Plantations were exempt from joining the military service until enough Essential Oil had been accumulated.
Tea Tree was issued to all Australian soldiers as part of their kit during World War II as by then it had become an established part of many Australians household remedies. This inclusion then allowed it to travel worldwide and for other countries to see the importance of Tea Tree Essential Oil.
5. Helps with inflammation of Eczema and skin irritants
Using tea tree as part of the treatment for skin irritations has become more and more commonplace with many commercial products now including Tea Tree Essential Oil.
An easy way to treat eczema is to create a soothing bath
Recipe: Soothing Eczema Bath
10-15 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
5 ml sweet almond oil
First do a patch test on your skin, because your skin is already sensitive and irritated. Using a cotton swab or ball apply gently to a small area of your skin, if it does not cause irritation within 5 minutes you should be good to go, but if in doubt try again with ½ strength and if need be using a smaller dose or do not use if irritation occurs.
In a bowl add; 500ml warm water, 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil and 3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil.
To have a soothing bath, add all ingredients to a warm bath (not hot) and swirl around in bath before hoping in. Gently lower your body and soak in bath mix.
These are just five of the many things you can do with Tea Tree Essential Oil, it is an amazing oil that is evergreen to Australia (I am not a bias Australian, it truly is a great oil to have). As for this very reason, Tea Tree has become a very common and popular ingredient found in many products from soaps, ointments, shampoos and cleaning products.
We would love to know ways you have used Tea Tree that has benefited you or your family, please comment below
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