The melaleuca alternifolia is the scientific name of Tea Tree Oil and these are the known aliases or other names: the Narrow-leaved Paperbark, Narrow-leaved Tea-tree, Narrow-leaved Ti-tree, or Snow-in-Summer tree. It is native to Australia, particularly in New South Wales.
Tea Tree Oil is removed from the leaves of the melaleuca alternifolia and processed into an essential oil that boasts a myriad of uses. Read more and find out all about the many uses of Tea Tree Oil.
1. Burns Ear Infections
A combination of both Tea Tree and lavender essential oil is a very effective treatment for burns. When you mix the two essential oils together, you create a synergistic blend that increases the power of both oils. These two oils pair well together for many ailments, including ear infections (otitis media), minor cuts and scrapes, insect bites, etc.
2) Fungal Infection of the Toenails
The tea tree oil was found to be as effective as the topical antifungal, based on clinical assessment and toenail cultures. Another randomized, controlled trial examined the effectiveness and safety of a cream containing 5% tea tree oil and 2% butenafine hydrochloride in 60 people with toenail fungal infection. After 16 weeks, 80% of people using the cream had significant improvement compared to none in the placebo group. Side effects included mild inflammation.
A single-blind randomized trial by the Department of Dermatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia compared the effectiveness and tolerance of 5% tea tree oil gel with 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in 124 people with mild to moderate acne. People in both groups had a significant reduction in inflamed and non-inflamed acne lesions (open and closed comedones) over the three month period, although tea tree oil was less effective than benzoyl peroxide.
A single-blind study examined the use of 5% tea tree oil shampoo or placebo in 126 people with mild to moderate dandruff. After 4 weeks, the tea tree oil shampoo significantly reduced symptoms of dandruff.
5. Keep bugs away.
If it can kill bacteria and viruses, it can most definitely act as an insect deterrent. Keep mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and flies away by rubbing a bit of tea tree oil mixed with a carrier oil, like mineral or sunflower oil (read the label—too much tea tree oil might be too strong for the skin!). Bonus: it can kill hookworms as well, which can penetrate through the skin.
Undiluted tea tree oil may cause skin irritation, redness, blistering, and itching. Tea tree oil should not be taken internally, even in small quantities. It can cause impaired immune function, diarrhea, and potentially fatal central nervous system depression (excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, confusion, coma).
The tea tree oil in commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes is generally considered to be acceptable because it is not swallowed. Avoid homemade tea tree oil mouthwashes.
Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of overdose: excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, poor coordination, diarrhea, vomiting. Don’t use tea tree oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Keep tea tree oil out of the reach of children and pets.