Tea tree oil is an essential oil that comes from the leaves of the Meleleuca alternifolia tree. It is used around the world in cosmetics and skin washes. It can be used to treat a wide range of medical and skin conditions. If you haven’t tried this amazing product now is the perfect time to begin making this product a part of your everyday health care regimen.
This article will provide you with information about where tea tree oil comes from, the traditional uses of the oil, what medical benefits it can provide, and how it can be used.
Origins of Tea Tree Oil
While this essential oil is called tea tree oil, it is actually derived from a different type of tea tree than the ones commonly used to produce black and green teas, and it is important to understand the differences between these two types of trees as tea tree oil is vastly different than the teas your brew for your morning caffeine boost.
Tea tree oil comes from the tree Melaleuca alternifolia, which is known by a number of common names depending on what area you are in. These names include things such as the narrow-leaved paperbark, narrow-leaved tea-tree, narrow-leaved ti-tree, snow-in-summer, or simply tea tree. It grows naturally in southeast Queensland and on the north coast of New South Wales. It prefers growing along streams and swampy flats, where it is the dominant species. It is a small tree and only reaches about 20 feet in total height. It is bushy, with papery bark, and the leaves are smooth and soft. The leaves are naturally rich in oil. The tree flowers annually, revealing white or cream-colored bunches of flowers, making the tree look fluffy. It is very unique looking and easily stands out in the Australian landscape.
It likely began being referred to as a tea tree when Captain James Cook travelled to the area and his men used the tree to make an infusion to drink in place of using regular tea. However, the indigenous population of Australia had been using the tea tree as a source of medicine for hundreds of years. The Bungjalung people have many stories and legends about the use of the oil.
By using tea tree oil you will be participating in a traditional form of medicine that people have benefitted from for generations. The trees isolation in Australia increases its value and uniqueness as a medical resource.
The benefits of the oil became known to the rest of the world beginning in the 1920s. A chemist in Australia named Arthur Penfold began exploring the potential uses of native oils by isolating their properties, studying their molecular structure, and adding the information to the existing medical and chemical knowledge of Australian plants. He discovered that tea tree oil had strong antiseptic properties, up to between 11 and 13 times more powerful then phenol, while also being milder for the skin. Soon after this the tea tree industry as was born.
Tea tree oil quickly became a common household item throughout Australia. By the 1930s tea tree oil was being sold in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, and other European countries, but it became more common during World War II. Australian soldiers carried tea tree oil in their kits while they were deployed and other soldiers learned about the antiseptic properties of the oil.
Originally the leaves were simply collected from wild tea tree plants, but over time demand out grew the availability of wild trees. The first commercial plantations were established in the 1970s. Today there are plants throughout Australia that produce high quality 100 percent pure Australian tea tee oil.
The Story of Princess Eelemani
One of the most well-known stories from the indigenous Bungjalung people about the tea tree is about the Princess Eelemani. Legend has it that Princess Eelemani of the Bundjalung people had to leave her one true love and travel through the bush of New South Wales. The journey was long and hard and she worried that she would never been able to get back to her love and the rest of her family. She spoke to the gods of the Earth and planets and was rewarded with special seeds that she planted as she walked.
As she continued through the forests the birds and the other animals called it her in reassuring voices and helped to give her protection. As she dropped the seeds into the fertile forest soil they grew roots and shoots that began moving towards the sunlight. The trees were beautiful, with white paper bark that stood out from all the other trees in the area. At night the light from the moon reflected off of the tree bark, lighting the way for her to walk. Eelemani felt safe because she knew that the these trees meant that the gods were looking out for her and that she would make it home to her love and her family in one piece.
Long after Eelemani was gone from this Earth the trees continued to flourish. The other people of the Bungjalung were thankful that she had given them such beautiful trees and continued to beautify the area where they lived. Eventually, they discovered that the tree’s leaves had antiseptic qualities and helped protect them from skin ailments and infections and were even more thankful for such an amazing gift.
It appears that the Bungjalung people used tea tree oil for many years. They inhaled the oil to treat coughs and colds. When they had cuts and injuries they applied the leaves as a poultice to help in healing. If someone suffered from a sore throat they would brew an infusion with the leaves to drink, and they might have even used it in making beer.
How Tea Tree Oil is Produced
Today the tea tree still grows in Australia, but has also been introduced to other areas of the world, increasing its availability to the general public and making it easier for you to use! After the leaves are harvested they are left to sit and wilt for a few days before being packed into large puts and distilled for around 60 minutes. As the leaves distil, both the oil and the water collect in a container, where the spate and the oil floats to the top. There is little waste in the production process as the spent plant material is re-used as mulch.
It is typically placed in brown glass bottles and after you purchase it the tea tree oil should be stored in a cool, dark area that is not accessible to children.
Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an amazing substance that has been used for thousands of years. By using it you will simply be following in the footsteps of many people who have come before. Over recent years the popularity of tea tree oil has skyrocketed as people have sought a return to traditional medicine. It is regularly used in many products today, even if you don’t think you are currently use tea tree oil, it might already be in some of your favourite products. Use tea tree oil for a variety of ailments without the concern and cost of regular medication. Want to give tea tree oil a try? Check out all health benefits!
People of all ages can suffer from acne throughout their bodies It’s a frustrating condition and can cause insecurities and a lack of confidence. Tree tea oil can help change all of that! Many commercially available topical acne prevention gels and creams contain up to 5% tea tree oil. The oil helps slow and control the growth of bacteria that has been linked to the development of acne. Tea tree oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, this means that it can help with severe acne where people suffer from inflamed acne over large parts of their bodies.
A frustration of for many people suffering from acne is that the treatments often dry out patient’s skin. This causes itching, dry skin that can turn red and peel. People with sensitive skin might not even be able to handle some of these treatments. Tea tree oil does not can change all that. It has been shown in a Medical Journal of Australia that it caused far fewer side effects then substances such as benzoyl peroxide, another common ingredient in acne treatments.
Fungal Infections on the skin
No one wants to suffer from painful and annoying conditions such as athlete’s foot, jock-itch, and ringworm. Tea tree oil has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment for these conditions. Now you have an easy way to treat all those annoying conditions and get back to the gym!
Vaginal Infection Care
Women are far too familiar with annoying vaginal conditions like yeast infections and often struggle with pain and medical bills as a result. Solutions that are made of up to 40 percent tea tree oil emulsified with isopropyl alcohol and water. Many infections were cleared up by using tea tree oil with a decrease in side effects compared with other medications and applications. Tea tree oil has also been shown to be effective in treating cervicitis and chronic endocervicitis, especially when used alongside antibiotic treatments.
Hair Care – Dry Hair, Oily Hair, and even Lice!
Dry hair is often a problem, especially as people age and they start suffering from a decline in hormones and other substances that kept their hair shiny and strong when they were younger. A solution that contains 2 percent tea tree oil can be combined with a moisturizing shampoo to help unlock things like sebaceous glands, which then encourage your body’s natural oils to flow through your hair. It will also help you get rid of dead skin cells on your scalp.
Oily hair, the opposite problem that leads you looking like you haven’t showered in days no matter what you do. Oily care is not a normal condition, it is caused by bacterial or fungal infections on the scalp and/or a build-up of dead skin cells. If you add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to another oil and rub it into your scalp you can help clear up these conditions. Just scrub it into your scalp for a few minutes before your regular hair routine. It can also help you control dandruff and other annoying conditions that leave you hair looking less than perfect.
Head lice, the dreaded condition that is increasingly common in schools and day care centres around the country. Doctors and parents alike are struggling with how to control it and ensure that the lice do not spread to other people in the community. Head lice live on people’s hair and feed by sucking blood from a person’s scalp, becoming a reddish-brown colour as they fill with blood. Tea tree oil shampoo can be an effective treatment for lice. It should be massaged into a person’s scalp and left on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing, which will kill the adult lice. Repeat the treatment twice a week for several weeks to kill off any remaining lice that catch from eggs that had already been laid. Soaking hair care items such as combs, brushes in an emulsion of tea tree oil and water to help prevent contamination.
Tea tree oil can also be added to bath water to not only improve your hair, but help with relaxation and soothe and hydrate your skin. Simply place a few drops into the bath water and you will feel better in a manner of minutes.
Cuts, Scraps and Burns
You may recall that earlier in this article it was mentioned that tea tree oil has amazing antiseptic qualities. This means that when your child cuts his or her leg outside or your burn your hand while cooking, tea tree oil is the perfect solution. Simply dabbing a little bit of the oil onto a cut or burn on the skin 2 to 3 times a day will help it to heal more quickly and be less prone to infection. The same treatment can be used for plantar warts, coral cutes, and cold sores.
Muscle Aches, arthritis, and minor pains
People who are aging or exercise frequently will be familiar with regular aches and pains and will seek a variety of treatments to feel better. Regular medications, like ibuprofen, can have a negative impact on your kidney and liver if taken to frequently. Tea tree oil is wonderful alternative topical treatment. Creating an oil that contains between 5 and 10 percent tea tree oil is perfect for massaging onto the impacted area. It can be used up to four times a day.
Shaving and Waxing
Are you tired of those pesky ingrown hairs? What about that annoying razor burn that leaves your skin looking bumpy and red, ruining that beach body you have been working so hard for. Tea tree oil can help with these annoying problems. A moisturizing cream that has been infused with tea tree oil will soothe shaved areas. Tea tree oil’s anti septic properties will also help prevent the little infections that can develop from shaving.
Tea Tree Oil as a Cleaning Solution
Dust, dirt and waste are always building up in your home. Everyone gets tired of doing housework and in today’s age it becomes even more complicated as we try to pick out products that will keep our house clean and free from bacteria, while not exposing our families to dangerous chemicals. Tea tree oil is a perfect substance, mix it with water to use in cleaning floors and dishes. Your plates and floors will look clean and shiny, and tea tree oils antiseptic qualities will ensure that bacteria are removed, keeping your family happy and healthy. It can also help to get certain stains out of your laundry!
Concerns about Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a great oil to use on external areas of a person’s body, its impact is indisputable. However, tea tree oil should not be indigested. It is poisonous if consumed and can cause a wide range of symptoms such as drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, upset stomach, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes.
It should be kept out of reach from children and animals, as it can be lethal to pets.
Tea tree oil is an ancient and powerful treatment for a range of issues. Take a step away from all the confusion and side effects of modern medicine and begin using something traditional with few side effects. You will save money on medical appointments and save time visiting the doctor and picking up prescriptions.
It can improve inflammation and skin conditions, while also helping to repair cuts and other skin damage. This oil has become incredibly popular over the last few years and you should not miss out on this amazing product. Start using it an you will see an improvement in your skin and hair within just a few short days.