Herbal Meds

Tea Tree Oil, an effective antiseptic and anti-bacterial herb

Where does Tea Tree Oil come from?

Tea Tree oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia.

This species of plant only grows in Australia and is different from the Camellia species used to make green teas.

The leaves from the tea plant is first steamed and then rolled and dried. Steaming the leaves kill enzymes which would promote fermenting. The lack of fermenting gives Green Tea its unique flavour and preserves the naturally present anti-oxidants.

With the increased use of antibiotics after World War II, Tea Tree oil was used less, but recently interest in it has been revived.

How can Tea Tree oil help me?

The antiseptic properties of Tea Tree oil are especially effective in treating cuts, scrapes and insect bites and stings.

Tea Tree oil also promotes healing of wounds, helps prevent infections and can even minimize scarring.

The anti-fungal benefits of Tea Tree oil include fighting the fungus that causes athlete’s foot and some nail infections. Studies have shown that Tea Tree oil offers protection against Pityrosporum ovale, a dandruff-causing fungus.

Tea Tree oil has been proven to be an effective acne treatment as it reduces inflammation and causes less irritation than over-the-counter skin preparations.

Tea Tree oil may also be effective against Candida albicans and Trichomonas vaginalis, two of the organisms that cause vaginal infections.

If I am already on medicine, what are the interactions or side-effects I need to know about when using Tea Tree oil?

Please consult your medical practitioner prior to using any herbal medications should you be under their care.

Minor skin irritations may occur in some people, and if used undiluted it can cause redness and itching.

Never take Tea Tree oil internally as it can cause severe diarrhea and vomiting.

Safety of use in pregnant and lactating women has not been established.

As Tea Tree oil is generally used topically, there are no known interactions with other medications. Do not mix Tea Tree oil with any other topical preparations prescribed by your health care practitioner.

How do I use Tea Tree oil?

To treat athlete’s foot, skin wounds or nail infections, apply a drop or two of pure, undiluted Tea Tree oil to the affected areas two to three times a day. Tea Tree oil creams and lotions can also be used.

Mix one or two drops of Tea Tree oil with aqueous cream to treat acne and apply once daily to the affected areas, taking care to avoid any contact with eyes or mucous membranes.

When using soaps, shampoos and skin-care products, make sure that it contains a sufficient amount of Tea Tree oil as some products contain so little of the oil that they are not effective.


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