Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Although Melaleuca alternifolia is known as the tea tree, it should not be confused with plant whose leaves are used to make black, green and oolong tea. Tea tree oil has been used as a traditional medicine in Australia for centuries. The native Australians crush tea tree leaves and extract oil, then inhale it to treat cough and colds or apply it directly on skin for healing.
Fast facts about tea tree oil:
- Tea tree oil is distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia plant, found in Australia.
- The oil possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
- A person can treat acne, athletic foot, contact dermatitis, or head lice using tea tree oil.
- Tea tree oil should never be swallowed.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil:There is some evidence to show that tea tree oil has several uses;
1. Anti-Bacterial:Tea tree oil is best known for its antibacterial activity. Some researches suggest that broad spectrum antimicrobial activity associated with the oil come from its ability to damage the cell wall of bacteria.
2. Anti-Inflammatory:The anti-inflammatory effect of tea tree oil helps to sooth and relieve painful and irritated skin. It may also reduce redness and swelling. Research supports that tree oil reduce inflamed skin due to skin sensitivity to nickel. Teripen-4-ol is found in tea tree oil to suppress inflammatory activity in cases of mouth infection.
3. Anti-Fungal:Tea tree oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment. One study found that a dilution of tea tree oil worked as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide in controlling the symptoms of acne. It may be effective in toenail fungus and possibly an athlete foot, but more researches are needed. A review of the effectiveness of tea tree oil highlights its ability to kill a range of yeasts and fungi. The majority of the studies reviewed focus on candida albicans, a type of yeast commonly affects the skin, genital, mouth and throat.
4. Anti-Viral:Tea tree oil has antiviral properties that have proven to be effective against common pathogens. A 2001 study found that a combination of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil worked effectively against herpes simplex virus. A 2013 study found that a tea tree oil could prevent the spread of influenza.
5. Contact Dermatitis:Tea tree oil has healing components that can help and ease the symptoms and severity of eczema flares. Results suggest that tea tree oil was more effective in suppressing allergic contact dermatitis then other treatments. These may include;
- Anti-inflammatory properties that lessen irritation
- Anti-fungal properties that may help reduce itching
6. Dandruff and Cradle Cap:Mild to moderate dandruff related to the yeast PITYROSPORUM OVALE may be treated 5% by tea tree oil. People with dandruff who used 5% tea tree oil shampoo daily for 4 weeks showed significant improvements. A research show that tea tree oil is effective for treating children cradle cap.
7. Head Lice:Head lice becoming more resistant to medical treatments, so experts are increasingly considering essential oils as alternatives. Tea tree oil appears to be able to kill some live lice, however we know that over counter the lice treatments are far more effective at killing live lice and getting rid of the eggs once an infestation has occurred.
8. Oral Health:In theory, anti-bacterial properties in tea tree essential oil can help control bacteria in the mouth. This can help keep mouths healthy, avoiding tooth decay and plaque buildup. Plaque buildup is related to periodontal disease, which can lead to complications like receding gums. A gel containing tea tree oil may be beneficial for those with chronic gingivitis, an inflammatory gum condition.
Tea tree oil also used to treat:
- Vaginal yeast infections
- Lung problems
- Minor cuts and burns
- Skin allergic reactions
Tea tree oil for ear infections:If you’ve ever had an ear infection as an adult, you know how painful they can be. Ear infections can also be a big concern for parents. Not only can they cause your child to be very uncomfortable, but they can also be hard to treat. Many people are turning to essential oils as a way to help clean up an ear infection naturally. Some essential oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which are useful for fighting of viral and bacterial infections. A research show that tea tree and basil oil both have medical properties that may be useful in treating ear infection. A 2006 research show that tea tree oil has a terpenin-4-ol, which kill off bacteria. Tea tree oil is more effective than some antibacterial cleaning agents. Researchers in 2005 animal study assessed the effects of oil of basil when placed in an ear canal of rats with acute ear infection. This treatment healed 56-81% rats infected with HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAE.
Tea tree oil can help you with this ear infection:An ear infection can be extremely painful. It makes difficult for you to hear and it can also rob you off your body balance. Your inner house structure known as labyrinth, some fluid and a few hair cells. All these are responsible for your hearing capacity and body balance. So, when this part of your ear is affected, the flow of information to brain gets disturbed. Viral infections mostly cause this ear infection. Bacterial infection could also be the cause of labyrinth.
ENT associate some viruses with inner ear infection:
- Cold sores
- Chicken pox
Risk factors of inner ear infection:
- Respiratory ailments
- Head injuries
- Autoimmune conditions
- Heavy smoking
- Family history of allergies
- Some medications