Tea Tree Oil Benefits – Nature’s Miracle
Is it possible that the most ground breaking benefits of tea tree oil have yet to be uncovered?
Although tea tree oil has been used in Australia as a natural antiseptic at least since the beginning of the last century, researchers and scientists have only recently been discovering the full extent of its benefits and how amazing this plant extract really is; which is why it is no surprise that it is making such a big splash in the health and wellness industry today. The fact of the matter is that the healthcare and cosmetic industry have known about a number of tea tree oil benefits for quite a few years now but with the trend swinging towards holistic and natural home remedies more people are looking to natural oils like that produced from the leaves of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) to treat common and the ‘not so common’ ailments.
Here Are 4 Basic Facts That You Should Know
1. Although there are more than 300 varieties of tree belonging to the Melaleuca tree family, it is only the Melaleuca Alternifolia of Austraila that has been found to have both fungicidal and antiseptic properties and therefore the range of benefits that we are now seeing.
2. The Melaleuca Alternifolia or Tea Tree is a relative of the Eucalyptus tree and was originally native to the low-lying regions of eastern Australia in the wetlands of Northern New South Wales. It typically grows to a height of about 6 meters and looks like a bushy tree with long thin needle-like leaves, like the pine.
3. The oil itself is obtained by harvesting the leaves and branches which then undergo a process of steam distillation while they are still fresh. About one ton of foliage is required to produce around 8 kilos of oil.
4. Tea tree oil is a complex of more than fifty naturally occurring compounds and it is these that combine together to produce such a wide range of benefits.
- Some of the primary components are the chemicals Cineole, Pinene, Cymene, Terpinene and Terpinen-4-ol.
- Pure tea tree oil should have no more than 5% Cineole and Terpinen-4-ol levels of between 35 and 40%.
- It is the Terpinen-4-ol that has been found to give the oil its’ antimicrobial benefits.
Other Amazing Benefits – Unveiled
Tea Tree Oil is unique in that has a broad-spectrum antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activity, which means that unlike other ‘essential oils’ it is the only oil that is known to kill all three categories of infectious organism:
- A Viricide – an agent that inhibits or destroys viruses
- A Bactericide or Antiseptic – an agent that destroys bacteria
- A Fungicide – an agent that destroys or inhibits the growth of fungi
It is because of these 3 properties that there are so many health and therapeutic tea tree oil benefits, whether antibiotic, anti-infectious, antiseptic, balsamic, antiviral, expectorant, immune-stimulant, fungicidal, bactericidal, stimulant and even insecticidal.
- Its antibacterial qualities mean that it is extremely effective against stubborn germs like the gram positive Staphylococcus aureus and the gram negative Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherischia coli (or E. coli, as it is more commonly known). Furthermore, as tea tree oil is considered to be the “most powerful natural antiseptic known to man”, it can help to prevent infections and also aid in reducing the formation of scar tissue.
- Its antiviral qualities make it a highly effective treatment for viruses such as shingles, warts and cold sores; which all belong to the herpes virus group.
- Its antifungal qualities mean that it is a very effective remedy against a wide range of fungal infections of the skin, scalp and toe nail.
- Oil from the Tea Tree is also known to have another added benefit, in that it has anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties, which means that it can help with nearly all minor conditions to both reduce swelling and soothe the pain.
To receive a free brochure outlining the common tea tree oil benefits and uses click here
In fact, research has shown that although tea tree oil may be toxic if ingested and must therefore never be taken orally, another one of the growing number of tea tree oil benefits is that there is no toxicity caused by dermal absorption. In other words, it can be used topically for all types of skin aliments from acne to boils; from cuts and burns to ringworm and insect bites. Furthermore, it has the added benefit of being an organic solvent, which means that it will help to dissolve the pus (simply a mass of white blood cells) in an infected wound, thus allowing the blood to flow freely and cleanse the infection.
Using Tea Tree Oil Around the Home
Many household disinfectants and cleaners contain strong chemicals such as chlorine bleach or even possible carcinogenic substances like formaldehyde. However, tea tree oil is not only up to five times stronger than many common household disinfectants but it is a completely natural, biodegradable and environmentally friendly product. This makes it a much healthier alternative that also eliminates the hazards and odors associated with chlorine bleach cleaners and the like. Another of the benefits of tea tree oil based products is that they can be used to eliminate molds and mildew, not only in the air in our homes but since it can easily penetrate into the porous materials and furnishings in the home, it can kill the molds at root level.
Understanding the Risks – Is It Safe?
Tea tree oil contains varying amounts of the organic compound 1,8-cineole, otherwise known as Eucalyptol, which has been known to produce mild contact dermatitis in individuals with skin sensitivity when used in high concentrations. In more extreme cases it may also cause an allergic reaction that results in rashes, eczema and blistering of the skin. However, when applied in accordance with recommended doses; for topical products like creams this is normally a concentration of between 5 and 10%, it should be perfectly safe. In skin patch test results less than 2 percent of patients screened had a positive reaction to tea tree oil. Nevertheless, it is always wise to test new products by applying a small sample on your arm or leg first to ensure that it doesn’t produce an allergic reaction. In order to prevent irritation it is also best to avoid sensitive areas like those around the eyes and nose.
Similarly, because eucalyptol is toxic if ingested or inhaled at higher than normal levels, tea tree oil should not be ingested, even in small amounts. When taken orally it is known to produce stomach-ache, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, drowsiness and confusion. Therefore, although tea tree oil is known to be an effective remedy for bad breath, mouth ulcers and even toothache and is also an active ingredient in mouthwash, it should, under no circumstances, be swallowed.
The same safety precautions should also be applied when it comes to pets. In fact, studies performed by veterinary toxocologists on animals, showed that when large quantities of tea tree oil was applied topically, in its undiluted form, it caused weakness, walking difficulties and muscle tremors. So it it is best to avoid using the oil unless it has first been diluted according to recommendations.
For further information regarding tea tree oil benefits and uses please visit here.