Tea tree oil has long been used topically for a variety of home remedies. It is often used on foot fungi, dandruff, and wounds. In studies, it has shown shown antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. It has also demonstrated the ability to reduce wound size, inflammation, acne scars, dandruff, and inflammation. Internally, it can be toxic, but has been used heavily diluted in studies to reduce oral bacteria, candida, and bad breathe.
NOT for pets! Tea tree oil is very toxic to dogs and cats!
Over 100 research articles have been catalogued on tea tree. Many studies have reviewed the antimicrobial actions of the plant and its extract/oil in vitro. It has also been studied as an insecticidal / repellent. Tea tree has shown both anti-inflammatory results and wound healing abilities in human studies. It can help to reduce dandruff, athlete's foot, haemorrhoids, and acne; more research is warranted. Based on studies, it might also be useful in very small amounts added to oral hygeine products to reduce oral bacteria and yeast infections as well as bad breathe. Click the button below for a detailed review of research.
Latin Name: Melaleuca alternifolia
This is a small tree growing up to 15 ft with paper bark, narrow aromatic leaves, cream colored flowers, growing in swampy coastland of Australia. There are chemotype varieties of tea tree oil; those high in terpinen-4-ol, those high in terpinolene, and those high in 1,8-cineole.
Oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twiglets. Its aroma is sharp, medicinal, and fresh.