Tea Tree Aromatherapy
“Tea tree oil is a knight in shining armor as it acts as a shield against all kinds of infections including bacterial, viral, fungal and microbial.”
Botanical name: Melaleuca Alternifolia
Born in Australia, Tea tree is the love and pride of the Australian kingdom where more than 300 species of Tea trees grow naturally. The Aborigines are regarded as the first ones to use Tea tree leaves before thousands of years as an antiseptic for healing wounds, cuts, burns and insect bites. It was the British explorer Captain Cook who named this tree as ‘Tea tree’ when he found the native people using the leaves of this tree in preparing a medicated tea and he used this drink to prevent scurvy in his men.
As an excellent antimicrobial and antiseptic oil, Tea tree oil was prevalently used in war fields for healing the wound of soldiers (especially in the Australian Army during World War II) and keeping them protected from the infestation of harmful microbes. One of the pools in Australia is known as the ‘Magical Lagoon’ just because it was surrounded by Tea trees and leaves fall in the water and make it a medicated bathing pool. People who take bath in this pool have said that it helped in healing burns, wounds and certain other skin infections. Tea tree oil is held-high for its anti-poisonous effects and is generally known as Snake oil just because the fact that this oil has enormous detoxifying properties that aids in taking way the venom of a poisonous snake bite.
The essential oil obtained from tea tree has a light yellow color and a camphor-like aroma. The scent is somewhat spicy as well as medical. This essential oil is mild in nature and possesses numerous therapeutic properties, including anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal and anti-viral. This oil should always be applied externally, because using it internally produces toxic after effects. Owing to its gentle nature, tea tree oil can be used directly undiluted on cuts with a view to cleanse and disinfect them and, at the same time, provide relief from pain. Every first aid kit should contain a bottle of this valuable essential oil for its antiseptic attribute is effective in treating fungus, cuts and infections. It needs to be mentioned here that tea tree oil is among the most scientifically studied essential oils.
As aforementioned, unlike many other essential oils, tea tree oil is safe for use even when undiluted. The gentle nature of the oil makes it possible to apply it topically even on the delicate parts of the body. In fact, this oil has been used to treat several conditions on soldiers during times of war when there is a dearth in the supply of medications. These days, tea tree essential oil is becoming increasingly popular as an ingredient in products meant for personal care.
Unlike the rosemary or lavender essential oils, tea tree oil is usually not used for particular mental effects. However, this essential oil usually possesses a medicinal aroma as well as an invigorating impact. According to reports, use of this oil following any surgery has demonstrated its common benefits on the overall mindset and feeling of wellbeing.
Chemical analysis of tea tree oil, which is also known as ti-tree oil, has revealed that its main elements include a-pinene, a-phellandrene, a-terpinene, y-terpinene b-pinene, 1,8-cineolem sabinene, p-cymene, linalool, limonene, terpinolene, myrcene, a-terpineol and terpinen-4-ol.
As discussed earlier, the essential oil steam distilled from the leaves of tea tree possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is vital for the wellbeing of the immune system. In fact, tea tree oil works as an immune-stimulant and augments the body’s capability to combat any type of infection. At the same time, this essential oil is also recommended to revitalize the mind as well as the body following any incidence of shock. Tea tree essential oil is highly effective in keep off all types of infections. Especially, this oil is more effective in three types of contagions – bacterial, fungal and viral. Therefore, this oil is also useful in treating cold sores, influenza, glandular fever, catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, especially in the respiratory tract) and gingivitis (inflammation of the gums).
Blends well with
boils and carbuncles
chapped and cracked skin
infection of digestive tract
mouth infections / ulcers
oily and open pores
wounds, cuts and sores
Although the essential oil obtained from tea tree is believed to be safe for use as it does not cause toxicity or irritation, it may be sensitive to some individuals. This aspect of this essential oil always needs to be borne in the mind before using it. One must exercise caution to avoid using tea tree essential oil on deep wounds or cuts and in areas close to the eyes, ears or nose. Most importantly, this oil should never be used internally. One must always remember that tea tree oil is one of the most potent essential oils and, hence, it needs to be used with prudence. Using it in excessive amounts or in higher concentration may prove to be detrimental for our health.
Like in the case of using any other essential oil, using solely tea tree oil for a prolonged period may enhance the risks of skin irritations as well as other adverse reactions. However, tea tree essential oil is considered to be non-toxic and even if it results in toxicity sometimes, the intensity is very low. It is safe for use and therapeutically useful oil for the whole family. Some herbalists also assert that using this oil in undiluted form is also safe when applied topically on small skin areas like dabbing on an insect bite, scratch or a blemish.