Topics in Aroma Therapy-Tea Tree Oil

24 Jan

Healing Properties of Tea Tree Oil

(source)

Welcome to the 2nd post in my new blog series, Topic in Aromatherapy.  Each week I will focus on an aspect of aromatherapy such as an essential oil or carrier oil and discuss their healing properties.  I also will discuss how to make some of your own natural products using essential oils.  Last week we talked about jojoba oil.

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a pale yellow colour to nearly colorless and clear essential oil (source) from leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia (see picture above), a plant native to Australia (source).

Over 98 compounds are contained in the oil (source)

What studies have ben done on tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil has shown to be:

  • antiviral against herpes simplex virus in culture (source)
  • able to kill head lice in vitro (source)
  • comparable to 5% benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of moderate common acne (although with a slower onset) (source)
  • antibacterial againist bacteria known to cause acne (source) and a wide range of other bacteria (source)
  • able to treat dandruff with a 5% solution (source)
  • antifungal (source) for a wide variety of fungi (source) (source)
  • antiprotzoal (source)
  • comparable to clotrimazole in effectiveness against onychomycosis (toe fungal infection) (source)
  • able to kill the yeast Candida in vitro (source)
  • more effective than commercial medications against the scabies mite in vitro (source)
  • anti-inflammatory(source)

This paper has a great summary of most of the studies I cited above

How can you use tea tree oil in aromatherapy?

There are endless uses for tea tree oil!  You can use it at 100% concentration (see warning below about a possible skin irritation) to treat the above mentioned diseases.  You can also add it to your shampoo, lotion, a vaporizer or even used it as part of a house cleaner (source)!

If you don’t want to use the tea tree oil at 100% you can add 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil to half a cup of the carrier oil (such as olive oil or jojoba oil).

Are there any risks to using tea tree oil?

Don’t use it orally!

According to the American Cancer Society

“Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It has been reported to cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children.” (source)

Only 1 out of 725 patients experienced an allergic reaction when tea tree oil was applied to the skin at 1% dilution (source)

Question?

Have you used tea tree oil before?  If so, how have you used it?

Advertisements

13 Responses to “Topics in Aroma Therapy-Tea Tree Oil”

  1. Corinne @ RI Nutrition Housecalls January 24, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    I have been using tea tree oil for years. I find it especially good if I am getting a pimple- it often clears it up before it emerges. I’ve also put it on scrapes and cuts. It stinks like turpentine but you get used to it!

    • naturallyhealthyandgorgeous January 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

      It’s amazing all the functions tea tree oil can serve! I also like that there are so many scientific papers proving all it’s health claims. I use it for scrubs and lotions and usually add another essential oil with antibacterial/fungal/viral properties such as lavender or rosemary to counteract the smell!

  2. Jenn January 24, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    I use it with my shampoo. I suffer from seriously dry scalp and it’s a serious lifesaver!

  3. Laura February 25, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    Where do you buy tea tree oil? I never really heard much about it until recently. I have trouble with the tips of my thumbs splitting in the winter and they never seem to heal right until spring. But I read that some people have had a lot of success using tea tree oil to heal and prevent this condition because it can be caused by a fungus.

    • Naturally Healthy and Gorgeous February 25, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      I got mine from the Vitamin Shoppe (on Settler’s Ridge) but you can also get it at Trader Joe’s or online at Amazon. Apparently these ones aren’t considered “medicinal grade.” If you want that, you can get it from mountainroseherbs.com (pricey but apparently a better quality). Tea tree oil has actually shown to be as effective as systemic medicine (who’s side effects include liver toxicity) when used as a 5% solution on toenail fungus. It does have a strange smell though. If you want to use it for medicinal reasons, try adding about 15 drops to 2oz of carrier oil (sweet almond, jojoba, etc).

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Topics In Aromatherapy-Sweet Almond Oil « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - January 31, 2012

    […] Welcome to the 3rd post in my blog series, Topic in Aromatherapy.  Each week I will focus on an aspect of aromatherapy such as an essential oil or carrier oil and discuss their healing properties.  I also will discuss how to make some of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil and tea tree oil. […]

  2. Topics in Aromatherapy « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - February 14, 2012

    […] of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil and sweet almond […]

  3. Topics in Aromatherapy-Shea butter « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - February 28, 2012

    […] of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, lavender and ylang […]

  4. Topics in Aromatherapy-Patchouli « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - March 6, 2012

    […] of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, lavender, ylang ylang and shea […]

  5. Topics in Aromatherapy-Kokum Butter « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - March 13, 2012

    […] of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, lavender, ylang ylang,shea butter and […]

  6. Topics in Aromatherapy-Avocado Oil « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - March 20, 2012

    […] of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, lavender, ylang ylang,shea butter, patchouli and kokum […]

  7. Topics in Aromatherapy-Argan Oil « naturallyhealthyandgorgeous - March 27, 2012

    […] of your own natural products using essential oils.  So far, we have talked about jojoba oil, tea tree oil, sweet almond oil, lavender, ylang ylang,shea butter, patchouli, kokum butter and avocado […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: