Tea tree oil – A versatile and natural active ingredient
Tea tree oil is known for its strong antiseptic properties and ability to treat wounds, which is why it is one of the best antibacterial essential oils out there. Tea tree is an essential oilthat has been widely used throughout Australia for at least 100 years and has been proven in numerous medical studies for more than seven decades because it is capable of killing off many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Tea tree oil, also called Melaleuca, is an oil with a fresh fighting smell and a color that ranges from light yellow to almost colourless and clear. Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia tea tree, native to southeast Queensland and the north-east coast of New South Wales, Australia. Although there is little evidence of efficacy, it is typically used in low concentrations as folk medicine for the treatment of skin diseases. Tea tree oil is only toxic if absorbed with the mouth, which is why it should be used purely externally.
The most important ingredients of tea tree oil
The primary active ingredients of tea tree oil include terpene hydrocarbons, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. These compounds give the tea tree oil its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects. There are over 100 different chemical components of tea tree oil – terpines-4-ol and alpha-terpineol are the most active – and different concentration ranges. The volatile hydrocarbons contained in the oil are considered aromatic and can move through air, skin pores and mucous membranes. This is why tea tree oil is usually used aromatically and topically to kill germs, fight infections and soothe the skin.
The use of tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is numerous – it can be used for homemade cleansing products, dispersed to kill toxic mold that grows in your home, and can also be applied topically to cure skin problems and treat skin infections.
Tea tree oil is also becoming an increasingly popular active ingredient in a variety of household and cosmetic products, including disinfectant sprays, facial detergents, shampoos, massage oils, skin and nail creams as well as detergents. The natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects of tea tree oil make it one of the most useful essential oilsthat should be contained in your natural medicine cabinet.
Tea tree oil to combat acne and other skin diseases
Due to the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil, it can be used as a natural remedy against acne and other inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. A 2017 study in Australia assessed the effectiveness of tea tree oils compared to a face wash without tea tree oil in the treatment of mild to moderate facial acne. Participants in the tea tree oil group applied the oil to their faces twice a day for a period of 12 weeks. Those who used tea tree oil showed a significant decrease in their acne on the face compared to those who treated the face without tea tree oil. There were no serious side effects, but there were some minor side effects such as peeling, dryness and deposits.
Tea tree oil for dry skin
Research suggests that tea tree oil is able to improve symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, a common skin condition that causes scaly spots on the scalp as well as dandruff. A 2002 study in humans, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, examined the efficacy of 5% tea tree oil shampoo and a placebo in patients with mild to moderate dandruff. After a four-week treatment period, participants in the tea tree oil group showed a 41 percent improvement in the severity of the scales, while only 11 percent of the people in the placebo group showed improvements.
Tea tree oil to soothe skin irritation
Although research on this is limited, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil can help to relieve skin irritation and wounds. There is some evidence from a study that wounds were started to heal and shrink after treatment with tea tree oil. There are also case studies that demonstrate the ability of tea tree oil to treat infected chronic wounds. Tea tree oil can be effective in reducing inflammation, fighting skin or wound infections, and reducing wound size. Tea tree oil can also be used to relieve sunburn, wounds and insect bites. Since it is an essential oil, burning and itching when used without a llergy cannot be ruled out. It is important that you still use a smaller quantity as a test.
Tea tree oil to fight bacterial, fungal and viral infections
According to a scientific review of tea tree oil published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, the data clearly show the broad spectrum of effects of tea tree oil due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. In theory, this means that tea tree oil can be used to fight a number of infections, from MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) to the athlete’s foot.
Laboratory studies have also shown that tea tree oil can inhibit the growth of bacteria such as Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Escherichia Coli, Haemophilus Influenzae, Streptococcus Pyogenes and Streptococcus Pneumoniae. These bacteria cause serious infections, including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, respiratory diseases, bloodstream infections, sore throat and sinus infections.
Due to the antifungal properties of tea tree oil, it can also fight or prevent fungal infections such as candida, foot fungus and footnail fungus. In a placebo-controlled study in Australia, the efficacy of tea tree oil in the treatment of foot fungus compared to a placebo was investigated. Patients in the treatment group received either a 25% tea tree oil solution, 50% tea tree oil solution or a placebo. They were instructed to apply the solution twice a day to the affected areas for four weeks. The research found that 68 percent of the 50 percent tea tree oil group, 72 percent of the 25 percent tea tree oil group and 39 percent of the placebo group showed an improvement.
If you’re wondering if tea tree oil can eliminate warts, you’re in luck. A case study from 2008 showed that, after applying tea tree oil once a day to a wart on a paediatric patient’s middle finger, it disappeared completely after 12 days of treatment. This is another example of the antiviral activity of tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil to prevent antibiotic resistance
Essential oils such as tea tree oil and oregano oil as well as Manuka oil are used as a substitute or together with conventional medicines, as they also serve as strong antibacterial agents without the adverse side effects. Studies published in the Open Microbiology Journal show that some essential oils, such as tea tree oil, in combination with conventional antibiotics have a positive synergistic effect. Researchers are optimistic that essential oils can help prevent the development of antibiotic resistance. This is extremely important in modern medicine, as antibiotic resistance can lead to treatment failure, increased health costs, and the spread of infection control problems.
Tea tree oil to relieve respiratory infections
The treatment of respiratory infections is not always easy, because the constant use of the airways can cause irritation for a long time and I can easily distribute viruses. The leaves of the Malaleuca plant were crushed and inhaled very early in its history to treat coughs and colds. Traditionally, the leaves were also soaked to produce an infusion used to treat sore throats. Studies today show that tea tree oil has antimicrobial functions, which can combat bacteria that lead to nasty respiratory infections, as well as antiviral functions that are helpful in fighting or even preventing coughs and colds. Thus, regular use of tea tree oil can be useful if you have a weak immune system and there is therefore an increased chance of developing a disease.
Tea tree oil to assist in the treatment of head lice
Tea tree oil has an insecticide effect and can be used to eliminate head lice, small parasitic insects that feed on human blood. A laboratory study carried out in Italy investigated the efficacy of tea tree oil against lice and their eggs. Teebaum was used alone and in combination with nerolidol and tested in different conditions against 69 head lice and 187 eggs over a six-month period.
The researchers found that tea tree oil alone is more effective against head lice, with treatment after 30 minutes of exposure leading to 100 percent death of the animals. A higher concentration of tea tree oil led to the failure of hatching of 50 percent of the eggs. When tea tree oil was combined with nerolidol in a ratio of 1:2, the two substances caused the death of all head lice within 30 minutes and the abscuring effect of lice eggs after 5 days.
Help in the treatment of scabies with tea tree oil
A study conducted at Flinders University in Australia found that 5% tea tree oil and its active component terpinen-4-ol reduce the chance of survival of scabies very effectively. Tea tree oil acts as a natural treatment for scabies as it has strong antimicrobial properties and has the ability to heal scabies on and under the skin.
Tea tree oil to reduce bad breath
Bad breath comes from bacteria that are in your mouth, especially in the back of your tongue, neck and tonsils. Since tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that can kill these bacteria, it acts as a natural remedy against bad breath. An in vitro study also shows that tea tree oil acts as an effective antiseptic against oral pathogens, including Candida albicans, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli. This can be extremely helpful after a surgical procedure such as a root canal and prevent the risk of developing a bacterial or fungal infection.
Keep in mind, however, that tea tree oil should not be used internally. If you use it as mouthwash to kill mouth germs, you should then spit it out and rinse your mouth with water. Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested internally. It can cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, inconsistency, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, blood cell abnormalities and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children.
What to look for when buying tea tree oil?
Not every tea tree oil is produced in the same way. Due to its antimicrobial properties, it is necessary to choose a tea tree oil that offers the highest quality and purest ingredients. By following these three tips, you increase your chances of getting the most out of your purchase.
- Choose a higher proportion of terpine-4-ol. Most tea tree oils contain the ingredients terpine-4-ol and cineol. Terpine-4-ol is the natural antiseptic in tea tree oil. Cineol is a natural organic compound, better known as eucalyptol, the main ingredient of eucalyptus oil. Better quality tea tree oils contain higher concentrations of terpine-4-ol and lower cineol concentrations. When comparing different brands, oils should be selected in the range of 30-40% for terpine-4-ol and less than 7% for cineol. Keep in mind that some are sensitive to higher concentrations. If you believe that there is a risk of an allergic reaction, it is recommended to perform a skin patch test before purchasing a higher concentration oil
- Choose an oil in dark glass bottles. Terpine-4-ol, like many other essential oils, quickly oxidizes when exposed to light, causing the oil to lose quality. Exposure to light also increases the amount of paracyme. It is a hydrocarbon that causes skin irritation, according to the Environmental Working Group Cosmetic Database. After purchase, store the bottle in an area that is not exposed to light, extreme temperatures and moisture, such as a cupboard.
- Read the label and investigate. If you read this, you have already started the research process. During the comparison phase, read the label to determine the purity of the tea tree oil. As mentioned earlier, tea tree oils can be mixed with eucalyptol and / or other essential oils. Read the ingredients to experience the concentration, as diluted forms impair the effectiveness of the oil. Also decide if you want to buy oils that are 100% organic. Organic products tend to offer higher degrees of purity and concentrations of terpine-4-ol. Finally, research consumer reviews and read reviews from different brands. The reviews and recessions will not only help you achieve good buying quality, but will also help you find a reputable vendor that increases the likelihood of a pleasant shopping experience.
Choosing the best tea tree oil does not have to be overly complex. Use these tips as a guide to your next purchase of tea tree oil.
Tea tree oil is one of the strongest essential oils that can be used for a variety of things. You can use the oil for household purposes in a variety of ways, such as as a natural disinfectant cleaner and for air purification. It is also useful in the home and in the garden to control and prevent mold. This oil can also be used in body and skin care products to treat problems such as acne or rash, dry skin and hair care products against fat and dandruff. Tea tree oil is therefore a very versatile oil, which is why it must not be missing in any household.