Tea Tree oil

Tea Tree oil: Overview

Melaleuca alternifolia or "tea tree" is a small tree native to the northeast coastal region of New South Wales, Australia.  The leaves are the portion of the plant used medicinally.  The medical world's first mention of tea tree appeared in the Medical Journal of Australia in 1930 where a surgeon in Sydney reported some impressive results when a solution of tea tree oil was used for cleaning surgical wounds.  Tea tree oil has a broad range of antimicrobial activity. Although often provided in 100% strength, people with sensitive skin should use it in diluted form.  It can be mixed with another oil such as almond oil.  If a skin reaction occurs, discontinue use.  It has been reported that allergic contact dermatitis to tea tree oil is commonly seen by Australian dermatologists [Medical Journal of Australia, February 21, 1994;160: p.236].  In addition, avoid contact with the eyes and remember to store any product out of the reach of children.  Although one Naturopath is known to have swallowed an ounce of tea tree oil daily for thirty days and appeared to show no ill effects, it is generally recommended for external use only.

Tea tree oil has been used in the treatment of: acne, athlete's foot, boils, burns, carbuncles, impetigo, infections of the nail bed, insect bites, ringworm, and vaginal infections.  Many products based on tea tree oil exist in the marketplace, including toothpastes, shampoos and conditioners, hand and body lotions, creams, soaps, gels, liniments, and nail polish removers.  One study, however, concluded that tea tree oil should not be used on burn wounds.  [Burns, 1997;23(4): pp.349-351]

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Tea Tree Oil:

Tea Tree oil can help with the following:

Infections

Tea Tree oil is highly recommended for Athletes Foot Athletes Foot

Tea tree oil contains antiseptic compounds that are a very effective skin disinfectant.  Tea tree oil has been successfully applied to a number of fungal infections and is particularly good for relieving the symptoms of athlete's foot.  Tea tree oil will eradicate or improve the symptoms of athlete's foot with continuous daily use.  Apply 2-3 drops of 100% tea tree oil to the infection sites twice daily.

If 100% tea tree oil is too strong, then depending on severity use 5-15% solutions daily, diluting the tea tree oil with olive oil.  Rubbing some on the affected area with a cotton ball several times a day for three to five days should eliminate the problem.

Dr. Klinghardt, MD found that a mixture of 1/3 DMSO, 1/3 tree oil and 1/3 tincture of cilantro was effective in eradicating athletes foot.  Adding DMSO to tea tree oil provides greater skin and nail penetration of the tea tree oil.

Tea Tree oil may help with Helicobacter Pylori Infection Helicobacter Pylori Infection

Tea tree oil, taken internally, is reported to be useful in killing H.  Pylori when taken at 15 drops of 100% strength twice daily.  It may need to be taken in juice in order to mask it's strong flavor and with a pinched nose to mask it's odor.

Skin-Hair-Nails

Tea Tree oil often helps with Adult Acne Adult Acne

124 patients with mild to moderate acne in a single-blind randomized trial were given either a 5% gel of tea-tree oil or 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion.  Both treatments resulted in significant improvement of noninflamed and inflamed lesions after three months, with tea tree oil causing more severe facial redness and benzoyl peroxide being more effective in noninflamed lesions.  There were fewer unwanted side-effects in the tea tree oil group – 44% versus 79%.  It was concluded that tea tree oil may be a valuable alternative to some traditional treatments of acne.  [Lancet, December 8, 1990; p.1438, Medical Journal of Australia, 1990;153: pp.455-458]

We believe that this 5% solution is probably not strong enough for moderate to severe acne.  Stronger solutions (up to 15%) should provide even better results.

Tea Tree oil often helps with Adolescent Acne Adolescent Acne

124 patients with mild to moderate acne in a single-blind randomized trial were given either a 5% gel of tea-tree oil or 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion.  Both treatments resulted in significant improvement of noninflamed and inflamed lesions after three months, with tea tree oil causing more severe facial redness and benzoyl peroxide being more effective in noninflamed lesions.  There were fewer unwanted side-effects in the tea tree oil group – 44% versus 79%.  It was concluded that tea tree oil may be a valuable alternative to some traditional treatments of acne.  [Lancet, December 8, 1990; p.1438, Medical Journal of Australia, 1990;153: pp.455-458]

We believe that this 5% solution is probably not strong enough for moderate to severe acne.  Stronger solutions (up to 15%) should provide even better results.

Uro-Genital

Tea Tree oil often helps with Vaginitis/Vaginal Infection Vaginitis/Vaginal Infection

Daily vaginal douches with a 0.4% solution of tea tree oil in one quart of water was found to be an effective treatment for trichomonas when continued for several days in a row.  This percentage can be approximated by adding 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 2 cups of water.

KEY

May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Moderately useful: often helps with
Moderately useful:
often helps with
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for