Tea tree oil is obtained by steam distillation from the leaves and shoots of the Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia Maid.), myrtle family (Myrtaceae).
There are more than 200 varieties of tea tree, but only one of them – melaleuca alternate-melaleuca alternifolia (synonyms: melanoluka paranoid or melaleuka tea, which is also called a marsh tree) possesses properties important from the point of view of medicine.
The motherland of this species of tea tree is the northern shore of the South-Eastern part of Australia. Small trees or shrubs of this species of tea tree grow wild on the north coast of the Australian state of New South Wales and Tasmania.
The name “tea tree” arose in 1770, when Captain Cook discovered Australia. Members of his team used the leaves of this plant as a substitute for tea.
Tea tree oil properties
Pale yellow or pale green (pale olive) light fluid with a strong characteristic spicy, tart-bitter, camphor smell with hints of the smell of nutmeg, cardamom and eucalyptus. According to Australian experts, the main bactericidal component is terpinene-4-ol.
Therefore, the Australian standard for tea tree oil (AS 2782-1985) found that the sales oil should not contain less than 30% of terpinene-4-ol.
The opinion was expressed that 1,8-cineol at elevated concentrations is capable of causing skin irritation of sensitive people. Therefore, according to Australian standards in oil, the content of 1,8-cineole should not exceed 15%. As a result of selection work in Australia, plantations of tea tree with a low content of 1,8-cineola are created.
This opinion, however, is not supported by the results of the medical and biological tests of the 1,8-cineole itself performed by RIFM in 1975. These results showed that even a 16% solution of 1,8-cineol in petrolatum does not cause in 48 hours either irritation human skin, no sensitization reaction. It is possible that in the case of tea tree oil, the product is not only in the amount of 1,8-cineole.
Tea tree oil uses
Аntiseptic, bactericidal, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulating, general stimulating, astringent, expectorant, diaphoretic, antitoxic, antipruritic, antiemetic, embalming, insecticidal, wound healing.
Tea tree is known all over the world as the strongest antiseptic and an effective healing agent.
The name “tea tree” appeared in the first colonists of Australia, who, using the experience of Aborigines, brewed the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia instead of tea. The indigenous people of Australia used the leaves of the tea tree to treat wounds. Later, it was found that the plant itself, the decoctions of its leaves and essential oil have strong antiseptic properties and can be successfully applied for the treatment of a number of tropical diseases.
In the twenties of this century, a thorough study of the properties of Tea Tree Essential Oil began. In 1930, the journal of the Australian Society of Physicians published an interesting article by E. Morris Humphery, who established that rinsing a throat with a solution of 2 drops of tea tree oil into a glass of water radically cures an onset of sore throat.
The author also found that this essence brings relief with inflammation of the mouth and throat. At the then doctors, the message about the multifaceted possibilities of using the leaves of the Australian tea tree made a great impression. Interest in the therapeutic effect of the newly discovered drug has been shown in other countries, for example, in England and America.
After that, tea tree oil was started to be used in all cases when other medicines failed to produce results, namely, with diabetic gangrene, skin dyspepsia, dentistry, gynecology and the treatment of fungal skin diseases.
Tea Tree Essential Oil has the ability to withstand just three types of infectious organisms – bacteria, fungi and viruses. For antiseptic activity, the essential oil of the tea tree exceeds the carbolic acid tens of times. It has a strong effect even in small concentrations.
The use of essential oil in the aroma lamp allows not only deodorizing the room, but also provides almost complete sterility, which is important for the prevention of infection during the epidemic of airborne infection. This powerful antiseptic also helps to remove toxins from the body and sweat and reduce body temperature (relieves fever in feverish conditions).
In addition to the powerful antimicrobial action, Tea Tree Essential Oil stimulates the immune system, forming a protective barrier on the pathways of the spread of pathogens and helping the body to effectively protect and fight infectious diseases.
The oil helps to increase the leukocyte activity of the blood (activates the work of white blood cells). Eliminates inflammation and enlargement of the lymph nodes. Strengthening the immune system, oil helps improve the condition of AIDS patients.
The oil has a radioprotective property, reducing the negative effects of radiation therapy during the treatment of oncological diseases. It also has an anti-carcinogenic effect, preventing the division of atypical cells and the growth of benign and malignant neoplasms.
Being a strong antiseptic, Tea Tree Essential Oil is effectively used for infectious diseases of the genitourinary system. Improves the condition of patients with cystitis and urethritis. In women it destroys the pathogenic flora of the vagina and helps with bacterial-viral colpitis and vaginitis, candidomycosis (vaginal thrush), and whites.
Reduces itching in the genital and anal areas, Can be used as a means of intimate cosmetics, preventing the transmission of viral, bacterial and fungal infections through sexual contact.
Improves digestion, stops the syndrome of food intoxication (nausea, vomiting, diarrhea).
With enteritis, it weakens the inflammatory process in the intestine. Exiles intestinal parasites. Removes inflammation in the mouth, clears the mucous membrane of the mouth, removes plaque from the teeth and tongue, eliminates bad breath.
Provides easy anesthesia, so its fat-based solution is used as a first aid to relieve pain in arthritis. Soon after a deep rubbing of this mixture into the painful zones, considerable relief comes.
Tea tree oil activates the processes of perception and memorization of information, helps concentration of attention, is a powerful stimulator of mental activity and a source of intellectual ease. Develops independence and speed of making sound decisions in complex and shock situations.
Helps to quickly “switch” from one subject to another. Is an ideal assistant in the performance of works that involve a multifaceted mental activity.
At the same time, the oil has a sedative effect. Promotes recovery of the body after stress and shock. The inhalation of evaporating oil helps to calm down, relieve nervous tension, anxiety, hysterical reactions.
Tea tree oil benefits
High antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal activity of the Tea Tree Essential Oil makes it possible to apply it in a wide range of infectious diseases. In medicine in many countries of the world, essential oil of tea tree is used in the treatment of respiratory and urinary tract infections, digestive tract and skin, diabetic gangrene, pediculosis, insect bites, as well as in dental and gynecological practice.
Cold and hot inhalations give good results in acute respiratory diseases and bring relief from the flu.
Massage with tea tree oil will strengthen the body before surgery. Equally effective is its use and as a means of recovery after surgery.
Indications for the use of tea tree oil are influenza, colds, coughs, bronchitis, pneumonia, catarrhs, tuberculosis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, stomatitis, gingivitis, otitis, bleeding gums, bad breath from periodontal disease in heavy smokers, cystitis, urethritis, colpitis, vaginitis, candidomas, leucorrhoea, pruritus in the genital and anal region, kolite, gastritis, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, arthritis, sprains of muscles and ligaments, insect bites, nervous tension, anxiety, hysterical reactions, stress, gangrene, herpes , girdle (including sunlight), acne, pustular inflammation, abscesses, boils, carbuncles, warts, impetigo, pediculosis, dermatomycosis, epidermophytosis of the feet, psoriasis, eczema, insect bites, itching, dandruff, hair loss, daily care for oily and impure skin.
Tea tree essential oil recipes
- For hot inhalations – 2 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil are added to the inhaler, the procedure lasts 5-10 minutes. In the absence of an inhaler in a pot of hot water, add 2 drops of tea tree oil, cover your head with a towel and inhale deeply with your eyes closed for 5-10 minutes. Steam inhalation can also be used as a steam bath for the face to expand pores and cleanse the skin from acne, acne and comedones.
- For cold inhalations, apply 2 to 7 drops of essential oil on a piece of tissue or handkerchief and inhale during the day.
- In the aroma lamp – 2-5 drops of essential oil per 15 m2.
- In aromamedalions: 1-2 drops.
- In the bath – 3-5 drops of tea tree oil (or its mixture with chamomile oil in a ratio of 1: 1), pre-mixed with an emulsifier (1 / 4-1 / 3 cup of milk, whey, sea salt or kitchen salt).
- Sitting baths: in a partial bath or basin with warm water, add 3-5 drops of pre-emulsified tea tree oil. It is used for vaginal and urethral infections.
- Trays for feet: 7-10 drops of emulsified oil diluted in 500 ml of hot water.
- For the enrichment of creams and tonics – 2-3 drops of oil per 10 ml of the base.
- To enrich the shampoo – 30 drops of essential oil per 200 ml of shampoo. When pediculosis this shampoo is washed head 2-3 times a week.
- For massage, the concentration of tea tree oil in the oil base should be within 2-3%, although sometimes 5% solution is used (for example, with muscle pains). To 100 ml of vegetable oil-base – 50 drops of essential oil, respectively to 50 ml of base – 25 drops of essential oil, 1 to 8 tablespoons (1 to 5 teaspoons) per 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of base oil 2-3 drops.
- Reflexomassage: a mixture of transport oil and tea tree oil in a 1: 1 ratio.
- For applications and massage after surgery – 3 drops per 10 ml of the base.
- For compresses in a bowl of water (if necessary hot or cold) add 3-5 drops of tea tree oil, dip a piece of flannel or cotton wool into water, and attach it to a sore spot.
- To wash the wounds: 10 drops of tea tree oil add in 1/3 cup of water.
- For rinsing: 3 – 5 drops of essential oil per 1 glass of warm water, mix well. Gargle and throat with inflammation of the throat and gums, ulceration of the oral mucosa, unpleasant odor from the mouth.
- Solution for intimate rinses and tampons: 5-6 drops of essential oil are applied to 1 liter of water at room temperature. Use in gynecologists 2-3 times a day. The course of treatment is 7-12 days.
- Douching: 5 drops for 1/2 teaspoon of soda, diluted in 200 grams of lukewarm boiled water.
- Alcohol solution for trituration of joints: 50 drops of essential oil are dissolved in 10 ml of 96% ethyl alcohol.
- Solution for rubbing into the scalp: 30 drops of essential oil are dissolved in 50 ml of 96% ethyl alcohol and 50 ml of distilled water are added. The solution is rubbed into the scalp before going to sleep.
- Natural repellent: 30 drops of essential oil of tea tree and 5 drops of clove essential oil are applied to 50 ml of vegetable oil. The mixture lubricates the body.
- Direct application on a skin of pure or clean butter or oil of a tea tree: to use butter directly from a vial, putting or rendering by easy effusive movements of fingertips or a cotton ball. It is used to treat fungal skin lesions, warts, cuts, burns, herpes simplex.
Widely used in cosmetic creams, lotions and shampoos, it is a part of soap, deodorants, disinfectants and air fresheners. For perfume purposes is used in a small amount, mainly as a tonic additive. It is used in surgical and dental practice.
When added to lubricating oils (up to 1%), their ambrasive characteristics are improved.
During the Second World War, oil was included in individual medical kits of soldiers who fought in the tropical environment, as well as used in factories producing ammunition in the treatment of skin injuries.
Tea tree oil blends well with following oils
Tea tree oil blends with oils of orange, bergamot, bigard, carnation, geranium (pelargonium), ylang-ylang, ginger, cypress, cinnamon, lavender, lemon, marjoram, mandarin, nutmeg, rosemary, rosewood, pine, thyme, sage, eucalyptus. Complementary oils are rosemary, lemon balm.
Side effects of tea tree oil
Do not use in pregnancy and children under 6 years of age. When applied to the skin of undiluted oil there is a slight burning sensation, possibly reddening of the skin for 2-3 minutes – this is normal reaction. The oil can cause irritation to sensitive areas of the skin.
Avoid contact with oil in the eyes. Some people may have allergic reactions. Do not use for individual intolerance to oil components. It should be borne in mind that the inhalation of oil vapors may cause some drowsiness.
Essential oils are stored in tightly sealed vials of dark glass at room temperature in a place inaccessible to children. Avoid direct sunlight. Shelf life: with the tightness of the packaging – more than 5 years.