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Tea Tree

Essential Tea Tree Oil Benefits

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree- that is not the same tree as the one we get green or black tea from. Tea Tree comes from the southeast coast of Australia, discovered in eighteenth century by sailors.

This oil has anti bacterial properties and can be applied to the skin (used topically) for infections such as acne, fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm. It is also used topically as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions, for burns, insect bites and stings, boils, vaginal infections, recurrent herpes labialis, toothache, infections of the mouth and nose, sore throat, and for ear infections such as otitis media and otitis externa.

Some people add it to bath water to treat cough, bronchial congestion, and pulmonary inflammation.

How does it work?

The chemicals in tea tree oil may kill bacteria and fungus, and reduce allergic skin reactions.

Possibly Effective for

Mild to moderate acne.

Applying a 5% tea tree oil gel appears to be as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide (Oxy-5, Benzac AC, and others) for treating acne. Tea tree oil might work more slowly than benzoyl peroxide, but seems to be less irritating to facial skin. When applied twice daily for 45 days, tea tree oil reduces several acne symptoms, including acne severity.

Fungus infections of the nails (onychomycosis).

Topical application of 100% tea tree oil solution, twice daily for six months, can cure fungal toenail infection in about 18% of people who try it. It can also improve nail appearance and symptoms in about 56% of patients after three months and 60% of patients after six months of treatment. It seems to be comparable to twice daily application of clotrimazole 1% solution (Fungoid, Lotrimin, Lotrimin AF). Lower concentrations of tea tree oil do not seem to be as effective. For example, there is some evidence that a 5% tea tree oil cream applied three times daily for two months has no benefit.

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).

Topical application of a 10% tea tree oil cream works about as well as tolnaftate 1% cream (Genaspor, Tinactin, Ting, and others) for relieving symptoms of athlete’s foot, including scaling, inflammation, itching, and burning. However, the 10% tea tree oil cream doesn’t seem to cure the infection. A stronger tea tree oil solution (25% or 50%) is needed for that. Application of 25% or 50% tea tree oil solution appears to both relieve symptoms and clear up the infection in about half of people who try it for 4 weeks. However, 25% or 50% tea tree oil concentrations don’t appear to be as effective for curing the infection as medications such as clotrimazole or terbinafine.

There is more claimed benefits such a dandruf, hairloss, cold, pulmonary, blood circulations and hormone help from for tea tree oil however the results vary.

Essential Tea Tree has a nice aroma and can be used in a diffuser for tea tree aromatherapy to open nasal airways and to purify the air.

Tea Tree Safety

Tea Tree is likely safe for most when applied topically, however if applied too much or too often could cause dryness and irritation to the skin. Essential Tea Tree oil is likely unsafe when taken by mouth. Don’t take tea tree oil by mouth. As a general rule never take undiluted essential oils by mouth due to the possibility of serious side effects. Taking tree tea oil by mouth has caused confusion, inability to walk, unsteadiness, rash, and coma.

-Brilliant Massage Therapy