Tea tree oil is not actually produced from the tea plant but from Melaleuca alternifolia. The essential oil is the result of steam distillation of the leaves of this plant, originally native to Australia.
The name tea tree oil is because the leaves of the plant were once used to brew a tea substitute. It remains important today for the medicinal uses of the essential oil.
The natural antiseptic properties of tea tree oil have been known and used for a long time by the aborigine Australian tribesmen. Its antibacterial effects have attracted the interest of modern scientists and tests have confirmed the medicinal potential of the oil. In order to produce it, tea tree leaves are steamed and them the oil is squeezed out. The result is an oil with a fragrance that resembles nutmeg and a light yellow color.
Tea tree oil is a very effective natural agent that can kill all types of pathogens, bacteria, viruses and fungi. It is actually so powerful that in some reported cases it was able to fight and cure serious infections that resisted treatment with antibiotics. Since it can be easily applied, tea tree oil is a natural way to cure many types of skin conditions that are caused by fungi and bacteria, such as athlete's foot, warts, herpes, acne, abscess, oily skin, blisters, sun burns, insect bites, rashes, dandruff as well as to disinfect any cuts or wounds.
Because of its anti-viral effect, tea tree oil is very useful against shingles, cold sores, verrucae, chicken pox, measles, flu and other common diseases of an infectious nature. By killing pathogens, the essential oil allows the body's immune system to regain its strength. The immune response can be weakened by long periods of illness, stress and the use of some drugs like antibiotics. The tea tree oil is also very good against candidiasis, a mouth infection caused by a fungus, when used as a mouthwash.
Besides its direct antiseptic effects, tea tree oil is known to provide a boost to overall health. Not only it shields the body from infection but it can also boost the assimilation of nutrients from our food, so it has a very positive general effect.
When applied directly on wounds, tea tree oil reduces the risk of infection and accelerates the rate of healing. Another benefit is that scars and marks are less likely to develop or will have a smaller size. This is very useful in cases of acne, pox, eruptions or boils.
The compounds in tea tree oil are extremely effective against germs. They can kill a type of pathogens named protozoa, which is extremely important since they cause fevers, malaria and many other dangerous and potentially lethal tropical diseases.
Tea tree oil is mainly used on the skin because it can greatly improve its appearance. This is caused not only by the antiseptic effects, but also the strong antioxidant compounds that reduce the extent and visibility of scars or blemishes. Age spots and various scars are a cosmetic concern for many people and tend to be hard to hide or eliminate. Tea tree oil, due to the high content of antioxidants, can restore the youthful look of skin. Using the oil constantly can prevent the appearance of wrinkles.
Viruses are very dangerous for human health because no effective counter is available against them. They can survive in extremely harsh conditions, due to their protective shell named "cyst". The cyst protects the virus from extreme heat, extreme cold and various toxic agents. The virus that causes common cold is one of the species that are actually able to change their cyst, which makes them hard to identify by our immune system. Viruses never die of natural causes, they can survive in a dormant state for hundreds and sometimes thousands of years and reactivate when the conditions are proper again.
A virus can only be killed in two ways: either its cyst is penetrated or by extreme heat levels. Tea tree oil is one of the few known natural compounds that can rupture the cyst of some viruses, effectively killing them. This makes the essential oil a very useful treatment against measles, common cold, influenza, pox, mumps and other viral infections.
Tea tree oil is very popular during the winter months, since it reduces the symptoms of cold and all related symptoms like bronchitis, cough or congestion. Regular usage can offer protection against these conditions. The oil is very easy to use, for example rubbing your chest with it will allow you to inhale the oil as you sleep. Another option is to put a drop on your pillow. In both cases, you will feel better when you wake up, as the oil works during the night.
This essential oil also acts as a stimulant, a useful effect in the treatment of some hair problems. A diluted solution of tea tree oil applied on the scalp can prevent hair loss and cure some problems like dandruff. The oil's effect can preserve your hair for longer, since it increases the circulation of blood to the scalp. This makes the follicles stronger and improves their bind to the skin, making hair less likely to fall off. The scalp also becomes healthier and better hydrated, which removes dandruff and other issues caused by dry skin.
The tea tree oil compounds that kill pathogens are also toxic for various insects. The plant has been used for a very long time to keep insects away and kill them. Rubbing oil on the body repels most types of parasitic insects, such as fleas or lice. Flies or mosquitoes are also repulsed by tea tree oil. If the oil is absorbed through the skin, it can also fight against internal parasites. It removes various types of worms, such as tape worms, hook worms and round worms.
Skin conditions are widespread and many people suffer from them. Some of the most common are acne, psoriasis and eczema. Acne can be a very serious cosmetic problem and is caused by the oil glands on the skin. When these are blocked by various causes, such as dirt or toxins, they become inflamed and infected. Tea tree oil can restore the skin's health very fast because it clears the sebum glands and at the same time kills the pathogens that infect them.
The plant's essential oil is equally effective against fungal infections, due to the same compounds that kill bacteria and viruses. Dermatitis, athlete's foot and other similar fungal diseases are quickly cured. However, you must be very careful when you use tea tree oil because it is toxic even in very small amounts. Never ingest it, even if you suffer from internal fungal diseases. There are a number of other natural remedies against fungi that are safe to ingest, so use them instead.
Tea tree oil has a long history of use on open wounds. Even if a wound is not infected yet, it is a good idea to apply the oil on it as a preventive measure. Wounds, cuts, boils, sores, eruptions or insect bites can all be treated with tea tree oil. It is a natural product as strong as an antibiotic, without any negative side effects.