What is Tea Tree Oil?
This natural plant oil has scientifically-proven antiseptic and fungicidal properties due to an active ingredient called terpinen-4-OL.
Terpinen-4-OL is classified as a terpene, powerful hydrocarbons produced by plants that give them their unique scents and odors. Terpenes are responsible for tea tree's amazing germ-killing powers. In fact, it is so powerful that you could call it Mother Nature's version of turpentine.
A study published in the 2006 issue of Clinical Microbiology Reviews notes this active ingredient can eradicate bacteria, fungi and yeasts. It was also found to be effective against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA); a powerful and deadly bacteria normally resistant to many antibiotics.
Tea Tree Oil
These powerful oils come from the leaves of a plant called Melaleuca alternifolia. This particular plant species is native to Australia that this is where the story begins for this amazing plant.
We can thank the Aborigines of Australia for discovering the healing powers of this plant over a hundred years ago. Tribal medicine men would crush the leaves or boil them in water to extract the oil for medicinal purposes.
Modern technology now allows us to distill the leaves to extract it the oil; only the leaves are harvested, so the trees continue to produce more leaves over time.
Below you'll learn more about this oil's germ-fighting properties and some tips to get the most from this natural antiseptic; some are based on my personal experiences and others are from published research.
|Toe nail fungus
|Body Care Products
The natural germ-fighting properties of melaleuca oil provide many uses for the oils. You can use it right out of the bottle or blend into therapeutic recipes. Here are more body care products you can find it in:
Soaps - Add this ingredient into soap and you've got a powerful one-two punch for fighting germs and bacteria.
Shampoos - While shampoos can get your hair clean, you can also find products that contain these powerful oils for a refreshing deep clean.
Skin lotions - Now you can moisturize and cleanse your skin at the same time with this functional skin care product.
Toothpastes and mouthwashes - Improve your oral hygiene and get fresher breath with these unique oral care products.
If you want to get best products, you should choose oils that have high concentrations of terpinen. Other factors to consider are the purity and cost per ounce. You can also find oils produced in Australia and North America.
Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2006 Jan;19(1):50-62.
Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil. Journal of Applied Microbiology. 2003;95(4):853-60.
Susceptibility of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus to the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia. Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 1995 Mar;35(3):421-4.6
Mechanism of action of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on Staphylococcus aureus determined by time-kill, lysis, leakage, and salt tolerance assays and electron microscopy. Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy. 2002 Jun;46(6):1914-20.