Melaleuca alternifolia or Tea Tree oil

June 11, 2014 Uncategorized

 

tea tree oil

History

Melaleuca was used by Australian Aborigines for medicinal qualities in healing inflamed gums, to soothe sore throats, to treat mouth ulcers, in poultices to treat cuts, burns and skin infections, and as a tea for respiratory ailments.  By the early 1900’s tea tree was popular throughout households in Australia, and during World War II soldiers were given bottles of tea tree oil or Melaleuca to use as a disinfectant and germicide.  In the 1920’s Australian researchers began testing tea tree oil and found that it had 13 times more antiseptic potency than carbolic acid, which was commonly used for its germicidal properties at that time.  Further research demonstrated that Melaleuca deterred bacterial growth while not irritating surrounding tissues, which is not a common benefit demonstrated by most antiseptics.

Today

Melaleuca has been replaced by many mass produced chemicals, though it is making a comeback in many products sold at health food stores. The Body Shoppe even has a line of Tea Tree oil beauty products. We value Melaleuca for its antiseptic and fungicidal properties, and it is found in ready-made cleaning solutions and in solutions to combat skin and nail infections. We tend to associate the smell of bleach with cleanliness.  We’ve grown accustomed to it, but who really wants to smell it?  Many with respiratory issues are affected by the smell, it is a skin irritant, and should never be ingested orally.  Tea tree oil smells earthy, has a reduced incidence of skin irritation, and can be ingested orally.  Try this, take 2 cups of water in a , 20 drops of Melaleuca, 2 tbsp of white vinegar (which will also kill germs and inhibit microbial growth) and mix it up in an amber glass spray bottle Amber Glass Spray Bottle for a disinfecting counter top spray.  You can add 1/2 tsp of liquid dishwashing soap also.   Shake it up before each use.  It helps to have a Stainless Steel Funnel Set for all of this essential oil mixing.  They pay for themselves in no time.

Melaleuca works great for acne.  Some apply drops with Q-tips directly to the pimple.  This can be irritating to those with sensitive skin though, as essential oils are extremely concentrated.   Most use it in a solution of 5% Melaleuca in 95% water, as a skin wash.  A study done in Australia found that 5% Melaleuca had the same effectiveness as 5% benzoyl peroxide, with far fewer side effects.  This solution can be mixed in an Amber Glass Round Bottle so that it’s ready to go, because you are more likely to use it regularly of it is easily available!  The only caveat was that it took a little longer to see the results; a trade-off that many of us are willing to take to live a little more naturally.

If you’re going to use Melaleuca on a cut, burn, or bug bite, mix a few drops in organic almond oil, or fractionated coconut oil (found here ) and spread it on the band aid, or on the cut/burn/bite/ itself.  Reapply as needed. I keep it mixed in handy  Amber Bottles which protect the essential oils from sunlight.

Melaleuca is effective against many problematic bacteria and yeast!  It has been shown to be effective against 115 type of Candida (yeast) (http://jac.oxfordjournals.org/content/51/5/1223.short ).  If studies are you’re thing, I’m providing another link in which a solution of 0.5- 1% has been demonstrated effective against Escherichia coli, Propronibacterium acnes, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staph. aureus, Streptococcus faecalis, and and Strep. pyogenes while the fungi tested were Aspergillus niger, C. albicans and T.mentag- rophytes.  (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1472-765X.1993.tb00340.x/pdf ) Do your research.  It’s good stuff!

doTerra makes a beautiful scented essential oil blend called Purify that you should also consider.  It is a mix of cilantro, citronella, lemon, lime, Melaleuca and pine.  It can be used to treat bug bites, disinfect hard surfaces, and smells clean and fresh when diffused into the air! Look for it under oil blends here.

purify

Combat Nail Fungal Infections

I met a woman this week, and we started talking about pedicures.  She warned me that she had gotten a fungal infection from a nail spa and had sworn off of them.  I asked her how she had cleared it up, as I know that the pharmaceutical treatments can be costly, are frequently not covered by insurance, courses of treatment are long, and many are liver toxic. She said she used tea tree oil!  She soaked her feet in a basin of warm water and 10 drops of tea tree oil twice a day (and decided to perform her own pedicures going forward!) I spend a lot of time mulling through research databases and Google Scholar, because I believe in research and evidence based medicine.  I came across this interesting book: Australian Tea Tree Oil Guide on Google Scholar that I wanted to share.  They call Melaleuca a first aid kit in a bottle- this book contains tea tree oil uses from canker sores, to hemorrhoids, to eczema, to ingrown hairs due to bikini waxing.  You can buy the book, and at $6 it’s a bargain.

Give it a try.  Get your hands on some Melaleuca, and use it.

If you use Melaleuca, please share your experiences in the comments.

tea tree oil doterra

The information in this blog is purely educational, and should not be used to replace the advice of your medical care provider.  The advice given and/or recommended products are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Any treatment should be discussed with your medical care provider who is familiar with your unique situation and medical condition.


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