Tea tree oil is the essential oil comes from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. This species is unique to Australia and native to Northern New South Wales. This tree has very strong therapeutic and medicinal values which are found in its oil, which is obtained through steam distillation from the leaves of the tea tree. It has powerful antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties, making it very versatile. This is why some people have called it the "wonder oil for the skin from down under."
Another neat fact about tea tree oil is that it is the only essential oil, except for lavender, that can be applied directly to the skin without a carrier oil. This aboriginal Australian traditional medicine is used for bruises, insect bites, and skin infections. Since tea tree oil is a strong 100% pure concentrate, very little is needed to achieve results. Therefore, it should be used very sparingly. Tea tree oil contains 48+ compounds, with the main 1 beiing terpinen-4-ol. This is what is responsible for tea tree oil's antibacterial and antifungal properties.
We can be thankful for the Bundjalung aborigines of Northern New South Wales. They were the first to believe that tea tree leaves had tremendous healing properties. Then in 1923 Dr. A. R. Penfold discovered that tea tree oil is 13 times stronger of an antiseptic bacteriacide than carbolic acid (the universal standard at that time). Big things finally happened in the 1930's to help advance the use of tea tree oil. In 1930 tea tree oil began being applied to pus-filled infections because of its effectiveness and the fact that it promotes the growth and repair of healthy tissue, which lessens the chance of scarring. It was also in 1930 that The Medical Journal of Australia writes its first report on tea tree oil. Finally in 1939 tea tree oil reaches its potential as it is used on World War II soldiers as a disinfectant.
You should understand that tea tree oil is a 100% natural product and thus it is entirely environmentally friendly. Plantation owners even go so far as to carefully manage the growth of the trees to ensure that the natural environment remains undisturbed. The leaves are then steamed in order to derive the oil which is extremely safe for topical use, however oral ingestion is not recommended. While there have been some occurrences of allergic reactions to tea tree oil, their incidence is extremely low when compared to synthetic products. So, considering that there are no side effects and a great rate of cases in which this oil has proven to be more than beneficial, it is no wonder that Australia exports tea tree oil to so many countries which provides a valuable boost to this country's exporters.
The oil found in the cells of the leaves of the tea tree, which grows in Northern New South Wales and Australia, is a natural antiseptic. It is a great anti-bacterial which kills a broad spectrum of bacteria and a range of stubborn fungi like athlete's foot. While aboriginals have been using tea tree oil for thousands of years, today there isn't a household in Australia that doesn't have tea tree oil in its medicine cabinet. This is because tea tree oil is helpful in numerous ways, including: bad breath, acne and blemishes, athlete's foot, and muscle pain, just to name a few.
Tea tree oil is more commonly known as Melaleuca alternifolia. This native Australian plant has numerous remarkable properties since when it's crushed and distilled, its leaves yield a 100% natural oil which is an antiseptic, a fungicide, and a mild solvent. When crushed, the tea tree oil yields terpinen-4-ol (typically 30-40%) which is what makes it antibacterial and antifungal. This completely natural product has a variety of uses, some of which include: medicinal purposes (ie infections, minor burns, sunburn, cuts, abrasions, grazes, sore throats, sunburn, ulcers, cold sores, pimples, acne, zits, spots), skin care and hygiene (found in ie deodorants, soaps, hand creams and lotions, toothpastes, mouthwash, sore throat lozenges, facial cleansers and used to treat ie psoriasis, dry skin rashes, fight bad breath, foot odor, athlete's foot, nail infections, thrush, rashes, and acne), hair care (ie anti-dandruff shampoos and conditioners, treatments for damaged hair), pet care (ie dog shampoo), miscellaneous uses (ie insect repellent, relief of arthritic symptoms), and for relieving the itch from insect bites and stings. Of course, numerous other applications of tea tree oil are also still being discovered. Some of these most recent discoveries include tea tree oil helping with mouth ulcers, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, fatigue, respiratory infections, strengthening the immune system and the female reproductive system, lice, gingivitis, and female vaginal problems.