Tea tree oil is a natural extract that has many beneficial properties. It is antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral, making it an ideal choice for treating various skin conditions. Tea tree oil can also be used to treat respiratory infections and other ailments. In addition, it possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which make it beneficial for overall health.
The popularity of tea tree oil has grown in different parts of the world as a supplementary and alternative treatment for different health problems. Even now, tea tree oil can still be found in everyday products such as cosmetics, household items, and even medicines.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil with a light camphoraceous scent that is transparent and can range in colour from pale yellow to almost colourless.
Where Does Tea Tree Oil Come From?
Tea tree oil is made using the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to southeast Queensland and the northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. It is frequently used as a treatment for fungal and bacterial infections.
It’s Chemical Composition
The oil is made up of a variety of different chemicals, and when it oxidises and is exposed to air, its chemical composition changes. There are around 100 different components in tea tree oil, and Terpinene-4-oil is the primary ingredient. Terpene hydrocarbons, monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes are the main active components of the tea tree. The tea trees’ antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties come from these chemicals.
Availability of Tea Tree Oils
Skincare products, soaps, and lotions, as well as many over-the-counter oils, also contain tea tree oil. It is important to note that Mayo Clinic advises avoiding ingesting tea tree oil as it can result in severe symptoms if consumed.
Pure essential oils of tea tree oil are also available. It can also be found in personal care items such as cleansers, toners, body washes, gels, lotions, and other treatments, especially those meant to prevent or treat acne.
Tea Tree Oil in Australia
The indigenous people of Australia utilised tea tree oil made from crushed leaves as a traditional treatment for skin diseases, wounds, and coughs and colds. According to WebMD, sailors in the seventeenth century used the tree’s leaves to make tea with a nutmeg-like aroma that gave it its name. The oil was also given to Australian soldiers fighting in World War II for use as an antiseptic, and harvesters were exempt from enlisting.
The medical use of the oil as an antiseptic was first documented in the 1920s, which led to its commercial production and remained high throughout World War II. From the 1940s through the 1980s, there were reports of the usefulness of tea tree oil in literature.
Tea tree oil now has a number of uses beyond just treating cuts and colds. Due to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal characteristics, it is excellent for treating skin conditions including psoriasis and dandruff. Here are some of the popular uses of tea tree oil.
Natural hand sanitisers like tree oil can help eliminate a variety of germs that cause colds, the flu, and other illnesses. Studies have shown that tea tree oil kills a number of common bacteria and viruses, including E. coli, S. pneumonia, and, H. influenzae, all of which are responsible for sickness. In fact, a study comparing several handwashing methods found that including tea tree oil in cleansers increased their potency against E. coli.
Compounds in tea tree oil combat the microorganisms that cause body odour. It can also be utilised to create a deodorant that is both effective and safe.
Aromatherapy can also make use of tea tree oil. This technique involves inhaling the oil through steam inhalation or the use of a diffuser.
Tea tree oil may be able to combat the bacteria that cause bad breath and tooth decay. According to one study, tea tree oil outperformed the widely used dental rinse and disinfectant chlorhexidine in terms of fighting plaque-causing microorganisms. To make your own mouthwash, simply combine a drop of tea tree oil with a cup of warm water, stir well, and swish for about 30 seconds. Just like other mouthwashes, tea tree oil should not be consumed as it might be toxic.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an ethereal oil that has a wide range of benefits. It can be used to treat skin conditions, improve mental health, and boost immunity. Some of the benefits in detail are, but are not limited to:
Helps in inflammation
White blood cell activity, which is essential to the healing process, is stimulated by tea tree oil, which also helps to reduce inflammation. It also promotes wound healing in addition to avoiding infection in cuts and abrasions.
Promotes hair growth
It also promotes healthy hair growth by enhancing and stimulating blood flow close to the hair follicles.
Works as a repellant
Insects can be killed or repelled by tea tree oil, according to studies. It occasionally works just as well as or better than conventional pesticides or repellents. In a test-tube experiment, tea tree oil outperformed the most widely used active ingredient in commercial insect repellents, DEET, at preventing mosquitoes.
Due to its ability to kill microorganisms, tea tree oil is a fantastic all-natural deodorant and antiperspirant substitute.
Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil
While adding essential oils to your skincare routine can be a nice addition, it’s crucial to be aware of all the safety measures before applying highly concentrated oils. Like many other ‘natural’ substances, tea tree oil can be dangerous if used improperly, particularly if eaten.
Serious adverse effects from it include coma, rash, difficulty walking, disorientation, and unsteadiness. Dryness, itching, stinging, burning, and redness of the skin are occasionally experienced by acne sufferers.
Tea tree oil may cause an allergic reaction in some people. This condition is known as allergic contact dermatitis, and it may result in itchiness, swelling, and a rash on the skin. Although fresh tea tree oil can also induce this skin reaction, using older or badly stored tea tree oil is frequently linked to severe reactions.
In 2011, tea tree oil accounted for almost twice as many calls to Poison Control as any other identified essential oil, including eucalyptus, cinnamon, and clove oils. More than 10% of those who were exposed to tea tree oil received medical attention in a clinic or hospital.
In emergency cases, it is also important to know what temporary treatments can or should not be given to a patient. A Southport first aid qualification can be helpful in determining what is appropriate for the affected person.
How to get rid of burnt skin caused by tea tree oil?
If you have tea tree oil burns, rinse the area with cool water for several minutes. You can also apply a cold compress to the area for additional relief.
To prevent tea tree oil burns, always dilute the oil with carrier oil before applying it to your skin. Be sure to do a patch test before using any new product on your skin, and discontinue use if you experience any irritation. If the burns are severe, seek medical attention immediately.
Athlete’s foot, dandruff, and acne are just a few of the ailments that can be treated with tea tree oil. It can also be found in many cosmetic and cleaning products. Keep in mind that tea tree oil should never be taken internally as it can be harmful when consumed. Following the safety guidelines is also a must when using tea tree oil. This entails adequately diluting the oil before applying it to your skin and avoiding prolonged oil inhalation. Before using tea tree oil, speak with your doctor if you have any health-related queries or issues.
CPR First Aid (RTO 21903) offers accredited courses such as CPR and first aid at Cnr Ferry Rd and, Cotlew St E, Southport 4215. For more information, send us an enquiry and we’ll be happy to respond and walk you through the first aid certification process.