Is Tea Tree Oil For You?
Tea tree oil is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of an Australian plant known as melaleuca alternifolia. Historically used as a substitute for tea, the plant was named the “Tea Tree” for that very reason.
Native Australians have used tea tree oil for the treatment of cuts, abrasions and burns for hundreds, if not thousands, years, but it is only in the last decade that the use of this medicinal oil has reached modern mainstream consumers.
Tea tree oil contains terpenoids, naturally occurring compounds that are thought to have antiseptic and antifungal properties.
What Forms Does Tea Tree Oil Come In?
Tea tree oil is sold as an undiluted essential oil, and is also used as an ingredient in toothpastes, mouthwashes, creams, lotions, household cleaning products, shampoos, and liquid or solid soaps.
Several websites recommend diluting pure tea tree oil with another oil such as olive, apricot or avocado oil, or also with water or vegetable glycerin.
What is It Used For?
Skin Care. Tea tree oil is popularly used for the treatment of athlete’s foot symptoms (though it does not cure the underlying fungal infection), acne, dandruff, abrasions and topical infections. Some websites also claim that tea tree oil is effective for sunburn, poison ivy, splinters, sprains, tick bites, and other insect bites.
Yeast Infections. Tea tree essential oil is one alternative treatment for vaginal yeast infections. Tea tree oil, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties, work to fight different types of yeast infections, including C. albicans vaginal infections.