Common Name: Tea Tree – organic
Scientific Name: Melaleuca alternifolia
Botanical Family: Myrtaceae
Cultivation: Organic – NOP
Extraction Process: Steam distillation
Plant Part: Leaves & young branches (fresh)
Brief Summary: Tea Tree essential oil is active against bacteria, fungi, and viruses – including MRSA – and it is also a very powerful immune system stimulant, making it highly effective in a wide range of applications.
Plant Description: Native to swampy coastal areas of northeastern New South Wales, Australia; cultivated in northeastern and western Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Melaleuca alternifolia is a small narrow evergreen tree that grows to a height of about 20 feet with a flexible trunk, thick white spongy bark, and needle-like leaves that are strongly aromatic when crushed. On Tea Tree plantations, the plants are grown to a height of about 5 feet for mechanical harvesting purposes. The freshly harvested leaves and sometimes the young branches are steam distilled for their essential oil.
Oil Description: Pale yellowish green or almost water-clear mobile liquid with a fresh warm-spicy, penetrating, terpenaceous aroma.
Historical/Traditional Uses: For many thousands of years, the aboriginal people of Australia have had an intimate knowledge of the curative properties of Tea Tree, most often used as a tea. This custom was observed by Captain James Cook when he and his crew landed on the shores of Australia in 1770. They were the first to name it the “tea tree” we know today. Also dubbed “the wonder from Down Under,” it was given much more serious consideration when studies conducted in 1925 by Dr. Arthur Penfold, an Australian government scientist, showed that Tea Tree oil’s antiseptic properties were 12 times stronger than carbolic acid, the common antiseptic standard at that time. Tea Tree was included in the first aid kits of Australian soldiers during World War II, prompting high demand until commercial production of penicillin in the mid-1940s caused a decline in its use. But an intense marketing campaign in the 1980s brought Tea Tree, the “medicine chest in a bottle,” back to the forefront with its popularity growing exponentially ever since.
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Tea Tree essential oil is an effective antiseptic against MRSA, colds, ’flu, impetigo, and other infectious diseases, especially when combined with lemon, pine and/or eucalyptus in dilution to use as a spray or surface wipe, for disinfecting doorknobs, toilets, faucets, telephones, keyboards, etc. in schools, hospitals, homes, and the work place. It is especially useful for strengthening the immune system in those individuals who are susceptible to frequent illnesses and as a helpful support for those with HIV. Tea tree is recommended for promoting healthy nails and skin, e.g., for use against dandruff, cold sores, nail fungus, and athlete’s foot. It is also indicated for respiratory conditions, and for conditions of the urinary and reproductive system such as thrush, candida-related vaginitis, and cystitis. In addition to fortifying the immune system, Tea Tree also bolsters morale and confidence that in turn promotes the healing instinct. In perfumery, Tea Tree is considered a unique top note that blends well with clary sage, geranium, clove and other spice oils, cypress, eucalyptus, lavandin, lavender, lemon, marjoram, nutmeg, oakmoss, pine, rosemary, and thyme.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Tea Tree (M. alternifolia) essential oil is non-toxic, non-irritating (except possibly for those with sensitive skin), and non-sensitizing. Use with care during pregnancy.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.