First Aid In A Bottle

Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) - cultivated

Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) – cultivated (Photo credit: Arthur Chapman)

Tea tree oil is steam distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia. This indigenous tree is found only in tropical northeastern New South Wales Australia.  The name tea tree was given by Captain Cook during his exploration of Australia during the 1700’s. After running out of tea on his voyage, he found a fragrant plant and brewed the leaves into a spicy beverage and named these plants, tea trees.

Tea tree oil is both powerful and safe. It is known for its antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. The Aboriginal people of New South Wales have used the tea tree plant medicinally for thousands of years. In the early 1900’s, tea tree oil was readily used by dentist and surgeons as a disinfectant and for incisions. Dentist also used tea tree oil for gingivitis, bleeding gums and infection.  During World War II, tea tree oil was included in the first aid kits of medics.  It was poured on wounds to prevent infection.  It was also used very successfully to heal wounds that were already infected. They were amazed to find that this powerful germicide dissolved pus without damaging the surrounding tissue.

The beauty of tea tree oil is that it penetrates deep into the skin tissues. Acne and nail fungus are popular conditions many use tea tree oil for. It is effective and gentle on the skin. There are numerous other conditions that tea tree oil is effective on such as, arthritis, athletes foot, bites and stings, candida albicans, cold sores, dandruff, eczema, head lice, hemorrhoids, muscle aches, psoriasis, rashes, sinus congestion, warts, wounds and more. Don’t forget about your pets.  It’s great for removing fleas, ticks, lice and as an antiseptic.

Tea tree oil should only be used externally, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Make sure to choose high quality tea tree oil that is 100% pure.  Tea tree oil can be found in body lotions, foot creams, deodorants, dandruff shampoos, toothpaste, mouthwash, soaps, healing saves and even dental floss.

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