Tea tree essential oil, or melaleuca oil, is steam distiled from the leaves and twigs of the Melaleuca alternifolia shrub of the Myrtaceae family. It is a pale yellow color to nearly colorless and clear essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous, light spicy, rather pungent smell odour. The main chemical components of tea tree oil are a-pinene, b-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, a-phellandrene, a-terpinene, limonene, 1,8-cineole, y-terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, terpinen-4-ol and a-terpineol. Tea tree oil contains 2.6% Cineole and 41.7 % Terpinen-4-ol. This tea tree oil is a uniquely defined combination of monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and terpene alcohol's with outstanding therapeutic properties.
It is one of the most powerful immune system stimulants and sorts out most viral, bacterial and fungal infections in a snap, while it is great to clean wounds and also relieves muscle aches and pains. Tea tree oil is applied to the skin (used topically) for infections such as acne, fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm. On the skin, it also clears abscesses, burns, herpes, oily skin, athlete's foot, cold sores, blemishes, diaper rash, warts, sunburn and infected wounds, while fighting dandruff on the scalp.
It can help with influenza, glandular fever and gingivitis. It is also used topically as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions, for burns, insect bites and stings, boils, vaginal infections, recurrent herpes labialis, toothache, infections of the mouth and nose, sore throat, and for ear infections such as otitis media and otitis externa. Some people add it to bath water to treat asthma, cough, sinusitis, bronchial congestion, whooping cough, tuberculosis, and pulmonary inflammation.
It should not be used on deep wounds or near the eyes, ears, nose or internally. Consult a certified aromatherapist for the proper way to use essential oils.