By Dr. Josh Axe
Tea tree, also known as melaleuca, is well-known for its powerful antiseptic properties and ability to treat wounds. Tea tree oil (TTO), the volatile essential oil derived mainly from the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia has been widely used throughout Australia for at least the past 100 years. And for over seven decades, it’s been documented in numerous medical studies to kill many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Tea tree oil uses are numerous: making homemade cleaning products, diffusing it in the air to kill mold, applying it topically to heal skin issues and taking it internally to treat viral infections. It’s becoming an increasingly popular active ingredient in a variety of household and cosmetic products, including face wash, shampoos, massage oils, skin and nail creams and laundry detergents. Tea tree’s natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions make it an essential oil that should truly be part of everyone’s natural medicine cabinet.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits
While records show that tea tree has been used for thousands of years by some indigenous people, thankfully today science is finally catching up and describing why tea tree oil is so effective. To date, over 327 scientific studies refer to tea tree oil’s antimicrobial prowess alone.
Some of the many traditional uses for tea tree include healing:
And this list doesn’t even include the many household uses of tea tree oil that can replace store-bought products in your cabinets:
In many cases, doctors of functional medicine will prescribe essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil in replacement of conventional medications because they’re just as effective and without the adverse side effects. An article published in the Journal of Phytomedicine evaluated the relationship between various essential oils and found that none (including tea tree) caused adverse reactions when taken with several different antibiotics. In fact, they discovered that some essential oils even had a positive synergistic effect, meaning they could help prevent antibiotic resistance from developing!
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