Tea tree is a large evergreen tree which is native to north east coastal region of New South Wales, Australia. It is one of the most important traditional medicines used by the Aborigines people. Their knowledge of its powerful healing properties has been passed down the generations for thousands of years. The oil from the leaves is used medicinally for external application and as an aromatherapy oil.
The Aborigines used the leaves to treat cuts and skin infections. They would crush the leaves and apply them to the affected area. Captain James Cook and his crew named the tree “tea tree,” using its leaves as a substitute for tea as well as to flavour beer.
What it does
Tea tree contains more than 48 compounds, but it mainly composed of terpinen-4-ol, which is a powerful antiseptic agent. It acts against bacteria, fungi an viruses and has immune boosting and tissue healing properties. Tea tree can also be used as insect repellent to keep away mosquitos and as a preventive treatment for headlice.
Australian soldiers participating in World War I were given tea tree oil as a disinfectant, today, it is shown to be effective against MRSA.
Tea tree is often added to toothpaste, shampoos, lotions, creams, footsprays and gels for its healing properties.
Do not apply neat to broken skin, rashes or near the eyes, nose, mouth or genitals.
At the time of writing there were no well known negative drug interactions with tea tree.