INCI: Melaleuca alternifolia
Genus: Melaleuca Alternifolia
Description of oil aroma: medicinal, pungent
Tea tree is a tall shrub that grows in swampy flats that is also known as narrow-leaved paperbark, narrow-leaved tea-tree, narrow-leaved ti-tree and snow-in-summer. It grows to about 20 feet tall and has a bushy crown and white papery bark. The alternating leaves are narrow, smooth and soft and are rich in oil. Flowers are fluffy and white. “Melaleuca” originates from the Greek word “melas”, or black, and “leukos”, meaning white, after the contrasting white, paper-thin bark and dark leaves. The Bunjalung aborigines of Australia have used tea tree leaves to create poultices for cuts, wounds and infections, and have inhaled the crushed leaves to treat respiratory problems. Tea tree thrives in the low swampy land of New South Wales, which makes harvesting the leaves difficult. Captain James Cook found that the sticky tea tree leaves made a spicy tea when they landed at Botany Bay in 1770, which is how the name “tea tree” was given. It was after the First World War that it was given attention for its medical uses. It was discovered by Dr A.R Penfold in 1923 that tea tree essential oil is twelve times stronger of an antiseptic bactericide than carbolic acid. With continuing research, tea tree is becoming more recognized as a powerful disinfectant, non-poisonous and non-irritating. During the second world war, Australian soldiers were issued first aid kids with tea tree oil, which was poured directly into wounds for disinfection without damaging surrounding tissues. As it became such a valuable item during the war, those who worked with tea tree were exempt from mandatory service. It is used for a wide range of uses, including bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Tea Tree was used in Australia to prevent pus from forming, to treat boils, carbuncles, skin diseases and respiratory infections.
A clear to pale yellow essential oil is steam distilled from the branches.
**Must be diluted prior to administering topically**
When “max use on skin” is listed, please do not use more than this amount. “Maximum cosmetic use” generally refers to facial applications and sensitive areas. If no maximum topical use indication is listed, follow the general dilution guide in the safety pamphlet provided by clicking here.
Constituents: aromadendrene, viridiflorene, cadinene, caryophyllene, 1,8-cineole, 1,4-cineole, α-pinene, α-terpine, y-terpine, ρ-cymene, limonene, terpinolene, myrcene, terpinen-4-ol, α-terpineol, globulol, viridiflorol
Contraindications: non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing, although it may irritate sensitive skin. May induce sweating in higher dosages. Maximum cosmetic use is 0.05% and in perfume 0.1%. Maximum topical use is 15%
Max cosmetic use: 0.05%
Max Topical use: 15%
The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to test, treat or diagnose health problems or diseases. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.