What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is produced through a steam distillation process of the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant. This particular plant only grows in the New South Wales part or region of Australia. Tea tree oil has been known even in the past to have medicinal effects. Many people are also aware of tea tree oil’s use as a massage oil or as treatment for some skin problems.
The Aborigines or native inhabitants of Australia were said to use tea tree oil during ancient times. Even without scientific means of processing the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant, Australian natives were said to take advantage of the plant or leaves’ medicinal properties especially in the treatment of burns, cuts, and other skin infections and illnesses. During those times, the leaves of the tea tree plant were crushed with stones and applied directly onto the affected part of the skin. There were also reports that other indigenous groups in the New South Wales part of Australia also tried to “inhale” the vapors of the tea tree leaves while these are being crushed. Tea tree vapor or aroma was considered then an effective treatment for colds and coughs. Another indigenous method of using tea tree leaves was through the soaking process. Soaked leaves are then placed directly to the skin and this technique was used for people with skin allergies and sore throats.
Based on clinical studies, tea tree oil indeed is an effective anti-fungal and antiseptic agent. It contains “terpenoid” which is good for those with skin ailments like pimples and scabies. And because tea tree oil is aromatic and has analgesic effects, it is also widely used as massage oil for treating muscle aches and pains in different parts of the body. And in terms of the respiratory system, tea tree oil also has an expectorant and balsamic effect.