Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is considered to have medical and cosmetic benefits, being included in lots of herbal supplemements and skin care products manufactured and sold all over the world. Being part of an ancestral tradition, there are native people from Australia who use tea tree oil in local traditional medicine. They inhale the oil from crushed leaves as a remedy for coughs and colds.
The leaves can also be applied on wounds or be soaked for infusions. The use of tee tree oil wasn't that popular until a researcher, Arthur Penfold, wrote an article about its antimicrobial effect According to his study, tea tree oil was eleven times more powerful than phenol, an antimicrobial substance widely used in the past.
After Penfold's article about tea tree oil an entire industry emerged. Leaves were usually cut manually and distilled immediately afterwards. After World War II the production of tea tree oil went into decline due the appearance of effective antibiotics. After the 70s when the interest for natural products was revived, commercial plantations appeared, so that at present, there is an entire mechanized tea tree oil industry which exploits the medical benefits of this natural cure.
Tea tree oil is recognized as a powerful antiseptic but it also contributes to skin care treatments and different ailments. Doctors reported the benefits this plant has against dermatitis, moderate acne, insect bites, ivy poisoning, ear infections and minor wounds. It is important to keep in mind that tea tree oil is recommended for external use only, those who took it orally experienced symptoms like ataxia and drowsiness. Allergic reactions were also reported in some cases, particularly under the form of skin rashes.
For a 0.1% tea tree oil dilution, studies revealed that from an experimental group of 725 people only one subject reported an allergic reaction. Another case study was conducted on a group of youngsters and they were administered products containing both lavender oil and tea tree oil. The results were not encouraging for the oral administration, which remains doubtful.
Like all alternative medicines tea tree oil is used as a solution for people who try to avoid antibiotics. Traditional medicine appreciates this natural remedy and more and more people turn to it because of its efficiency. The medical action of all herbal cures is nevertheless a lot slower than that of an antibiotic, therefore, in very severe cases, turn to a health care provider for assistance instead of relying on the long-term effects of an antibacterial substance like tea tree oil.