Tea tree oil is famous for its medicinal properties. Tea tree oil is extracted through steam distillation from the leaves of the tree called Melaleuca alternifolia. It is a clear yellowish or green tinged essential oil with a camphoraceous scent. These leaves were earlier used as a replacement for tea; that is how this oil got its name.
Out of the hundred compounds present in the tea tree oil, terpinen-4-ol is largely accountable for its antimicrobial properties. Hence, tea tree oil has been used since ancient times as a powerful antiseptic much before any scientific research was done with it.
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In conventional medicinal practices, the leaves of the tree are mashed and applied on the wound for relief. The oil has been used to treat cold and cough. When inhaled, tea tree oil assists in breathing by splitting up congestion. It also minimizes the signs of influenza, cold, sore throat and systemic fungal infection.
Tea tree oil has been used in skincare and to treat various ailments related to the skin. It has been used for the treatment of acne vulgaris. A study conducted in the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Department of Dermatology stated that tea tree oil is very efficient in the treatment of moderate acne.
Tea tree oil can help one get rid of dandruff. This is because of its ability to treat Malassezia furfur, the general common reason for dandruff.
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A study was conducted on 126 individuals with mild to moderate dandruff. These individuals used a shampoo that had tea tree oil. The report revealed that the shampoo helped somewhat reduce the dandruff symptoms after four weeks of use.
Tea tree oil has been used for the treatment of athlete's foot. After applying tea tree oil twice daily for four weeks, tea tree oil was found to be considerably efficient in treating athlete's foot.