This Tea Tree essential oil has a fresh, pungent and herbaceous top note, a slightly spiced medicinal and camphoraceous middle note and balsamic, earthy undertones. Given the powerful pungency and complex nature of Tea Tree essential oil, it is not usually blended.
The Aborigines in northeastern New South Wales have used Tea Tree oil as a healing herb for many generations. A poultice of the leaves is commonly used to help with skin infections, cuts, and wounds due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. The name ‘tea tree’ dates back to 1777, used by Captain Cook to describe the plant because it was used by sailors to brew a tea to prevent scurvy.1
In 1923, an Australian government scientist, Dr. A. R. Penfold, conducted a study of Tea Tree essential oil and discovered it to be 11 times more potent as an antiseptic bactericide than carbolic acid (the standard medical solution at the time).2 By the 1930s, Tea Tree oil became recognized, by such publications as The Journal of the National Medical Association(USA), the British Medical Journal, and the Australian Journal of Pharmacy as "a powerful disinfectant, non-poisonous and non-irritating...used very successfully in a wide range of septic conditions". It had been found effective in treating gynecological, oral, and dental conditions, as well as fungal infections of the skin.3
Therapeutic Properties Described in The Aromatherapy Literature
From The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1:
- Antimicrobial, antifungal, Antiseptic, Bactericide, Cicatrisant, Expectorant, Fungicide, Stimulant
- Shown to have benefits in treating acne
- Boosts the immune systems and fights infection
- Uplifting to the spirit and inspiring confidence
From Australian Tea Tree Oil First Aid Handbook4:
- Use in a diffuser to clean, deodorize, and purify the air
- Disinfects and relieves pain from blisters and insect bites
- Relieves sore muscles and refreshes when used in a massage
Application and Use
Tea Tree oil is a non-toxic, non-irritant but may cause skin sensitization in some individuals. Therefore, always test an area with a small amount before liberal application. If pregnant or breast-feeding, please consult a physician before use.
1 Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holystic Aromatherapy, 2003.
2 Carson, C. F., et al. “Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties.” Clinical Microbiology Reviews, vol. 19, no. 1, 2006, pp. 50–62., doi:10.1128/cmr.19.1.50-62.2006.
3 Olsen, Cynthia B. Australian Tea Tree Oil Guide: First Aid Kit in a Bottle. Lotus Press, 1998.
4 Olsen, Cynthia B. Australian Tea Tree Oil First Aid Handbook: 101 plus Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil. Lotus Press, 1999.