Diana Snider, LMT Massage Therapist-Allen, TExas

Tea Tree Oil

The Power of Tea Tree Oil

 

Is your medicine cabinet full of ointments, oils, and creams that each treats one specific ailment? Maybe you can cut down on some of the clutter by adding nature's own wonder drug, tea tree oil, instead.

What is Tea Tree Oil?  Produced in Australia from the tree M. alternifolia, tea tree oil acts as an antiseptic, fungicide, insect deterrent, and more. It has been used in Australia by aborigines for generations and, since the country's colonization, has spread to the rest of the world.

Tea tree oil, which can be found as an essential oil as well as in creams, ointments, shampoo, and even toothpaste, can be used to treat a staggering variety of conditions, including: acne, arthritis, athlete's foot, burns, cuts, dandruff, eczema, gingivitis, infection, insect bites and stings, lice, muscle sprains, psoriasis, and rashes. And that's just a partial list!

Potential Benefits:  The exact cause of tea tree oil's effectiveness is difficult to ascertain, and researchers are still looking into just how much the natural remedy can do for us. Newer studies have looked at its ability to stop the spread of sometimes-deadly methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus in hospitals.

Use Safely:  While there are plenty of benefits to using tea tree oil, its strength can also be problematic, even dangerous. The Mayo Clinic advises that it's not safe to ingest or take tea tree oil internally, and it is considered particularly harmful if ingested by pets.

Also, like most natural remedies, the US Food and Drug Administration does not regulate tea tree oil as it does other medicines, leaving no standard quality of tea tree oil products. And, while many people enthusiastically support tea tree oil, it is no substitute for professional medical care.

Yet, many people agree that, if nothing else, tea tree oil should be a part of your first aid kid in case of bites, burns, or scrapes. But who knows? You might find yourself using it for much more than that.