Guest Author - April Alisa Marquette
First of all, what is tea tree Oil? It is a natural plant extract. Scientifically proven, this oil -- extracted from trees indigenous to Australia -- happens to be one of the most therapeutic ever.
Let's speak a bit more about it. In New South Wales, an Australian state, lore has it that there was a lake, said to be the color of tea. This lake had long been sacred to Australia's ethnic population, the aborigines. Why? Due to the oil’s power to heal; if a person had skin afflictions, they would go to the lake on Australia's southeastern coast and miraculous things would happen...
After delivering children, women were known to frequent ‘the lake,’ to become revitalized. It was said that when they emerged from the brown water, their skin would be supple, while their hair would appear lush and silky. It was also said that the lake got its color from the trees that surrounded it, the Melaleuca [Mel-la-loo-ca] trees; the trees from whence we receive tea tree oil.
Now days, the Melaleuca tree is carefully grown on Australian plantations. Then the wonderful microbe-fighting oil is harvested. Further, the leaves of the tree are distilled into oil that plays a role in fighting many dermatologic conditions. One thing to remember is that this oil is to be used externally; it is not to be ingested.
Why has this oil been called a treasure trove of medicine? Because it is effective in fighting a host of bacteria. For skin and hair care tea tree oil is invaluable. When topically applied, it has been documented to stop acne, by decimating the bacteria that causes it. Tea tree oil has been recommended for battling eczema and psoriasis. A known antiseptic, it deterred insect bites in World War II. However, when synthetic antibiotics began to rise, the production of tea tree oil waned. Then in the 1970's the oil had a revival. Working wonders on the scalp, this oil deters dandruff. An ingredient in many shampoos and conditioners, it has a fresh outdoorsy scent.
In the 1920's Australian dentists began using tea tree oil for oral care, treating gingivitis and inflamed gums. Nowadays, you can find a range of mouthwashes, toothpastes, and even oil-infused toothpicks.
Breathing problems due to allergies, colds, coughs or congestion, may be treated by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to hot water or to a humidifier. The essential oil of the tea tree can be found at many health food stores and even franchises like GNC. Its pungent, near pine-like scent will begin to clear the sinuses. As an allergy sufferer, this I have had to do on many occasions, especially during the evenings when I’ve had trouble breathing.
Containing unbelievable antiseptic properties, tea tree oil comes in many forms. There are creams and ointments made with it. Many are used to massage achy inflamed muscles. Available in cotton swabs, tea tree oil can be applied to fingernails or anywhere there are fungi. For foot care, antifungal, tea tree oil relieves the burning and itch of athlete's foot, as well as toenail infections.
Were you aware that tea tree oil is an ingredient in many personal care items? Not only is it applied on the body for healing, but it is also sometimes infused in womens suppositories and itch creams for men.
However, what I did not know -- and would like to share with you -- is that there is ongoing research in the cancer field to see how tea tree oil may be used to fight chemotherapy-resistant strains, as well as melanomas.
When using tea tree oil, as with anything topical, test it first on a patch of skin to make sure you’ll have no adverse reaction. Store it in a cool dry place not in direct light. Then each time you use it, remember the ethnic people who believed so in this natural oil that is considered a treasure trove of healing!