Tea tree oil, or Melaleuca alternifolia, is well-known as one of the top antibacterial essential oils. It has nothing to do with the tea you drink (you cannot actually drink tea tree oil). In fact tea and tea tree are two entirely different species.
Brief history of tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is traditionally used in Australia for treatment of skin infections. When European landed on Australia, the settlers discovered the beneficial effects of the plant. With science developing, modern science has proved the effects tea tree oil brings to wounds, and tea tree oil is used across the US and Europe now.
How tea tree oil works
Tea tree oil is especially effective for mild to moderate acne, fugus infections of the nails (onychomycosis), and athlete’s foot (tinea pedis). The reason why tea tree oil can deal with the wounds is the chemicals in tea tree oil may kill bacteria and fungus and reduce allergic skin reaction.
The doses of tea tree oil vary for different symptoms. For adults, when applied to the skin for acne, 5% tea tree oil gel should be applied daily. For nail fungus, 100% tea tree oil solution is required. For athlete’s foot, 25% or 50% tea tree oil solution is applied. Ask your doctor for advice before applying tea tree oil to your wound.
Tea tree oil is likely safe for most adults and children when applied to the skin. But NEVER take tea tree oil by mouth since it’s toxic. If you drunk tea tree oil by accident, seek help from a doctor immediately.