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Tea Tree: Benefits, Using Tips and Side Effects
Tea tree oil can be defined as an essential oil, which is extracted from tea tree, which is a short herb that grows upto 20 feet in length. The method of extraction is by distillation of the source of this oil, which is the leaf of Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil got its name from the Latin word Melaleuca alternifolia. As the name suggests, the leaves were used as a whole in the past instead of the tea. The medicinal value for the tree is from the oil that is extracted.
Tea tree oil is a yellowish green-tinged essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor. The tea tree oil is claimed to have beneficial cosmetic and medical properties. The term "tea tree oil" is a bit of misnomer since Melaleuca alternifolia is a paperbark rather than a tea tree. Tea tree oil should not be confused with tea oil, the sweetish seasoning and cooking oil from pressed seeds of the tea plant Camellia sinensis or the tea oil plant Camellia oleifera. Tea tree oil has been recognized as a potent antiseptic in Australia anecdotally for much longer than there has been precise evidence. However, recent studies support a role for tea tree oil in skin care and treatment of various diseases.
Tea tree oil is called as an antifungal agent, effective in vitro against multiple dermatophytes found on the skin. In vivo, shampoo with 5 percent tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for dandruff due to Malassezia furfur, the most common cause of the condition. Effectiveness of topical tea tree oil preparations for Candidiasis is supported by the ability to kill Candida in vitro. In the treatment of moderate acne, topical application of 5 percent tea tree oil has shown an effect comparable to 5 percent benzoyl peroxide with less risk of adverse drug reaction, albeit with slower onset of action. Tea tree oil is very much effective for treating bug bites, boils and minor wounds.
Tea tree were very famously used in the historic times and due to this reason they are known for their traditional use. The Australian aboriginals used tea tree leaves as a medicinal value for treating burns, skin abortions and even infections. For this purpose, the leaves were crushed and applied on the infected area. The medicinal value of this tea tree is due to the fact that there is a special component, which is present in them, known as terpenoids. This constituent is popular for its antifungal and antiseptic property. The antimicrobial activity of the tea tree is known for due to the presence of the compound known as terpinen-4-ol, which is abundantly present in them.
Tea tree oil is responsible for many special properties and healings which can even be used as treatments for acne, athlete's foot, dandruff, vaginitis, thrush, periodontal disease, boils, lice, eczema, psoriasis, yeast infection and they can also be used as an antiseptic. The source of the tea tree oil is the leaves and it is a common and pure essential oil, which is known today! It is a major ingredient in ointments, creams, soaps, shampoos and lotions. Tea tree oils are confused for cajeput oil, Chinese tea oil, niauouli oil and even manuka oil.
Many people often develop a kind allergy towards tea tree oil. This kind of allergy might range from a mild contact dermatitis to serious blisters and rashes. It is to be noted that itching, blistering, skin irritation and redness may be caused due to undiluted tea tree oil and this is mostly from cheaper ones that are available widely in the market! Tea tree oil proves to be harmful if take internally even in small doses. There are many complications related with it such as diarrhea, impaired immune function and it can even potentially fatal the central nervous system depression.
Apart from their use as essential oil, they are used commercially also in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Such uses are considered to be essential, as they are not swallowed. Homemade tree tea oil mouthwashes should not be used, as they are dangerous. It should always be noted that pregnant ladies and lactating mothers are requested not to use tea tree oil. They should also be kept out of the reach of children as well pets. It is significant to seek medical advice if various symptoms persist such as excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, poor coordination, vomiting and diarrhea. All these might be symptoms of overdose. So it always said to be careful with handling tea tree oil.
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