Properties, benefits and uses of tea tree
Image: AmyLv – Shutterstock.

The tea tree is a shrub belonging to the fruit family, characterized by the presence of organic compounds that give it that particular and special aroma. For this reason, the distillation of the essential oil from its leaves and bark has been extended, which the Australian Aborigines have retained in their culture for millennia.

These types of oils have been used since time immemorial for the range of medicinal properties they have to offer our bodies. In recent years, when the preference for healthier lifestyles has increased and we have moved back to herbal medicine, the potential that this plant has to offer has been rediscovered.

Technical sheet.

  • Common name in Spanish: narrow leaf tea tree
  • Scientific name: Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Family: Myrtaceae
  • Characteristics and habitat: It is a shrub or small tree whose maximum height can reach 5m. It is characterized by a bark that appears as scaly patches, narrow, aromatic leaves, as well as white flowers arranged in the shape of a spike. It is native to Australia and grows in the marshy lands of the north coast of New South Wales. It is very common to find it in forests or in open thickets, especially along streams and at the edges of swamps.

Benefits of tea tree

It is one of the strongest natural antiseptics that can be found in nature, as well as an antifungal and antibiotic, prescribed for the treatment of skin yeast infection, nail and foot infections. athlete, while it is useful in soothing the symptoms of scaling, inflammation, itching and burning. These properties also make it the most effective anti-dandruff remedy.

The chemical composition present in the essential oil of tea tree has been widely studied and the terpenes and alcohols present in the oil have been shown to have activity against Staphylococcus aureus and bacteria of the genus Streptococcus, important pathogens associated with a large number of infections. In addition, it relieves sore throat.

It is a powerful healing agent, in addition to being particularly used in the treatment of mild or moderate acne, as it considerably reduces its discomfort. Its regular use improves exfoliation and hydration of the skin, leaving it with a renewed appearance. These same qualities make it ideal for treating dry skin, eczema, and sunburn.

Its indiscriminate use has been recommended in the treatment of warts, which are caused by viruses and spread from person to person. They are harmless, but they can be painful. Tea tree essential oil can soothe pain and stop the spread of the virus, as well as disinfect.

How is the tea tree used?

The essential oil of this plant is used in different ways, depending on the condition to be treated:

  • Injuries: apply pure oil on the lesion
  • Warts: apply a drop of essential oil to the wart and cover it with sterile gauze. The duration of treatment depends on the condition of the wart.
  • Mycosis: apply the essential oil directly to the affected area.
  • Conjunctivitis: Add a drop of oil to a glass of warm water, soak a cotton ball, squeeze and place on the eyelids for 20 minutes twice a day.
  • Acne: Cleanse the skin daily with a cotton ball soaked in water and a drop of essential oil, while applying 1 or 2 drops of the oil directly to the most problematic pimples. Do this twice a day.
  • Swollen gums and sore throat: After completing your oral hygiene routine, place two drops of essential oil directly on the discomfort area. Wait a few minutes and rinse it off.

Contraindications.

It can be very toxic if swallowed in low doses to young children and pets. Some symptoms associated with its consumption include ataxia, dizziness, nausea, and disorientation. In high doses, it can cause coma and allergy with skin manifestations.

It is strongly contraindicated in pregnant women, due to its high estrogen content. In any case, its external use is only recommended, under no circumstances should it be ingested and sensitization tests should always be carried out by placing a drop on the back of the wrist and observing if there are any adverse effects.

Other uses of tea tree

  • It can be used as an insect repellent.
  • It has been implemented in pet hygiene products because it repels aphids and ticks.
  • Due to its antiseptic quality, it is increasingly used in household cleaning, in vaporizations with humidifiers.
  • It is widely used in the beauty and cosmetics industry for its healing properties.
  • It is a natural makeup remover and keeps the skin hydrated.
  • It is very effective in the treatment of hair loss, in addition to strengthening and accelerating hair growth.
  • It even ventured into the food industry, as more and more companies are using it as an alternative to chemical preservatives, especially citrus fruits.

Remember to consult your doctor before starting any treatment with herbal remedies.