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Tea Tree Oil : What Is It Exactly?

Through an ad on television, I just heard of a natural product used effectively in the treatment of acne.  The name of the natural product is tea tree oil .  Upon researching tea tree oil, I found out that it is a natural product with a multitude of uses.

Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is a plant native to Australia.  Tea tree oil is meant to be used topically only and should never be taken orally as it is toxic.  Never put tea tree oil in food or drinks.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil and has a fresh aroma like camphor.  It has many functional properties when used topically since it is antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal.  Tea tree oil has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of MRSA which is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.

Because of it’s antiviral qualities, tea tree oil is a viable treatment topically for herpes or cold sores, shingles blisters and chicken pox.  Tea tree oil is also effective in the treatment of head lice and to treat infestations with the scabies mite.

Tea tree oil, when added to shampoos, shows a high level of success in the treatment of dandruff.  Now , to get back to the treatment of acne, tea tree oil, at a 5% concentration has an effect similar to topical applications with 5% of benzoyl peroxide.

It is the antiseptic quality of tea tree oil that helps to kill acne causing bacteria.  Tea tree oil is not meant to be used undiluted.  You can mix 5% tea tree oil with 95% water to use topically to treat your acne.  Other vehicles used for dilution of tea tree oil include aloe vera, lavender and witch hazel for topical applications for the treatment of acne.

Tea tree oil is generally effective for treating mild to moderate acne.  After using a solution with tea tree oil, it is best to avoid the sun as it may dry and irritate your skin, but my experience has been that it is pretty mild and soothing, so it really doesn’t dry me out if I only use it occasionally. Now, it may be another story if you use it every single day….

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February 10, 2011 at 5:50 pm
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