Melaleuca Alternifolia, or better and more commonly known as the tea tree, is a tree that is a member of the genus Melaleuca. The oil that is extracted from the leaves of the tree is known as tea tree oil and is very well known for its many medicinal uses. The tea tree can be known by many other names as well including Narrow-Leaved Ti-tree, Narrow-Leaved Tea-Tree, Snow-in-summer, and even the Narrow-Leaved Paperbark. The tea tree is actually native to Australia, where it is most commonly found in Southeast Queensland and parts of New South Wales. The commercial industry of the tea tree oil has been around since the 1920s, when an Australian named Arthur Penfold reported that the oil exhibited strong antiseptic properties. Did you know that in World War II, those who produced and cut the tea tree were actually exempt from military service? This is because they needed enough of the essential oil to be collected for the soldiers. Once produced, it was sent with soldiers to use as treatment for wounds and infections.
The tea tree is considered a small tree, growing to heights of 20 feet tall. Its leaves are needle-like and green in color. They usually only grow to about 1 millimeter wide, and under half an inch to a little bit over an inch long. The tea tree does have small flowers that grow in spikes off of the tree, and grow only about 1 to 2 inches long. Flowers vary in color from white to yellow, and red to pink. There are also small cup shaped fruits that grow on the tree, which are only 2 to 3 millimeters in diameter.
Tea Tree oil can be used in many different products and industries. It can be used for medicinal purposes, skin care, bath and body products, hair care, and soap making. Common bath and body products that can include tea tree oil are foot balms, foot powders, soaps, lotions, facial wash, toners, gels, scrubs, body wash, face masks, creams, hair products, and even cleaning products. Did you know that tea tree oil can even been used to freshen your carpet and clean mold?
Like any other tree or plant, the tea tree has its own specific conditions needed in which to grow properly. It prefers to be grown in areas with wet, almost swampy-like soils, however it can still survive in areas with dry soils as well. They can thrive in areas with either partial or full sun exposure. They do need to be planted at least 15 to 20 feet apart, so as to give the tree enough room to grow. Because it prefers to be in areas with wet soils, the tea tree is most often found in areas along streams, and swampy flats.
The tea tree will not be ready to be harvested until it is at least 3 years old. After the three years has passed, the leaves can be removed from the tree. The tea tree oil is actually extracted through the process of steam distillation. The trees can be harvested every year, and the yield of the tree will improve over the course of the first 2 or 3 years after first being harvested.
There are some pests that affect the tea tree. Mealy bugs actually hide in the bark in the tree and can end up infecting the entire tree. Webbing caterpillars can also affect the tea tree, making the branches bare and encrusted with web-like material that is full of brown dusty material.
Uses in Industries
Bath and Body Products
Tea tree oil can be used in many different products and industries. While most well-known for its amazing medicinal benefits, it can also be used for hair care, skin care, bath and body products, and soap making.
Common bath and body products that can include tea tree oil are soaps, foot balms, foot powders, lotions, creams, facial wash, body wash, toners, gels, scrubs, hair products, and even in homemade cleaning products.
Your skin can greatly benefit from tea tree oil. When used in skin care products, it works to heal and soothe burns, remove any skin tags, reduce rashes and relieve any itchiness from them, and treats many skin conditions like acne, athlete’s foot, and psoriasis. It can also work as an antiseptic for small cuts and wounds, bring relief from razor burns, and even cures dry skin and chapped lips. Tea tree oil can even be used to treat things like corns, warts, and insect bites.
When used for hair care, tea tree oil works to naturally prevent lice and treat dry scalp and dandruff. It also helps to unclog hair follicles, nourish the roots, induce new hair growth, and works to prevent hair loss.
Tea tree oil can be used for many different cleaning purposes. It works to keep your bathroom smelling nice and fresh, and can be used in many homemade kitchen cleaning products. It works to freshen carpets, get rid of mold, and can be used in all-purpose cleaner recipes. Keep the fleas away from your pet by using just a few drops of the oil in their crates or beds. Tea tree oil can also be added to your laundry to make your clothes smell cleaner.
There are many amazing medicinal benefits to using tea tree oil as well. It has many anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antifungal, analgesic, anti-bacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties.
In Australia, tea tree oil has been used to treat many skin conditions for years. It can also be helpful in strengthening the immune system. It works to treat many respiratory problems like bronchitis, coughing, colds, and asthma.
Because of its antiviral properties, tea tree oil can be used to cure conditions like chicken pox, the measles, and cold sores. It can even provide relief from conjunctivitis, or otherwise known as pink eye.
The actual leaves of the tea tree can be soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats and skin ailments. The leaves can also be sprinkled on wounds to help heal them.
For oral care, tea tree oil can be used in homemade toothpaste recipes. It actually works to naturally freshen and cure bad breath and helps to relieve toothaches.
Tea tree oil can be used to treat many other conditions as well including toenail fungus, yeast infections, the flu, chest congestion, persistent body odor, sunburns, herpes, vaginal infections, ear infections, scabies, pulmonary inflammation, and many infections of the mouth and nose.
Tea tree oil can be used to remove any mustiness from your home.
Tea tree oil can be used as an ingredient for natural insect repellants. It works to effectively deter bugs like flies and mosquitos.
Nature’s Garden sells Tea Tree Essential Oil for external use only. We do not sell it as a food item. The information above talks about how great turmeric is for many industries, however we only sell it for external use. We provide this data for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using this product or any of this information for treatment purposes.
Make sure to check out our great free recipes for our Rejuvenating Foot Balm, our Stinky Feet Foot Powder, and our Peppermint Cold Process Soap, all made with our Tea Tree Essential Oil! Be sure to try out all the rest of our free recipes and classes as well!