Tea Tree oil comes from a plant called Melaleuca alternifolia which is native to Australia, but has been transplanted across the world because of its useful and versatile traits. It is typically described as either a small tree or a tall shrub (averaging between 20-35 feet high) that grows in swampy areas and around streams. Most of its thin, pointy leaves grow towards its top, along with a few yellow or white flowers.
The oil itself does not come from the tea leaves (though that is a common misconception). It is actually steam-distilled from the stems and twigs. Its scent is described as "camphoraceous", which simply translated means it smells distinctly natural and clean. It is also extremely potent and should be used in moderation, but it has been called the “jack-of-all-trades” when it comes to its healing properties and health benefits.
We add tea tree oil in safe quantities to a number of our products, including our Tea Tree Goat Milk Soap, Tea Tree Shampoo Bar, and Tea Tree Lotion. These products seem to benefit in particular our customers who suffer from psoriasis and acne because Tea Tree has anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties.
But what does that mean?
Basically, the chemical compounds in the oil may help fight harmful bacteria and fungi that can cause infections, inflammation, and skin problems like acne (or even athlete's foot). Tea tree is estimated to have over 98 such helpful compounds. It often acts as nature’s antidote for helping with just about anything, ranging from the common cold to nail inflammation, and from bug bites to bad breath. It has even been believed to boost the immune system by improving blood circulation and forming a protective barrier against diseases.
Historically, tea tree oil has been used as an antiseptic because it guards the skin against damaging microorganisms. In 1770, Aborigines of Australia introduced Captain Cook to tea tree. They supposedly (according to the internet) told him of its “magical healing powers” and showed him how to apply it to various wounds and sores suffered by his crew. Almost two centuries later, tea tree oil was administered to WWII soldiers for all kinds of scrapes and burns and infections. It is still widely utilized for treating skin conditions both reactively and preventatively, and has spanned into the worlds of aromatherapy, cleaning products, and fighting mold.
We would love for more extensive and modern testing to be done on the health benefits associated with this essential oil. Having found it to be greatly beneficial to the Jonas family, we enjoy making it available to others.
Essential oils are very strong and should never be ingested or used undiluted on your skin. We are very careful with your goat milk soap to use an amount that is beneficial, but safe for your skin. Allergic reactions to tea tree essential oil are very rare, but please watch for any reaction when using tea tree products.
In addition, please be aware that tea tree oil is supposed to be harmful for pets so do not let them ingest.
This article has not been evaluated by the FDA.