Tea Tree Oil (TTO) is an essential oil which is also known as melaleuca oil. Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant named Melaleuca alternifolia. Commonly called as tea tree, this plant grows in the subtropical coastal area of Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. Coming in a pale yellowish colour this essential oil has numerous benefits and uses. An essential oil is oil which is usually distilled by water or steam from different elements of a plant. It has the smell of the plant it is extracted from. People suffering from skin problems swear by its amazing healing properties. Many believe that Captain James Cook who was an explorer in the 18th century made a spicy tea using leaves of tea tree. Although a few people show sensitizing to tea tree oil, it is non-irritant and non-toxic in nature. One should not get confused between tea tree oil and tea oil as they are completely different. Tea oil is sweet oil that is used for seasoning and cooking.
Topical use of tea-tree oil is believed have beneficial medical properties. Topical medications are applied directly on the affected skin. According to a research carried out by the University of Sydney, the aboriginal communities have been using tea tree oil as an antiseptic for several skin conditions since ages. Tea tree oil is used to treat acne affected skin, rashes, burns, sun allergies etc. The soothing property of tea tree oil helps to reduce any itchiness and redness of skin. Cuts and wounds are also get healed by applying tea tree oil. Leading brands from all over the world offer natural and organic beauty products use tea tree oil as a main ingredient in many of their products. Not only good for skin related problems, tea tree oil is also believed to cure genital herpes, lice, dandruff, gingivitis, thrush, ear infections and ring worm. Its anti-fungal property helps to get rid of fungal infections of the nails. According to a study that was published in Australas J Dermatol if applied topically tea tree oil can successfully treat the condition called athlete’s foot (tinea pedis).
There are various risk factors to consider while tea tree oil. It should never be consumed at it might cause severe rashes, vomiting, nausea, stomach-ache, drowsiness, fatigue, muscle tremors diarrhoea and coma in extreme cases. Sometimes people might even develop an allergic reaction after using tea tree oil. Dermatologists suggest not using tea tree oil if someone experiences any kind of allergies. People suffering from eczema should refrain from applying tea tree oil as in many cases the condition gets worse. So apparently some people get side effects because of using tea tree oil. Those with sensitive skins must always consult a dermatologist before buying any skin or hair care products that contain tea tree oil as a main ingredient. There is a recent study which states that usage of tea tree oil might cause an imbalance in estrogen and androgen pathway signalling. Tea tree oil side effects estrogen and using lavender oil could cause growth of breast tissue (reversible gynecomastia) in the pubescent boys. Alleged by recent study boys who are yet to hit puberty could grow breasts due to tea tree oil side effects estrogen.