Tea tree oil is an essence extracted from leaves of tea tree. Tea tree is native to New South Wales, Australia. It is different from tea. Tea, used for drinking is not obtained from this tea tree. Many years ago, Australians made tea substitute by boiling leaves of tea tree. The tree is native to Australia, and hence the oil is exclusive to Australia.
And, the oil is a powerful immune system stimulant. It is toxic to humans when taken by mouth. When taken in mild concentrations, its anti-microbial power can cure acne, warts, dandruff, etc.
Extraction of tea tree oil
Steam distillation is very effective for extracting the oil. Tea tree oil contains an organic compound which causes skin irritation. The best method to refine crude tea tree oil is vacuum distillation. Only refined tea tree oil has high commercial value. The extraction method ensures that the heat sensitive compounds does not degrade.
Uses of tea tree oil
This oil has anti-microbial properties. Hence, it finds use in making soaps, disinfectants, cleaners, creams and lotions. Even after refining, the oil will cause skin irritation if used undiluted. One should not use the undiluted oil on mucous membranes, like genitals.
Many use this oil for home remedies. The home remedies include treatments for acne, athlete’s foot, yeast infections and warts. In addition, there are many other uses for different medical conditions. Each use depends on the nature of person’s body and skin. Every person should test allergy to the oil diluted drops first, before starting treatment.
Furthermore, this oil is an effective disinfectant. Its powerful anti microbial properties help fight bacteria, fungus and virus. It can replace chemical disinfectants which are common in use. Besides, care has to be taken to use only diluted oil.
When using the oil for the first time, make sure to use diluted oil. You should consider using a cotton swab for applying the oil to the affected area. People allergic to tea tree oil, may experience skin inflammation or rashes. Diluted tea tree oil ensures that the allergy is local to the applied area.
While storing the oil after usage, always keep it away from kids and pets. If the kids consume the oil, it can be fatal. Even if kids or pets are exposed to the oil, even through skin, it may cause serious problems.