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Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a great all purpose essential oil. The Tea Tree Oil Bible gives you and your doctor or health care practitioner as much information as possible in a clear, simple and concise manner.

What got us interested in tea tree oil were the many successful personal health and hygiene applications we and others were using on a daily basis. The overwhelming testimonials indicated a little known yet powerful healing agent was being overlooked.

In many cases, people did not have enough information to minimize their efforts and maximize the benefits to themselves. When used properly, tea tree oil can help you save time, energy and money. In essence you can become your own manufacturer and save time, energy and expense by keeping a few key products in your home to use as a base for tea tree oil mixtures, or by boosting the effectiveness of products you are already using by adding a few drops of this powerful essential oil. Many commercially produced tea tree oil products are now being made for consumers.

This explosion of interest started us on a journey of exploration, where we discovered documented studies of the safe and effective uses for this miraculous essential oil. A summary of the research, resources and sources are supplied. This will help your health care professionals in their quest for better and safer ways of delivering your health care needs. This will help you help yourself.

As in all matters of health and well-being, it is your responsibility to find the answers that work best for you. Self health care is your constitutional right, one which you can exercise on a daily basis.
Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a multi-purpose herb that traces its roots to the Aboriginal people of Australia. For thousands of years, they used the leaves as an antiseptic and anti fungal by crushing the leaves and making a mudpack. The Australian government considered tea tree oil a World War II essential for their armed forces
first aid kits. After the war, increased use of pharmaceutical antibiotics decreased tea tree oils appeal everywhere except in Australia. Tea tree oil started to regain its popularity in 1960, with a recharge in its research around the world. Today, Melaleuca alternifolia is also grown in California.

Properties of tea tree oil
Tea tree oils properties are contained in the oils of its leaves. The oil is steam distilled from the leaves and then tested for chemical properties, which can number between 50 and 100. This may explain tea tree oil many beneficial uses. The main active components are terpinen-4-ol, 1,8-cineole, gamma-terpinene, p-cymene and other turpenes. Its aroma is distinct and very floral although sharp.

General use
Tea tree has a long history of traditional use. Australian aboriginals used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts and infections, by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area. The oil contains constituents called terpenoids, which kill fungus and bacteria.

Acne Some research in humans suggests that applying tea tree oil to acne lesions on the skin may help acne to clear up faster and may also cause fewer adverse effects (skin dryness, itching, stinging, or redness) than do other commonly prescribed acne drugs..

Infections Tea tree oil has been studied for treating a variety of infections. Early studies have found that tea tree oil may kill toenail fungus, fungal infections in the mouth and skin, athletes foot, some bacterial infections, vaginal infections, and herpes infections. However, there are no clear answers in these areas because studies have been small and low quality. More research is needed before a recommendation can be made.

Gingivitus Early study suggests that tea tree oil may help gum inflammation and reduce plaque when used in mouthwash. Further research is needed to confirm these results.

Other uses

Athletes foot
Minor injuries
As an antiseptic
Yeast infection
The most promising new function of tea tree oil is to counter methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), also called the hospital super bug. In United States and European hospitals, MRSA grew from under 3% in the 1980s to 40% in the late 1990s. This super bug attacks people who have wounds, such as post-operative infections , and a depressed immune system. MRSA resists conventional antibiotics, except Vancomycin. A Thursday Plantation in vitro study, at East London University, comparing Vancomycin and tea tree oil, shows the latter as a powerful alternative. This study corroborated the University of Western Australia study by Thomas Riley and Christine Carson. Because the spread of MRSA occurs mainly by hands, one London hospital uses tea tree oil soap for staff and patient hygiene. The first study using real patients with MRSA, is currently in progress at The John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle New South Wales. The undertaking looks at tea tree oil as a topical alternative.

Tea tree oil works as an expectorant when inhaled or taken internally and has a soothing effect; therefore, it can be used for throat and chest infections, and clearing up mucus. It is also effective against earaches, cystitis, and gingivitis. Inhaling steaming hot water with 5 drops of tea tree essential oil added can not only soothe coughing and plugged noses, but doing so at the start of the infection might stop it from spreading. For sore throats, gargle with 6 drops of tea tree oil in a glass of warm water.

Common Doses
Tea tree comes in cream, ointment, lotion, and soap forms It can also be found as a pure oil. Tea tree oil has been used as a spot treatment for acne, for fungal infections of the toenails, and diluted as a mouthwash for oral yeast (thrush). When gargling, the solution is never swallowed after use

Recipes Steam Inhalations
2 drops of tea tree oil in a bowl of steaming water. Cover head and inhale for
5-10 minutes. To relieve congestion and fight infection.

Recipes Massage with Tea Tree oil
Add 3-5 drops of Tea Tree oil to 30ml of base oil and massage in for rheumatic
pain. Twice daily.

Recipes Bathing with Tea Tree oil
As a disinfectant measure add approximately 3-5 drops to the bath water. Helps
with skin infections.

Immune System Treatment
Massage once weekly with a blend of 3-5 drops of Tea Tree oil to 30ml of base
oil. To help strengthen the immune system.

Frankincense and myrrh have long been touted for their healing abilities and protective powers. For example, both have ties to Christianity, where they were gifts brought to Bethlehem by the Wise Men. They were also used across a variety of cultures in ancient times; in Egypt, frankincense was used as an eyeliner, thought to not only enhance beauty but bring about vision-protecting abilities. Greek physician Hippocrates wrote extensively about myrrh, and both frankincense and myrrh were heavily traded for thousands of years.(1)

Today, the benefits of both continue to prove effective, including the ability to heal certain cancers.

Frankincense as a cancer fighter

In fact, researchers from Leicester University say the gum resin frankincense contains a chemical compound that has the potential to kill cancer cells and that it may be a viable treatment of cancers such as breast, prostate, ovarian and colon. The particular compound is acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) and was studied at length by university experts and has been said to have the ability to fight off ovarian cancer cells even as they are in the last stage.(2)

“After a year of studying the AKBA compound with ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro, we have been able to show it is effective at killing the cancer cells,” said Kamla Al-Salmani, a PhD student from the University’s Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine. “Frankincense is taken by many people with no known side-effects.” Even more promising is their finding that the Frankincense compound is effective even among cancer cells that have been resistant to chemotherapy, something which Dr. Mark Evans, Kamla’s PhD Supervisor and University lecturer, says “may indeed be able to help overcome drug resistance, and lead to an improved survival rate for patients with late-stage ovarian cancer.”(2)

Myrrh, frankincense and other combinations can help with healing

Myrrh, too, has been found to be effective for improving health. Used as an essential oil, it’s been shown to have the ability to heal skin conditions such as athlete’s foot and eczema, aid in wound healing, strengthen gums and ease respiratory problems.(3,4) More notably, a study published in the Journal of Food Safety, Nutrition and Public Health found that myrrh had cholesterol-reducing abilities.(5)

A combination of frankincense and myrrh is also helpful for health; the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy suggests that along with cardamom and cinnamon, the two can stave off stomach aches, fight bad breath, loosen phlegm and provide toothache relief.(5)

Another combination involves that of myrrh and turmeric, which was discovered to have a protective, cell-detoxifying effect that reduced lead toxicity. That particular study was published in the journal Basic & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology and conducted by researchers at Alexandria University Research Development in Egypt.(6)

While the benefits of frankincense and myrrh are plenty, it should be noted that their oils (all essential oils) are potent, and as such, careful consideration to diluting for ingestion and applying topically should be given. Ideally, only therapeutic-grade essential oils should be used, and discussion with a naturopath prior to use can help ensure utmost safety.

Using such oils in a diffuser is a common way to reap the benefits of such oils safely.

From ancient times humans have used plants for food and medicine. Today about 40% of modern medicines have a link to vegetation, and scientists continue to examine plant life in search of compounds that can be isolated and made into new medicines.

Scientists are also looking at essential oils. Some essential oils can have hundreds of naturally occurring chemical compounds, and are used as safe remedies for modern maladies.

We are learning that the scent of an essential oil can be more than a pleasant air freshener. The just published book Practical Guide to Essential Oils presents research-based tips on how we can use some essential oils. Here are a few cited examples:

Weight Loss – Grapefruit
Grapefruit essential oil appears to be a powerful aid for weight loss. The scent of grapefruit oil reduced appetite and caused weight loss in rodents. (Rodents are used in obesity-research because results are expected to be similar in humans.)

Another study demonstrated that the scent of grapefruit and lemon oil increased lipolysis (the breakdown of fat) and suppressed body weight in rats.

In another study, a group of post-menopausal women received a weekly one-hour whole body massage with 3% grapefruit oil, cypress oil and three other oils (diluted in carrier oil) for six weeks. The women also massaged their own abdomens twice a day, five days a week for six weeks. The results showed significant reduction of abdominal subcutaneous fat and waist circumference.

Asthma and COPD – Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus essential oil was found beneficial for use as a long-term therapy for preventing COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) “flare-ups” and for better asthma control. To make a soothing steam-treatment add 5 to 7 drops of eucalyptus oil to 2 cups boiling water. Place towel over head, close eyes and inhale steam. Do not put eucalyptus oil on or close to the face of a child under the age of 10. Anti-inflammatory properties of the monoterpene 1.8-cineole: current evidence for co-medication in inflammatory airway diseases.

Improved Memory – Rosemary
When you need your memory to be sharp, remember the words penned by Shakespeare: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”

A 2013 study found that inhaling diffused rosemary essential oil can improve the ability to remember to do things in the future. Blood tests showed significant amounts of 1.8-cineole, a compound found in rosemary oil, in the blood of those who inhaled the essential oil. This suggests that memory was improved by absorption of compounds found in rosemary essential oil.

In another study researchers found that after inhaling rosemary oil, test subjects felt “fresher” and became more active.

Do not use rosemary essential oil if pregnant or nursing and do not use rosemary oil close to the face of babies or children.

Reference: The Tea Tree Oil Bible, Dr. George Grant, Dr. Alvis Ali. Ages Publications. 1991

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