3 Proven Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

The tea tree oil comes from the leaves of a plant known as Melaleuca alternifolia. According to Natural Medicines (comprehensive database of natural medicines) this oil is extracted from a tree in southeastern Australia. Not to be confused with the plants used to make black tea or green tea, or with oils for aromatherapy (quinquenervia and ajuputi melaleuca melaleuca).

Effective uses of tea tree oil

The tea tree oil has different uses but should always be applied topically and should avoid eating it because it can be toxic. The people usually used to get rid infections such as acne, nail fungus (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete's foot (tinea pedis) and ringworm. Natural Medicines states that it is possibly effective uses are:

Alleviates athlete's foot

According to Natural Medicines, the local application of cream 'tea tree oil' 10% is comparable to the use of creams containing tolnaftate 1% (Tinactin, Ting, Genaspor). In this case, the oil would serve to alleviate symptoms of athlete's foot (tinea pedis) and also decrease inflammation, flaking and burning. While the application of 25% or 50% of an oil solution would not be as effective as drugs such as clotrimazole or terbinafine.

Combats nail fungus

A 100% solution of tea tree oil, twice daily for 6 months would cure nail fungus as demonstrated in 18% of patients studied. Also it improves the appearance and symptoms in 56% of cases after three months of use. According Natural Medicines, would be comparable to the application of 1% clotrimazole (Fungoid, Lotrimin, Lotrimin AF).

To treat acne

Acne treatment is another effective use proven by Natural Medicines. According to this specialized site, the application of a gel of tea tree oil 5% would be as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide (Oxy-5, Benzac AC, and other prescription drugs). While it may seem to work a little slower in relieving acne, it would be less irritating than the aforementioned drugs. It should be applied twice daily for 20 min. and rinse.

Other less proven uses

Topically It is also used as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions, burns, insect bites, boils, vaginal infections, cold sores, toothaches, infections in the mouth and nose, for sore throats and infections oídos.Aunque there is insufficient evidence to determine the effectiveness of these uses.

For mouth infections
There is little evidence to say that tea tree oil is effective in treating the following conditions. However there is preliminary evidence that would be beneficial for treating bad breath, would improve the health of the gums and combined with 10% of xylitol, would reduce the formation of dental plaque. However, not improve gum health once already formed dental plaque and gingivitis there.

Dandruff and lice

According Natural Medicines, there is some evidence that tea tree oil prevent the proliferation of nits in combination with lavender oil, when used at least three times a week. Although it not has been able to distinguish whether this effect is by the tea tree oil, lavender or by a combination of both.

Reduce nickel allergy

Do you have allergy bijouterie is not silver or gold? Before use, apply some tea tree oil on the skin. This would reduce contact dermatitis to nickel. As shown preliminary evidence as the site of Natural Medicines.

Against vaginal infections

The tea tree oil would be good to treat some vaginal infections such as candidiasis, trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis. In some cases studied, patients after clinically cured were treated 4 weeks buffers embedded in tea tree oil used for 24 hours. Also in some cases it alternated with douching with 0.4% of tea tree oil in a quart of water.

Adverse effects

The most common reaction to tea tree oil include dermatitis, also irritation of mucous membranes and skin. As mentioned above, should not be eating this oil because there have been cases of poisoning. Natural Medicines also warns that even the safety of this oil is discussed as an antimicrobial treatment and adverse effects are more common with tea tree oil with other botanicals.
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