Thursday, August 12, 2010

Monthly Herbal: Tea Tree

I am soooo sorry I haven't posted the much awaited August Monthly Herbal! My life is sooo hectic right now, I even forgot my friend's b-day (Sorry Edward!) with the mess of wedding planning and prep, moving stress, visiting the parentals, so on and so forth.

Tea Tree is this month's featured herb! For those of you who don't remember, I did a poll 2 months ago on last months herb and Tea Tree and Dandelion tied! So, making an executive decision, I made Dandelion July's Herb and, to keep the peace, Tea Tree this month's herb.

Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

I wanted to get a few things across before going in depth on the benefits of Tea Tree. First, Tea Tree is NOT Tea (Camellia sinensis), like the type that we drink.
Tea Tree is commonly used as an oil (I've never seen it in any other form myself).
An anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-septic, tea tree oil was found in the 1920's to be a better medicine than most available.

The Melaleuca alternifolia plant is a small tree native to Australia. Commercial plantations were founded in the 1970s.

The oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia.
Perfume note: Middle
Aroma is strong and medicinal

Tea tree oil is one of the most potent oils for treating bacteria, viruses, and fungal infections. It permeates and kills invading organisms in the body while stimulating the system.

Tea tree oil addresses:
abscesses, acne, athlete's foot, cold sores, insect bites, woulds, infections, asthma, dermatitis, bronchitis, congestion, colds, coughs, fevers, flus, sinusitis, whooping cough, thrush, vaginitis, cystitis, lethargy, debility, vulnerability, and shallow breathing.

Safety Information
According to the American Cancer Society: "Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It has been reported to cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children."
The oil can cause skin irritation in high doses, so it is best to do  skin patch test before adding the oil to soaps, baths, oils, or washes. 

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