Tea Tree Oil Benefits

For acne, dandruff, psoriasis and other troublesome skin conditions, try this wonder from Down Under.

| December/January 2010

  • Tea tree’s leaves once were used to make tea, which is how the plant received its name.
    iStockphoto.com/Andrew Simpson
  • Tea tree is native to Australia and also grows in Asia.
    Photo by Steven Foster
  • Some of our favorite tea tree products that are available right now.

A young mother was at her wits’ end about her 4-year-old son’s nagging case of nail psoriasis. A potentially disfiguring, lifelong skin disease, nail psoriasis can leave the ends of fingers misshapen from silvery-white mounds of dead skin covering the nails. (Psoriasis also can attack the knees, scalp and other areas.)

As you might imagine, the mother was eager to rescue her child from the embarrassment of his condition. She rushed him to a doctor, who prescribed various topical medications. Not one of them proved effective. Next, she tried tar treatments, also to no avail. After a year of fruitless doctor visits, the young mother decided to step out of the bounds of traditional therapies.

With no other options at hand, she visited a local herbalist. The herbalist recommended the mother apply pure tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil drops to the nail area at night and to cover her child’s hands with mittens to allow the oil to penetrate. After two weeks, the psoriasis vanished. Fourteen years later, her son has not suffered a single outbreak of the disease. Suffice it to say, the mother, who happens to be the author of this article, was convinced of tea tree oil’s amazing powers.

Meet Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca tree, which is native to New South Wales, Australia, and also grows in Asia. With strong antifungal and antiseptic properties, tea tree is a common ingredient in many natural skin- and body-care products and can help alleviate an array of skin conditions, such as dandruff, athlete’s foot and acne.

According to noted herbalist Steven Foster, interest in tea tree oil emerged in the 1920s, when Australian researchers discovered the oil was a more effective antiseptic than carbolic acid, a well-known germicide of the time. Anitra C. Carr, Ph.D., a research associate at the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, says the leaves once were used for tea, which is how the plant received its name. Carr says the great explorer Captain Cook used the leaves to brew a strong tea for his sailors.

Tea tree’s healing ingredients also are antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. No wonder tea tree is prized for its medicinal abilities. Studies suggest tea tree oil is effective in fighting dandruff and alleviating many other skin and fungal infections, including head lice, acne, warts, inflammations, ringworm, thrush and athlete’s foot. The list might seem unbelievable, but experts and first-time users alike have reported many success stories.

6/24/2015 11:04:26 AM

I had been dealing with psoriasis for months and nothing helped. I was at my lowest and struggling with self-image issues due to psoriasis. I'm at the age where I want to show off my body, but I couldn't because of psoriasis. It made me insanely jealous to see other girls flaunting their skin that they took for granted. I was so insecure. Then one day I stumbled upon this natural remedy ( http://the-natural-treatment.com/psoriasis-cure.php ), after 2 weeks of following it to a tee, I finally feel pretty again, the skin on my legs is no longer scaly and I can show them off again with skirts.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter