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Tea Tree Oil
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Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a product of nature. It is one of those rare and valuable substances which possess curative powers while being safe for human use. A rather complex essential oil, it consists of over 48 different natural compounds. Tea tree oil is distilled from the leaves and fronds of the Australian tea tree. It is a completely natural substance and constitutes a unique blend of a variety of active ingredients, some of which have not been found in any other plant.
The complex chemical nature of tea tree oil is one reason that it has never become available from the companies of the Western world. Try as they might, houses have been unable to synthesize it. Tea tree oil is and will always be exclusively a product of nature, one created by a careful process that only nature could devise.
Even if the active ingredients in this oil were isolated and synthesized, the synthetic product would be inferior in terms of curative powers than the original form. Plus, the synthetic compounds would be more toxic.
Nature, the master of synthesis, has produced tea tree oil as a fine balance of many different yet cooperative components. Some of these components are so unique that their chemical formulas have yet to be elucidated. Only a few can be produced synthetically. Researchers tested some of these synthetic compounds and found them far less potent than the unaltered natural oil. Thus, the various compounds found in tea tree oil, whether occurring in trace amounts or as major components, work synergistically to achieve their therapeutic effects. Despite the complexity of its chemical constituency and the wide range of its uses, its primary value is simple: antisepsis.
The discovery of the outstanding antiseptic powers of tea tree oil is no surprise to those who have traversed the Australian bush lands. Tea tree oil is derived from one of Australia's hardiest and most disease resistant trees: Melaluca alternifolia.
Tea tree oil is far from a newcomer in the history of antisepsis. It has been utilized to cure infections by the Australian aborigines for thousands of years.
Tea tree oil is a natural substance offering tremendous therapeutic powers. It is a light-colored and light-weight oil extracted from a shrub-like tree found only in Australia. While only recently appreciated in America, this oil has been dispensed for decades in nearly all pharmacies in Australia. There it is used as a front-line treatment for a variety of common complaints ranging from acne to vaginitis.
In the United States tea tree oil is best known as a treatment for fungal infections, specifically fungal infections of the skin. Currently, it is dispensed primarily from health food outlets, although a small percentage of pharmacies carry it.
Tea tree oil is most correctly described as a distillate from the leaves and fronds of the Australian tea tree. This tree, which is found only in an isolated portion of New South Wales, Australia, is known in botanical jargon as Melaluca alternifolia. While the oil is indeed a potent treatment for fungal infections, it has hundreds of other uses. These include:
This is certainly a wide range of conditions treatable by a single substance. The fact that it could have so many uses seems incredible. Yet, there is an extensive amount of clinical and research evidence supporting the use of tea tree oil for these and many other conditions.
Most of the aforementioned conditions are infectious diseases, and this may explain why tea tree oil offers such extensive utility. Tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic.
Americans have a logical mind set for dealing with health problems: they want results. If a product works, if it lives up to its claims, that product will sell on its own volition. There are thousands of bogus products. Because of this, products that offer results stand out like diamonds in the rough. With such products price is not so important as is effectiveness and safety.
Products that resolve conditions rather than suppress symptoms are in great demand. Tea tree oil is one of those unique and versatile products that is so invaluable it should ultimately become a household word.
Tea tree oil is a completely natural substance, which meets all of the aforementioned criteria. It is an invaluable antiseptic, being one of the most diverse antimicrobial agents known.
Tea tree oil is highly effective at killing pathogens, even in diluted amounts. A 1-in-40 dilution killed antibiotic-resistant staph, which are notoriously hard to destroy. Tests showed that its microbial killing powers surpassed those of alcohol, and it was nearly as effective as chlorine. Incredibly, tea tree oil is capable of killing some pathogens in dilutions as weak as 1 in 1000.
Tea tree oil possesses the unique capacity to penetrate organic matter, which occurs in large amounts in feces; that penetration greatly facilitates its antimicrobial capacity.
Pus-laden fluid, such as that found in infected wounds, is high in organic matter as is blood. Tea tree oil exerts potent antibiotic-like activity within these fluids. It penetrates the organic material, essentially sterilizing infected wounds. What a valuable antiseptic it is that can sterilize blood and pus.
Tea tree oil is probably best known for its ability to kill fungi. It possesses 'unbelievable' fungicidal capacity and can cause complete inhibition of growth in test tubes for up to one month. Other tests have documented tremendous activity against bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Organisms against which tea tree oil has been shown to be effective include:
The medical uses for tea tree oil are vast. This utility can best be comprehended by comparing it with other antiseptics.
Iodine, merthiolate, and hydrogen peroxide are common antiseptics found in every pharmacy and in many cabinets. Currently, their usage is limited to topical applications, primarily for wounds. Earlier in this century doctors used iodine to paint the throat and the vaginal tract in order to treat localized infections of these regions. Hydrogen peroxide sees limited use as an antiseptic. It is contraindicated for deep wounds, as it is caustic to the tissues. Merthiolate, which contains mercury, is also contraindicated for deep wounds. In summary, these antiseptics are prescribed almost exclusively for use on minor cuts or wounds. The same is true of Bactine and similar over-the-counter antiseptics.
Antibiotics also have limited applications for topical usage. Currently, they are prescribed for a variety of illnesses of the skin and mucous membranes in attempt to cure or prevent localized infections. The problem is that antibiotics kill only certain types of microorganisms. Thus, to properly utilize them it is necessary to know precisely which organism(s) is/are sensitive to a given medication. It is virtually impossible to routinely perform culture and sensitivity before treating localized infections of the skin and/or mucous membranes. Additionally, in many skin conditions the causative organisms cannot be readily determined through standard laboratory cultures. Plus, there are often numerous causative organisms.
Often, it is impossible to determine even which category of organisms is primarily responsible: viruses, bacteria, yeasts, fungi, or parasites. For example, acne is believed to be caused by certain bacteria, which invade the pores, ducts, and follicles of the skin. Topical antibacterial agents, such as antibiotic creams and oxidizing agents, have been partially successful against it. However, they fail to eradicate this distressing disorder. Often, the antibiotics must be taken daily for many months or years in order to control the acne, a circumstance which inevitably results in toxicity. Yet, acne is not just due to bacterial infection. Infections by fungi and parasites, as well as hormonal disturbances and poor diet, also play a role.
Vaginitis is caused by a variety of microbes. Thus, most antibiotics are an inappropriate treatment for this condition. Antifungal creams, such as Lotrimin and Mycolog, are useful in the treatment of vaginitis caused by the notorious yeast, Candida albicans. However, they are useless for the treatment of bacterial, viral, or parasitic vaginitis. Topical antibiotics might be an acceptable treatment for uncomplicated or minor wound infections. However, they are ineffective for the treatment of wound infections caused by antibiotic-resistant microbes, as would be seen in hospitalized patients.
This further emphasizes how incredibly useful tea tree oil is for the treatment of infectious diseases. In contrast to medications, tea tree oil can be used as the primary treatment for each of the aforementioned conditions. In many instances it proves more effective than the medical treatment(s). This emphasizes an important point: tea tree oil cannot be regarded as a medication which has action on specific microbes only. Rather, it must be viewed as a universal antiseptic, one capable of curing a wide range of infections, even those caused by the most stubborn medication resistant microbes known. It is only through this approach that the full potential of tea tree oil in the treatment of human disease can be realized. There is nothing incredible about these statements. These are simply the incontrovertible facts about this incredibly useful and amazingly effective oil from the swamps of Australia.
Medical professionals will be skeptical about these claims. Many will outright refuse to investigate tea tree oil and/or recommend its use. Yet, only a fool would fail to try it, to experiment with it, to test it; in short, to see firsthand if it really works. Doctors are in the perfect position to do so. They have numerous patients; all they need to do is order a sample of the oil and evaluate precisely its capabilities. This experimentation is the scientific method that medical professionals have been applying for centuries. Pharmacists can also experiment with it. They may order a sample of the oil and use it to treat family members or themselves for some stubborn condition which has failed to respond to their remedies. That is the best way to evaluate tea tree oil.
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