Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree, which is a tree that is native to the eastern part of Australia. In research settings, tea tree oil has shown the potential to treat conditions like acne, lice, scabies and fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, herpes, insect bites and dandruff, and it may have antimicrobial properties as well, according to WebMD.Continue Reading
This essential oil can be toxic if consumed orally, but it is a common ingredient in beauty products that are designed for topical use on the skin only. In addition to having skin-soothing and cleaning properties, tea tree oil has a camphoraceous odor, meaning it has a somewhat astringent smell and may not be preferable for use as a scent on its own.
Tea tree oil is not to be confused with tea oil, which is derived from a different plant entirely and has much different uses. Tea tree oil is potentially dangerous if ingested, and it is typically used for topical applications in a highly diluted concentration to avoid harming the user.Learn more about Biology
Some dog owners use tea tree oil to treat bacterial and fungal infections on their dog's skin and to restore or maintain skin pH levels. Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca oil, is also used for coat care, flea prevention, abscess treatment and to treat arthritis.Full Answer >
Prevention.com reports that there is some evidence that tea tree oil is effective in combating yeast infections. Everyday Health notes that although tea tree oil fights Candida in rats and in laboratory settings, no human trials have been completed as of 2014.Full Answer >
Applying a 100 percent solution of tea tree oil to the nails two times daily for six months cures toenail fungus in 18 percent of individuals with the infection, according to WebMD. Lower concentrations of the oil are not effective at curing the fungus.Full Answer >
Some side effects associated with tea tree oil include skin irritation and swelling, according to WebMD. A person who has acne can sometimes develop issues such as skin dryness, stinging, itching or burning.Full Answer >