Australian Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil TTO, or melaleuca oil, is an essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous odor and a color that ranges from pale yellow to nearly colourless and clear. It is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia.
TTO is toxic when taken by mouth, but is widely used in low concentrations in cosmetics and skin washes. TTO has been claimed to be useful for treating a wide variety of medical conditions. It shows some promise as an antimicrobial. TTO may be effective in a variety of dermatologic conditions including dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, and other skin infections.
For thousands of years, the native aborigines have been using the natural healing powers of oil from a certain Tea Tree plant. TTO is the essential oil steam distilled from the Australian native plant, Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea Tree Oil contains over 100 components, the majority being monoterpene and sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and their alcohols.
The antibacterial properties of TTO have now been well documented, and there are susceptibility data on a wide range of bacteria.