Tea tree oil
Numerous species of shrubs and trees of the genus Melaleuca, which belongs to the myrtle family, are known as tea trees. The most important tea tree is the Australian species Melaleuca alternifolia, from which mainly tea tree oil is extracted. The essential oil of the leaves and branch tips is used, which is obtained by steam distillation.
Tea tree oil has antiseptic, bactericidal and fungicidal properties. It is listed in the European Pharmacopoeia, but due to the lack of ready-to-use medicines there is no reliable indication. The Australian Aborigines used tea tree oil for open wounds, skin infections, colds, gingivitis and lice infestation.
Tea tree oil is used in many dermatological preparations: in shampoos, hand and body creams (especially for impure skin, such as acne), in deodorants, bath additives, soaps, toothpaste and mouthwash. When used in the mouth, tea tree oil must be very strongly diluted. The preservation of many cosmetic products is possible with tea tree oil.
External applications of Tea Tree Oil are also known in animal care. As in humans, overdoses or very frequent treatments should be avoided.
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