Featured Product: dōTERRA's Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil
Melaleuca, or Tea Tree, is one of my top favorite essential oils. It has come to my aid on numerous occasions, from a nasty bike wreck in Costa Rica far away from family, to another hiking knee gash, infected bug bites, poison ivy, and more. Does it hurt significantly when applied? Depends on how exposed your wound is. Did any of these wounds get infected after I applied it? No. In fact, it cleared infections and dirt impurities that had gotten into it, enabling it to heal.
Now, I must say the disclaimer that it's generally unwise to apply essential oils onto open wounds and otherwise, you should default to mixing a carrier oil with their essential oil when applying it topically. This helps dilute the concentration to a ratio agreeable to your body, and softens its intensity on your skin. Adding a carrier oil also helps in the topical absorption of the oil into your skin. Without a carrier oil, the pure essential oil can evaporate quickly off of the skin. The carrier oil works to trap the essential oil, keeping it on your skin longer while adding a hydrating boost, giving your skin ample time to absorb it and reap the benefits.
The origins of Melaleuca (Tea Tree) oil lie in Aboriginal Australia where the leaves of the Tea Tree would be crushed and applied topically to give a cooling effect to the skin. Melaleuca holds many purifying applications, more popularly used with facial cleansers or acne assistance. DōTERRA reports that it can also be used to clear mild skin irritations, clean nails, hair, surfaces, as well as to purify and freshen the air. Benefits of Melaleuca oil include:
One study discovered a link between Melaleuca and its affect on human cells, specifically on cellular proteins. "In short, the study shows that Melaleuca robustly impacts our genes and the proteins that are part of our cellular makeup. The findings suggest that Melaleuca impacts various processes and functions in human cells, including tissue remodeling and metabolism." (DōTERRA Tea Tree Study)
Precautions of using Melaleuca oil are the same as other topical essential oils. Always use caution if you have skin sensitivities and when in doubt, consult your doctor or a dermatologist. Use a test spot on your skin to test if your body has a reaction to the oil before using it in other applications. Carrier oils are great in diluting the intensity of the essential oil as well as allowing your body to absorb its benefits. It is discouraged to ingest as some bodies may yield serious side effects.
In conclusion, I highly recommend adding Melaleuca (Tea Tree) oil to your first aid kit, or taking it with you whenever you fly internationally. I personally keep it in my travel oils pouch and am often putting it to great use, because I'm mildly haphazard (and klutzy) in my daily life. It's ideal to ensure than any outdoor activities or injuries stay clean and free of infection. Research on how this oil interacts with the body and the mechanics behind its healing effects is still limited, but steadily expanding in order to deepen our understanding of this oil.
dōTERRA (2023). Tea Tree Oil [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/doterra-tea-tree
dōTERRA (2023). Tea Tree Product Information Page [product listing]. Retrieved from https://media.doterra.com/us/en/pips/doterra-tea-tree-oil.pdf?_ga=2.238644480.162521.1687524549-289477474.1683399571
dōTERRA (2023). dōTERRA Tea Tree Study [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/blog/science-research-news-doterra-melaleuca-study
Fitzpatrick, M. (2010, February 17). Antimicrobial action of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on five common bacteria [online article]. Retrieved from https://www.pcc.edu/library/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/antimicrobial-effect-tea-tree-oil.pdf
Healthline Editorial Team (2023, February 6). 14 Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/tea-tree-oil#The-bottom-line
Mayo Clinic Staff (2023). Tea Tree Oil [blog post]. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-tea-tree-oil/art-20364246#:~:text=Overview,nail%20fungus%20and%20insect%20bites
dōTERRA (2023). Episode 117: Promoting Digestive Health and a Special Look at Tea Tree [podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.doterra.com/US/en/podcast-episode-117-promoting-digestive-health-and-a-special-look-at-tea-tree