The Uses and History of Tea Tree Essential Oil

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The Uses and History of Tea Tree Essential Oil

tea-tree-plant-blossomWherever you go in the world you will find trees, flowers, and herbs that were used in that area anciently. Down under in Australia, natives used kangaroo apple, eucalyptus oil, and tea tree oil. (1)

Tea Tree Oil – also known as Melaleuca, Australian Tea Tree Oil, or Melaleuca Alternifolia- only comes from one source. It is an oil that is derived from the leaves of the melaleuca tree. That tree is native to Australia. Tea tree oil had been used by Aboriginal Australians for many years before 1920, when Arthur Penfold began to commercialize it.

According to the University of Sydney, “The first recorded account of tea tree being used for medicinal purposes was in 1770, when Lieutenant James Cook used the leaves to treat scurvy among his sailors. By the 1930s and 1940s, tea tree oil was widely celebrated as an antiseptic treatment. During the Second World War, Australian soldiers were issued with tea tree oil in their first aid kits.” (2)

Don’t confuse the tea tree with the tea plant that is used to make digestible teas. Tea tree essential oil should never be ingested.    

Tea tree has a smell that people love. Some say that it smells like nutmeg. Because of its smell, tea tree oil has been used in many beauty products: lotions, cleansers, and shampoos.


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