Tea tree oil is the essential_oil steam distilled from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia, a species that is unique to Australia and native to Northern New South Wale.
Several species of Melaleuca exist, but only the alternifolia can produce medicinal Tea tree oil (TTO) as defined by the International Standard for Melaleuca-oil, terpinen-4-ol type.
Actually, the University of Western Australia conducts the main researches about tea tree oil.
The in vitro research has shown a broad spectrum antibacterial, antiviral and anti fungal activity, and the in vivo research have just began, which is essential if tea tree oil is to be accepted as a topical anti microbial, anti fungal agent.
It’s the most natural antiseptic agent and is composed of one hundred activ studied components.
There are several products on the market that claims to be Tea Tree Oil”, but only a handful of them can produce an International Standard TTO, and the Australian TTO is the one that has the most scientific proven effects.
Tea Tree Oil is a topical treatment, it can’t be taken orally.
Effectiveness of Tea Tree Oil:
The test have showed that the fungi are inhibited at a dilution of 0.004 to 0.03% and Killed at a dilution of 0.6 to 1%.
The TTO has a great capacity to penetrating in the tissue as skin and even nail, so the topical application is effective to kill the fungi, contrary to many other topical treatments.
Tea Tree Oil is actually a Natural Remedy, not a medicine (not yet approved by the FDA)
Potential Side Effects :
- Some people reports skin irritation, but no scientific data has shown a skin irritation capacity.
- Some people can have an allergic react to TTO, but this happen generally with an oxidation due to a lightning exposition to the TTO, so keep it in a dark place in a brown bottle.
- TTO is toxic if ingested in large enough quantities, so the TTO must be kept out of reach to the children.
- There are no data showing that topical application of TTO is safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding, so it is not recommended to take it during these times.
How to use Tea Tree Oil?
As the in vitro research has just began, there is no medical use for this product, but it has been use for 70 years, so some popular use are known.
The reported use to tea tree oil is to apply a drop of pure TTO on the infected nail and around it, if necessary, once a day.
Some report that you have to alternate the treatment one week out of two, but because to the nail fungus resistance, you will be better to use it continually until the fungus is killed.
Then, if you have an allergy (exceptional), stop the treatment immediately.
If you test an itching, stop the treatment a few days, then you can try it again when diluted the TTO with an equal dose of olive-oil (this doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of TTO).