Tea Tree Essential Oil
Latin name: Melaleuca alternifolia
Synonyms: Ti-tree, Paperbark tree
Plant family: Myrtaceae
Extraction: Distillation of the leaves and twigs
Plant characteristics: This small elegant tree grows in Australia and is farmed specifically for its essential oil. Legend has it that the tree got its name when Captain Cook first discovered Australia and asked his crew members to make him a cup of tea with the leaves of the plant. Although the tea did not taste good, the name has stuck. The essential oil is distilled from the grey-green leaves.
Oil characteristics: A pale yellow liquid with a fresh antiseptic, camphorous odour.
Traditional use: This oil has a long history of use for almost every ailment for the Aboriginal people of Australia. It is known to be a very powerful immune-stimulant.
Blends well with: Lavender, Rose Otto, Clove and Mandarin.
Cautions and comments: there are no known contra-indications. Because tea tree oil is in such demand, it is often adulterated, which means that care should be taken to source a whole, natural essential oil.
Main chemical constituents: Monoterpenes (<40%), alcohols (<57%).
How to Use
4-5 drops in bath, on tissue or in a vaporiser. 15 drops in 50ml carrier.
WARNING – do not apply undiluted or internally. Keep away from children and eyes. Store in a cool, dark place.