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Tea Tree Oil Supplements
Tea tree oil, or Melalueca alternifolia, is a tree native to Australia that is closely related to the eucalyptus tree. The leaves and oil from this tree are known for their antiseptic powers and like eucalyptus have a very distinctive odor.
Tea tree oil is in no way related to the tea you drink, which is an entirely different species, Camellia sinensis. Drinking tea tree oil would be a big mistake-swallowing even a small amount can be fatal. However, when applied topically tea tree oil has been proven to fight against bacteria and fungal infection, and is one of the best natural antiseptics available.
The aborigines in Australia have traditionally used tea tree oil for treatment of skin infections. White settlers discovered the antiseptic benefits of this plant for themselves, and over time it gained credibility in the medical community throughout Europe and the United States as well.
The photochemical terpenes in tea tree oil kill many types of bacteria, including E. coli and staph, and are easily absorbed through the skin. Tea tree oil has been used successfully for the treatment of acne, boils, athlete's foot and vaginal yeast infections. Some studies have shown that tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide for treatment of acne, without the accompanying irritation and dryness that are common with benzoyl peroxide use. Clinical research indicates that tea tree oil can help treat a yeast infection as well as mainstream drugs nystatin and clotrimazole.
As previously stated, tea tree oil is highly toxic when ingested. However, its uses as a topical treatment are many and varied. Tea tree oil may offer anti-inflammatory and pain relief to those with arthritis, bunions, and muscle pain. (Simply massage the oil into the affected area for a natural warming sensation.) Like eucalyptus, tea tree oil may also help treat respiratory infections when added to the bath or vaporizer.
Pure tea tree oil is available from online distributors, health food stores, some pharmacies, and even some grocery stores. It should be applied directly to the skin with a cotton ball. For treatment of yeast infection, apply a few drops to a tampon and continue until symptoms have dissipated. There are also many over-the-counter products that contain this oil available, including soap, acne treatments, deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, anti-fungal creams, and vaginal suppositories.
Some people may have a reaction to this substance. Discontinue use if you experience rash or skin irritation, and consult a medical professional if symptoms do not abate within two weeks.
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