Melaleuca oil, sometimes known as ‘tea tree’ oil, is derived from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a species of tall shrubs found in Australia. It has many different medicinal purposes, from skin care to bolstering the immune system.
M. alternifolia has a fascinating story, as well as a long history with Australian Aborigines, having been used as treatment for various ailments for centuries. The leaves, which are long, thin, and pointy, were used as a poultice, soaked to make infusions, or crushed so the oils could be inhaled. These practices treated throat discomfort, coughs, rashes and burns, wounds, and unwanted pathogens!
Then, in the early 20th century, Arthur Penfold published a series of papers on its antimicrobial properties. Antimicrobials can inhibit the growth of microorganisms – even kill them! – which makes Melaleuca useful in when someone has an infection. At that point, scientific research really took off.
During World War II, Melaleuca was a standard part of Australian soldier’ first aid kits, and was used in shampoo, cleaning products, lice treatments, and other household solutions. After WWII, production and distribution slowed.
In the 1970s, during a wave of interest in natural healing, Melaleuca plantations cropped up and the oil was mass produced. Now, dōTERRA extracts the oil in its natural setting, Australia, and sends the purest Melaleuca oil all over the world.
Melaleua has been known to help with:
- Immune system
- Burns and sores
- Scratchy throats
- Acne, skin imperfections, itchy skin, and rashes
- Dandruff and itchy or dry scalp
- Environmental threats
- Irritated skin
- Vaginal irritation
- Itchy or burning skin of the feet
- Cough, seasonal threats, and breathing difficulties
Melaleuca is one of the most diverse, useful oils ever encountered – chances are, if you have a problem, Melaleuca can support it.