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Herb Information
Name: Ti Tree, Tea Tree
Biological Name: Melaleuca alternifolia


Other Names: Ti Tree, Tea tree, Australian tea tree
Parts Used: Essential oil, the leaf
Active Compounds:  

Essential oil containing a range of terpenes and sesquiterpenes.


In 1770, Captain James Cook and his party came upon a grove of trees thick with sticky, aromatic leaves that they later found made a spicy tea. The "Tea Tree", as it was called by Captain Cook, became a valued bush remedy used by the early European settlers.

However, it was not until after the First World War that serious attention was given to the plant's specific medical uses. In 1923 an Australian government scientist discovered that the essential oil from the tea tree is 12 times stronger as an antiseptic bactericide than carbolic acid (the standard). Research continued, and tea tree became recognized, as a powerful disinfectant, non- poisonous and non-irritating.

Indeed, among the essential oils valued for their anti-infectious properties, tea tree has few rivals. Powerfully antibiotic - literally "against life" - the oil is nevertheless supportive to the life of the body and immune system, and may be safely employed for a wide range of bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. The oil also helps prevent the recurrence of infection.

Remedies For

Anti-microbial, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infectious, antiparasitic, antiviral, balsamic, cardiotonic, cicatrisant, immune tonic, neurotonic, phlebotonic, general tonic, vulnerary.

The essential oil of Ti Tree is an important anti-microbial. Many people make exaggerated claims about the effectiveness of this herb; there are very few scientific evidence to its usefulness. 

A list of conditions that Melaleuca oil has been suggested for include: sinusitis, the common cold, sinus blockage, laryngitis, coughs, apthous ulcers, boils, cuts, bites, sunburn, miliaria, parasites, head lice, herpes simples, herpes progenitalis, impetigo, psoriasis, infected seborrhoeic dermatitis, ringworm of the scalp, ringworm, athletes foot, fungal infections of the nails, thrush, trichomonal vaginitis.

G. Mojay, author of "Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit," says thus about the essential oil from Tea tree:

"The oil may be used for infections that include colds, flu, and bronchitis; sinusitis, otitis and pyorrhoea; candidiasis and viral enteritis; and cystitis and vaginal thrush. Like niaouli oil, it may also be used for bacterial and fungal skin infections, such as impetigo and tinea versicolor.

Tea tree oil is renowned not only for its anti-infectious, immuno-stimulant action but for its power to reinforce the Lungs, Heart, and nervous system. Also used for chronic lethargy, shallow breathing, palpitations, and poor circulation. Steadying the nerves and promoting blood-flow to the brain, tea tree oil is also indicated for mental fatigue and nervous debility, especially in people- whose immune system is weak.

It fortifies the Lungs and Bodily Soul through its camphoraceous pungency thus helping to promote both a positive outlook and the healing instinct. At the same time, its strong, bittersweet spiciness invigorates the Heart and Mind (Shen), uplifting the Spirit and building confidence.

Tea tree oil is of special importance, therefore, to physically delicate individuals who struggle not only with their bodies but with the feelings of victimization and doom that can easily accompany - and exacerbate - chronic ill-health."


Tea tree is a small tree, growing to a height of 22 feet, with narrow, soft, alternate leaves and yellowish flowers the shape of bottlebrushes. One of more than 30 species of "paperbark' trees that flourish in Australia, tea tree belongs to the Melaleuca genus, and is closely related to Melaieuca leucadendron (the source of cajuput oil) and Melaleuca quinquenervia (which produces niaouli oil). The name Melaleuca comes from the Greek melas (black) and leukos (white) - referring to the contrast between the dark- green foliage, which appears black, and the loose, paper-thin and very white bark.

Melaleuca alternifolia thrives in a relatively small area of New South Wales, in swampy low-lying land surrounding flood-prone river systems. Because tea tree favors rather remote wetlands, harvesting the leaves for their oil is difficult.


The oil is for external use and in people with sensitive skin it should be diluted with a bland fixed oil such as almond oil. There is currently a wide range of products on the market that contain the oil. These include toothpaste, soap, shampoo.


Non toxic, non-irritant.

No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

More Information:

Check Out The Wonders Of Tea Tree Oil

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