Tea Tree Essential Oil – Melaleuca alternifolia – is an evergreen tree indigenous to Australia, often kown as the Paperbark Tree. Australian Tea Tree is now grown and sustainably managed in commercial plantations mainly in Northern New South Wales, central Queensland and the Atherton Tablelands where climatic conditions are ideal for this very versatile plant.
The Tea Tree leaves and terminal branches are harvested initially after around 3 years growth then managed from coppice thereafter. They are chipped then steam distilled, delivering a volatile, aromatic oil of a pale yellow hue.
Early Indigenous Australians used Tea Tree oil from the leaves for healing wounds and as an anti-inflammatory agent. Then our pioneers took advantage of its medicinal qualities – as an antiseptic, as well as using the leaves for drinking from a billy as a pungent tea (hence its name). The Australian troops in the Second World War took with them in their kits, Australian Tea Tree oil to help heal their wounds.
From anecdotal evidence of Tea Tree Essential Oil use, Australian aborigines would crush the leaves from the Tea Tree and inhale the aroma to treat chest infections or sprinkle the liquid on wounds to counteract infection.
There are other Tea Tree oil products on the market which are not of the same quality as the Australian grown and processed Tea Tree. Be aware when you are purchasing your Tea Tree oil and read the label carefully. Price may be a contributing factor.
The demand for Australian Tea Tree oil is increasing and so is supply responding with the increase in sustainably managed plantations. This is due mainly to the known anti-microbial benefit of the oil and its effectiveness in sterilising large areas in hospitals and medical institutions used currently in Europe.
Heritage Oils also offers Organic Tea Tree
Major plant chemical compounds: cineole