Melaleuca (tea tree): what is it? See benefits, uses and price

The Melaleuca Alternifolia, or tea tree , is a tree in the mirtaceae family. Since it is of Australian origin, there are records of Aboriginal people in Australia who used it thousands of years ago.

But much has changed in its cultivation and use over the years. In the past, harvesting was done directly in the marshes where its leaves fell. Currently, there are also small seedlings plantations.

The cultivation also continues to be carried out in marshy regions of Europe, Asia and South America. In addition to Australia (Oceania), of course.

In addition, in ancient times it was basically used as a medicine, helping to cure diseases – which motivated several legends about its origin. But today its properties are extensively explored, providing wide use.

In this text we will explain what Melaleuca is for, its benefits and how to use it. Check out:

What is tea tree and what is it for?

Melaleuca is a plant that has its essential oil extracted for use. It is widely used in products from the pharmaceutical industry and in cosmetics, since its properties are comprehensive. It can be used for bactericidal, fungicidal, expectorant purposes, etc.

Some examples of products that may possibly have Melaleuca in the composition are:

  • Shampoos anticaspa;
  • Facial soaps for oily skin;
  • Nail strengthener;
  • Creme dental;
  • Drying oil of bones.

Below we will look at some of its benefits and then how to use it in different ways.

What are the benefits of Melaleuca oil?

The list of benefits is long, since the essential oil of Melaleuca is antiseptic, fungicide, germicidal, anti-inflammatory, among other properties. As an example, we can cite:

  • Combate with acne;
  • Treat nail fungus;
  • It is anti-dandruff;
  • Helps the oral flora;
  • It is anti-cold;
  • It has antiseptic action;
  • Helps in cases of flu and sinusitis.

How to use Melaleuca?

We have already seen that Melaleuca has a wide range of applications. However, it is worth mentioning that its use is always made from the essential oil obtained through its leaves, it is not possible to use – for example – the plant’s tea.

So, first of all, it is important to keep in mind that essential oils are super concentrated. What does that mean? It means that a large amount is not necessary when using.

On the contrary, small drops should always be used. In addition, in general you should always dilute the essential oil in water or some vegetable oil (rosehip, almonds, coconut). With the exception of very specific applications, such as in a small spine.

It is worth mentioning that the use of essential oils is characterized as a complementary treatment. That is, never dispense with medical assistance.

To better understand your application, we have separated some of its most common uses and we will teach you how to properly handle Melaleuca oil. Check out:

Nails

Due to its fungicidal and anti-inflammatory properties, Melaleuca is highly recommended in case of ringworm or inflammation of the nails. However, it is always necessary to consult the doctor in advance.

This may be because, in your case, the use of the tea tree is not recommended Or, even, there are cases in which the medical advice is that you look for a pharmacy of manipulation. In this way, it is possible to manufacture an oil with the ideal concentrations for your problem.

In addition, oil is often used in conjunction with drug treatment.

To apply the oil on the nails is very simple. Wet a cotton swab and drop a drop of Melaleuca. Then, apply directly to the affected area once or twice a day until it improves.

Ringworm

Although the development of ringworm on the nails is very common, it can also appear in other regions. This is because it is an infection caused by fungi, which can also affect the hair and skin.

In such cases, Melaleuca essential oil also works as a fungicide. However, the application differs from the one we saw earlier, on the nails.

To use the tea tree on your hair, for example, you can drip 3 drops into the shampoo (only in the amount you will use for washing). Wash your hair normally, massage well to aid in penetration and rinse.

Perform the procedure during the washes until it improves.

In cases of ringworm on the skin , dilute 2 or 3 drops of Melaleuca in a spoon of vegetable oil. Spread on the affected area until the skin absorbs. You can do this once a day, every day, until the ringworm disappears.

It is also common that drug treatment is necessary. Therefore, see a doctor.

Psoriasis

The psoriasis is a skin disease that has no cure. It is a chronic pathology and is characterized by redness that causes peeling and sores on the skin. In general, lesions appear on the scalp, elbow and knee.

If you have symptoms of the disease, it is essential to seek a health professional in order to obtain the correct diagnosis.

In case of medical authorization, you can use the tea tree as a complementary treatment. The application must be made in the affected area, always diluting it (2 or 3 drops) in a spoon of vegetable oil.

Melaleuca can help relieve the symptoms of Psoriasis, as it has powerful healing properties and helps the immune system (possible cause of the disease).

Melasma

Melasma affects many women (only 10% of cases are in men). It occurs frequently due to hormonal changes and is characterized by hyperpigmentation (spots) on the skin – mainly on the face.

This disorder still has no cure. Therefore, treatments are performed only to soften or lighten the spots.

It is worth mentioning that it is essential to see a dermatologist before carrying out any treatment. So you can receive a correct diagnosis and not do treatments independently – which can make the problem worse.

There are cases of people using the essential oil of Melaleuca to lighten the melasma on the skin. This is possible due to benzoyl peroxide, an acid present in Melaleuca, which can remove blemishes and lighten the skin after a short period of use.

The application is usually made with a cotton. It is necessary to dilute, in a small pot with water, 2 or 3 drops of tea tree. Then, just wet the cotton well and apply to the affected area.

Skin stain

The appearance of spots on the skin can occur due to several factors: hormonal, genetic, fungi, lesions, age, etc. Therefore, before performing any treatment to eliminate them, always look for a dermatologist.

In some cases, Melaleuca can be useful. That’s because, as we explained earlier, it has benzoyl peroxide.

Thus, in cases of spots on the dermis, it is possible to use the essential oil diluted in water (apply with cotton wool) or in some vegetable oil (spread directly on the stain).

Dandruff

Due to the fungicidal and bactericidal properties of Melaleuca, it can also be quite effective in combating dandruff or even seborrhea.

The tea tree can cause intense cleaning and fight the microorganisms that give rise to dandruff. The application is done by diluting the essential oil (3 drops) in the amount of shampoo used daily.

However, there are already some anti-dandruff shampoos on the market that contain Melaleuca in their formula. Such as:

  • Shampoo Anticaspa Darrow Doctar (R$48 – R$80*);
  • Shampoo Anticaspa Clear Men 2 em 1 (R$15 – R$30*).

* Prices consulted in January 2020. Prices may change.

Oral hygiene

Melaleuca essential oil acts as a natural disinfectant when it comes to oral hygiene. This is because it is a very effective antiseptic and has assets against bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Some of the possible benefits of the tea tree for oral health are:

  • Plaque prevention;
  • Prevention of bad breath;
  • Aid in the treatment and prevention of Gingivitis;
  • Toothache relief;
  • Eliminates thrush;
  • Assistance in the treatment of cold sores.

Despite having its benefits recognized by many dental professionals, the ideal is always to consult your dentist to ensure an adequate treatment in case of problems.

In addition, there are also toothpastes that contain Melaleuca in its formulation. An example is the Mint and Melaleuca toothpaste (Boni Brasil), sold for an average price of R $ 14 *. It promises to fight 99.9% of bacteria and oral fungi.

* Prices consulted in January 2020. Prices may change.

Read more: Toothache: which pharmacy and home remedies to use

Acne

One of the most frequent uses of the tea tree is to fight acne . Due to his bactericidal, anti-inflammatory and healing properties, he is a powerful ally against this problem – always under the guidance of the dermatologist.

It can be used in different ways, for example:

  • Skin cleansing: the essential oil (3 drops) diluted in water is used, and can be applied with cotton wool or spray, as a type of tonic;
  • Drying action: just wet a cotton swab and drip a drop of Melaleuca, then just apply directly to the spine;
  • Healing: in case of scarring or spots caused by acne, you can dilute 3 drops of the tea tree in water and apply it with a cotton wool in the desired area;
  • Facial mask: it is possible to mix 2 drops of the oil in a clay mask, applying all over the face (useful in cases of generalized acne).

For those who prefer the convenience of buying a product that already has Melaleuca in its formula, we have separated some options:

  • Secatriz Oil Control Facial Lotion (R $ 105 *);
  • Acnase soap (R $ 6 – R $ 15 *);
  • Dermage Secatriz Secativa Retractable Pencil (R $ 54 – R $ 70 *);
  • Óleo Facial Panvel Faces Tea Tree (R$30*).

* Prices consulted in January 2020. Prices may change.

Acne can be triggered by several factors – hormones, stress , etc. -, then it is very important to seek a specialist to have a correct diagnosis. This is because it is common that in some cases it is necessary to use medications orally, not only topically.

Vaginal infections (discharge)

Studies show that more than 50% of women will have, at least once, some vaginal yeast infection (such as candidiasis ). These, among other symptoms, can cause discharge and burning.

As we have seen, Melaleuca essential oil has fungicidal properties. Thus, it can be an ally in preventing and fighting infections. However, this does not dispense with the need to see a gynecologist in cases of problems related to intimate health.

Usually, the recommendation is to use oral medications or vaginal creams. But, in case of medical clearance, it is possible to perform sitz baths in order to eliminate the fungi.

There are no contraindications regarding how often the procedure can be performed. Then, the ideal is to repeat daily until the symptoms disappear.

Is it safe to use Melaleuca essential oil?

Provided that with professional guidance, yes . Independent treatments are never recommended, so for your safety, follow-up is required.

Also, be aware of Melaleuca essential oil compositions when buying. This is because it is necessary that it has the ideal concentrations to not cause allergies, itches and even burns on the skin.

One of the most important components, which can change the properties of the oil in case of high concentrations, is Cineol (a potentially toxic terpene).

According to the ATTIA (Australian Tea Tree Association), the body that certifies the quality of Melaleuca essential oils worldwide, the ideal concentration of Cineol is 1.8% to 2.6%. Passing this, it can already become harmful.

So, stay tuned (a) when purchasing the product, always check if it has the certification of ATTIA or check the concentration of Cineol.

How much does Melaleuca essential oil cost?

The value of Melaleuca essential oil varies between R $ 16 and R $ 60 *. Most options have an average value of R $ 25 *.

* Prices consulted in January 2020. Prices may change.


Essential oils are widely used in Alternative or Complementary Therapies. This is the case with Melaleuca. We have seen that it has numerous benefits, however it does not act independently.

Thus, it is essential to always seek medical advice to have access to the ideal treatment and, in some cases, to use complementary therapies such as the use of the tea tree .

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