Tea tree oil, commonly known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Australian tea tree by steaming. Tea tree oil is proven through research to have anti-bacterial and especially anti-fungal properties when used topically. Acne, athlete's foot, lice, nail fungus, and insect bites are all frequent uses for tea tree oil.
The indigenous people of north-eastern New South Wales (Australia) had known about the healing and disinfecting properties of tea tree oil for thousands of years, long before the development of any pharmaceutical drugs. They applied poultices of crushed tea tree leaves to cuts and wounds and inhaled the volatile oil from the crushed leaves to alleviate congestion and respiratory tract infections.
The scientific discovery of the plant’s virtues came in 1923 when the leading state government chemist, Arthur Penfold, tested the oil of the tea tree and determined its antiseptic action was about 12 times stronger than the widely used carbolic acid. Extensive clinical trials with medical and dental colleagues in London and Sydney led to glowing reports in the distinguished scientific journals of the day.
Indeed, the 1930’s and 1940’s saw tea tree oil widely acclaimed as a near perfect antiseptic, so much so that during World War II Australian soldiers were issued with tea tree oil in their first aid kits. The troops also sang the praises of tea tree oil’s insect repellent and anti-fungal properties. At home, it was put to use from shampoo, toothpaste and smelly feet to boils, acne and head lice.
Sadly, this remedy from nature was forgotten for almost 30 years as cheap, synthetic antibiotics flooded the world’s medicine markets and became a way of life. The tea tree industry collapsed by the 1960’s and the oil became a rare commodity. But, in 1976, Eric White became the latter-day pioneer of the Australian tea tree industry. Convinced of its applications in modern society, Eric chose the alternately flood-washed and drought-baked Bungawalbyn Swamp, near Coraki in northern NSW, for his first crops. After four years of painstaking research and lobbying, a crown lease was granted. It arrived on a Thursday in 1976, and this was the day “Thursday Plantation” brand of Tea Tree Oil was born. It is still one of the best; the original is generally always the best. I would recommend that you always keep a bottle in your medicine cabinet; you will be amazed at how many uses you will find. This is my top anti-fungal when it comes to topical (skin or nail) applications and I believe it to be the best when it comes to vaginal thrush as well.
One of the best things I have found with this remarkable oil is that it has many and varied applications with candida patients. It is so effective with topical (skin) applications, on the toenail with discoloured toenails or tinea, as a vaginal cleanse/douche for vaginitis (thrush) and those whitish skin patches that candida patients sometimes get.
Use from eight to ten drops of the pure Australian Tea Tree Oil in 500 milliliters (or 1 pint) of tepid purified or distilled water. Douching in between pessary applications seems to be the best solution in ridding the vagina from the discomfort including the burning and incessant itching of a candida vaginal yeast infection. You will find this information on the tea Tree Oil pessary and douche combo repeated in chapter 5, which contains more information about vaginal yeast infections, if this is your problem then be sure to read this chapter.
You may be able to purchase a Tea Tree Oil pessary from a good health-food shop or maybe a natural drug store in your region or online (pharmacy or chemist). Incidentally, the Tea Tree Oil pessary can be used for either vaginal thrush or in the anal passage for a stubborn case of haemorrhoids as well. If you can’t get hold of the pessaries, you can make your own using a 2% solution of Tea Tree oil in a cocoa butter base, which will most effectively kill the yeast infection without disturbing the body’s natural flora.
I have recommended and used Tea Tree oil for over thirty years, and know first hand about how powerful this natural healing product really is. Australian Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has been proven to be more effective that the New Zealand Tea Tree Oil. Here are a few recollections of my use and recommendation of Tea Tree Oil over the years:
When put to an independent test supervised by The University of Western Australia, the Department of Microbiology concluded that Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Anti-Fungal gel performed equal to or, for the most part, better than other products tested. Products evaluated were Daktarin, DaktaGOLD, Canesten, Canesten Once Daily Bifonazole, Lamisil and Bio-Juven Foot Care Anto-Fungal Gel.
The results as seen below, clearly show that Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Anti-Fungal Gel was the most effective product against Candida albicans and second only to Lamisil against Trichophyton rubrum (tinea).
* Photograph based on relative concentration of 6.25% product on Candida albicans and 3.12% product onTrichophyton rubrum.
Like any strong essential plant oil, there are precautions.