Health Benefits of Melaleuca Oil
Some of the most impressive health benefits of melaleuca oil include its ability to promote healthy skin, strengthen your immune system, support antioxidant activity, boost hair health, prevent ear infections, eliminate fungal growth, and increase hygiene.
Although you may not recognize the name melaleuca oil, you will likely recognize its other common name, tea tree essential oil. Melaleuca oil is named after its scientific genus, Melaleuca, which contains more than 300 species of flowering plants. These plants are also sometimes known as paperbarks and are members of the myrtle family. This genus contains a vast range of plants, ranging from small shrubs to large trees, but almost all of them possess extraordinary nutrients and organic compounds, making their essential oil extremely valuable and desired around the world.
Oddly enough, despite their great value, they are endemic to Australia and are therefore a precious commodity. They grow in a vast range of environments in the country, but have not spread globally, save for a few species which have been cultivated in Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Tea tree oil is most commonly derived through extraction from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, and has certain antibiotic and anti-fungal properties that make it highly valuable, along with other unique components.
This was used as a traditional medicine, but has since become very popular in the west. Like all essential oils, there has been some controversy over the range of potential applications for health, but tea tree has stood the test of time and continues to be praised and respected the world over. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of melaleuca oil.
Health Benefits of Melaleuca Oil
Antibacterial Effects: For people who want to protect their immune system, turning to melaleuca (or tea tree) oil is a very wise choice. There is an inherent antibacterial component in melaleuca oil that can help it prevent a wide range of illnesses and eliminate dangerous pathogens from the body.
For that very reason, many people include melaeuca oil in their neti pots, a popular way to clear up respiratory and nasal infections, because the essential oil has proven itself to be very useful in speeding up the healing process for those conditions. This antibacterial effect is another reason why melaleuca oil is so commonly spread on the skin, particularly on wounds. For cuts and abrasions, melaleuca oil can protect against infection and simultaneously speeds up the healing process.
Overall Skin Health: Melaleuca oil is almost always associated with the skin in some way, because it has powerful antioxidant properties that can significantly improve the appearance of blemishes and scars. Many people struggle to eliminate age spots and other beauty marks, but the powerful antioxidants found in melaleuca oil can quickly remedy those issues, leaving your skin looking young and smooth. In fact, melaleuca oil can even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles as we age.
Anti-Fungal Properties: People of all ages can suffer from fungal infections, but one of the most common is Athlete’s Foot, which is a fungal infection that results in brittle nails, terrible odor, and even more serious complications if left untreated. Spreading melaleuca oil on your toes and feet can be a quick fix for this uncomfortable condition, as it has natural anti-fungal properties that will quickly clear up the problem. This goes for other fungal infections on the skin as well, which can be painful, unsightly, and a breeding ground for infection.
Hair Health: Research on melaleuca oil has been extensive, and a number of studies have been done concerning the oil’s effect on hair health. In terms of the scalp, the moisturizing and cleansing nature of the oil can help to prevent dry skin, thereby eliminating issues like dandruff, while the antioxidant activity of melaleuca oil can further support the strength of the follicles and the health of the follicle beds, slowing hair loss and somewhat alleviating conditions like male pattern baldness.
Increase Hygiene: No matter where you live in the world, hygiene is important, but particularly in hot places where sweat, heat, and activity can make for some ripe smells. Melaleuca oil is frequently included in the composition of deodorants, as it can act as a powerful deodorizing agent, eliminating not only the smell of body odor, but also the bacteria and toxins that can increase its potency.
Ear Infections: Melaleuca oil is safe to use topically on almost every part of the body, including the ear canal. For people suffering from ear infections, particularly children, it can be a painful and confusing time. Dropping a few drips of melaleuca oil into the ear can clear out the infection thanks to the natural antibacterial nature of the oil, and it can even reduce pain and speed the healing process, easing what can often be a long and painful illness.
Acne Control: Many people suffer from severe skin conditions, such as psoriasis, eczema, and the dreaded acne. Acne results from oil glands remaining unregulated and marring the surface of the skin, often becoming inflamed when the sebum glands get infected or blocked by toxins and dirt. Melaleuca oil can quickly clear up the sebum glands and eliminate the bacteria, resulting in smoother, healthier-looking skin in a surprisingly short amount of time.
A Final Word of Warning: Melaleuca oil is clearly a powerful cleansing agent for better health, but it is also extremely powerful and should not be directly consumed. This is meant as a topical agent, and should not be trusted as an antibacterial agent when consumed orally. As with any new herbal remedy being added to your health regimen, speak to a trained medical professional before making any major changes.