Tea tree oil comes from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia plant, and may also be called melaleuca oil. Tea tree oil has been used on that continent for 100 years due to its medicinal properties. In fact, the oil was found to have so many effective healing qualities, the Australian army required soldiers to carry a bottle during World War II. While there are over 100 natural chemicals found in the oil, the primary active ingredients are monoterpenes, hydrocarbons, and sesquiterpenes, which give the essential oil its antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.
Tea tree oil is very effective in controlling psoriasis, acne, eczema, and other skin conditions. For example, psoriasis is an inflammatory disease and studies have shown tea tree oil has anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, the use of tea tree oil over a 12-week period showed significant improvement to acne outbreaks. In another study conducted in 2011, the topical use of tea tree oil proved to be more effective for controlling eczema than other remedies such as clobetasone butyrate and zinc oxide.
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