Tea tree a member of a genus of Australian and New Zealand trees and shrubs known as honey myrtles or bottlebrush trees. Many of the 100 or so species of tea tree have fragrant, essential oil-containing leaves. At least three species of bottlebrush trees are distilled for their essential oil: Melaleuca alternifolia, from which we get tea tree oil; Melaleuca cajeputi, which yields cajeput essential oil; and Melaleuca viridiflora, the source for niaoli essential oil. Distilled cajeput and niaoli oils retain some of the sweet-woody aromas present in the fresh leaves. Cajeput and niaoli oils are slightly less medicinal smelling than tea tree oil.
In aromatherapy, tea tree essential oil is employed for its physical, rather than emotional or aesthetic nature. This isn't to say that the strongly medicinal aroma of tea tree is offensive. Many appreciate its underlying intensely warm, nutmeg-like scent.
Tea tree oil is an important therapeutic and cosmetic essential oil. Despite its less than beautiful fragrance it should figure prominently in any beginner or advanced aromatherapist's repertoire.
Aromatherapy Actions: Purifying, uplifting, cleansing
- Keep out of reach of children.
- CAUTION: If pregnant, suffering from any medical condition, or taking medication, consult a healthcare practitioner before use.
- Dilute properly, may irritate skin.
- Avoid eyes and mucous membranes.
- Not for internal use — for external use only.