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What are the characteristics of the tea tree?
The leaves of the tea tree were known in Europe thanks to the English navigator James Cook around 1770 who found them in the islands of the New Zealand archipelago: The aborigines were already using them to make a kind of "tea". Thus, the real tea running out, the crew were led to appreciate the infusions made with the leaves of the tea tree.
The aborigines of Australia knew the disinfectant virtues of its leaves so that it was part of the first aid kit of the Australian armies during the Second World War.
Latin name :
- Melaleuca alternifolia
Botanical family :
Producing organ :
Known or suspected mode of action :
- Terpinene-4-ol is powerfully anti-infective, anti-staphylococcal, anti-candidal and anti-viral
- Antioxidant effects: alpha-terpinene > gamma-terpinene
Precautions for use of essential oil :
- Contraindicated in children under 7 years old
- Do not distribute
- Caution in case of oral renal failure (nephrotoxic)
- Do not combine with cortisone, risk of drug interaction
- No prolonged use without professional advice
- Keep out of reach of children
- Avoid eye contact
- Never put pure essential oils in the nose, in the ears or on the ano-genital mucous membranes
The use of essential oils during pregnancy and for breastfeeding women requires the advice of a knowledgeable aromatherapist.
In case of hypersensitivity or allergic ground, test the essential oil before use:
- place 1 to 2 drops of the selected essential oil in the crease of the elbow,
- wait 10 minutes,
- note a possible skin reaction
Do not expose yourself to the sun after applying an essential oil containing furocoumarins (EO expressed by citrus zest: lemon, tangerine, sweet orange, etc.). These essential oils are photo-sensitizing and greatly increase the risk of sunburn and burns.
Essential oils that are phenolic or rich in aldehydes are dermocaustic (aggressive for the skin) and must be diluted in a vegetable oil in a proportion of 85% vegetable oil for 15% essential oil.
The use of essential oils internally requires the advice of a professional. In case of accidental ingestion: ingest vegetable oil and contact a poison control center.
Essential oils are not soluble in water. For an aromatic bath, use a suitable dispersant (labrafil, labrasol, disper) in an amount 4 times greater than the amount of essential oil. Do not exceed 10 drops of essential oil per 100 liters of water.
Biochemical specificity of essential oil :
- Monoterpene alcohols: terpinene-4-ol (40 to 45%)
- Monoterpenes: alpha-terpinene 10% and gamma-terpinene (20 to 25%)
Main components of the plant :
- Essential oil with monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpene alcohols ( terpinene-4-ol , major component) and sesquiterpene alcohols , terpene oxides ( 1,8-cineole )
- Alpha-terpinene and gamma-terpinene
- Traces of sabinene, globulo l and viridiflorol (which distinguishes it from reconstituted essential oils)