Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Australian grown Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Aboriginal Australians have made use of the anti-infection powers of tea tree oil for thousand's of years, and now it is produced and marketed as a topical antiseptic treatment around the world.
Tea tree oil contains a substance called terpinen-4-ol, which presents medicinal benefits when extracted in concentrations of 40% or more. Applied to the skin, the oil blends with the body's natural oils, allowing it to absorb quickly and fully to combat infection. Tea tree oil helps heal cuts and wounds with minimal scarring, plus takes the edge off insect bites and stings. It not only treats bacterial infections but also fungal conditions like athlete's foot and yeast infections.
There has been some success in using tea tree oil to treat acne, causing less drying than conventional over-the-counter medications. It may also be beneficial for treating the fungus that causes dandruff and may even kill head lice. Tea tree oil is becoming a common ingredient in cosmetics, shampoos and skin-care products, although not always in high enough concentrations to be very effective.