I was at lunch the other day with a friend and the subject of tea tree oil came up.
Over chicken salad on rye, I’d been telling my friend about my new natural oil diffuser which I’d filled with a mixture of distilled water and tea tree oil.
Her eyes started to squint when I mentioned how much I loved the peaceful, natural and cleansing oil and how it worked like magic for creating a fresh and healthy environment in my office.
“Yeah,” she said, taking a bite out of her Cobb salad and then pointing her fork at me. “But can’t some of those natural oils be dangerous?”
Now that took me back a bit. I mean, my friend, has the uncanny ability to see the doo doo lining of any cloud, but could she be right?
For years, I’d use the little known oil from the native Australian evergreen, Melaleuca alternifolia to heal anything from warts and lice to wrinkles and bug bites. And I’d had great success with the oil as a cleaning agent and aromatherapy. But could it somehow be dangerous?
“I’m not sure,” I said. “I mean, I can’t see that it could be. It’s all natural.”
“Natural? She replied. “Just like tobacco and cyanide?”
Well, that killed the subject right away and we moved on to other things, but as soon as I got home I started doing a little research. And while my friend wasn’t exactly right, she wasn’t exactly wrong either.
It appears tea tree oil, just like almost any chemical compound used for health purposes must be used appropriately. So, with that caveat, I’ve listed the top five areas where one must be careful with tea tree oil.
Tea Tree Oil and Pets. Because of the medical advantages to humans, many people believe these advantages can translate to their pets. Although there are a number of pet products, such as shampoos and treatments that contain tea tree oil, the amounts are small enough not to cause concerns, but in higher doses, tea tree oil can be toxic to our fine furry friends. This is especially true of cats as tea tree oil rubbed into a cat’s skin cannot be adequately processed by a cat’s liver. Long story short? Don’t use tea tree oil on cats and be very careful when using it on dogs. Instead of making your own, you may want to try commercial products such as Nutri-Vet Medicated Antibacterial Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dogs.
Tea Tree Oil Allergies. Just like about anything on the planet, a small number of people are allergic to tea tree oil and it may cause a reaction to the skin. If this happens, you should immediately stop any use on your skin except in very dilute amounts. In the alternative you apply a very small amount of tea tree oil diluted 50/50 with other natural oils such as olive oil or coconut oil.
Don’t Drink The Darn Stuff! Maybe it should go without saying that tea tree oil should NOT be ingested orally. For most of you out there, that means you should keep tea tree oil out of the way of young children just like any medicine or cleaner.
That being said, there are some beneficial mouth rinses for items such as bad breath and herpes. If you’re interested in those, I’ve written the article, “Five Tea Tree Oil Mouth Rinses for Beneficial Health.”
Be Careful of Your Eyes.
Try not to put tea tree oil directly into your eyes. There is a recipe for pink eye treatment below, but it has to be followed carefully.
While tea tree is wonderful as a face wash and scrub, if it comes in contact with your eye, you may experience redness, surface irritation and discomfort. The inflammation and discomfort may result in minor changes in vision and your vision should return to normal after the reaction clears.
Some people have severe allergic reactions to tea tree oil that could cause some amount of corneal reactions that could cloud or disrupt vision.
If tea tree oil comes in contact with your eyes, you should thoroughly flush your eyes with water. The eye flush should continue for at least 20 minutes. The best method is to stand in the shower and let warm water run into your eyes.
Obviously, if you wear contact lenses, you’ll want to pull them out.
Don’t Snort It. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t have written that, but this is an article about five dangers of tea tree oil and I could really only see four that were directly pertinent. So, in any event, if the thought ever takes root, resist all urges and refrain from snorting the oil from the Melaleuca Alternifolia.
By: Michelle Glover “The Tea Tree Expert.” If you liked this article and would like more tea tree oil information you can visit me at www.theTeaTreeOilReview.com where you’ll find a whole host of tea tree recipes, information, uses and tea tree product reviews.