Tea Tree Oil NewsAugust 18, 2013 Written by JP [Font too small?]
The hair and skin care aisles of most health food stores are stocked with multiple creams, ointments and shampoos containing tea tree oil (TTO). In fact, the popularity of this native Australian export has even made its way into many mass market products. The crossover appeal of TTO is largely due to its documented antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. In terms of practical applications, you’re likely to find TTO in remedies intended for acne prone skin, flakey scalps, gingivitis, toe nail infections and much, much more. But, just because tea tree oil is already well established in the beauty and health care sectors, doesn’t mean that there isn’t more to learn about it.
The research I’m focusing on today is exclusively based on peer reviewed studies published in 2012 and 2013 involving human subjects. The latest findings reveal that tea tree oil: a) is an effective treatment for ocular demodicidosis, an irritating mite infestation affecting the eyelids; b) may hasten wound healing when combined with conventional treatment; c) promotes “earlier response” in the treatment of androgenic alopecia or “male pattern baldness” – although, this condition is also apparent in some women; d) conversely decreases idiopathic hirsutism, abnormal hair growth in young women; e) reduces hemorrhoid severity and symptoms when applied as part of a combination gel (Proctoial), also containing hyaluronic acid and methyl-sulfonyl-methane or MSM. Along with all of the positive news was at least one recent failure involving tea tree oil. A group of Irish researchers reported that a 5% TTO body wash failed to significantly curtail methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in a hospital setting. While disappointing, the poor result may be, in part, due to the low concentration of TTO used in the test product. Other studies have employed TTO products that contain 50% or higher concentrations as an active ingredient.
As promising as the current batch of research is, I suspect the near future will yield even brighter data on tea tree oil. There’s a considerable amount of emerging data about incorporating technologies such as liposomes and nanoparticles to improve the delivery of TTO oil while, at the same time, requiring lower dosages be used. This is of interest for two reasons. Firstly, TTO has a rather strong smell which isn’t familiar and/or pleasant according to many users. Secondly, using the smallest effective dosage minimizes the chance of adverse reactions. This is true of medications and natural remedies alike. So, keep an eye out for new and improved tea tree oil products in the coming years. And, in the meantime, consider this valuable essential oil if you have any issue that requires an all-natural antimicrobial agent.
Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!
To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:
Study 1 – A Review of Applications of Tea Tree Oil in Dermatology … (link)
Study 2 – Ocular Demodicidosis as a Risk Factor of Adult Recurrent Chalazion … (link)
Study 3 – Treatment of Ocular Itching Associated w/ Ocular Demodicosis by 5% … (link)
Study 4 – The Effect of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia) on Wound Healing … (link)
Study 5 – Preparation & Evaluation of a Multimodal Minoxidil Microemulsion … (link)
Study 6 – Possible Efficacy of Lavender & Tea tree Oils in the Treatment of Young … (link)
Study 7 – Efficacy and Tolerability of Hyaluronic Acid, Tea Tree Oil & MSM … (link)
Study 8 – Tea Tree Oil (5%) Body Wash Versus Standard Care (Johnson’s Baby … (link)
Study 9 – Antimicrobial Efficacy of Liposome-Encapsulated Silver Ions & Tea Tree … (link)
Study 10 – Antifungal Activity of Nanocapsule Suspensions Containing Tea Tree Oil … (link)
Tea Tree Oil Treatment Ameliorates Ocular Demodicidosis
Source: J Korean Med Sci. 2012 Dec;27(12):1574-9. (link)
Tags: Eyes, Hair, Hemorrhoids
Posted in Alternative Therapies, Men's Health, Women's Health