Tea Tree Oil Side Effects??

  1. Does anybody know if there are any negative side effects of using tea tree oil??
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    About e-dice

    Joined: Nov '08; Posts: 19; Likes: 7
    from US


  3. by   St Lucia
    I hope not - I love the stuff!
  4. by   txspadequeenRN
    whats it good for????

    Quote from st lucia
    i hope not - i love the stuff!
  5. by   St Lucia
    I discovered it in the Caribbean, where we used it as a skin cleanser, anti-itch and sanitizer. It smells fresh and pine-like, geez, almost like Pine Sol! I carry a little bottle with me. I've seen it at natural grocery markets like Whole Foods.
  6. by   e-dice
    From Wikkipedia:

    Tea tree oil has been recognized as a potent antiseptic in Australia anecdotally for much longer than there has been scientific evidence. However, recent studies support a role for tea tree oil in skin care and treatment of various ailments.
    Tea tree oil is a known antifungal agent, effective in vitro against multiple dermatophytes found on the skin.[5] In vivo, shampoo with 5% tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective treatment for dandruff due to its ability to treat Malassezia furfur, the most common cause of the condition.[6]
    Also effective in treating the most common forms of athletes foot fungal infections.[citation needed]
    It is also effective in treating the eye ailment blepharitis.[citation needed]
    Tea Tree Oil is used medically as well as in cosmetic products.
    Effectiveness of topical tea tree oil preparations for Candidiasis is supported by their ability to kill Candida in vitro.[7]
    In the treatment of moderate acne, topical application of 5% tea tree oil has shown an effect comparable to 5% benzoyl peroxide, albeit with slower onset of action.[8] In another study in 2007 5% strength gel was compared against a placebo, with statistically significant results.[9]
    Tea tree oil is also effective for treating insect bites,[10] boils and minor wounds.[11] It has also been known to help soothe sunburn,[12][13] poison ivy,[14][15] ear infections,[16] and bee stings.[17][18]
    Diluted solutions of tea tree oil are sold as remedies which claim to treat bacterial and fungal infection in pet fish.
    Toothpastes and mouthwashes containing tea tree oil are shown to be effective for a number of oral problems. Some of these include halitosis (bad breath), gum disease, and canker sores.[19][20][21]
    There is some limited research that has shown that tea tree oil may have topical anti-viral activity, especially with the Herpes virus (cold sores, chicken pox and shingles blisters, warts, etc.)[22]

    I guess i kind of answered my own question by looking on wikipedia. They also have some side effects listed:

    Tea Tree oil is used almost exclusively externally.
    Data on oral use of tea tree oil in humans in large quantities is sparse aside from several anecdotal reports of side effects following oral ingestion.[25] Symptoms may include ataxia and drowsiness.
    A small number of people experience allergic contact dermatitis as a reaction to dermal contact with tea tree oil. In an Italian study of 725 consecutive patients, patients were patch tested with undiluted, 1% and 0.1% Tea Tree Oil. For undiluted tea tree oil, nearly 6% of the patients observed positive reactions of skin irritation. Only 1 of 725 patients observed a positive reaction of skin irritation with the 1% dilution. None of the 725 patients observed adverse reactions with the 0.1% dilution.[26] Allergic reactions may be due to the various oxidation products that are formed by exposure of the oil to light and/or air.[27][28]
    External application of undiluted tea tree oil and/or at inappropriate high doses has been associated with toxicity, including death, in cats and other animals.[29][30][31]
    A disputed case study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded that "repeated topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oils probably caused prepubertal gynecomastia" (abnormal breast development) in three young boys.[32] The study involved just three individuals and found lavender to be the only common ingredient used by the boys in the study. While all three cases involved the use of products containing lavender oil as an ingredient, only one boy also used products containing tea tree oil. In all cases, the prepubertal gynecomastia reversed after several months. Use of the products containing lavender and tea tree oils were also discontinued during this time. In the same paper, results from cell culture assays indicated that both essential oils exhibit weak estrogenic and antiandrogenic properties in vitro, but no tests were conducted in vivo. Researchers also indicated that other components in these products may also have contributed to the gynecomastia, or that genetics might play a role. Researchers also noted that estrogenic or antiandrogenic activities have also been reported for some other commonly used essential oils as well as some foods such as almonds and peanuts, but cited no associated cases of prepubertal gynecomastia.[32] Others, primarily in the cosmetics industry, have cast doubt on the conclusions of the article and dismissed the study as having used "poor methodology".[33][34][35][36][37]
    If used in concentrations below 4% or particularly below 1%, tea tree oil may fail to kill bacteria and create an evolutionary pressure which may result in them becoming less sensitive to tea tree oil and even some antibiotics in vitro.[38]
    Tea tree oil may cause hearing loss when used in the ears.[39]
  7. by   sethmctenn
    I have known people who have developed contact dermatitis or even systemic sensitization to TTO. It's rare though. Tea Tree Oil is one of the few oils that is considered safe for application neat (at 100% strength)
    Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing is a good book for more info
    At home, I use a combo of TTO, red thyme, lemongrass, and lavender for most cuts, sores, infections. There is actually considerable research on essential oils for infections (zone of inhibitions studies, etc...) I've had great results. I typically keep the red thyme and lemongrass to around 2% each.
  8. by   S.Gettes
    a proven natural antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal medicine, tea tree oil is used in first aid and against many skin ailments and infections, cuts, abrasions, burns, bites and skin spots, people even use it for the treatment of acne and as a shampoo. this natural remedy is also a powerful tool to fight blackheads, lice, mites, scabies and mosquitos and is soothing and also disinfecting with the capability of penetrating into the lower layers of the skin with its anti inflammatory, disinfectant, analgesic and cicatrizant qualities. tea tree oil has a diaphoretic effect which means it promotes sweating which in turn increases the bodys own natural preventative responses when it is threated by an infection. it shows an expectorant and balsamic characteristic where it is a benefit in throat and chest infections by having a soothing and a clearing effect on the respiratory tract. it may also be used for head colds. this natural super substance can be used against
    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]gram positive bacteria: staphyloccus aureus, staphyloccus epidermidis, staphyloccus pneumoniae, staphyloccus faecalis, staphyloccus pyrogenes, staphyloccus agalactiae, propioni-bacterium acnes, betahaemolytic streptococcus.
    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]gram negative bacteria: escherichia coli, klebsiella pneumoniac, citrobactor ssp, shigella sonnei, proteus mirabilis, legionella ssp, pseudomonas aeruginosa.
    [font=verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]fungi: trichophyton mentagrophytes, trichophyton rubrum, aspergillus niger,, aspergillus flavus, candida albicans, microsporum canis, microsporum gypseum, thermoactinomycetes vulgaris.

    the melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree is found in the moist areas on the northern coast of new south wales and southern queensland, australia. tea tree oil can be found as an essential oil, vaginal suppositories and an ingredient in deodorants and other body care products. the oil is traditionally used by the australian aborigines as a local antiseptic. do not take the oil internally, if used as a gargle it is imperitive that you spit it out and rinse the mouth. ensure your oil has been stored correctly to avoid oxidation. don't eat or drink tea tree oil. if you have sensitive skin, apply only diluted tea tree oil to minimize skin reactions. tea tree oil may be toxic if ingested at higher doses. some people wonder if you can use tea tree oil on your pets. there have been reported cases of tea tree oil poisoning in pets. one incident involved a dog suffering a toxic reaction when tea tree oil was applied its fur coat to treat fleas. be cautious and consult your veterinarian before using tea tree oil on your pet. there are no studies or research to confirm the possibility of side effects during pregnancy or when breast feeding. best course of action is to consult your physician before using this oil.
  9. by   tralalaRN
    My young adult daughter had a pretty nasty toenail fungus, and her Dr. did not want her on the oral meds to treat because of side effects and lengthy time it takes to work. So. .I got out the Tea Tree oil, put it on her toe 3-4 times per week and within about 2 weeks, healthy nail tissue began to emerge. A few more apps after that, and that's all it took, the nail grew back normally and she's had no issues since.
  10. by   emilyramos
    My ex mother-in-law used an old recipe to make scalp balm. Tea tree oil, coco butter and Vaseline. People who burned their scalps with chemicals for hair straightening would buy it from her (20 years ago) No one ever reported a side effect to my knowledge.

    She purchased her TTO from a pharmacy though.
  11. by   john27
    Can you tell me how you treat toe nail fungus and how you apply as well which brand of tea tree oil you used to treat this.
    Please reply soon.

  12. by   Silverdragon102
    As per the Terms of Service of the site we can not offer medical advice.

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