how does tea tree oil work to kill bacteria?

August 28th, 2013 by Emily
oral thrush information
by Blue Mountains Local Studies

Question: how does tea tree oil work to kill bacteria?
i know that the active ingredient (the antiseptic ingredient) is terpin-4-ol, however i don’t know what it does to bacteria to kill them, could you PLEASe help me! thanks!
i know that it is an antiseptic… i am asking how it KILLS bacteria eg. does it inhibit their growth and therefore kills them?

Best answer:

Answer by :]
What is tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil can kill bacteria and fungi. It comes from the evergreen leaves of the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Tea tree oil has been used in surgery, burn care, and dental care.

Numerous tea tree oil body care products are available, including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, lip balm, topical (used on the skin) cream, and essential oil.

What is tea tree oil used for?
People usually use tea tree oil to treat minor cuts, burns, acne, athlete’s foot, mild fungal nab infections, vaginal yeast infections, and lung problems (when they add the oil to a bath or vaporizer).1 Even Though there is tiny research on tea tree oil, some studies recommend that it is innocuous and often effective for the prevention and treatment of infections.2

Is tea tree oil safe?
Experts think about tea tree oil to be innocuous as a topical treatment, and you can apply it directly to the skin on a regularly basis. When applied to the skin in its pure (100% oil) form, tea tree oil seldom causes irritation. However, some people develop an allergic rash (contact dermatitis). If you are concerned that you might develop a rash, try the oil first on a small area of skin. You can also dilute tea tree oil with vegetable, olive, or almond oil.

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2 Comments on “how does tea tree oil work to kill bacteria?”

  1. centretek666 says:

    It is a natural antiseptic and so is unprocessed honey.

  2. james b says:

    I got this information from the website of the Powerhouse Museum of Sydney Australia, and related information on the various uses of tea tree oil from the teatreewonders.com website.

    “Before registering a health-care antiseptic, the Food and Drug Administration of the USA requires a list of all the organisms that are killed by the antiseptic. Riley’s team designed experiments to test the susceptibility of organisms to tea tree oil. They aimed to identify the minimum concentrations of oil that would inhibit growth or kill particular micro-organisms. They tested many micro-organisms including:

    * Escherichia coli, which causes gastroenteritis
    * Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a penicillin-resistant bacterium that infects wounds, burns, and the urinary and respiratory tracts
    * Methicillin-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (Golden staph), a major cause of hospital-acquired infections
    * Streptococcus and Staphylococcus species, which cause skin infections including impetigo
    * Propionibacterium acnes, which plays a role in acne
    * Candida albicans, a fungus that causes thrush infections.

    The team grew the organisms in several warm broths containing varying concentrations of tea tree oil for 24 hours. They found that the growth of most of the organisms was inhibited at an oil concentration of 0.25%v/v (volume/volume, ie 0.25ml of tea tree oil added to 99.75ml of broth). Most of the organisms died at 0.50% while an oil concentration of 3.0% was needed to kill the penicillin-resistant bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa. All of these findings have been published in international journals. ”

    Tea tree oil is finding effective uses for eczema, MSRA, staph, acne, gingivitis, oral and dental mouth sores, cold sores, warts, STD warts, household disinfectants, and for it’s solvent capabilities.

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