Nat­u­ral so­lu­tion for skin in­fec­tions

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Body, Mind & Soul - Wellness - Many tea tree oil prod­ucts are listed as an­ti­sep­tics by Aus­tralia’s Ther­a­peu­tic Goods Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

TEA tree oil has a long his­tory of use for medic­i­nal pur­poses. It was iden­ti­fied as an an­ti­sep­tic by the New South Wales chief chemist in the 1920s.

Many tea tree oil prod­ucts are listed as an­ti­sep­tics by Aus­tralia’s Ther­a­peu­tic Goods Ad­min­is­tra­tion but the oil has yet to be reg­is­tered as a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal. Con­sid­er­able re­search – much of it by the Tea Tree Oil Re­search Group at The Univer­sity of Western Aus­tralia – has re­vealed tea tree oil to be ef­fec­tive as an an­ti­fun­gal and anti-in­flam­ma­tory aid.

The Ru­ral In­dus­tries Re­search and De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion has funded the bulk of this re­search.


Fungi are sig­nif­i­cant hu­man pathogens, caus­ing com­mon su­per­fi­cial in­fec­tions such as tinea and vagi­nal thrush.

A study con­ducted in 2002 found that tea tree oil can in­hibit and kill yeasts, der­mato­phytes (which cause su­per­fi­cial nail and skin in­fec­tions) and other fil­a­men­tous fungi.

It is par­tic­u­larly ef­fec­tive against vagi­nal thrush or Can­dida al­bi­cans.

The au­thors of the study con­cluded that in­fec­tions or con­di­tions as­so­ci­ated with fungi – in­clud­ing oral or vagi­nal can­didi­a­sis, tinea and ring­worm and dan­druff and se­b­or­rhoeic der­mati­tis – may be treated with top­i­cal tea tree oil.

Anti-in­flam­ma­tory po­ten­tial The abil­ity of tea tree oil to re­duce two types of hu­man skin in­flam­ma­tion was stud­ied by re­searchers at Flin­ders Univer­sity in South Aus­tralia.

The first type of in­flam­ma­tion tested was re­lated to “im­me­di­ate” hy­per­sen­si­tiv­ity re­sponses in skin, in­clud­ing hives and bee stings.

The Flin­ders Univer­sity study showed that ap­ply­ing 100% tea tree oil sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced skin in­flam­ma­tion in a group of vol­un­teers in­jected with the ir­ri­tant his­tamine.

The sec­ond type of in­flam­ma­tion re­ac­tion tested was con­tact hy­per­sen­si­tiv­ity such as sen­si­tiv­ity to nickel, par­tic­u­larly women who wear jew­ellery that con­tains nickel.

A clin­i­cal trial found that ap­ply­ing 100% tea tree oil to nickel-in­duced rashes re­duced in­flam­ma­tion in some pa­tients.

Treat­ing acne

The an­tibac­te­rial and an­ti­fun­gal prop­er­ties of tea tree oil prompted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of its ef­fec­tive­ness in treat­ing acne.

A clin­i­cal trial in­volv­ing 124 teenage pa­tients eval­u­ated the ef­fec­tive­ness of 5% tea tree oil gel in treat­ing mild to mod­er­ate acne when com­pared with 5% ben­zoyl per­ox­ide lo­tion (a com­monly used top­i­cal anti-acne treat­ment).

The re­sults showed that both 5% tea tree oil gel and 5% ben­zoyl per­ox­ide lo­tion had a sig­nif­i­cant ef­fect in ame­lio­rat­ing the pa­tient’s acne.

En­cour­ag­ingly, fewer side ef­fects – such as skin dry­ness, itch­ing, sting­ing, burn­ing and red­ness – were ex­pe­ri­enced by pa­tients treated with tea tree oil.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by Asia Health­care Sdn Bhd.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.thurs­day­plan­ta­

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