Tea tree isn't the tea that we drink, but a relative of myrtle, native to Australia. It's a shrubby, small tree with willowy stems and leaves, tea tree's thin-skinned, peeling trunk is responsible for another of it's names "paperbark". While it's historical use as a protecting herbal tea has caused it to be dubbed "fever tree". The leaves of tea tree contain a potent essential oil that has a spicy, nutmeg and eucalyptus like aroma.
Two additional "tea tree" myrtle relatives from Australia include: lemon (Leptospermum petersonii) and lavender (Melaleuca ericifolia) tea trees. Lemon tea tree has a lemon/lemongrass-like scent and is a good addition to body cleansers and home care products. While lavender tea tree has a sweet, woody-floral aroma and gentle action which is a great addition to body care, home care and bath products.
What are the benefits of tea tree essential oil?
Tea tree's strong, bracing aroma points to the cleansing, purifying and protecting benefits of the oil. The active constituent unique to tea tree is terpinene-4-ol whose effects and benefits have been widely studied and documented. The versatility of tea tree has resulted in the oil making it's way into all manner of body care applications including shampoo, soaps, balms and salves.
Why is tea tree essential oil so popular?
Because it's so unique and because the Australian tea tree industry has done an incredible job promoting the research to establish the many benefits of tea tree. The proven effectiveness of tea tree has garnered worldwide attention and fostered a continually expanding popularity of the valuable oil. Because the industry is so developed in Australia, tea tree oil is sustainably produced, widely available and affordable.