Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is a very beneficial EO that I seem to have gotten away from using! Long before I started actively studying essential oils, tea tree EO was my go to oil as it seems to fix just about everything. Tea tree belong to the botanical family Myrtaceae, the same family as Eucalyptus. The EO is distilled from the leaves of the plant, native to Australia and New Zealand.
Tea tree EO is not something I use in facial skin care, though success has be reported with using it to treat acne. A very antiseptic EO, it does have a strong smell. And there are lots of other EOs that will help the skin with a more pleasant scent! It is good for helping to treat nail fungus and athletes foot.
For me this was something I used often when taking care of small cuts (like paper cuts when I was doing corporate admin work) or to help ward off colds in the winter. Tea tree is antibacterial and antiviral so works well at keeping germs at bay. Just a whiff of it can help open up congested air passages and, in the winter, I often put a drop on my coat collar as I walk out the door to walk through the cold and then get on a crowded, germ-filled subway. I am looking at some inhalers for the fall/winter season and will most likely be incorporating a bit of tea tree into at least one recipe.
Tea tree EO should never be taken internally and should be kept out of reach from children (as should all undiluted EOs).