Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tea Tree Oil Cautions And Toxicity

Please refer back to the introductory post about Tea Tree Oil using the following link (LINK) or see the list of topics below for all posts in this series. Previously in this series, we discussed the topic, "Uses Of Tea Tree Oil". Come back tomorrow for a discussion on "How To Make Tea Tree Oil Spray".

Tea Tree Oil Cautions And Toxicity
(according to the Mayo site)

Always use this oil with caution. It is very strong and has been known to cause rashes in some people. If you use it on your skin, always dilute it with another essential oil such as jojoba. If used to repel insects in your garden, please be sure not to spray directly on plants as it can burn them and be sure to always dilute it before spraying. This oil is toxic if ingested. Be very careful when using around domestic animals and when using as an antiseptic in your mouth.

There are many reports of allergy to tea tree oil when taken by mouth or used on the skin. Skin reactions range from mild contact dermatitis to severe blistering rashes. People with a history of allergy to tea tree oil ( Melaleuca alternifolia ), to any of its components, or to plants that are members of the myrtle (Myrtaceae) family, balsam of Peru, or benzoin, should not use tea tree oil. Use cautiously if allergic to eucalyptol as many tea tree preparations contain eucalyptol.

Tea tree oil taken by mouth has been associated with potentially severe reactions, even when used in small quantities. Several reports describe people using tea tree oil by mouth who developed severe rash, reduced immune system function, abdominal pain, diarrhea, lethargy, drowsiness, inflammation of the corners of the mouth, slow or uneven walking, confusion, or coma. There have also been reports of nausea, unpleasant taste, burning sensation, and bad breath associated with tea tree oil use. Many tea tree preparations contain large volumes of alcohol.

When used on the skin, tea tree oil may cause allergic rash, redness, blistering, and itching. This may be particularly severe in people with pre-existing skin conditions such as eczema. Use of tea tree oil inside of the mouth or eyes can cause irritation. Animal research suggests that tea tree oil used on the skin in large quantities can cause serious reactions such as difficulty walking, weakness, muscle tremor, slowing of brain function, and poor coordination. When applied in the ears of animals, 100% tea tree oil has caused reduced hearing, although a 2% solution has not led to lasting changes in hearing. The effect of tea tree oil on hearing when used in the ears of humans is not known.

Not enough scientific information is available to recommend tea tree oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Animal studies suggest caution in the use of tea tree oil during childbirth because tea tree oil has been reported to decrease the force of spontaneous contractions, which theoretically could put the baby and mother at risk. Women who are breastfeeding should not apply tea tree oil to the breast or nipple since it may be absorbed by the infant.

List Of Topics
7/14/11 - Introduction to Tea Tree Oil Series
7/15/11 - Uses Of Tea Tree Oil
7/16/11 - Tea Tree Oil Cautions and Toxicity
7/17/11 - How To Make Tea Tree Oil Spray
7/18/11 - Where To Buy Tea Tree Oil

Sources Of Information:
1) - Tea Tree Oil For Bug Repellent & Everything Else
2) Mayo Clinic - Tea Tree Oil
3) Mayo Clinic - Sources and References
4) Natural - Tea Tree Oil Spray
5) Ananda Apothecary - Essential Oil Supplier
6) Clean House, Clean Planet (Book by Karen Logan)

Disclaimer: Since I am not a licensed medical physician, please consult any necessary medical personnel before applying any of the information you read on this blog. The information presented here is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your medical health care provider before making any health care or medical decisions.

Blog Post & Images (c) 7/8/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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1 comment:

  1. I did not realize tea tree oil was so "toxic". I put some on my skin around my toenails which have the fungus thinking that would help stop the fungus. Instead, my toes broke out with a rash of miniscule water blisters. and causing some more than a little mild discomfort. The blisters were caused to drain soaking my socks.

    Question: How do I relieve this condition which seems to be slowly easing? How about soaking in epsom salts? Or maybe not.