If you’ve ever had a fungal infection, you’ve probably heard of tea tree oil and its antifungal properties. But does this essential oil really work? Is tea tree oil just a fad or can all the tea tree oil enthusiasts back up their claims with scientific evidence? Can tea tree oil help you fight fungal infections?
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Native to Australia and originally discovered by the Aborigines, the tea tree oil tree grows in Queensland and New South Wales. Using steam distillation, many companies produce tea tree oil for its therapeutic properties.
Tea tree oil is only suitable for external use; however, unlike many essential oils, you can put it directly on the skin.
What Do Scientists Say About Tea Tree Oil?
Before looking at the body of research on tea tree oil, we need to point out that even medical professionals propose using it for a variety of conditions, suggesting that it may help. Included here are:
- Fungal infections
- Vaginal infections
- Lice, scabies
- Athlete’s foot and ringworm
- Ear infections and sore throat
In a comprehensive 2006 study, researchers tested the anecdotal benefits of tea tree oil. They concluded that tea tree oil has antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal properties, confirming the anecdotal suggestions. However, they also pointed out that further research is required to establish the benefits fully.
Can Tea Tree Oil Help You Fight Fungal Infections?
So, if you’re still asking can tea tree oil help you fight fungal infections, the answers is “yes.” Although, just how effective it is, remains unclear. Nevertheless, tea tree oil is a popular treatment for the following fungal infections:
- Ringworm/athlete’s foot
As tea tree oil is toxic, consult an expert before using it. Never take it internally and use sparingly on the surface of the skin. If you’re thinking about using it for a fungal infection, consult a qualified natural health practitioner and double-check with your physician.