The Properties of Tea Tree
Ord River has conducted two clinical trials in Australia demonstrating the effectiveness of Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner against Headlice and preliminary trials in the use of Tea Tree Oil Skin Wash products for combating the deadly MRSA bacteria (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) These products have not yet been approved for such uses in the UK.

The University of Western Australia is the world leader in Tea Tree Oil research. Extensive scientific literature references on the efficiency of Tea Tree Oil are available from their website Tea Tree Oil is also being used in trials against MRSA in the UK, as an extract from an article in Daily Mail shows

Good Health, Daily Mail Tuesday May 11, 2004 By Pat Hagan

"Nearly 40 per cent of us carry MRSA on our skin at any one time. If we're healthy, it's not a problem. But if we're ill and in hospital, the risks of it causing an infection is much greater. The UK has one of the highest rates in Europe. One in ten people who go into hospital in the UK pick up an infection during their stay. For the study, doctors identified 224 patients who were carrying MRSA on the skin or up their nose - a common hiding place for the bug.

Half were given five days of standard treatment with an antibiotic nasal ointment; a bug busting soap and a cream designed to kill off bacteria on the skin.

The rest were treated with a cream containing 10 per cent tea tree oil and a five per cent body wash. The cream was applied to the nostrils as well as skin lesions, wounds and ulcers, while the wash spread all over the body every day for five days.

At the end of the experiment, tests showed that 41 percent of tea tree group were free of MRSA compared to 49 percent in the standard drugs group. Although the antibiotic used- mupirocin-was better than tea tree oil at clearing nasal bugs, the oil was more effective on the skin.

The secret ingredient in tea tree oil is a chemical called Terpenen-4- ol. It is already in some soaps, shampoos and antiseptic creams and has been used for centuries by aborigines in Australia where the plant grows. Dr Steve Barrett an MRSA expert at St Thomas' Hospital London, says researchers first became interested in tea tree oil several years ago but there has been a lack of evidence that it worked well.

"If anybody came up with a preparation that got rid of MRSA it would be great, but unfortunately nobody has yet" he adds."

Copyright Absolute Aromas 2004