Tea Tree Oil (TTO), is an essential oil taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia. Appears slight yellow liquid with a fresh, camphor-like odor character.
TTO is widely used in cosmetics and skin washes, also treating a wide variety of medical conditions. It shows some promise as an antimicrobial. Tea tree oil may be effective in a variety of dermatologic conditions including dandruff, acne, lice, herpes, and other skin infections.
TTO contains over 98 compounds, has six chemotypes, which are oils with different chemical compositions. These include a terpinen-4-ol chemotype, a terpinolene chemotype, and four 1,8-cineole chemotypes.
- Terpinen-4-ol is the major TTO component responsible for antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties
- A second component 1,8-cineole, is likely responsible for most allergies in TTO products. Adverse reactions to TTO diminish with minimization of 1,8-cineole content.
In commercial production, TTO is prepared as a terpinen-4-ol chemotype.