In our last excursion to Longwood Gardens we noticed this shrubby bush growing in the conservatory. The marker beneath it identified the plant as Leptospermum laevigatumas, or as it is better known, Australian Tea Tree.
Essential oil from the Melaleuca alternifoliae species of tea tree, is a well-known remedy for many kinds of skin conditions, ( Always diluted with a carrier oil or products such as Witch Hazel) and also a good addition to organic cleaning recipes. Care must be taken when using tea tree oil, as with any essential oil. Mayo Clinic Tea Tree Oil Warnings
Caution: If you have cats, many essential oils can build up in their system and become toxic. Tea tree oil is one of these oils. More information on essential oils that are dangerous if you have pets can be found here:
30 Essential Oils Toxic to Pets
As with all essential oils care must be taken when using tea tree oil.
“Pure tea tree oil should not be ingested, and should be kept out of the reach of children; several cases of tea tree oil poisoning have been recorded. The oil can also cause contact dermatitis.” ~ Kew Royal Botanic Gardens
Reader’s Digest has a good article and list of some of the uses of tea tree oil: Tea Tree Oil Uses