Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Tea tree oil

In high school, I would use straight, undiluted tea tree oil to treat cankersores. Just dipped a swab in the bottle and paint it on, and it would immediately numb them. I don't know if it actually helped cure the cankersores -- tea tree oil is antimicrobial, so it may have fought the infection, but it also can irritate mucous membranes, so in that way it may have prolonged them.

What is tea tree oil? It's the volatile oil from the leaves of the Australian tea tree, used in both traditional and modern medicine as a disinfectant, and it smells really good.

I no longer use tea tree oil for cankersores because (1) when applied to mucous membranes, it's kind of like setting off a nuclear bomb to get rid of a fly in the kitchen and (2) I don't get that many cankersores anymore. However, I find it very useful for other things. Now, I hate to have a link to Dr. Weil on my blog, but I ran across this question-and-answer and it is really quite useful, both comprehensive and brief. Unlike my ramblings. Visit it if you want to know more about tea tree oil's many uses.

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