Tea Tree Oil - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-18-2002, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've heard some scary things about tea tree oil, and I'm wondering what you all know... A neighbor of mine got a tiny bit of a facial astringent containing tea tree oil in her eye and wound up in the emergency room, then wore an eye patch for a week. Her doctor told her it was a very bad idea to put anything with tea tree oil anywhere on her face. Another friend says that they use the active ingredient in tea tree oil in his lab, and it's got worse warnings and cautions statements on it than bleach.

Anyone know about this? Just how "non-toxic" is tea tree oil?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 of 8 Old 05-18-2002, 02:35 PM
 
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Hmmm.

I would wonder if it is something else in the astringent, maybe alcohol that caused her the problem.

I have gotten it in my eye, from it being on my fingers, and it didn't feel wonderful, but it really didn't warant going to the hospital. It went away with in ten minutes. That was the pure oil and it would be in much stronger portion (100%) than in a cleanser.

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#3 of 8 Old 05-21-2002, 03:52 AM
 
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I use a face wash with tea tree oil, and have gotten it in my eyes. I agree that it's no picnic, and I certainly wouldn't recommend it, but I lived to see another day. (pun intended)

Use it carefully.
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#4 of 8 Old 05-21-2002, 04:22 AM
 
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tea tree oil non-toxic??:

my very allergic ds is very sensitive to it, any moisturiser or insect repellant etc with tea tree in it gives him a very uncomfortable rash

treat any essential oil with caution
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#5 of 8 Old 05-23-2002, 05:52 PM
 
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Just because things are natural does not mean they are safe for everyday use. Tea tree oil sure does make my dd's diapers smell better though!

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#6 of 8 Old 05-26-2002, 09:36 PM
 
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Any essential oil should never be used straight. They are meant to be diluted. Tea tree oil is a very effective and usually safe antiseptic. Because it causes allergies in some people does not make it bad for everyone. It can be very beneficial to some, as well. As with any essential oil, it should be used with caution. Never put straight on the skin, but diluted, and it is not meant to be put in the eyes. Just be careful with it. That's all.

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#7 of 8 Old 06-02-2002, 05:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all of your replies!

I finally took the time today to try to answer some of my questions online, and thought some of you might appreciate a little report.

From what I can gather, tea tree oil IS toxic, if ingested. (I know I'm nitpicking here , and I apologize , but it says "natural and non-toxic living" in the description for this board, and tea tree oil is certainly natural, but it is also toxic. Not as safe as vinegar, for example.) So don't ingest it. It is pretty safe for skin, although some people are sensitive/allergic. It should be diluted (1/10 is a good ratio, although 1/2 is also considered pretty safe). It can be very toxic for pets (I didn't read all of the pet info, but it is out there). I'm posting some urls below.

This one looks pretty thorough and useful, the FAQ section answered some of my questions...
http://www.meddent.uwa.edu.au/TeaTree/default.htm#Home

This one is scary, and probably overstating the dangers associated with tea tree oil, but certainly got me thinking about it...
http://www.exoticbird.com/gillian/teatree.html

Here is another more balanced report...
http://www.geocities.com/chadrx/teatree.html

And another, with all the specific uses...
http://thursdayplantation.com/tea_tree/research.html

There is more out there, but I ran out of patience.

Happy cleaning...
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#8 of 8 Old 06-06-2002, 01:22 PM
 
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edited because it is against the user rules at mothering to post quotes from other people/sources. Feel free to paraphrase in your own words, though
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Sounds great huh?! I think anything used incorrectly could be a little dangerous. I've never had a bad reaction to Tea Tree Oil and all my cleaning products contain it. It does kill every bacteria known to man.
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