Tea Tree Essay

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Tea Tree
Celine Lee

The Melaleuca Alternifolia is the tree shown in picture 1. It is a type of Tea tree and has several names which include Narrow-Leaved Paperbark, Narrow-Leaved Tea-Tree, Narrow-Leaved Ti-Tree, or Snow-in-Summer, and is part of the Myrtaceae family. As some of its names suggest, it has narrow, linear leaves, which are usually 10 to 35mm long, and only 1mm wide. There are also white, spiky flowers that grow 3 to 5cm long. The tree itself grows to be about 7m tall. The Melaleuca Alternifolia is a native species from New South Whales in Australia. It is commonly found near streams and swampy flats, and is usually the dominant species in the areas where it grows. Tea trees tend to grow in places where the climate is relatively warm, around 18° to 28°C, and mild in the winter, with an annual rainfall of 2000mm.

The main product that comes out of the Melaleuca Alternifolia is tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is extracted from the twigs and leaves of the Melaleuca
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A few traditional ways tea tree oil is used are for treating bruises, canker sores, eczema, skin infections, rosacea, corn, psoriasis, melanoma, body odor, and bone or prostate infections. There are still a few more uses, which are listed in picture 3. There are also respiratory conditions that tea tree oil can help, which are colds, coughs, bronchial congestions, and nose or throat irritations. The indigenous people of Australia are believed to have been using the leaves from the Melaleuca Alternifolia as medicine for centuries already. They inhale the oil from crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds or apply them on wounds to aid the healing process. They also infuse soaked leaves for sore throats and skin infections. Nowadays, tea tree oil can even be found in the things we use in our daily lives, like soaps, creams, lotions, deodorants, disinfectants and air fresheners. Some more examples of products containing tea tree oil are shown in picture

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