Origin and antimicrobial properties of tea tree Oil essay

Originand antimicrobial properties of tea tree Oil

Originand Antimicrobial Properties of Tea tree Oil

Thename tea tree is used in reference to several plants particularly,those in Australia and New Zealand that fall into the family ofMyrtaceae, which has a close relation to myrtle. The name must havebeen as a result of Captain James Cook’s explanation of the shrubsthat he could infuse and drink instead of tea. However, the firstcommercial production of the oil was in the 1920`s (Carson, 2015).During the period, an Australian (Arthur Penfold) carried outresearch on several oils that could be extracted and purified hence,leading to potential business. One of the oils that he foundpromising was the tea tree oil plant. The tree oil was, therefore,first obtained from Melaleucaalternifolia plantin Australia the tree has remained the most useful type in thecommercial sector up to today. Other species of the same family havebeen found in Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the UnitedStates of America. Having discussed the tea tree’s background, thesubsequent discussion will concentrate will focus on itsanti-microbial properties.

Antimicrobialproperties of tea tree oil

Theprevalence of micro-organisms in and around us is ubiquitous theyattack individuals from birth, and live in almost every sphere, wherehuman being survives. They are in our bodies, livestock, food, andeven in the air. Generally, the bacteria reproduce by binary fusionto form colonies. There have been many experiments to curb the spreadof harmful bacteria and also to inhibit their division.

Teatree oil has been found to have the antimicrobial properties. It hasmedicinal value as an antiseptic it can deal with both fungal andbacterial infections (Carson, 2015). Traditional natives of Australiahave from the past used it to cure coughs, sore throats, and skindiseases (Carson, 2015).

Extractedby steam distillation from leaves and twigs, the 1.8 chemicalpercentages is credited to terpinen-4-ol. Clinical experiments werecarried out in 1990 to examine tea tree oil’s efficiency in thecurbing of acnes (Morgan, 2011). The obtained results sparkedinterest among people. Several trials also portrayed the ability ofthe tea tree oil to be used as a cleaning detergent, which isecologically friendly with no effects to the environment.

Studieshave shown that the oil can prevent cell respiration in E.coliby destroying the permeability wall of the micro-organisms thus,leading to the death of the cells. In an experiment to verify theeffectiveness of the oil in comparison to other antibacterial, it washypothesized that tea tree oil will have the least effects comparedto other antibacterial, like Quad 10. The expected results were thatquad 10 would have the clearest outcome when compared to the tea treeoil. The method used was the bacteria lawn, where a sample of eachantimicrobial was placed on an agar plate. In the experiment, anysample that failed to form a region of inhibition was considered asnull. The results depicted the ability of tea tree oil to form aninhibition around all forms of bacteria apart from Sarcinaluteus.


Inconclusion, it is necessary for researchers to venture and researchon the oil to curb the adverse environmental and health effects posedby antimicrobials like quad 10 and Listerine. The use of tea tree oilwill not only be effective, but also eco-friendly.


Carson,C. (2015). “Antimicrobial activity of the major components of theessential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia”.Journal of applied bacteriology,78(3),264-269.

Morgan,J. (2011). InvestigatingBiology Laboratory Manual, 6th ed.San Francisco, CA: Pearson Benjamin Cummings Publishers.