Melaleuca Oil Research Report

Tea Tree Oil and Insect BitesMelaleuca’s T36-C5® - Melaleuca Oil and Insect Bites

Researched and Written by Karen MacKenzie

The summer months are heralded by the arrival of the usual stinging and biting pests. Thank goodness for tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil. Renowned for its antifungal and antiseptic qualities, not many people appreciate that melaleuca oil also speeds up healing and has a mild analgesic effect that reduces pain and inflammation associated with irritating insect bites. I find it especially good for flea bites. I have several pets and during the summer months it is inevitable that they get bitten.

Treating Insect stings with Tea Tree Oil – Melaleuca’s T36-C5

The Rural Industry Research and Development Corporation in Australia has commissioned many tea tree trials. Anti-inflammitory Activity of Tea Tree Oil (.PDF) states that tea tree oil is effective for chronic inflammatory responses. Insect bites and stings produce a similar response on the skin, which is why they quickly become painful and itchy. This report is interesting because it details the fact that it is important to use a melaleuca oil with a high Terpinen-4-ol content, the main active component against inflammation.

In this abstract from Blackwell-Synergy, which was published in the British Journal of Dermatology, it acknowledges that melaleuca oil can alleviate allergic responses, like the itchy reaction suffered after a sting or a bite. Abstract: Tea tree oil reduces histamine-induced skin inflammation.

Dr. Weil in his response: Can't Escape Chiggers? says that tea tree oil should be applied to combat the itching.

This abstract published in the Archives of Dermatology shows that melaleuca oil can get rid of the itch mite, that nasty creature that causes scabies and is related to the house dust mite. Abstract: Acaricidal activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil: in vitro sensitivity of sarcoptes scabiei var hominis to terpinen-4-ol.

Chemical Insect Repellents vs. Melaleuca’s T36-C5

The following abstracts and articles show that using a chemical insect repellent can have some very nasty side effects:

Researchers found some disturbing results when reviewing all the implications of using chemical insect repellents. Abstract: Insect repellent (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) cardiovascular toxicity in an adult.

Insect repellents can maim and even cause death when ingested. Journal of the American Medical Association abstract: Severe toxic reactions and death following the ingestion of diethyltoluamide-containing insect repellents.

A 5 year old boy suffered convulsions and seizure after topical application of chemical insect repellent. Abstract: Seizure following brief exposure to the insect repellent N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide.

This case analysis published in the Human & Experimental Toxicology Journal suggests that DEET containing products should not be used on children's skin.
Abstract: Toxic encephalopathy associated with use of DEET insect repellents: a case analysis of its toxicity in children.

This article confirms that household bug sprays can be nastier than the bugs! DEET and Permethrin at the Maryland Pesticide Network.

Recommended Insect Repellents from the "Melaleuca Wellness Guide" – Melaleuca’s T36-C5
Insect Repellent

These are great alternatives to those awful toxic and poisonous insect repellents that you buy at the store. Melaleuca products are not pesticides and therefore will not stop the varmints from landing on you, but they will greatly reduce the incidence of bites and the reactions that accompany them. They also do not make you feel like you need to take a shower after you use them. Frequent use enhances their effectiveness and your skin will be healthier because of it. It is also important to note that different body types respond differently to the different formulas. Some even say that just taking Melaleuca vitamins has stopped mosquito bites. So, do not be afraid to experiment, find your own solution, and pass it on.

It is, however, important that you make the time to find your personal solution, as the danger of insect bites is often underestimated. Around the world, someone dies every 30 seconds because of an insect bite.

Suggestions:
For humans, mix 1 teaspoon of Moisturizing Hand Creme and 5 drops of T36-C5 ® and apply to any exposed skin.

Another very effective insect repellent is to mix 1/4 cup of MelaMagic ®, 1/4 cup of Tough & Tender ®, 2 capfuls of Sol-U-Mel ®, and 5 drops of T36-C5 ®. This has been used effectively in the rainforest, so it should work well for most of us.

An alternate solution would be to combine 2 ounces of Renew Bath Oil with 2 ounces of Sol-U-Mel ®, 1 ounce of Tough & Tender ® and 20 drops of T36-C5 ®.

You might also try mixing 2 capfuls of Sol-U-Mel ® with 10 to 15 drops of T36-C5 ® in 16 ounces of water in a spray bottle. PreSpot Plus ™ makes another great repellent lotion.

Comments From Your Researcher
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July 2004

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