The use of tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca oil and Australian tea tree oil, dates back to traditional Australian aboriginals who used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns and infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected skin. The leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia, were historically used as a substitute for tea, which is how tea tree oil got its name. It is an essential oil obtained modernly by steam distillation of the leaves. The oil contains constituents called terpenoids, compounds that have shown antiseptic and antifungal properties. The compound terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant and is thought to be responsible for most of tea tree oil’s antimicrobial activity. People use the essential oil for various applications, including athlete’s foot, dandruff, thrush, acne, lip balm, skin moisturizer, oral hygiene and as an antiseptic. It is one of the more versatile compounds given to us by Mother Nature.