Tea tree oil is a powerful disinfectant and useful herbal remedy. Extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a native tree of New South Wales, it is a clear liquid, strongly aromatic, with an odor similar to that of eucalyptus. Tea tree oil is a good treatment for fungal infections of the skin (athlete's foot, ringworm, jock itch), toenails or fingernails - conditions notoriously resistant to treatment, even by strong systemic antibiotics. Just paint the oil on affected areas two or three times a day. You can also apply it full strength to boils and other localized infections. A ten percent solution (about one and a half tablespoons to a cup of warm water) can be used as a mouthwash and on skin to rinse and clean infected wounds. This dilution can also be used as an effective vaginal douche for treatment of both yeast and Trichomonas infections (although some women may find it irritating). Tea tree oil is nontoxic and available in most health-food and herb stores - choose products that are 100 percent pure tea tree oil.
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