While Tea Tree Hydrosol is not one of the hydrosols I use on a regular basis, I do appreciate its many gifts. Interestingly, I have never personally particularly liked the smell of either the essential oil or the hydrosol, so I will often turn to one of the other aromatics in my kit before using Tea Tree. On the other hand, I have come across quite a lot of people who really like the smell. Whatever memories are attached to their experience of the aroma, they also come to the forefront and reinforce their positive experience with both the hydrosol and the oil. I do however like to include tea tree (both the oil and the hydrosol) in disinfectant type applications. These include cleaning cuts and scrapes, as well as cleaning bathroom and kitchen counters. I will also use it in acne skin care blends, particularly for teens. I have an article on Tea Tree if you want to read more about the essential oil.
Plant Description: Tea Tree is a small tree, growing between 5 – 7 meters high. It has narrow, soft, alternate leaves and yellowish flowers in the shape of bottlebrushes. Its native habitat is restricted to the swamps and watercourses of the subtropical region of New South Wales in Australia. It is also successfully cultivated in other locations such as Zimbabwe, Kenya, Vietnam, India, Guatemala, and China.
History/Folklore: Melaleuca alternifolia is one of more than 30 species of ‘paperbark’ trees that flourish in Australia. The name ‘Melaleuca’ comes from the Greek ‘melas’ meaning black and ‘leukos’ meaning white. This refers to the contrast between the dark-green foliage, which appears black and the loose, paper-thin, and very white bark. The Bundjalung aborigines of Australia have applied poultices of tea tree leaves to cuts, wounds, and skin infections for centuries. They also used the crushed leaves to treat respiratory problems.
Aroma and Taste: Suzanne Catty describes this as smelling like disinfectant. It has a medicinal, sharp, acrid aroma and taste. So perhaps not one you would want to use for its aroma or taste, but invaluable for healing and clearing skin conditions.
Stability and Shelf Life: Fairly Stable at fourteen to sixteen months or better.
pH: 3.9 – 4.3
Tea Tree hydrosol has anti-infectious, antifungal, antiviral, bactericidal, decongestant and stimulating properties.
Suzanne Catty recommends using undiluted tea tree hydrosol topically to cleanse cuts, scrapes, and wounds of all kinds. For those with children, she suggests combining it with lavender hydrosol and having it on hand ready for action. Add it to a gargle or mouthwash for a sore throat or cough. It us also an excellent toner for those with acne, particularly teens.
I personally find that by their very nature, hydrosols are particularly helpful when used energetically. I like to include them in misters and sprays and find that they can make a subtle and effective difference.
In Dr. Berkowsky’s Spiritual PhytoEssencing, Tea Tee has the Theme of Invasive Influences, both physical and emotional. It also has a Theme of Defense. When making up an energetic spritzer or mister for someone who is experiencing any kind of invasive influences consider adding Tea Tree Hydrosol. It can be very helpful in setting up a defense against these unwanted influences.
Reference Berkowsky’s Synthesis Materia Medica/Spiritualis of Essential Oils ©1998-2018 Joseph Ben Hil-Meyer Research, Inc. Suzanne Catty, Hydrosols, The Next Aromatherapy, Healing Arts Press, 2001 Ernst Guenther, The Essential Oil, Vol V, 1948 reprinted 1972 Beverley Hawkins, Essential Oils and Carriers, Aromatherapy 101, Aromatherapy 201, Aromatherapy 301, 1999-2018