Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is an important essential oil in the field of aromatherapy, despite being a relative newcomer; a universal and easy-to-use oil. Tea tree essential oil is steam distilled from a small tree or large woody shrub, Melaleuca alternifolia, which is in the same botanical family as Eucalyptus.
Tea tree essential oil has a piercing, medical scent that is strong, but not generally overwhelming. Tea tree oil can be a gentle method of controlling skin irritations and infections such as cold sores, athlete's foot, yeast infections, acne problems, insect bites and minor cuts, scrapes or scratches. Tea tree oil is not generally used for specific mental effects the way rosemary or lavender essential oils are used, but the oil has a generally medicinal scent and stimulating effect.