Tea Tree Oil
Title: Tea Tree Oil
CAS Registry Number: 68647-73-4
Additional Names: Melaleuca oil; tea tree (melaleuca alternafolia) oil
Literature References: Native Australian medicinal oil obtained from the leaves and terminal branchlets of the tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia Myrtaceae. A complex mixture of hydrocarbons and terpenes of ~100 components; the two standardized components for commercial use are 1,6-cineole (max of 15%) and the 1-terpinen-4-ol (min of 30%). Description: A. R. Penfold, J. Proc. R. Soc. N.S.W. 59, 306 (1925). Analysis and composition: J. J. Brophy et al., J. Agric. Food Chem. 37, 1330 (1989). Toxicity study: D. Villar et al., Vet. Hum. Toxicol. 36, 139 (1994). Antimicrobial activity: C. F. Carson, T. V. Riley, J. Appl. Bacteriol. 78, 264 (1995); and mode of action: S. D. Cox et al., ibid. 88, 170 (2000). Antifungal activity: K. A. Hammer et al., Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 44, 467 (2000). Clinical evaluation in oral candidiasis in AIDS patients: A. Jandourek et al., AIDS 12, 1033 (1998). Review of early work: A. R. Penfold, F. R. Morrison, "Tea Tree Oils" in The Essential Oils 4, E. Guenther, Ed. (Van Nostrand Co., New York, 1950) pp 526-548. Review: J. A. Staton, Proc. 3rd. Sci. Conf. Asian Soc. Cosmet. Sci. Taipei, 18-24 (1997). Review of clinical trials: E. Ernst, A. Huntley, Forsch. Komplementärmed. 7, 17-20 (2000); of antimicrobial properties and clinical potential: L. Halcón, K. Milkus, Am. J. Infect. Control 32, 402-408 (2004).
Properties: Colorless to pale-yellow, clear, mobile liquid with fresh terpene type odor with nutmeg associations and possibly with citrus or floral undertones. nD20 1.4760-1.4810. [a]D +6°48¢ to +9°48¢. d1515 0.8950-0.9050. Soly in 80% alcohol (w/w): 0.6 to 0.8 volumes. LD50 orally in rats: 1.9-2.6 ml/kg; dermally in rabbits: 5.0 g/kg (Halcón).
Optical Rotation: [a]D +6°48¢ to +9°48¢
Index of refraction: nD20 1.4760-1.4810
Density: d1515 0.8950-0.9050
Toxicity data: LD50 orally in rats: 1.9-2.6 ml/kg; dermally in rabbits: 5.0 g/kg (Halcón)
Use: Flavoring and antiseptic agent in personal hygiene items such as toothpaste; as a cosmeceutical.

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