For centuries, Australian aborigines have applied tea tree oil from crushed leaves to heal cuts, burns, and bites. Studies show that thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil heals and shrinks wounds when applied topically. A nearly 100-year-old study in the British Medical Journal found tea tree oil was non-caustic to the skin while still proving 11 times more effective than carbolic acid for killing bacteria. The oil can help soothe insect bites and sunburns, as well.
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