Tea tree oil for dandruff
Dandruff is a very common problem in which white or yellow flakes develop on the scalp. The flakes often break away from the skin and become visible in the hair or fall onto the neck and shoulders. This can be an embarrassing problem. There are many over-the-counter products available for addressing dandruff. Those who prefer natural remedies often look not to medicated shampoos and ointments but to an essential oil known as tea tree oil. Despite its name, tea tree oil is not related to tea that you drink. Instead, it is derived from a plant that grows in swampy regions of Australia. The oil from this plant has been extracted from its leaves and used as a part of folk remedies for centuries. Now, many manufacturers of hair care products are adding tea tree oil to formulas in order to offer health benefits for the hair and scalp. Based on the chemical properties of tea tree oil and the results of some preliminary clinical trials, many researchers believe that one of the potential benefits of these products is reducing the appearance of dandruff.
Using Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff
Although dandruff can have a variety of causes, many people who develop the condition have an excessive amount of a type of yeast called malassezia on their scalps. Tea tree oil has antifungal properties, which means that it has the ability to destroy various types of fungi. Some scientists speculate that the antifungal actions of tea tree oil make it capable of reducing the amount of malassezia on the skin. This might make it effective in managing dandruff. So far, there is only a limited amount of scientific evidence to support these beliefs. In a 2002 study, 126 people with dandruff were treated either with a shampoo that contained 5 percent tea tree oil or with a placebo shampoo. At the end of the 4-week study, the people who had used the tea tree oil shampoo saw an average of a 41 percent decrease in dandruff. Those that used the placebo only saw an 11 percent decrease. While these results are promising, more research is needed to prove that tea tree oil can reduce dandruff. If you wish to use tea tree oil to address dandruff, you'll find a number of options at Walgreen that you can use, including raw essential oils, hair oils, shampoos and scalp treatments.
This summary is intended for general informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements. There is no guarantee of purity, strength, or safety of the products. As a result, effects may vary. You should read product labels. In addition, if you are taking medications, herbs, or other supplements you should consult with a qualified healthcare provider before taking a supplement as supplements may interact with other medications, herbs, and nutritional products. If you have a medical condition, including if you are pregnant or nursing, you should speak to your physician before taking a supplement. Consult a healthcare provider if you experience side effects.