Have you ever wondered if tea tree oil comes from the same plant that makes the tea you drink? You might be surprised to find out that tea tree oil has nothing to do with the tea you brew in your cup!
Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, AKA. narrow-leaved paperbark; a tree or shrub native to Australia. Well-known for its medicinal use as a topical application or inhaled as a vapor, tea tree oil is actually toxic to ingest, and can be harmful in large quantities.
In contrast, the tea plant: Camellia sinensis, makes one of the most popular beverages in the world. These two plants are entirely unrelated. So is there such thing as oil that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant?
There is, in fact, an oil that comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. It’s called ‘tea seed oil,’ AKA. ‘tea oil camellia’ or ‘oil-seed Camellia.’ Tea seed oil is used for cooking, due to its high smoke point. It is also used in dressings and marinades. It is cold-pressed, with a pale, amber green color. You can find it online, at certain Asian grocery stores, and specialty shops that sell cooking oils.