When Chrissy from Rock Tree Sky reached out to me about hosting a distillation workshop for the teenagers who attend, I immediately said yes! Sharing the art and alchemy of distillations is one of our most enjoyable tasks here at GARA and to share it with the young ones, what a treat! I asked her what they might be interested in distilling and in a few days time, they got back to me with a proposal.
Rock Tree Sky is not your average after school program or homeschool. It is a bustling community of all ages coming together on a daily basis to learn and teach each other. I've been fortunate enough to attend some of their workshops and am happy to support their endeavors in any way possible. Chrissy got back to me and asked if we had ever tried tea tree. She mentioned they had planted a tree a few years ago on the school grounds and the kids were curious to try it. Unfortunately, the tree wasn't big enough for us to feel comfortable harvesting so we asked our dear friend Carol if we could harvest from her tree in her Earth Island Herb garden. It's about 9 years old and full as can be. She said yes!
We have been nurturing a small tree for the past few years and I have been eagerly waiting for it to produce enough foliage for us to harvest so you might guess, I was very excited to try this hydrosol. The essential oil is world renowned for its healing properties and I was right about the hydrosol, its power seems endless.
The scent of the hydrosol is quite similar to that of the tea tree essential oil. It's acrid, sharp and medicinal. There are fleeting notes of citrus, mint and eucalyptus but the hydrosol is a pretty true reflection of the classic melaleuca scent. The aroma is potent and the taste is slightly bitter.
Tea tree hydrosol has a myriad of uses and applications. Known for its antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal properties, tea tree is a great hydrosol to use for wound care. It is naturally cleansing, making it a perfect choice for acne prone skin. The hydrosol can be used as a soothing spray for insect bites, mild burns or other skin irritations. Tea tree is a powerful lymphatic tonic, great for use before or after lymphatic drainage.
The tea tree hydrosol is a perfect travel companion!
It can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle for sore throat, bad breath, coughs, gingivitis and sinus congestion. The plant itself is mucolytic and expectorant, great for soothing chest congestion or seasonal allergy symptoms. The hydrosol can be taken internally in moderation for improved digestion or parasite cleansing. When experimenting with hydrosols internally, it is important to dilute before ingestion.
The scent of this hydrosol is a unique one, but its benefits are many. Unlike the essential oil, the tea tree hydrosol is much more gentle and naturally diluted making it an excellent hydrosol for your family medicine cabinet or to use on the daily. I am in awe of this tree and its hydrosol. I find it so interesting that the teenagers chose THIS tree to distill, the one they might need most as they transition into adulthood!