Clinical Use of True Blue Organics Tea Tree Oil, Melaleuca alternifolia, in my Karamea Nursing Practice.
Working as a Registered Nurse in both Intensive Care and more recently in a community practice, I have seen many infected wounds resistant to a wide variety of antibiotics.
Treatment varied from broad-spectrum antibiotics, or to more specific antibiotics following culture of the infected organism, given orally or Intravenously depending on the severity of the infection. Over the past decade empirical studies have shown that saline is the best solution for cleansing the wound. As a nurse I have experienced feelings of powerlessness, cleaning the wounds and hoping the antibiotic will overcome the invading organism.
Personally when treating myself or family I have always been open to alternative treatments, only using antibiotics when really necessary. Also while working in a community practice if patients wish to use a poultice to draw a mildly infected wound I have be encouraging, empowering people to take more control over their health with less reliance on antibiotics. I have recently discovered the power of Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) , as an antibiotic, antiviral agent, and always have a bottle in the house.
At work recently a young man presented to the clinic with a gunshot wound to the distal phalanx of the left thumb, this was subsequently operated on and external fixators (pins) were placed through the phalange. There was a possibility of the thumb having to be amputated. The surgeon stated in his discharge letter that “if the patient does not sustain any infection, and goes onto unite he should get a good function result”. I was cleansing this wound with saline every alternate day and redressing it. Five days after surgery the patient presented to the clinic with signs of a local wound infection, some purulent discharge around the fixators and increasing swelling and redness.
I swabbed the wound and the culture returned with a large growth of leucocytes with three different organisms:
A heavy growth of Serratia marcescens
A heavy growth of Enterobacter cloacae
A heavy growth of Enterococcus (Grp D streptococcus)
While waiting for the culture to return I explained to my patient that we had two options:
- To start a broad-spectrum antibiotic straight away, while waiting for the specific anti-microbial sensitivities.
- To apply Tea Tree Oil to the fixators twice a day.
My patient was keen, went off to buy some Tea Tree, agreed that he would apply it twice a day and return the following day for re-assessment. The following day on assessing the wound the wound appeared much cleaner, was less red and the patient was feeling empowered by taking some control in the treatment.
The Anti-microbial sensitivity arrived back and the organisms were resistant to many antibiotics. The patient would have required triple antibiotic therapy to treat this infection. We monitored the patient daily, initially, and the wound continued to improve, and a following culture showed only a few leucocytes present.
The patient continued to improve and six weeks later the external fixators were removed, without requiring antibiotics.
Jenny Roumieu R.N. BN.