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"Terpinen-4-ol is used in multiple skin related diseases including blepharitis, rosacea, Demodex, meibomian gland dysfunction, chalazion and dry eye., as well as lid margin diseases. The compound exhibits miticidal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antifungal effects. Terpinen-4-ol is the main component of tea tree oil,[2] which is steam-distilled from the leaves of the Australian native plant Melaleuca alternifolia. Because of its beneficial effects, the oil has long been used by the Aborigines for wounds and minor skin infections."

"Using a reported in vitro killing assay to measure the survival time of adult Demodex folliculorum up to 150 minutes, we have screened serial concentrations of 13 of the 15 known ingredients of TTO [Tea Tree Oil] (ISO4730:2004) that were soluble in mineral oil and examined their synergistic relationships in killing mites. The most potent ingredient was then tested for its efficacy in killing Demodex in vivo.


All ingredients exhibited a dose-dependent killing effect. Besides Terpinen-4-ol, the order of relative potency did not correlate with the order of relative abundance in TTO for the remaining 12 ingredients. Terpinen-4-ol was the most potent ingredient followed by α-Terpineol, 1,8-Cineole and Sabinene. Terpinen-4-ol, the most abundant ingredient in TTO, was more potent than TTO at equivalent concentrations and its killing effect was even observable at a mere concentration of 1%. Terpinen-4-ol exhibited a significant synergistic effect with Terpinolene, but an antagonistic effect with α-Terpineol in killing mites (both P < 0.05). In vivo, Terpinen-4-ol was shown to eradicate mites.


The above finding suggests that deployment of Terpinen-4-ol alone should enhance its potency in killing Demodex mites by reducing the adverse and antagonistic effects from other ingredients in TTO."
Transl Vis Sci Technol. 2013 Nov; 2(7): 2.
Published online 2013 Nov 13. doi:  10.1167/tvst.2.7.2
PMCID: PMC3860352
Terpinen-4-ol is the Most Active Ingredient of Tea Tree Oil to Kill Demodex Mites
Sean Tighe, Ying-Ying Gao, and Scheffer C. G. Tseng

"When these components were examined individually, only terpinen-4-ol suppressed the production after 40 h of TNFalpha, IL-1beta, IL-8, IL-10 and PGE2 by LPS-activated monocytes.
The water-soluble components of tea tree oil can suppress pro-inflammatory mediator production by activated human monocytes."
Inflamm Res. 2000 Nov;49(11):619-26.
Terpinen-4-ol, the main component of the essential oil of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil), suppresses inflammatory mediator production by activated human monocytes.
Hart PH, Brand C, Carson CF, Riley TV, Prager RH, Finlay-Jones JJ.

"Terpinen-4-ol suppresses inflammatory mediator production by activating human monocytes. Monocytes are a type of white blood cell–part of the human body’s immune system."
Loving Terpinen-4-ol by ANDREA 

"Not all tea tree oils are created equal and as George Orwell might say, some tea tree oils 'are created more equal than others.' ”
Confessions Of A Tea Tree Oil Snob, Michelle Glover



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