Tea Tree is native to Australia. It thrives in sunny conditions and moist soil. In Australia, Tea Tree grows all through spring, summer, and autumn.
Parts of Kenya provide similar growing conditions to those in Australia that allow Tea Tree to Flourish. By also sourcing some of our Tea Tree from Kenya, we support smallholder farmers in rural areas of the country while still getting the best quality of essential oil.
Tea Tree oil, is best known for its purifying qualities, which make it useful for cleansing the skin, home surfaces, and purifying the air.
How does it work?
The Tea Tree is evergreen and shrub-like. It has traditionally been used for health purposes by Aboriginal Australians, and at the beginning of WWII, most members of the Australian Army carried a small bottle of Tea Tree essential oil with them. The essential oil comes from steam distilling the leaves.
Kangaroos run wild in the Australian Tea Tree plantation. The trees grow from spring through the autumn, with harvesting only done during the winter months to prevent loss of growing time. The same trees can be harvested every year because they coppice, or begin to grow again, 3 to 6 weeks after harvest. Due to the sustainable harvesting process, after 18 years of operation, the Australia plantation continues to increase the health and productivity of the same fields of Tea Trees
Ensuring Environmental Stewardship
No part of the tree is wasted in the process of producing Tea Tree essential oil. In both Australia and Kenya, the steamed tea tree biomass is applied back to the fields to prevent weed growth and deliver important nutrients to the soil.
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation has funded numerous projects in Kenya. This includes the construction of additional classroom and restroom facilities at Kiwegu Primary School; construction of a school library, water storage, staff room, restrooms, teacher living quarters, and student veranda at Mwamose Primary school (as well as scholarship support); the construction of Mwena River Bridge, which allows river crossing access for community and school children; construction of Majengo Mapya Kindergarten school; construction of a community center; TICAH—indigenous culture and health trainings for 2,000 school children; Colobus Conservation—education and reforestation of indigenous trees; Mwamose Water Point, which is a community borehole and water tower; and the Water Maintenance Trust Fund, which does ongoing research and maintenance of community water sources.
In addition to donations from the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, we have established a Community Development Fund in Kenya. For every kilogram of essential oil produced by its farmer cooperatives, a portion of revenue is set aside in a fund overseen by the cooperatives themselves to finance larger development projects at their discretion.