Melaleuca Alternifolia is a plant native to the Northern coast of Australia. It grows up to eight metres and belongs to the Myrtaceae family and the melaleuca genus. There are more than 150 varieties of plants within this family. Melaleuca is commonly referred to as tea tree.

The germicidal and anti-inflammatory properties of Melaleuca Alternifolia have been known by the Australian Aborigines who have used it to treat wounds and other illnesses for millennia.

Melaleuca Alternifolia Research: Time line


Chemist Arthur Penfold: Sydney Museum of Technology and Applied Science

In 1922, an Australian chemist, Arthur Penfold and his team from the Sydney Museum of Technology and Applied Science published a paper stating that Melaleuca Alternifolia had wide-ranging antibacterial and antifungal activity.

It was announced to the world that this was a new type of germicide, gentle to skin cells, but harmful to the invading germs. The oil of Melaleuca Alternifolia went from strength to strength; it was successfully used to treat all manner of infections & infestations.

Professors, doctors, dentists, and veterinary surgeons utilized melaleuca Alternifolia’s many properties for the health & welfare of their patients; from treating cuts & wounds to head lice; ringworm, leg ulcers, infections, catarrh, thrush, tonsillitis, pyorrhoea and gingivitis.


In the 1960′s the first scientific evidence in decades confirmed that Melaleuca Alternifolia had a favourable effect in the treatment of boils, gynaecological infections, and later for varied foot problems and nail bed infections. Dedicated farms began to be established to raise the plants and harvest the oil on a commercial basis.


Professor Tomas Riley: University of Western Australia

In the early 1990′s, a scientific research team lead by associate Professor Tomas Riley at the University of Western Australia began to look into the effectiveness of M. Alternifolia oil in the fight against infections, illness, and inflammatory conditions.

They discovered melaleuca Alternifolia oil’s remarkable power against the hospital superbug methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also called MRSA.

MRSA is the strain of bacterium that has evolved to beat most of the synthesized antibacterial medicines (antibiotics) available from orthodox medicine. In US and European hospitals, MRSA grew from 3% of infections in the late 1980’s to 40% in the 1990’s. This superbug attacks people who have skin lesions, especially from post-operative wounds and/or a depressed immune system.

Riley and his team also found many other susceptibilities to Melaleuca Alternifolia oil such as:

  • Propionibacterium acnes, which is the major antimicrobial cause of acne;
  • Escherichia coli (E coli) and Staphylococcus aureus, which can cause food poisoning and infect wounds;
  • Malassezia furfur, the fungal infection that causes seborrheic dermatitis to the sebum-rich areas of the scalp (dandruff), face and body;
  • Dematophytes and other filamentous fungi, which cause topical infections;
  • Lactobacilli and organisms associated with bacterial vaginosis;
  • Candida species and Saccharomyces cervisiae, which can result in gynaecological infections, digestive tract problems, also redness and itching to the skin;
  • Staphylococci and Streptococci species of bacteria that causes impetigo, a raw, itchy superficial skin infection;
  • They also found a whole range of oral bacteria was susceptible: Actinomyces, Branhamella, Capnocytophaga, Clostridium, Eikenella, Fusobacterium, Haemophilus, lactobacillus, Neisseria, Peptostreptococcus, Porphyromonas, Prevotella, Stomatococcus and Veillonella, which can cause halitosis (bad breath), dental plaque, dental cavities (rotting teeth), gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontitis, which can result in loss of teeth and infection entering the jaw bone.

Riley’s Melaleuca Alternifolia oil research has been confirmed by other researchers around the world. His team have many varied trials and collaborations in the pipeline. They have even broadened their work to include viral infections and have published their findings on the efficacy of a Melaleuca Alternifolia gel (6%) in the treatment of Herpes labialis, which can cause cold sores in susceptible people. Their work, both in-vitro (in the laboratory) and in-vivo (on people) in a hospital setting is continuing, with the oil of Melaleuca Alternifolia as an alternative topical decolonization agent for infections such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

They have also started to look at Terpinen-4-ol, the main component of the oil of Melaleuca Alternifolia, to supress inflammatory mediator production by activated human monocytes. Inflammatory responses are responsible for the reddened and raised areas of tissue damage when we bruise, burn or cut ourselves and when we are bitten by insects or have an allergic reaction. On a broader scale an inflammatory response is also implicated in degenerative diseases such as heart disease and arthritis.


Professor Max Reynolds: Director of Griffith University’s Program for Australasia Botanical Medicine (Ret.)

In 2001, Professor Max Reynolds began searching for an alternative anti-bacterial that was safe and effective against major bacterial, fungal, cancer, and viral pathogens.

He also turned to nature and started examining anti-bacterial and anti-fungal natural products known at the time. Among the candidate compounds was the Melaleuca family. Professor Reynolds’s laboratory worked with Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia to focus on refining the oil to reduce its potential toxicity.

Safe: Non-toxic

Professor Reynolds search for non-toxicity lead to the invention of a new method of refining & distilling Melaleuca Alternifolia oil that removed any potentially toxic compounds – resulting in a unique form of Melaleuca Alternifolia oil consisting of ninety-eight active compounds, some of which had never before been published.

These 98 compounds act individually or in unison to offer an array of therapeutic benefits never before encountered in a single product.

Professor Reynolds has globally patented this method and named the unique group of compounds Melaleuca Alternifolia Concentrate (MAC) – which is also known by the brand name 98alive™.

Clinical tests have proven Professor Reynolds has succeeded in producing a unique form of Melaleuca Alternifolia that is safe and literally non-toxic – safe for humans both as a topical application and oral ingestion.

Professor Reynolds organized an international scientific research cooperating group which has discovered MAC/98alive™’s remarkable therapeutic properties when taken internally, including:


Independent testing laboratories around the world have shown MAC/ 98alive™ to exhibit:

  • No side effects
  • 14 times greater anti-oxidant reactivity than fish oil and 5 times more than krill oil
  • Immune system boosting properties
  • Anti-viral properties
  • Anti-bacterial properties
  • Anti-fungal properties
  • Anti-mould properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties to reduce pain and irritation against bruising and soft tissue injury
  • Proven effectiveness against multi-drug resistant microbial, such as MRSA and Multi-Drug resistant Tuberculosis in individual patients (refer to validations)

Independent research has also show very positive results for MAC/98alive™ against a number of major diseases including:

  • Influenza: including Swine flu and Avian flu
  • Dengue fever: prevention & treatment
  • Tuberculosis: including Multi-drug resistant (MDR) and Extremely multi-drug resistant Tuberculosis (XMDR)
  • Cancer: including Lung cancer, Breast cancer, Prostate cancer, Colon cancer, and Stomach cancer
  • HIV treatment

2014 and beyond

Sharing Global Knowledge

On this website you will find the specific research that is leading a growing number of people to believe Melaleuca Alternifolia may form the basis for a ‘breakthrough’ in health & wellness.

We believe knowledge gives people the power to make informed decisions – and we invite those in the scientific community to share their valid research – and individuals to share their personal experiences – regarding Melaleuca Alternifolia’s impact on health & wellbeing.

As the scientific data continues to grow, we will strive to make the information available to those who may benefit.