If you have a heart problem, you might want to avoid tea tree and other tea tree oils.
A new study suggests that the tea tree products may increase your risk of developing heart disease.
“The data show that people who consume a lot of tea tree or other tea products are more likely to have symptoms that are not related to heart disease,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Robert P. Anderson, a medical researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.
Anderson said the findings are particularly concerning because tea tree has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease in other studies.
Tea tree is also used in many homeopathic remedies and as a natural cough remedy.
The study looked at 1,800 people in the United States and Canada.
“We did not find any relationship between tea tree intake and risk of any of the cardiovascular outcomes,” Anderson said.
“Our results indicate that tea tree consumption may be associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular outcomes, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, but not coronary heart disease, which is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease,” he added.
The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a survey of more than 5,000 adults every two years.
The data included questions about tea tree use and tea tree-related health risks.
The tea tree group included people who were in the middle of the disease spectrum, those with a history of heart conditions and those who had diabetes or high blood pressure.
Anderson noted that the study did not assess tea tree as a whole.
“We were not able to take into account the consumption of other components, such that for example, tea tree may have an effect on blood sugar,” he said.
The study was published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.