Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils used for wellness. It had been used by native aboriginals for hundreds of years, before it was discovered by the rest of the world.
Nowadays, it’s amazing health benefits are backed by science, as tea tree oil is one of the most researched essential oils. There are few Australian households which don’t use this essential oil, especially those with small kids, who are prone to injuries.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is extracted from the plant known as Melaleuca Alternifolia, popularly known as “tea tree”. However, this is not the same plant from which tea is made or from which the tea oil is made.
Melaleuca is native to Australia, where it’s highly popular for its multiple properties. Due to its benefits, it was used by the natives to treat a wide array of conditions, from hair and skin problems to infections.
Despite its name, tea tree oil is toxic for consumption! It should only be used for topical applications, never to be ingested!
A word of advice, like all essential oils, one needs to test on a small patch of skin the body’s reaction to it, as some people can be allergic to essential oils. Even if you are not allergic to this oil you might experience an irritation. This means you have to dilute it before applying it on your skin.
When used correctly, it is highly beneficial and can be used daily in your skincare or cleaning routine.
What are the Health Benefits?
Antibacterial and Antimicrobial – tea tree oil has antibacterial properties, which make it a great remedy against bacterial infections, especially those found at the Tropics. The oil can be used to cure bacterial infections and some professionals even use it in the treatment of tuberculosis.
Tea tree oil also has scientifically proven antimicrobial properties, which means it can be used to fight microbes.
Because tea tree oil is an effective healing agent, it speeds up the natural healing process and protects the wound from bacteria.
When applied on open wounds, tea tree oil also protects against tetanus, because it’s a powerful antiseptic. It can be applied on insect bites, to soothe them, cuts, boils and sores, where it acts pretty much like a local antibiotic.
Antioxidant – Tea tree oil is a powerful antioxidant, making it a great ingredient in skincare routines. It can be used to relieve age spots and wrinkles, as well as preventing them. It is often used to promote overall skin appearance, as it leaves the skin glowing and smooth. Another great property of tea tree oil is it’s ability to improve the appearance of scars. Depending on the case, one can effectively use it to remove scars or, at least, minimize their appearance.
Insecticide – Tea tree oil is also effective against insects. It can be used to prevent insect bites and kill those which infested a specific area. The oil is effective against mosquitoes, lice, flies and fleas. Because it is absorbed by the skin, it can fight internal parasites as well, such as tape worms.
General health booster – Tea tree oil is often used in aromatherapy because it stimulates the entire body. It boosts the circulation and the hormone production, as well as the immunity, helping the body fight off diseases and stay healthy. Because it’s quickly absorbed by the skin, it enhances the bodily functions. However, it should not be ingested!
Perspiration and hygiene – Tea tree oil promotes perspiration, enhancing the natural detoxification process. Through sweating, the body also gets rid of salts and cleans the pores, preventing the onset of acne.
However, you don’t have to be afraid of the smell – tea tree oil is a powerful deodorizing. It’s deodorizing power comes from its antibacterial properties, as bacteria is guilty for the bad odors.
Anti-fungal – Tea tree oil is a powerful antifungal agent, so it can be used to fight off dermatitis and fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot. Thanks to these properties, tea tree oil can also be used for dandruff and hair loss, as most hair problems are caused by fungus or bacteria buildup.
Skincare – Tea tree oil can be used to fight off acne and prevent outbreaks. Acne is caused from the buildup of debris in the pores and the infections of the sebum glands. As the oil has cleaning and antibacterial properties, it’s an effective cure against acne.
Extraordinary Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Now that you know it’s major properties and health benefits, here are some of the most useful and extraordinary uses of this amazing essential oil.
Treatment for Sinus Infections
A cold can easily lead to a sinus infection, when the sinuses that is the empty cavities above the nose, become filled with mucus resulting in lot of pressure, which leads to headaches and high temperature. When the mucus becomes infected, it becomes harder to drain it. The more it builds up in the sinuses, the more pain it will cause.
To relieve the pressure and the mucus from the sinuses, you can make a steam bath. Add between 5 to 8 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of boiled water, then lean over the bowl, covering your head with a towel. Breathe the steam and within minutes, your sinuses will start draining all the mucus. After this steam bath, you will be able to breathe easier.
Another way to ensure a proper breathing during a cold is to make a portable nose drainer. Mix 3 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of eucalyptus with melted coconut oil and cool it into a lip balm container. Each time you can’t breathe, smell this mixture or apply it on your nose tip.
Here are some useful remedies for stuffy nose.
Bug Bites Treatment
Tea tree oil can soothe the irritation from bug bites and reduce the swelling. Make a mixture from coconut oil and couple of drops of tea tree oil and use it on bug bites. You can also make a bug repellent spray, by mixing tea tree oil with other repellents into a base and spray it on your skin.
Another great use of this essential oil is on ticks: drop some of the it on the tick and the bug will unlatch.
Relief From Psoriasis
Those who suffer from psoriasis struggle with areas of red, inflamed skin. These are the result of the over-production of skin cells, which can’t be shed in time by the body. While psoriasis still has no cure, tea tree oil can be used to soothe the affected areas and moisturize the skin. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil in 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and apply on the affected areas.
Athlete’s Foot Remedy
The fungus which causes athletes’ foot loves dark and moist areas, like the shoes. To make your own remedy mix ¼ cup arrowroot powder, ¼ cup baking soda and 20 drops of tea tree oil. Mix until you have a powder, then apply it on your feet and inside your shoes, twice a day. If this doesn’t work, here are a few remedies that are worth reading.
All Purpose Cleaner
Thanks to its anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil can be used as a cleaning agent.
Make a mixture from 20 drops of tea tree oil, ¼ cup of water and half a cup of white vinegar. Mix well and spray them on the surfaces, then wipe them. This mixture will clean and disinfect the areas. Moreover, it’s all organic!
Nail fungus treatment
If you caught a nail fungus mix 4-5 drops of tea tree oil into one tablespoon of melted coconut oil and rub the affected area, twice a day. Store the mixture in a dark container, away from sunlight. Coconut oil also has antifungal properties, which complement the tea tree oil.
More nail fungus solutions on this page.
Relaxes Your Body
As tea tree oil is quickly absorbed into the skin and then into your muscles, it can be used to relieve muscle tension. One way is to use it for a massage, but you can also include it in your evening routine. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil in a carrier oil and then mix them in Epsom salts. When you bathe, just add the Epsom salts and enjoy the time off. The tea tree oil and the magnesium in the Epsom salts will do their job and relax your muscles.
With a mixture made of 1-2 drops of tea tree oil and one tablespoon of coconut oil you can treat cuts. Wash the area with soap and water, rinse it and then apply the mixture directly on it. This will prevent infections and will keep away any debris from entering the cut. It will also promote healing.
With its anti-bacterial and antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is definitely one of the best cosmetic ingredients you have around the house. And it’s also great against acne. It can be used to soothe acne or red spots.
Mix 2 drops of tea tree oil with a bit of coconut oil and apply the mixture with a cotton swab, all over the affected area. Another method is to apply 2 drops of tea tree oil directly on the red spots, using a cotton swab. Repeat twice a day, for 3-4 days. The redness will fade out in couple of days.
To make your own organic makeup remover, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with ¼ cup of canola oil and store it in a dark container, in a cool place. Shake well before use and apply it on a cotton ball to remove makeup. Rinse your face and pat dry it, then carry on with your skincare routine.
This mixture will prevent acne outbreaks and will thoroughly clean your skin, as tea tree oil penetrates the pores and loosens the dirt accumulated in them.
If you don’t like the hand sanitizers, you can make your own recipe, using tea tree oil.
The smell of tea tree oil is not a pleasant one for insects, so it makes a good pest repellent. Make a mixture of 20 drops of tea tree oil and 500ml water, then put it into a spray bottle. Shake well and use it each time you suspect you have unwanted visitors.
To prevent insects from making your house their home, spray in strategic areas, like the doors and windows, corners and any spot where you’ve recently noticed insects.
When we sweat, the unpleasant smell is caused by bacteria which decomposes the sweat. To prevent smelling, you can use tea tree oil as a deodorizing agent, as it will kill the bacteria and will reduce the smell.
You can also make a trash deodorant from tea tree oil, which has the added benefit of killing bacteria. Mix half a teaspoon of tea tree oil with a cup of baking soda and put the powder into a shaker, then use it as needed.
Mildew is made from fungus which grows in dark and moist areas, like the bathroom. To get rid of it, make a mixture of one cup water and 5-10 drops of tea tree oil.
Mix well and then spray the affected area. Let it sit for couple of minutes, before wiping the area. The oil will prevent the mildew from re-appearing.
More tips on this page.
Disinfect the Washing Machine
To disinfect the washing machine and refresh it add couple of tea tree oil drops into the empty container and run the hot water cycle.
Tea tree oil is one of the most beneficial essential oils, so you should always have it in your household.
If we missed anything, please feel free to add in the comments below.