Tea Tree Oil (TTO) is extracted from the leaves of the tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia), which is indigenous to Australia. Tea tree oil color ranges from pale yellow to nearly colorless and transparent. It has been thousands of years since the aboriginal tribes in Australia first discovered the healing properties of tea tree oil. Today, tea tree oil is discovered to have antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory that allow tea tree oil to find itself in multiple household products and healthcare solutions. Regardless of its versatility, tea tree oil is inexpensive compared to many other essential oils. Such values have made tea tree oil become an alternative home remedy which is increasingly popular among lay people and medical doctors alike.
Either you are already a heavy user or just trying tea tree oil, it is similarly important to bear in mind that tea tree oil is poisonous if taken internally. Thus, you must not use on eyes, swallow or inject into your body in any case. You cannot use this oil for babies younger than 6 months old.
To help you navigate among the variety of tea tree oil uses, this article will present the benefits of tea tree oil according to four major applications: home use, skin treatment, hair solution and medical purpose.
Benefits of tea tree oil
1. Tea tree oil as a household remedy
Having an abundance of beneficial properties like antiseptic and antifungal, tea tree oil can help you in many ways.
You can add water, vinegar and lemon essential oil into 1-2 tablespoons of tea tree oil for a non-toxic household cleaner. Put this mixture into a spray and apply it wherever you find a potential breeding ground for mold and bacteria. For example, toothbrushes, kitchen appliances, laundry, bathrooms and sinks can be effectively disinfected if cleaned regularly by tea tree oil.
Slightly notice that as tea tree oil is toxic when taken internally, you must rinse your toothbrush carefully after cleaned by tea tree oil to avoid any leftover that will be accidentally swallowed.
As for laundry, you can add a few drop of the oil during the washing cycle; this will make your laundry smell fresher and free of bacteria hidden in the washer.
Mix one drop of tea tree oil with water and spray on moldy areas. Leave on for 10 minutes and then wipe clean with a damp sponge. Also, a stronger dose with 25 drops of this oil and a cup of vinegar can fight off mold in heavily-affected areas. You can also use baking soda to replace vinegar as well.
Natural pest control
Although tea tree oil presents a fresh and camphor-like scent towards our sense of smell, this smell turns out to be strong enough to repel ants and other insects. You can mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a carrier substance like coconut oil to have a chemical-free insect repellent at home. If you have children in your house, then using this oil as a natural pest fighter is absolutely a perfect choice for your household cabinet.
2. Tea tree oil as a skin healer
Tea tree oil is one of the rare essential oil that possesses enormous therapeutic applications and many yet to be discovered. These below are among the most popular and well-proven benefits of it for skin.
There are both anecdotes and scientific studies that proved the effectiveness of tea tree oil use for acne problems. While the onset of tea tree oil could be slower, it often shows that there are fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide, a top drugstore remedy with equally significant effect in curing acne to a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil.
Blend tea tree oil with either water or vitamin E oil to dilute it in order to avoid overdose. Then apply this mixture daily on affected areas. You should be patient as results will only show up with consistent usage. Also, because this oil will make your skin more sensitive to UV rays, it is recommended to apply at nighttime.
Athlete’s foot, ringworm and warts are some common skin conditions that are caused by the growth of fungi. If you are looking for a home remedy for such fungal infections, tea tree oil with its massive healing properties is probably the satisfying answer to your research.
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of witch hazel or vegetable oil and apply directly on affected areas twice a day. You should use sparingly the first several times to make sure your skin does not develop rashes or other side effects before apply more regularly.
Because of its anti-bacteria abilities, tea tree oil can naturally heal skin with bacteria-related conditions such as chicken pox, warts or psoriasis. It can also alleviate the burning and itchy feeling of skin due to insect bites.
Simply rub a few drops of tea tree oil, diluted in water, on affected areas. Cover it with a bandage to isolate from outside impurity. Reapply twice a day and change bandage daily.
3. Hair solution
Tea tree oil uses for hair is another reason it is considered an indispensable home regimen for every household in modern days. The multi-healing properties like antiseptic and antibacterial of this oil allows it to deal with certain hair-related conditions.
Simply massage the oil on your scalp several times a week to encourage a healthy scalp and produce silky and shinny hair. This therapy stimulates blood flow, removes dead cells and oiliness and boosts hair growth; allow a stronger and more resilient hair and scalp.
Tea tree oil uses for hair includes treating hair fall, a very common issue nowadays due to pollution and daily stress. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil like olive oil, vegetable oil or baby oil. Then gently massage the mixture onto your scalp for up to 10 minutes. Then wrap it with a hot towel and leave for 15 minutes before rinse off with shampoo. Repeat as often as possible for best results.
4. Other health benefits
Besides those common applications, tea tree oil is said to reduce symptoms of colds and flu such as chest and head congestion, stuffy nose. It can also alleviate pain, reduce fever and headache effectively. A few drops of this oil in your steam inhalation or bath water can help stop the cold from developing.
In general, tea tree oil uses, if used with caution as said above, are safe and effective. It is such a practical and versatile essential oil that every family should have in their first aid kit and household cabinet.