Tea Tree essential oil also known as Melaleuca oil possesses over 92 different compounds! As such possesses almost endless ways it can be used for wellness. Tea tree oil is an essential oil that can be used for several purposes, including keeping skin, hair and nails healthy. In addition to its scientifically backed benefits, tea tree oil is inexpensive and safe when used as directed. It is an essential oil with a fresh camphoraceous scent and a color that ranges from pale yellow to nearly colorless and clear. Although Melaleuca alternifolia is known as the tea tree, it should not be confused with the plant that produces leaves used to make black, green and oolong tea.
Tea tree essential oil has been used as a traditional medicine by Aborigines for centuries. These native Australians crush tea tree leaves to extract the oil, which is then inhaled to treat coughs and colds or applied directly to the skin for healing. Today, tea tree oil is widely available as a 100% undiluted or essential oil. Diluted forms are also available, ranging from 5–50% strength in products designed for the skin.
Ways to Uses Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree is the alternative way of using hand sanitizer. There are many ways to use tea tree essential oil and each of them can help you in their own ways. Below are some of the way you can use including:
If you’re one of those people who hates the strong scent of ordinary hand sanitizers, switch it out for a DIY one that uses tea tree oil. The smell is similar to peppermint or eucalyptus and it’s known to kill both bacteria and fungus.
Tea tree oil can be a powerful weapon against acne. Mix one part tea tree oil with nine parts water and applying the mixture to affected areas with a cotton swab once or twice a day. Next, a few drops of tea tree oil can be added to wound dressing each time a new dressing is applied.
If you have nail fungus, a few drops of tea tree oil alone or mix it with an equal amount of carrier oil and apply it to the affected area. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after applying in order to avoid spreading the fungus to other areas.
Does your home have pesky insects flying around and annoy you? Tea tree oil can be your solution to get rid of those insects. Mix 5 to 6 drop essential oil with a water-filled spray made by glass and you are good to go. Spray your entire house for an effective result.
Benefit of Tea Tree Essential Oil
Some of the benefits using tea tree essential oil are:
Studies have shown that tea tree kills several common bacteria and viruses responsible for causing illness, including S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae. Moreover, a study testing several types of hand wash shows that adding tea tree oil to the cleansers boosted their effectiveness against E. coli.
One study found that tea tree essential oil was more effective against plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, a common disinfectant and oral rinse. What’s more, its taste was found to be less objectionable.
A common form of skin irritation is contact dermatitis, which occurs when skin comes in contact with an allergen. Exposure to the allergen leads to red, itchy and sometimes painful skin. In a study comparing the effects of different treatments for contact dermatitis, tea tree oil was found to reduce symptoms by 40%, which was significantly more than standard medications applied to the skin.
Antifungal medications are considered standard treatment for athlete’s foot. Yet studies suggest that tea tree oil may be an effective alternative for relieving symptoms. In a controlled study of 158 people, 72% of the tea tree oil group had significant clinical improvement in athlete’s foot, compared to 39% in the placebo group
There is little published research on tea tree oil’s effectiveness in treating dandruff, one controlled study suggests that it may be helpful. 4 week study involved a group who used a shampoo containing tea tree oil had a 40% improvement in dandruff. Moreover, the tea tree group reported significant improvements in dandruff severity, itchiness and greasiness.
One study found that 24 hours after being treated with tea tree oil, cows had 61% fewer flies than cows not treated with tea tree oil. A test-tube study revealed that tea tree oil had a greater ability to repel mosquitoes than DEET, the most common active ingredient in commercial insect repellents.
You should note that tea tree oil should not be ingested because it may be toxic if swallowed. Hence, tea tree oil should be stored out of reach of children to avoid any accidental event. Prior to using tea tree oil for the first time, do a patch test by use a drop or two on a small area of your skin, such as your elbow and wait 24 hours to see if any reaction occurs. This is important because ironically, some individuals who use tea tree oil develop contact dermatitis, one of the conditions tea tree oil may help treat.
Likewise, people with sensitive skin may experience irritation when using undiluted tea tree essential oil. If your skin is sensitive, it’s best to mix tea tree oil with an equal or greater amount of carrier oil such as olive oil, coconut oil or almond oil. Additionally, tea tree oil should be avoided from pets as it may not be safe for your furry friend. Researchers reported that more than 400 dogs and cats developed tremors and other nervous system problems after receiving between 0.1–85 mL of tea tree oil on the skin or orally.
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