From pimples to pristine sportswear, tea tree oil has a purpose to play in all our lives. Well we think so. And it seems most companies agree. Many skin care and beauty products contain it these days. Tea tree oil could nearly be one of the most well known essential oils on the market today and has been a popular natural remedy for centuries.
Tea tree oil originates from the leaves of the beautiful Australian tree called Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree for short. It is native to southeast Queensland and the northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia. Aboriginal people of Australia have used tea tree oil as a traditional medicine for years to treat coughs and colds, wounds and infections (1). That’s certainly not all! Keep reading to find out another fifteen insanely useful ways you to use this healing oil.
15 Useful Ways To Incorporate Tea Tree Oil Into Your Life
A natural and powerful extract, it offers antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties, which are highly useful for helping all of the following conditions (2):
- Fungal Infections On The Nail
- Athlete’s Foot
- Mouth & Nose Infections
- Ear Infections – Otitis Media & Otitis Externa
- Cuts & Abrasions
- Insect Bites & Strings
- Vaginal Infections
- Toothache & Sore Throat
From a small pimple to acne, we all dread those breakouts, especially if you are a teenager trying to be the coolest kid on the block. Teens often have sensitive skin or react poorly to chemicals found in some skin care products. There aren’t many natural skin care products effective in treating pimples. However, tea tree’s antibacterial properties, help get rid of bacteria, breakouts and acne. Tea tree not only treats acne, but also cleans up the bacterial overgrowth while reducing redness and swelling. It helps prevent acne scars. Buying a natural tea tree skin care product or applying tea tree oil to your everyday facial wash and cleanser will help to decrease acne and may even eliminate it (3). Tea tree oil is a favorite for promoting an overall healthy and clear appearance on the skin by soothing and healing a range of skin issues.
Eczema, the general term used for inflammatory skin conditions such as dermatitis is an irritating, itchy and often distressing condition. Tea Tree oil has components contained in it that soothe and eases the symptoms and flares of eczema (4). For example, anti-inflammatory compounds to minimize the irritation, antifungal to reduce itching, an antibacterial that fights infection and stop spreading, antiseptic that mitigates the skin, antioxidant to protect the skin from random breakouts. Adding at least two drops of tea tree oil to a facial wash, will not only reduce irritating eczema flare-ups, but it could also erase eczema. If you suffer from oily skin, tea tree oil combats the struggle. Also try adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your sunscreen, moisturizer or even your daily facial toner.
Fungal Infections Of The Nail
They can be painful and cause many difficulties in your everyday life. Fungal infections in your toenails or fingernails can lead to a change of colour and thickening of nails, which is an excruciating problem. In extreme cases of suffering from a fungal infection, cracking or loss of the whole nail can occur, it can be excruciatingly painful and may affect your ability to use your feet or hands for a while. Tea Tree oil has the utilisation for repairing and fighting the fungal infection. Applying the oil regularly to the infection can help heal a fungal infection and improve the health of your nails. If the health of your nails suffers from wearing toxic nail polish, try massaging a few drops of tea tree oil into your cuticles and nails most nights or add two to three drops of tea tree oil to your favourite hand cream. You will be amazed at the improvement of strength and health of your nails.
Every mother’s nightmare! Tea tree oil has come into play as a natural remedy for solving many medical and physical conditions, and yes including head lice. As lice being a typical case in school and work areas or any other living environment, it is essential to treat the state immediately and in a practical way. Tea tree oil can kill lice in the adult stages of life, and treatments also reduced the number of lice eggs that hatched and in some cases it can also keep lice away. Adding at least ten per cent of tea tree oil to your traditional shampoo or hair product is one treatment that can be highly effective. We find that alternating a tea tree treatment with a coconut oil treatment works more effectively than using continual tea tree treatments.
Much like head lice, scabies can be easily attracted by skin-to-skin contact with another person who has the condition. Most people resort to medication, but research has stated that tea tree oil is five per cent more effective in killing the eggs and mites which lay and hatch their eggs in the top layer of your skin (5). A treatment to resort to would be buying a bottle of shampoo with a five per cent total of tea tree oil, covering yourself with the shampoo and leave it for 5 minutes, then rinse off.
Athlete’s foot, otherwise known as tinea pedis, can be a widespread infection located on your feet, often in between your toes. In worse cases, this infection can also spread to other parts of your body. Athlete’s foot arises from fungus being built up as well as sweaty feet and wearing socks that don’t absorb moisture. Drying your feet after swimming or washing is really important for this condition. If you have this disease tea tree oil can annihilate the infection. Tea tree oil helps to reduce inflammation of athlete’s foot without the drying and other negative symptoms that may occur when using other medications (6).
Ringworm is another fungal infection that affects the skin on your body. As the name suggests, someone with ringworm has circular rash or rashes that form on the skin. You can catch ringworm from any contact to another human that is carrying the fungus. The antifungal properties of tea tree oil give it the ability to defeat the fungal infection.
Mouth & Nose Infections
Mouth and nose infections are often caused by a buildup of either bacteria or fungus. As tea tree cannot be swallowed, the best way to treat this type of infection around the nose and mouth area is to inhale the steam from a steam inhalator which is filled with Melaleuca (tea tree) oil. In many cases, it has cleared the infection, sinus and killed the bacteria around the mouth area. Try adding it to your bath water for a remedy for coughs, bronchial congestion, and pulmonary inflammation (7). Interestingly, we also found a study suggesting tea tree oil useful as an antimicrobial action against E. coli and Staph infection (8).
Ear Infections – Otitis Media & Otitis Externa
Ear infections can be caused in many ways, although the most common start to an ear infection is from a nasal and sinus congestion caused from a buildup of mucus which leaks into the ear canal, and becomes infiltrated by bacteria. Among the many thing tea tree oil can treat, it can also help soothe or prevent an ear infection occurring in the first place. Mix two or three drops of tea tree oil with ¼ cup of warm olive oil, tilt your head and slowly add a couple of drops into the ear and wait for one minute. Add melaleuca oil to a steam vaporizer and place it next to your bed as you sleep. This trick is everyone’s saving grace, especially if you have babies who are unable to sleep due to a blocked up nose. Remember to place the vaporizer far enough away so the steam doesn’t burn the patient. When our children were babies and toddlers, we used this method the whole time. It really is the best recipe for a good night’s sleep when suffering from an ear, nose and throat congestion and infection. Steam inhalation of Melaleuca oil clears the sinus and kills bacteria (9).
Cuts & Abrasions
Tea tree oil a fantastic antiseptic and has many properties that make it acceptable for the healing of cuts and abrasions. For example, the liquid contains analgesic, antibacterial and antioxidant, these feature are excellent for cuts and scrapes. It cleans the wound, enhance healing, and preventing infections. Be careful when using on kids; it often stings when applied to open wounds.
A burn can be excruciatingly painful and irritating in most situations. A fresh burn is effectively an open wound. Adding tea tree oil is an active and perfect infection-fighting oil. Tea tree oil also decreases the swelling and prevents some pain.
Insect Bites & Stings
For the healing or prevention of insect bites and stings tea tree oil is one of the most popular of essential oils. It is usually recommended to clean the bite and sting with some antibacterial soap and water before using the tea tree oil. This allows the tea tree oil to be most effective. Add about 1 – 3 drops of the oil or enough drops to saturate the pain. Many suggest that this is the most natural way to treat an insect bite and sting.
Never underestimate a boil! Boils are caused by bacteria that infect, and then cause inflamed hair follicles. Some can grow up to the size of a tennis ball. The area around the infection swells and turns red. Tea tree is perfect for eliminating the bacterial infection that causes the boil. Apply tea tree oil and a dilution of coconut oil directly on the boil daily.
Vaginal infections come in many different ways, although studies suggest that tea tree oil may be the best home remedies for treating this type of infection. Mix tea tree oil, lavender oil and coconut oil together and shape into a suppository mould kit. Use one suppository every day for six days. This method can allow full cleansing and elimination of the infection or in severe cases use twice a day for twelve days. Consult with your healthcare professional.
Toothache & Sore Throat
Tea tree oil is an excellent remedy for a toothache and a sore throat. Be aware that you should never swallow tea tree oil. It is a poison. Some uses include using it as a mouthwash, treatment for bad breath, and treatment of a toothache and mouth ulcers. Add a drop to a glass of water, swish around the mouth, then spit out once the mixture has covered your whole mouth a couple of times. To remedy a toothache try dabbing an earbud soaked with tea tree oil onto the aching tooth.
Tea tree also is an all-rounder house cleaner, as it kills mould, and it is a natural deodorant and air clearer. You will see products containing tea tree oil marketed as a natural and environmentally friendly product. As we mentioned earlier, being ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it is non-toxic or non-poisonous. Currently, we need more studies to determine if tea tree oil is environmentally safe. We love adding a teaspoon to our load of laundry to give an extra clean freshness. It even works effectively on our sweaty sports gear and stinky farming clothes.
There are risks involved with ingesting tea tree oil. Always buy a reputable brand and never swallow it.
We hope you find all these practical ways of using tea tree oil helpful. Share with us how you like to use it in the comments below.