What is tea tree oil? Tea Tree oil is another old historic medical wonder that has lasted through the ages and has been adapted and prevailed in modern medicine. This old medicinal plant is a derivative that is also known as Melaleuca, sourced specifically from the Australian plant Melaleuca Alternifolia. For centuries it has been used to treat a variety of issues due to its anti-inflammation, antiseptic, anti microbial and nutritional properties. Today, tea tree leaf oil benefits are used to help with skin conditions, improving hair health, fighting certain fungal infections and so much more. In this article we will focus on the 5 amazing benefits of tea tree oil.
The History of Tea Tree Oil
Before we jump into the 5 amazing benefits of tea tree leaf oil let’s start with a little history lesson. Like so many of these old age medicinal plants, they are rich in both history and culture. Tea tree leaf oil was originally discovered in Australia, derived from the leaf of the melaleuca tree. It’s first known discovery was by Captain James Cook who discovered the melaleuca alternifolia tree and used its leaves to brew tea. Cook then consulted with the local Australian aboriginals in the late 1700s to learn about its healing properties. After taking the leaves to a doctor it was confirmed that the tea tree leaves contained antiseptic properties which led the Captain to encourage his soldiers to drink the tea to prevent scurvy. It wasn’t for over 100 years later that essential oils in the tea tree were discovered.
Chemist Dr. A. R Penfold studied the plant and concluded that tea tree leaf oil was a non irritant and powerful antiseptic which was thirteen times stronger than the current antiseptic bactericide being used during that time. As the years went on the benefits of tea tree oil became more widespread, during WW II it was used as a treatment resistant for foot fungus for soldiers fighting on the front lines. Into the 1990s and beyond tea tree oil was used in many products as a natural germicide and fungicide, finding its way into products such as lip balm, toothpaste, soap and mouthwash. This leads us to today where we can find tea tree oil products in almost any health store in the world, being used in everything from creams, shampoos, cosmetics to household cleaners. Found in millions of different products tea tree oil has become a common household product with an abundance of benefits and positive health effects.
Now that tea tree oil is backed by the scientific community it is a commonly used antidote for its medicinal and anti-fungal properties. That being said it’s important to remember that it is a fairly strong remedy and should be applied in accordance with the instructions on the product you use. We highly recommend picking safe and trusted products but if you do need some advice on how to apply tea tree oil, here is what we recommend. To avoid any skin irritation don’t apply 100% tea tree oil directly to your skin and when do you apply to your skin make sure to dilute it afterwards by applying moisturizer such as Aloe Vera, rosehip or argan oil. It is not uncommon for those with skin allergies to become irritated by tea tree oil, so before use do your research and consult with your doctor if you are unsure.
For most tea tree oil is a safe and healthy option for treating skin conditions and irritations. Here are 5 reasons on why you should use tea tree oil and how to use tea tree oil.
Great For Skin Care
As we’ve mentioned before it is important to remember that you should not apply tea tree oil directly to your skin, always dilute the oil with a carrier like coconut oil to avoid skin irritation. The best way to measure tea tree oil to carrier oil is around 2 drops of tea tree oil to 12 drops of carrier oil. Also before applying, it is important to do a patch test to see how your skin reacts.
One major tea tree oil benefit is that it is full of antibacterial properties which can in turn help reduce things like swelling and irritation of the skin, which are some of the main causes people develop acne on their face. Tea tree oil can shown that it can reduce redness, unclog pores, heal existing breakouts, dry out blackheads and disinfect skin pores. When we develop acne our skins pores fills with oil and dirt ,clogging the pores, when applying tea tree oil it can help lift oil and dirt directly out of clogged pores.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes red, scaly and inflamed areas of dry skin throughout the whole body, causing extreme itchiness, soreness and irritation. When mixed with a carrier and applied to the skin tea tree oil benefits can help ease the discomfort of psoriasis due to its antibacterial fighting abilities.
Eczema is an agitation of the skin which can affect everyone from children to adults. The conditions of eczema can cause things like rashes, dryness, itchiness and blisters. When tea tree oil is applied to the skin it uses its antiseptic properties which can help soothe those irritants. If eczema is spread throughout the body you can apply tea tree oil to a bath mixed with coconut oil to soothe the entire body instead of dabbing it on specific areas.
Remove Skin Tags
If your unfamiliar with what a skin tag is, it is a growth of small flesh that grows out of the skin. Skin tags are harmless in nature but can be difficult to remove. Tea tree oil however has shown to be an effective treatment against skin tags due to its antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral properties. All you need to do is apply the diluted tea tree oil directly to the skin tags and leave to dry, over time the skin tag will begin to disappear.
Tea Tree For Athlete’s Foot and Toe Fungus
Known as tinea pedis, this common fungus thrives in warm and humid conditions and is commonly known as athlete’s foot due to the fact that it is spread when people go barefoot in damp public places such as locker rooms. The symptoms of athlete’s foot are itchy feet, burning feet, peeling of the skin and pinkish raw skin on the feet. The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil can target the irritation of the feet and the fungus of the nail. The best practice is to mix around 10% of tea tree oil with a diluent and rub into the skin twice a day, taking up to a month to see changes. If using tea tree oil to fight toenail fungus you should file down the infected nail as much as you can, apply tea tree oil plus diluent to a tooth brush and rub directly onto the infected nail. Perform this twice a day and continue to file down the nail as it attempts to grow.
Dandruff is not only irritating but it can be pretty embarrassing when it falls on to your clothes. Similar to skin issues tea tree oil can help moisturize and soothe the scalp by unblocking pores and reducing dryness of the scalp. Dandruff is also caused by overgrowth of yeast making tea tree oils antifungal properties optical for treating this irritating condition. To combat dandruff with tea tree oil message several drops of diluted tea tree oil onto the scalp, letting sit for 15 minutes before rinsing. You can also apply a few drops into your shampoo or conditioner, around 8 – 10 drops. Once you’ve applied everything together, let sit for another 10 minutes before rinsing.
Heals Cuts and Scabs Faster
We’ve all been there, cutting ourselves while shaving, scratching ourselves up after a tumble or nicking our finger while cutting vegetables. When your left with a cut it’s likely going to scab over or possibly become infected, when we cut or scrape ourselves it can become an area where bacteria enters and potentially become infected, slowing the healing of a wound. Our first thought is to wash out with water and apply a bandage, but washing out with water might not be enough. Many use Polysporin to help with wounds but some might want to go down a more naturally safe path for healing themselves. Here enters tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic that can help decrease the bacterial count in a fresh wound, it also helps with improving the circulation around an injured area which can result in a more sped up healing process. When using tea tree oil try a single drop of tea tree oil mixed with around 10 drops of a carrier oil, applying daily to the wound. It’s important to note that if you experience any redness of irritation that you should stop applying the tea tree oil to the wounded area immediately.
Great For Keeping a Fresh Household
Tea tree oil doesn’t just help our body it can also help keep our living spaces cleaner and fresh as well. Here are a few ways the tea tree oil effects can help improve your household.
Cleaning Kitchen Sink
You may think your bathroom is the dirtiest place in your house but in fact your kitchen sink can contain up 100,000 times the bacteria of your average toilet bowl. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil with baking soda before cleaning your sink can help kill any excess bacteria living around your sink.
Eliminate Unwanted Bacteria From Your Toothbrush
Toothbrushes can house a lot of bacteria, especially if left in a dark area. It has been recommended to apply one drop of tea tree oil on the bristles of your toothbrush when you finish brushing your teeth each night. This will specifically help control any growth of bacteria on your toothbrush, allowing for a fresh and bacteria free teeth scrub. Make sure to rinse toothbrush the next day after applying.
Deodorize Your Dog or Cat Bed
Pets can get smelly and there is nothing worse than when the odor of your pet starts to dominate your living space, pets can also drag in a lot of dirt and bacteria from the outside world. When cleaning their bedding drop in two teaspoons of tea tree oil into your washing detergent. This will help kill any unwanted bacteria and help get rid of any unwanted smells as well.
Naturally Scare Away Insects
We’ve all been there, ants or spiders crawling around in our house causing us to feel a little anxious. You can use harsh chemicals to kill off certain insects but sometimes with pets or children those chemicals are not an option. The tea tree oil effects are a natural deterrent and toxin that many insects don’t enjoy. Your best option is to fill a spray bottle with water and a few drops of tea tree oil and spray in the areas of concern.
Cleaning Your Washing Machine
You might ask yourself, why would I have to clean my washing machine if its sole purpose is to clean things. Washing machines are dark inside and after a wash cycle there is a chance smell or mildew will begin to form because you’ve closed the door and it is now damp and dark inside. To make sure your washing machine is fresh and clean drop two teaspoons of tea tree oil then run it on an empty cycle, after the cycle is complete leave the door open to let the inside dry and avoid mildew or mold.
Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil
Now that you have a better idea on how to use tea tree oil it’s important to know that tea tree oil effects are fairly safe but only if used in the right way and in small amounts. Some people have had allergic reactions to tea tree oil so it’s good to monitor after use. NEVER take tea tree oil orally, even in small doses, it can cause a series of side effects like impaired immune functions, diarrhea and issues with our nervous system. Tea tree oil should only be absorbed through the skin and should always be diluted with another oil carrier, using tea tree oil directly on your skin can result in toxicity. Tea tree oil should be kept away from children and not used if pregnant or breastfeeding.