Tea Tree Oil & Why Do So Many Use This Essential Oil?tweet
One of the most commonly used essential oils in the world today, tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial disinfectant that was used by the aborigine tribes in Australia for thousands of years. They would crush tea tree leaves and apply them to skin cuts, burns and infections.
Today the oil from those leaves is recognized by the scientific community as having tremendous medicinal benefits. From skincare to all purpose cleaning, tea tree oil applications are endless. But be aware that tea tree oil should always be diluted as it is rather potent – add to small amount of base oil such as olive oil.
For skin care and health
- If you are suffering from acne try using tea tree oil. It is a rich source of terpinen-4-ol, which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. When applied topically, it kills the bacteria that is such a problem in causing acne and pimples.
- If you have dandruff, or even worse head lice, a small amount of tea tree oil mixed with coconut oil or olive oil and applied to the scalp is a natural yet effective way to get rid of these two problems. Leave it on for up to 30 minutes and then wash off again.
- Tea tree oil is also a powerful anti-fungal agent so you can safely use it to treat athlete’s foot, ringworm or other types of fungal infections. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a base oil such as coconut, olive, or almond oil and apply it in the affected areas. A soothing treat is to add some drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of warm water and soak your feet in this.
- Tea tree oil is a powerful natural remedy to treat cuts, burns and insect stings with its natural antiseptic properties. It will then go on to prevent infection, lessen the chance of scarring and complete the healing process.
- Add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and use 3 times a day as a mouth wash to ensure no bad breath and to treat other oral problems. It also kills mouth bacteria before that check- up with the dentist or if you are going to have dental surgery and afterwards can reduce that mouth irritation that can be caused by dental procedures. Just be very careful not to swallow but to spit out afterwards as tea tree oil should never be taken internally. A drop of tea tree oil can be added to toothpaste when brushing teeth for extra oral hygiene.
- Use as a steam inhaler for a sore throat or congestion to clear up chest infections and mucus by filling a large pot with water and bringing to the boil. Remove from the stove and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the pot so that the long ends of the towel are handing down the two sides of the pot. Inhale for up to 10 minutes and repeat the process each night at bedtime until symptoms are gone.
Apart from natural remedies, you can also use tea tree oil as a cleaning agent
- To keep a humidifier bacteria free, add a few drops of – yes you guessed it! – tea tree oil to kill harmful bacteria and keep the humidifier clean.
- For a general cleaning solution around the home, add a few drops of tea tree oil to some liquid soap, put in a spray bottle and fill with water.
- Use a few drops of tea tree oils with a small amount of vinegar to wipe on areas of mould in the house. It will eliminate it immediately.
A little bit of history
Tea tree oil is easy to get hold of – you can buy from a natural health store or online but because of its potency, don’t use if you are pregnant or breast feeding. In the 1770s, the British explorer Captain Cook observed the native Australians brewing tea from the leaves and, following their example, gave the same to his crew to prevent scurvy. He coined the name tea tree. In the 1920s, Australian doctors used the oil to clean wounds and prevent infections after surgery, believing it to be more effective than carbolic acid (the antiseptic commonly used then). The oil became popular in Australian households as a remedy for skin conditions and fungus infections. During World War II, tea tree oil was included in the first-aid kits given to all Australian soldiers and sailors.
After the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics, tea tree oil went out of favor as an antiseptic until the 1980s, when it was discovered that some bacteria were resistant to certain antibiotics.
Today, tea tree oil has experienced a big “come back” as a successful alternative and natural treatment for skin infections.