TEA TREE OIL – Google Search Teatry oil (Tea tree oil) is an essential oil that can be used for multiple purposes, such as keeping skin, hair and nails healthy. In addition to its scientifically backed benefits, tea tree oil is inexpensive and easy to get and also safe when used as directed.
This article centers on everyday uses for tea tree oil and provides guideline on using it safely and effectively.
What Is Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is gotten from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia.
Although Melaleuca alternifolia is known as the tea tree, it should not be mistaken with the plant that produces leaves used to make black, green and oolong tea.
Tea tree oil has been used as a traditional medicine by Aborigines for decades. 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.
Presently, tea tree oil is widely available as a 100% undiluted or “neat” oil. Diluted forms are also available, ranging from 5–50% strength in products designed for the skin.
Tea tree oil contains series of compounds, such as terpinen-4-ol, that have been proven to kill certain bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Terpinen-4-ol also appears to elevate the activity of your white blood cells, which help kill and other foreign invaders.
These germ-fighting abilities make tea tree oil a valued natural remedy for treatment of bacterial and fungal skin conditions, preventing infection and enhancing healing.
Bellow is many uses and benefits of this versatile oil.
1. Hand Sanitizer
Tea tree oil makes an ideal natural hand sanitizer. Studies have proven that it kills several common bacteria and viruses responsible for causing illness, such as E. coli, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae.
Moreover, a study testing several types of hand wash proves that adding tea tree oil to the cleansers increase their effectiveness against E. coli.
2. Insect Repellent
Tea tree oil may help keep pesky insects away. One study shows that 24 hours after being treated with tea tree oil, cows had 61% fewer flies than cows not treated with tea tree oil.
Furthermore, a test-tube study indicates that tea tree oil had a higher ability to repel mosquitoes than DEET, the most common active ingredient in commercial insect repellents.
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3. Natural Deodorant
Tea tree oil’s antibacterial effects may help control underarm odor related to perspiration. Sweat itself does not smell. However, when secretions from your sweat glands combine with bacteria on your skin, a moderate to strong odor is produced.
Your underarm area contains a high concentration of these glands and is mainly responsible for what is commonly known as “body odor.” Tea tree oil’s bacteria-fighting properties make it a perfect natural alternative to commercial deodorants and antiperspirants.
4. Antiseptic for Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Injuries that occur in broken skin make it easy for germs to penetrate your bloodstream, which can result to infection.
Tea tree oil can be used to treat and disinfect little cuts and abrasions by killing S. aureus and other bacteria that can lead to infection in open wounds.
To disinfect a cut or scrape, follow these steps:
Clean the wound thoroughly with plain soap and water
Mix one drop of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil
Apply a small amount of the mixture to the injury and cover with a bandage
Repeat this process once or twice daily until a scab has formed
5. Boost Wound Healing
In addition to preventing infection in cuts and abrasions, tea tree oil may also enhance wound healing.
Research has proven that tea tree oil helps reduce inflammation and activates white blood cells that are instrumental in the healing process.
In a small analysis of 10 people with wounds, adding tea tree oil to conventional wound treatment led to poor healing time in all but one participant.
A few drops of tea tree oil can be on the wound dressing each time a new dressing is applied.
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6. Fight Acne
Tea tree oil can be a strong weapon against acne. Several studies have proven that it helps minimize the amount and overall severity of acne.
In one study, applying a 5% tea tree gel to acne lesions was proven to be more than three times more effective at decreasing the number of lesions than a placebo. It was closely six times as effective in reducing severity.
In another study, tea tree oil was seemed to be as effective against acne as benzoyl peroxide, the most common anti-acne medication.
Tea tree oil-based acne gels can be gotten at natural grocery stores or from online sellers.
Alternatively, you can make prepare your own acne treatment by mixing one part tea tree oil with nine parts water and applying the mixture to affected part with a cotton swab once or twice a day, as required.
7. Get Rid of Nail Fungus
Fungal nail infections are very common. Although they aren’t dangerous, they can be unsightly. There are medications that can cure nail fungus, though some people may opt for a more natural approach.
Tea tree oil has been proven to help get rid of nail fungus when used alone or in combination with other natural remedies.
In a controlled study, people with nail fungus used straight tea tree oil or an antifungal medication for six months. At the end of the study, about 60% of people in each group experienced partial or full resolution of the fungus.
You can use a few drops of tea tree oil only or mix it with an equal amount of coconut oil and apply it to the affected part. Make sure you wash your hands immediately after applying in order to avoid spreading the fungus to other areas.
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8. Chemical-Free Mouthwash
Studies suggest that tea tree oil may fight against germs that cause tooth decay and bad breath.
One study shows that tea tree oil was more effective against plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, a common disinfectant and oral rinse. What’s more, its taste seems to be less objectionable.
On the other hand, an older study showed that tea tree oil didn’t seem to have much of an effect on plaque formation.
To make your own chemical-free mouthwash, simply mix a drop of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water thoroughly and swish in your mouth for 30 -40 seconds.
Like other mouthwashes, tea tree oil should not be swallowed since it can be toxic if ingested.
9. All-Purpose Cleaner
Tea tree oil makes a great all-purpose cleaner that also sanitizes surfaces. Plus, it does so without leaving traces of chemicals you wouldn’t want your family members or pets coming in contact with.
Here is some easy recipe for an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner:
Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil, 3/4 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle.
Shake well until thoroughly mixed.
Spray directly onto surfaces and wipe clean with a dry cloth.
Ensure you shake the bottle before each use in order to mix the tea tree oil with the other ingredients.
10. Soothe Skin Inflammation
Tea tree oil may help relieve inflamed skin.
A common form of skin irritation is contact dermatitis, which happens when skin comes in contact with an allergen, including nickel. Exposure to the allergen results to red, itchy and sometimes painful skin.
Animal and human study suggests that applying tea tree oil may help reduce the severity of these symptoms.
In a study analyzing the effects of different treatments for contact dermatitis, tea tree oil was found to decrease symptoms by 40%, which was significantly more than standard medications applied to the skin.
Additionally, tea tree oil may give relief from bug bite reactions by reducing the itching, redness and swelling that occurs when your body releases histamine to fight against the insect’s saliva.
Use this recipe to relieve inflamed skin:
Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of melted coconut oil.
Mix well, and store in a sealed container.
Apply to the affected part about twice a day until symptoms resolve.
Applying a tea tree oil mixture may help combat skin inflammation related to contact dermatitis or insect bites.
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