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Tea Tree Oil – Why You Need This Incredible Oil Right Now

Tea Tree Oil – Why You Need This Incredible Oil Right Now

Tea Tree essential oil, with its countless health benefits and uses around the home, is a must have in your natural toolkit. It can help clear your acne, treat your dandruff, reduce the pain of insect bites, and make your home smell fabulous - naturally! If you’re looking for an inexpensive, yet powerful oil, Tea Tree oil is a must-have.

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Research Confirms What Ancient People Knew

Recent scientific studies have confirmed what Australia’s indigenous people have known for hundreds of years. The leaves of the Tea Tree plant have anti-microbial properties (Source). In bygone days, the local people would crush the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia, now known as the Tea Tree, and place them onto skin injuries to prevent infection and aid in the recovery.

Today, Tea Tree Oil is steam-distilled from the leaves and twigs of the plant. The resulting oil, also known as Melaleuca Oil will retain its effectiveness for about a year if it is kept out of the sun and in a dark bottle.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Melaleuca Alternifolia

photo by nutrawiki.org

The Tea Tree Discovered Anew

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Melaleuca

Melaleuca Alternifolia belongs to the myrtle tree family Myrtaceae, and is indigenous to Australia. It was given its contemporary name by eighteenth-century sailors after Captain Cooke made an infusion with the leaves of the plant.

Early settlers learned of the healing powers of the Tea Tree from the indigenous Bundjalung people (Source). The plant was used for its antimicrobial qualities for years, becoming a staple in Australian homes. During World War Two, Tea Tree Oil was included in the first aid boxes of Australian soldiers.

In clinical trials, under the leadership of Arthur Penfold in the 1920’s, Tea Tree Oil produced better than expected results, proving that it had potent antimicrobial properties.

The Australians have used tea Tree Oil ever since and, more recently, it’s used in countries all over the globe. In the 1920’s before the introduction of penicillin, it was used as an antiseptic during surgery and dentistry.

What It Is And How It Works

Tea Tree Oil is an inexpensive essential oil that smells of camphor and has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties (Source). It is used in many cosmetics and skin cleansers. When used in the home it should be mixed with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, jojoba oil or olive oil.

The antiseptic and antifungal inhibitors of Tea Tree Oil are derived from the terpene hydrocarbons in the oil. Terpenes are volatile oils that have antibacterial properties. They work by reducing the amount of oxygen that the microbes can absorb. They also increase cell wall permeability, making it difficult for the microbes to survive.  

Tea Tree Oil induces sweating and in so doing helps the body to rid itself of toxins, assisting in the healing process. It removes excess salts and moisture from the pores.

While recent research has confirmed the efficacy of Tea Tree Oil, surprisingly large clinical tests are still lacking despite the current concern over the failure of antibiotics to deal with all modern day infections.

Benefits and Uses

Used as a health supplement Tea Tree Oil helps to boost the immune system, improves the healing process, protects wounds from infection and its anti-oxidants reduce the development of scar tissue (Source).

In the home it can powerfully deodorize and sanitize areas, while eliminating the bacteria that are the main cause of the odors.

Watch this video for a quick rundown of the benefits of Tea Tree Oil:


Skin & Hair Treatment

Acne Treatment

Perhaps best known for the treatment of acne, Tea Tree Oil is an active ingredient in many of the cleansers that are designed for the treatment of this very common skin condition. This essential oil kills the bacteria that grow in hair follicles. It also has soothing, mildly analgesic properties that can help to reduce the discomfort caused by acne (Source).

Benzoyl Peroxide is known for its effectiveness in the treatment of acne. Now research has proven that tea tree oil is just as effective (Source). Treatment using Tea Tree Oil does take a little longer but is not as harsh as Benzoyl Peroxide. The oil works by clearing out the excess sebum in the pores, and by preventing bacterial growth that causes blemishes. It helps to reduce the number of blemishes as well as the severity of the outbreak.

Mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil (such as juniper berry, jojoba, or tamanu oil) in a ratio of one to nine and use as a topical treatment. Although it’s not as harsh as Benzoyl Peroxide it can also dry the skin if used too frequently. This may, in turn, cause the skin to overreact and increase the production of sebum. Use twice a day for best results. Tea Tree Oil can make the skin sensitive to UV rays, so users should take preventative measures.

This video provides additional information about using Tea Tree Oil to treat acne:

Eczema

Tea Tree Oil is one of the most effective essential oils used in the treatment of eczema. Its efficacy in reducing inflammation and irritation was borne out by research in 2011 (Source). To make a soothing balm, mix five drops of tea tree oil with five drops of lavender oil and a teaspoon of coconut oil.

Psoriasis

There have been no research studies that confirm psoriasis relief through the use of Tea Tree Oil but since it’s known to reduce irritation in other skin conditions, sufferers may benefit from a few drops in bath water or shampoo or the application of a one to ten mix of the essential oil with a carrier such as olive oil.  

Removal of Skin Tags

Although slower than cauterisation or laser therapy many people suffering from skin tags have managed to remove them over a period of three to six weeks cheaply and easily by dabbing them with Tea Tree Oil. Mix with a little olive oil or castor oil three times a day, and keep them covered. The Tea Tree Oil dries the skin tags out and they generally fall off.

This video provides additional information about using Tea Tree Oil to treat skin tags:

Hair Care

Tea Tree Oil is an effective treatment for the dry and itchy scalp caused by dandruff. Research into Tea Tree Oil’s effectiveness in treating dandruff discovered  a significant reduction in severity, itchiness and greasiness (Source).

Tea Tree Oil may also help to unblock hair follicles, nourishing the roots and slowing hair loss. Just add two or three drops to your normal shampoo, every time you wash your hair.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Hair Care

photo by suhyeon choi


Respiratory & Throat Care

Decongestant

Sinusitis is an annoying condition that can lead to headaches and poor sleep. Over the counter medications are available, but many have nasty side effects such as drowsiness. For this reason, many who suffer from sinusitis are turning to natural remedies. Because Tea Tree Oil contains both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties it may offer quick relief to sufferers of sinusitis caused by the inflammation of the sinus tissue.

Used in aromatherapy Tea Tree Oil is said to relieve chest and nasal congestion. For this application add a drop or two of the oil to very hot water or boiling water and inhale the steam for about ten minutes.

Asthma

Used in a humidifier to treat asthma, the oil reduces inflammation (Source). Essential oils can trigger a negative response in people who are highly sensitive to strong odors and should be used with caution.

Sore Throat Remedy

The sore throat that comes along with colds and flu is caused by inflammation of the mucus membranes. Gargling with Tea Tree Oil could help to reduce the inflammation, and if used early in the infection could help fight off the bacteria or virus that causes it. The solution must not be swallowed, as it is toxic when ingested.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Sore Throat

photo by tanja heffner


Foot Care

Antifungal Treatments

  • Research reveals that Tea Tree Oil is as effective in the treatment of Athlete’s Foot as pharmaceutical alternatives (Source).
  • Use four to five drops of Tea Tree Oil in teaspoon of coconut oil to treat toenail fungus. It has proven to be as effective as pharmaceutical antifungal ointment normally prescribed (Source).
  • Although recommended for the treatment of ringworm, insufficient clinical evidence exists to substantiate its efficacy in the treatment of this fungal infection.

Eradicate Foot Odor

Odorous feet are the result of sweat combined with bacteria and fungus. While Tea Tree Oil has not been clinically tested for effective foot deodorizing, it has proven to be effective in the treatment of fungal infections of the feet including both Athlete’s Foot and fungal nail infections. As an antibacterial agent, it follows that it’s an effective treatment for smelly feet.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Foot Care

photo by leio mcLaren


Pest Deterrent

Scabies

Clinical research has proven that Tea Tree Oil is effective in killing the mite responsible for scabies (Source). It is also helpful in reducing inflammation caused by the infestation. Larger clinical tests are required, but there is little commercial incentive for this.

Insect Bites

Tea Tree Oil can be used both to repel insects and to treat the pain and irritation of insect bites. Its antibacterial properties reduce the chances of infection and the anti-inflammatory properties reduce the itch and sting (Source).

Head Lice

Research has proven that Tea Tree Oil is an effective treatment for the eradication of lice (Source). To treat an infestation, apply two or three drops to the scalp and comb through the hair. Follow with shampoo and conditioner and repeat two to three times a week until the infestation has been cleared.


Additional Health Benefits

  • Muscle Aches - It can help to relieve muscular aches and pains when added to the bath water
  • Wart Removal - By applying Tea Tree Oil to warts under a bandage every night, they should disappear after one to four weeks
  • Deodorant - Mix two drops in two tablespoons of water and apply to the arm pits as a deodorant
  • Minor Burns - Soothe burns
  • Boil Treatment - Dab Tea Tree Oil on a boil several times a day to reduce inflammation and infection.
  • Mouthwash - Gargle Tea Tree Oil as a remedy for bad breath.
  • Tick Removal - A drop of Tea Tree Oil on a tick will cause it to drop off.


DIY Recipes

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - DIY Recipes

photo by brooke lark

Insect Repellent

8 drops of tea tree oil
8 drops of lavender oil
1 cup of water
1 cup of witch hazel
1 cup of mint mouthwash

Place all ingredients into a spray bottle and shake well.
Spray onto exposed skin.

Tea Tree Oil Facial Cleanser

1/4 cup of castor oil
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
15 drops of tea tree oil
1/4 cup of jojoba oil

Gently rub the cleanser into the skin of your face and neck.
Using a washcloth and hot water, place the saturated washcloth over your face and leave it to cool down and then wipe the oil off.

You can play around with the quantities of castor and jojoba oil to suit your skin.

Bathroom Tile Scrub

1/2 cup of baking soda
6 drops of Tea Tree Oil
6 drops of Thieves Oil
Water to make a paste

Mix the ingredients into a smooth paste. Wet the bathroom surfaces and apply the paste with a brush.
Wait five minutes and then brush the tiles down and then rinse with clean water.


Household Benefits

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Surface Cleaner

photo by jared rice

Surface Cleaner Or All-Purpose Cleaner

  • Clean and disinfect your household without using harmful chemicals.
  • Mix:
  • 1/2  cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil

Mold And Mildew Repellent

  • Add five to ten drops of Tea Tree Oil to your rinsing water when washing fruits and vegetables before storage to retard the growth of mold. Dry thoroughly before packing away.
  • Sprinkle baking soda and a drop of Tea Tree Oil onto bathroom and kitchen surfaces to prevent the growth of mold.
  • Clean the washing machine by putting ten or twelve drops of Tea Tree Oil in the machine and running it on high heat.

Deodorizer

  • Freshen the carpet by adding a few drops to baking soda and sprinkling it on the carpet.
  • Add a few drops to your washing as an antibacterial laundry freshener.
  • A few drops in the trashcan help to deodorize and sanitize it, reducing smells.

In the Garden

  • To make an effective fungicide for the plants in your garden mix two tablespoons of Tea Tree Oil with two cups of water and spray the plants every four or five days at the coolest time of the day.
  • Use it to repel ants that can cause damage in the garden. Simply put a few drops along their path.
  • Keep your outdoor furniture mold free by cleaning it with a Tea Tree Oil surface cleaner.
Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Garden

photo by benjamin combs

Insect Repellent

The strong smell of the oil repels insects. Make your own insect repellent by adding about twenty drops to a litre of water and spraying it in areas around the house.

Pet Care

Although some advocates of Tea Tree Oil suggest sprinkling diluted Tea Tree Oil in the dog’s bedding to fend off fleas, it should be noted that research has proven that the use of tea tree oil on pets is not safe (Source). Dogs and cats whose skin was exposed to undiluted Tea Tree Oil suffered from severe side effects such as tremors and difficulty walking.


Side Effects of Tea Tree Oil and Precautions

  • Tea Tree Oil should always be diluted as it can cause irritation to those with sensitive skin. Irritation can often be managed by reducing the concentration. When using Tea Tree Oil for the first time it is wise to use lower concentrations so that you can evaluate your skin’s tolerance levels.

  • Research has shown that oxidation of the product appears to be the main cause of the irritation (Source). Oxidation occurs when the oil is not correctly stored. The oil degrades in the presence of light heat, air and moisture, so it should be kept in a sealed container in a cool and dark environment.
  • Before using any essential oil including Tea Tree Oil, you should conduct a skin patch test.
    To do this, follow the instructions on diluting the oil and then put a dime size patch of the diluted oil on your forearm. Wait for forty-eight hours. If there is no visible irritation, you can safely use it. If during the test period you feel the onset of skin irritation, wash the area with soap and warm water.
Pure Health HQ - Guide to Tea Tree Oil - Skin Test

photo by coline haslé

  • Tea Tree Oil is dangerous if ingested and should only be used in topical applications. The oil, if swallowed, can have serious health implications including vomiting, diarrhea, hallucinations and coma.

  • It should be used with caution in prepubescent boys, as it may be an endocrine disruptor and has been known to cause breast enlargement in boys.

  • Some users advocate use of Tree Tea Oil in the treatment of ear infections. However this may cause damage to the inner ear and should be approached with caution.

  • Tea Tree oil should be kept out of the reach of children and used with care where pets are present.

  • Although Tea Tree Oil is sometimes promoted as environmentally friendly, studies are required to determine the environmental effect of Tea Tree Oil.

Conclusion

Without question Tea Tree Oil is here to stay. Its uses are many and varied and as more and more research is done, its many benefits are confirmed. The oil is inexpensive and easy to obtain, and as antibiotics and chemical disinfectants become less effective due to overuse, we may find that Tea Tree Oil is a great natural substitute.

References

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