The essential oil of the tea tree has found ways to enhance lives or help prevent illness and infections. This unique oil can be added to household products for cleaning and disinfecting.
Also check: Ultimate guide to essential oils
Uses of Tea Tree Essential Oil
The acne breakouts usually appear on the face, but can also be seen on the chest, back and shoulders. It is caused due to a change in the size, activity of the sweat and sebaceous glands. Sebum is the semi-fluid oily mixture produced in your pores to keep the skin soft, flexible and waterproof. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and antibiotic. It has been shown to lower the bacteria level and inflammation of acne as effectively as topical pharmaceutical medications without negative side effects such as dry skin, redness and peeling.
Dab a small amount of tea tree oil on blemishes three times per day. Alternatively, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to ¼ cup of warm water and wash blemished areas morning and night with a clean cotton ball or pad.
Dandruff is a common condition of the scalp that occurs when dead skin is shed or sloughed off. The result of this condition is annoying due to its itchy, white flakes. Dandruff is typically more common in oily, rather than dry skin and is a result of skin cells renewing themselves. Everyone produces and sheds skin cells at different rates.
Add 20 drops of tea tree oil into your shampoo in the bottle and mix; use daily or alternate with another shampoo. You can also use 3 drops of tea tree oil mixed with your shampoo in your hand to wash your hair. Rubbing a few drops of tea tree oil directly into the scalp may help unblock the hair follicles.
3. Head Lice and Scabies
Scabies is a parasitic disease of itch mites that burrow under the skin and lay eggs, causing a persistent, itchy rash. While lice live on an individual or in the clothing that they wear. Lice produces tiny black specks in the undergarments and nits in the base of the hair shafts. Mild excoriations may be seen from scratching.
For head lice, add 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil to 1 ounce of shampoo. Then massage into hair, leave on for 10 minutes and rinse. Repeat twice a week till eggs and lice are gone. The shampoo treats the other areas affected by lice or scabies. Apply tea tree oil directly, twice a day, to an area affected by scabies, but it could also cause irritation in people with sensitive skin. Consult a medical practitioner if no improvement is seen in 10 days.
4. Chapped Lips
Dry, cracked lips can be caused by a dry environment, excessive licking or reaction to irritants in cosmetics or skin treatments.
Add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil to your favorite lip balm or moisturizing cream. Apply to your lips as necessary, several times a day.
5. Cold Sores
These sores typically appear on the lips, or skin near the mouth, as single or multiple small bumps filled with fluid, within three to ten days after exposure to the herpes virus. It can possibly spread and grow. It can be painful, itchy and irritating. Unfortunately, the virus remains permanently in the body, which is why some people are prone to frequent outbreaks.
Tea tree oil can speed healing of cold sores. Apply a few drops on a cotton swab as soon as you feel the tenderness and itching that usually precede a cold sore. If the cold sore is worse, apply a few drops of tea tree oil to the infected area twice a day.
6. Nail Infections (Paronychia and Onychomycosis)
Paronychia is an infection that develops along the edge of the fingernail or toenail. Fungal infections under the nails can cause the nail to rise off the nail bed and cause swelling of the nail bed and discoloration of the nail. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection of the nail that results in thickening, roughness, and splitting of the nails. It can lead to a complete destruction of the nail. Both these infections may be improved with the use of tea tree oil.
Pour 2–3 drops of tea tree oil directly to nail and tissue surroundings. Repeat every morning and night. If the infections is more be persistent, increase frequency of application.
7. Dental Care
The mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria. It is warm, moist and full of nooks and crannies where bacteria can hide, producing bad breath, promoting gum disease and tooth decay. Sore throats, canker sores and mouth ulcers are all too common.
Tea tree oil is possibly toxic when swallowed. So do oral use with care. You can use a trusty commercial tea tree oil toothpaste or mouthwash rather than risking ingestion of too much of this potent oil.
8. Gum Disease (Gingivitis)
Gingivitis is a condition of the periodontal disease (pyorrhea) group. It is inflammation of the gums and is the early stage of periodontal disease. Plaque, deposits of bacteria, mucus, and food particles stuck to the teeth are main causes of gingivitis.
As mentioned previously, tea tree oil is possibly toxic when swallowed. Use a natural, commercial tea tree oil toothpaste or mouthwash rather than risking ingestion of too much of this potent oil.
A blister is rather like a burn from friction on the skin and it can be easily infected. Keep the area clean and treat with tea tree oil. Cover it with a bandage if needed.
If it is worse, apply tea tree oil full strength to the affected area.
10. Common Cold (Rhinovirus)
Cold viruses survive better in colder temperatures, so they tend to thrive in the fall and winter months. Cold sufferers experience symptoms such as head congestion, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, headache, and watery eyes. The majority of colds resolve on their own within 7 to 10 days, but occasionally they can lead to more serious illnesses 17 involving the lungs (bronchitis, pneumonia), the ears infections and the sinuses.
Add 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil to 4 cups of very hot water in a container. Drape a towel over your head and over the pot. Inhale the steam. At night add 10 drops of tea tree oil to your vaporizer. You can also rub a drop on under your nose and on each temple. Eucalyptus Oil can also be a soothing oil for steam inhalation to clear breathing passages.
11. Canker Sores (Aphthous stomatitis)
They are small, white swellings in the mouth that can develop into ulcers. Outbreaks vary from a single sore, two or three times a year, to an uninterrupted succession of multiple sores. These small, shallow mouth ulcers are painful and can be quite annoying. They appear either singly or in clusters on the roof of the mouth, on lips, gums, inner cheeks, tongue, and/or throat. The development of a canker sore may begin with a burning and tingling sensation. Canker sores typically heal without scarring within 1 to 3 weeks.
Tea tree oil is possibly toxic when swallowed or ingested. Dab on canker sores with a clean cotton swab. Do not use full strength for children. Dilute 5 to 10 drops in ¼ cup of warm water and dab onto the canker.
12. Arthritis (Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis)
Arthritis means inflammation of one or more joints. Osteoarthritis is the degeneration and loss of cartilage in the joints, with accompanying stiffness and pain. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic form of arthritis that can lead to destruction of the bone and cartilage.
For joint swelling and pain due to arthritis, add 10 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of jojoba or grape seed oil and massage affected areas 2 to 3 times a day. Tea tree oil appears to be able to penetrate the joint and desensitize irritated nerve endings.
Gout is a common type of arthritis which typically begins in the first joint of the big toe. It is a disorder of protein metabolism leading to an increased concentration of uric acid. In gout, uric acid crystals also deposit in joints, tendons, kidneys, and other tissues, causing considerable inflammation and damage. Kidney involvement may also lead to kidney failure.
For joint swelling caused by gout, mix 5 drops of tea tree oil with 2 ounces of jojoba or grape seed oil and massage into the affected area 2–3 times a day.