Over the past few years, there’s been a product in the healthcare industry that’s becoming more and more popular. Tea tree oil, otherwise known as melaleuca, comes in a small green vial. Many users swear by the product, saying that it is unlike anything else they’ve used before. Curious about how tea tree oil could help you? Below, you’ll find the top uses for tea tree oil.
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What is Tea Tree Oil?
As the name indicates, tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree. The tea tree is different from the tea plant, which produces the leaves necessary to make drinkable green and black teas. There are multiple uses for tea tree oil, the most popular of which are listed below. Some are backed by science, while others have insufficient evidence to support the claims.
Not only can you buy tea tree oil in its pure form, but if you look closely at some household and cosmetic products, you will likely see it listed as an active ingredient. This is primarily because tea tree oil is known for its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Products that could potentially include tea tree oil include:
- Laundry Detergent
- Skin Creams
- Nail Creams
- Massaging Oils
- Cleaning Products
Before using tea tree oil, it’s important to consider possible side effects, courtesy of WebMD. When applying to your skin, tea tree oil is possibly safe. Many people do not have a problem using it on their skin, but some report minor skin irritation, swelling, or dryness. Furthermore, you should never ingest tea tree oil orally, as it could be toxic and cause a host of severe side effects.
Also, you should be on the lookout for products that contain both tea tree oil and lavender oil. These products may not be safe for those who have yet to hit puberty, as they could disrupt hormone cycles. When using tea tree oil, we recommend looking for products that are 100% pure. If you need to use lavender oil, you should buy it separately.
Before trying a new product, we recommend that you to first talk to your doctor or trusted healthcare professional. They can provide more information about the product and advise you whether it’s safe to use the product. Consider writing down a list of questions or concerns you have about the product. Also, have an idea of which product you intend to use.
Uses For Tea Tree Oil
There are hundreds of reported uses for tea tree oil. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or comments below, as well. If you’ve tried one of the uses below, let us know how it went. Or, if you have a use for tea tree oil that you swear by but is not our list, we encourage you to share with others in the comment section.
> Fight Acne
Tea tree’s ability to fight acne is one of its most well-known uses. It is a practical solution to battle acne because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Researchers found that those using a face wash containing tea tree oil experienced fewer facial acne lesions. Participants only suffered minor side effects like dryness and peeling. These side effects resolved themselves without intervention.
There are multiple ways you could fight acne with tea tree oil. If you struggle with substantial breakouts, consider applying the tea tree oil topically with a Q-tip or cotton ball. Or, if you’re looking for a general face wash, consider mixing five drops of the oil with two teaspoons of honey. Apply this mixture to your face, and wait one minute before rinsing with warm water.
> Improve Dry Skin Conditions
Tea tree could also be beneficial in approving conditions associated with dry skin, such as psoriasis, eczema and dry scalp. One study tested the effectiveness of a tea tree oil shampoo for treating mild to moderate dandruff. After four weeks, the study concluded that the oil reduced participant’s dandruff by more than 40%. Participants also reported a reduction in itchiness and dry skin.
Similarly, there is also research that indicates tea tree oil could help treat other skin irritations or wounds. Studies found that tea tree oil could reduce the size of injuries and help them heal. The study also found that tea tree oil could be used to treat chronic wounds. Some have also said that tea tree oil moisturizers helped soothe sunburns, while pure tea tree oil could help treat bug bites.
> Protect Against Bacterial and Viral Infections
Because of its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is a great option to ward off infections. In fact, the oil is so strong that studies suggest it could be a treatment option for infections as dangerous as MRSA. Mind you, MRSA is an infection that often results in hospitalization and is very difficult to treat. The oil could also be used to treat other severe bacterial infections, such as:
> Combat Bad Breath
Studies show that tea tree oil could fight against bacteria in your mouth, which is known to cause tooth decay and bad breath. The study found that tea tree oil killed more oral bacteria than chlorhexidine, which is an agent commonly found in many types of mouthwash. Those participating in the survey also said that they preferred the taste of the tea tree oil as well.
However, remember that we said you should not ingest tea tree oil. You will need to dilute the tea tree oil before using it as a mouthwash. Add a drop of the 100% tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds. Do not swallow your tea tree oil mouthwash, as it could be toxic.
> Hand Sanitizer
Instead of purchasing hand sanitizer loaded with alcohol, you could make a natural hand sanitizer using tea tree oil. One study found that adding tea tree oil to hand washes improved how effective the hand wash was at fighting against E. coli. You could either look for a hand sanitizer with tea tree oil at your local convenience store or make your own.
> Insect Repellent
If you’re looking for a safer insect repellent, consider those with tea tree oil. Scientists found that applying tea tree oil to cows resulted in over 60 percent fewer flies than untreated animals. Research has also indicated that tea tree oil was more effective, and safer, at repelling mosquitos than DEET. Why use harsh chemicals when you could use a natural solution?
> Household Cleaner
Instead of spending money on expensive household cleaners that contain chemicals that could be hazardous to the environment and your health, you could instead make an all-purpose cleaner from tea tree oil. The antibacterial properties of the oil make it an excellent option for sanitizing surfaces in your home and is also much safer for children and pets.
To make your own tea tree oil cleaner, begin by filling a spray bottle with a ¾ cup of water. Then, add ½ cup of apple cider vinegar. Lastly, add 20 drops of 100% pure tea tree oil to the mixture. Shake well until the liquids are well-mixed, and then spray directly onto the surfaces you wish to clean. Allow the spray to sit for a few seconds, and then wipe clean with a dry cloth.
> Protect Your Plants and Produce
With its capabilities as an insect repellent, in addition to its antibacterial properties, tea tree oil is a fantastic choice to help protect your household plants and produce. Combine a few drops of tea tree oil into a spray bottle with warm water and apply the mixture onto your plants to protect against pests, mold, and other fungi.
You could also spray the mixture onto your fruit and vegetables to protect them against mold and increase their longevity. Those living in humid climates may find this to be particularly accurate. Apply the above mixture to your produce after you bring it home from the market. After applying the mixture, rinse the fruit thoroughly and dry.
> Treat Blisters
Blisters on your foot can be very difficult to deal with, but tea tree oil could help. Not only could the oil help the wound heal, but they would also reduce the risk of future infection or recurrence. To apply tea tree oil to a blister, combine a few drops of the oil with warm water. Apply it to the tender area by using a cotton ball. Let sit for ten minutes and then rinse the affected area with cold water.
You could also soak your feet in a mixture of tea tree oil and warm water. Not only could this help fight against blisters, but it could also help combat other foot funguses as well. Soaking your feet in the combination for about ten minutes a day could go a long way. When creating your mixture, you don’t need more than a few drops of the oil.
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