Tea tree oil, or Melaleuca, is derived from the leaves of the tea tree, native to Australia. There are over 300 tea trees species that naturally grow there. It was named by the 18th-century sailors, who used the leaves to prepare tea with a smell similar to the one of nutmeg.
The aboriginal tribes have used the beneficial properties of the tea tree for centuries, especially in the treatment of skin conditions and cuts. They boiled the leaves and used the powerful antiseptic qualities of the tea to soothe wounds, skin infections, and cuts.
The extraction is done by steam distillation. The oil contains numerous healing compounds, and it has many health benefits.
How to use the tea tree oil:
- Treat acne by applying tea tree oil on a cotton bud and apply it on dry skin
- Mix it with raw organic honey
- Use it as a mask (apply 5 drops of tea tree oil to a ¼ cup of plain yogurt and mix it. Apply to dry skin as a mask and leave it for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove it carefully with warm water).
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your cleanser or moisturizer
- Apply several drops of tea tree oil in your bath water
However, you do not need to go to Australia to enjoy the benefits of the tea tree now, since it is available in the form of the tea tree oil. Moreover, it is commonly added to face soaps, ointments, skin care products, and shampoos.
This beneficial oil offers countless health benefits. Its topical use treats infections, acne, ringworm, scabies, lice, and athlete’s foot.
It relieves insect bites, burns, abrasions and cuts, boils, ear, nose, and mouth infections, toothaches, earaches, vaginal infections, recurrent herpes labialis, and much more. Moreover, some people use it to treat bronchial congestions, coughs, and pulmonary inflammation.
Are there side effects of the tea tree oil? Well, despite the numerous benefits, there are some side effects that only work for some people.
- It has a bad taste, so it shouldn’t be used as mouthwash
- If you take too much you might face diarrhea
- If you treat an ear infection, you should be very careful because it might damage your ear
- Skin allergies or skin infections
- Don’t use it during pregnancy because it might inflict issues in the baby’s health
Here are 9 ways in which you can use it:
1. Infections and Cuts
The potent antifungal and antibacterial properties of Melaleuca heal infections and cuts. Apply a few drops on the affected area, cover with a bandage, and leave it overnight.
2. Eczema and Psoriasis
The powerful anti-inflammatory properties of this essential oil treat eczema and psoriasis. Mix 5 droplets of lavender oil, the same amount of tea tree oil, and a teaspoon of coconut oil, and apply the mixture to the affected area.
3. Toenail Fungus
Tea tree oil has strong antifungal effects that will help you treat toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.
This oil will destroy bacteria and soothe inflammation. Mix a few drops with 2 tablespoons of honey, and apply the mixture on the affected area. Rub it gently, and rinse after a few minutes.
5. Natural Deodorant
Use the strong antimicrobial qualities of this oil, and use it to make your homemade, natural deodorant. Mix it with coconut oil and baking soda.
6. Oral Health
Since it kills bacteria and fights inflammation, tea tree oil will aid in the reduction of decay and the prevention of gum bleeding. Mix it with some coconut oil and baking soda and use it as a natural toothpaste.
7. Hair and Scalp
Mix Melaleuca with some Aloe Vera gel, coconut oil, and lavender oil, and use the mixture as a natural shampoo to fight dandruff.
Spray some tea tree oil on the curtains and the bathroom areas affected by mold, and you will quickly solve the issue.
9. Cleaning agent
Use this essential oil as a natural cleaning product, since it has powerful antimicrobial properties. Mix it with vinegar, lemon essential oil, and some water, and clean the sink, shower, countertops, and kitchen appliances.
Numerous ways to use the tea tree oil
- With a massage after you get out of the shower. While your skin is still slightly wet, massage the oil on the affected area
- Take a bath by sipping several drops of the oil
- Rub the affected place several times of the day
Note that the oral use of this oil can be toxic. Moreover, before you use it topically, do a small patch test on the skin. In some rare cases, it can lead to stinging, burning, redness, skin dryness, and itching.
Other essential oils that can fight acne, eczema, and psoriasis:
- Bergamot Essential oil
- Anjelica Essential oil
- Chamomile Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Helichrysum Essential Oil
Keep it away from children, and in the case of sensitive skin, dilute it with some carrier oil, like coconut, almond, or olive oil.