Although research shows that essential oils have health benefits, FDA does not regulate their quality or purity. Before you start using essential oils, it is important to consult a healthcare professional and to verify the quality of any brand’s products. Before you try a new essential oil, make sure to do a patch test.
Tea tree oil can be used for many purposes, including maintaining your skin, hair and nails healthy.
Tea tree oil has many scientifically supported benefits. It is also inexpensive and safe when used correctly.
This article will discuss 14 uses of tea tree oil every day and provide guidance on how to use it safely and effectively.
What’s Tea Tree Oil? How does it work?
Tea tree oil is made from the leaves Melaleuca alternifolia. This small tree is native to Queensland, New South Wales and Australia.
Melaleuca alternifolia, also known as the tea tree, is not to be confused with the leaf of the plant that’s used to make oolong and black tea.
The Aboriginal Australian people have used tea tree oil as a traditional medicine for hundreds of years. The Australian natives used tea tree oil to cure colds and coughs. They also inhaled it for skin healing.
Tea tree oil can be purchased in undiluted or pure form. You can also find dilute forms, which range from 5 to 50% strength in products for the skin.
Tea tree oil is rich in terpinen-4, a compound that has been proven to kill certain bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Terpinen-4ol appears to also increase activity in your white blood cells.
Tea tree oil is a valuable natural remedy for fungal and bacterial skin conditions. It prevents infection and promotes healing.
Continue reading to discover the many benefits and uses of this oil.
1. Hand Sanitizer
Tea tree oil is a natural hand sanitizer.
It kills many common bacteria and viruses that cause illness, such as E. coli, S. coli, S. influenzae (1Trusted Source).
A study that tested several handwashes found that tea tree oil was effective against E.coli.
Hand sanitizers containing tea tree oil have been proven effective in killing bacteria.
This recipe will show you how to make your own hand sanitizer made with tea tree oil.
SUMMARY- Tree oil can be used as a natural hand soap to kill germs that cause colds and flu.
2. Insect Repellent
Tea tree oil might help repel pesky insects.
One study showed that cows treated with tea oil had 61% less flies 24 hours later than those not treated.
Tea tree oil is used in agriculture to keep ants away from produce.
It also works well as a mosquito repellent.
Test-tube studies revealed that tea tree oil was more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
This insect repellent is easy to make using tea tree oil and other natural components.
SUMMARY- Tea tree oil has been proven to repel and kill insects. It can be as effective or even more effective than other insecticides and repellents in some instances.
3. Natural Deodorant
Tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties may help to control sweaty underarm odor.
The smell of sweat itself is not unpleasant. The odor comes from the combination of sweat gland secretions and bacteria on your skin.
These glands are concentrated in the underarm region, which is responsible for body odor. Tea tree oil is a natural antiperspirant and deodorant that fights bacteria.
This natural, safe and effective deodorant can be made with tea tree oil and other ingredients.
SUMMARY- Tea tree oil is rich in compounds that combat bacteria responsible for body odor. You can make an effective and safe deodorant with it.
4. Antiseptic for Minor Cuts or Scrapes
Broken skin can allow germs to get into your bloodstream and cause infection.
Tea tree oil can be used by S. to disinfect and treat minor cuts. Open wound infection can be caused by bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus.
These steps will help you disinfect the cut.
- Use plain soap and water to clean the cut.
- Combine one drop of tea tree oil and one teaspoon coconut oil.
- Use a small amount to treat the injury. Cover it with a bandage.
- Continue this process daily for a minimum of two days until you see a scab.
SUMMARY- A mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil can be used to prevent minor cuts from becoming infected.
5. Increase Wound Healing
Tea tree oil can be used to prevent infection from cuts and abrasions. It may also promote wound healing.
Tea tree oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and activate white blood cells, which are crucial in healing.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal and anti-oxidant properties. These actions can help to reduce inflammation and improve healing.
A small study with 10 participants who had wounds found that adding tea tree oil to traditional wound treatment resulted in a decrease in healing time.
You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to a wound dressing every time you apply a new dressing.
SUMMARY- Tea tree oil can speed up wound healing by decreasing inflammation and increasing white blood cells activity.
6. Combat Acne
Tea tree oil is a powerful tool against skin problems. Numerous studies have shown that it can reduce acne severity.
Sometimes, bacteria become resistant to antibiotics. The activity of bacteria was reduced by the application of tea tree oil.
Another study found that tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl oxide in treating acne.
Alternatively, you can make your acne treatment at home by mixing 1 part tea tree oil and 9 parts water. Apply the mixture to affected areas using a cotton swab every other day as needed.
SUMMARY- In a variety of studies, tea tree oil-based gels have been shown to decrease the severity and number of lesions in acne.
7. Nail Fungus Can Be Eliminated
Fungal nail infections can be quite common. They aren’t necessarily dangerous but can make your nails look unsightly. Although there are many medications that can be used to treat nail fungus (and some may prefer natural remedies), others might prefer a more natural approach.
The use of tea tree oil alone or in combination has been proven to be effective in eliminating nail fungus.
People with nail fungus were able to use tea tree oil for six months in a controlled study. About 60% of participants in each group saw partial or complete resolution by the end of the study.
Apply a few drops of tea-tree oil to the affected area. You can also mix it with coconut oil. To prevent spreading the fungus, be sure to wash your hands after applying.
SUMMARY- The antifungal medication used to treat fungal nail infections in the area may not be as effective as tea tree oil.
8. Use a Chemical-free Mouthwash
Tea tree oil has been shown to fight bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath
One study showed that tea tree oil is more effective than chlorhexidine (a common oral rinse and disinfectant) in fighting plaque-causing bacteria. Its taste was also less objectionable.
2020 Study: Tea tree oil mouthwash effective in reducing inflammation of gingivitis.
Make your own chemical-free, chemical-free mouthwash by adding a drop of Teatree oil to a cup of warm water. Mix well and then swish your mouth for about 30 seconds.
Tea tree oil should not, like other mouthwashes. If swallowed, it can cause serious health problems.
SUMMARY- To make mouthwash, you can mix tea tree oil with water. This will help to fight bad breath and prevent dental plaque.
9. All-Purpose Cleaner
Tea tree oil is a wonderful all-purpose cleaner and can also be used to clean surfaces.
It does this without leaving behind any trace of chemicals that you don’t want your pets or family members to come in contact with.
Here’s a simple recipe for an all-purpose, natural cleaner.
- In a spray bottle, combine 20 drops of tea tree oil with 3/4 cup water and 1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar.
- Mix well.
- Spray directly on surfaces and wipe dry with a dry towel.
- To mix the tea tree oil and other ingredients, shake the bottle well before every use.
Shop for apple cider vinegar online.
SUMMARY- Tea tree oil can also be combined with water and vinegar to make a all-purpose cleaner that is chemical-free for your home.
10. Reduce Skin Inflammation
Tea tree oil may help relieve inflamed skin.
Contact dermatitis is a common type of skin irritation. This happens when your skin comes into contact with an allergen such as nickel. The allergen can cause reddening of the skin, which can be itchy and even painful.
Human and animal research have shown that tea tree oil can reduce these symptoms.
A study that compared the effects of various treatments for contact dermatitis was done and tea tree oil was shown to significantly reduce symptoms.
Tea tree oil can also be used to relieve bug bite reactions. It reduces the redness, swelling, itching and irritation that results from your body releasing histamine to fight the insect’s saliva.
One study showed that applying tea tree oil as a gel to rosacea reduces inflammation and redness.
Demodex blepharitis refers to inflammation of the eyes and eyelids caused by Demodex mites. This irritating condition has been treated with tea tree oil all over the world. It has been shown to decrease mite numbers and inflammation.
This recipe can be used to soothe inflamed skin
- Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin oil with 1 cup melted coconut oil.
- Mix thoroughly and place in a sealed container.
- Apply twice daily to the area until you feel relief.
SUMMARY- A tea tree oil blend may be used to reduce skin inflammation caused by insect bites or contact dermatitis.
11. Control Dandruff
The white, dead skin flakes that fall from the scalp and are called dandruff (or dandruff) is not dangerous. It can be embarrassing and annoying for some people.
Tea tree oil can be added to shampoo to reduce dandruff. It is believed that tea tree oil has antifungal properties. It is slightly acidic than the skin so it can help clear dandruff.
One study found that tea tree oil shampoos could reduce the growth of Candida Albicans (yeast), which is often responsible for dandruff formation.
To reduce the amount of dandruff in your hair, add a few drops to shampoo.
SUMMARY- Although more research is needed, it has been shown that tea tree oil’s antifungal properties can reduce the severity of dandruff symptoms and improve other symptoms.
12. Athletes’ Foot Can Be Treated
It can be frustratingly difficult to control the foot of an athlete.
Tinea pedis is medically known as athlete’s feet. It can spread to the hands and toenails. Redness, peeling, cracking and blisters are some of the symptoms.
Athlete’s foot is treated with antifungal medication. However, studies have shown that tea tree oil could be an effective treatment for athlete’s foot symptoms.
A controlled study with 158 participants showed that 72% of tea tree oil users had significant improvement in athlete’s feet.
2020 Study found that tea tree oil is effective in relieving athlete’s feet. However, a combination of traditional treatment with tea tree oil may be more effective.
This natural remedy can help relieve symptoms of athlete’s feet:
- Mix 1/4 cup arrowroot powder with 1/4 cup baking soda and 20-25 drops of tea tree oil.
- Mix well and place in a container.
- Clean your feet twice daily.
SUMMARY- The antifungal properties of tea tree oil may be helpful in relieving symptoms of athlete’s feet.
13. Can Remove Mold from Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh produce is delicious and healthy.
It is also susceptible to gray mold, Botrytis cinerea. This happens especially in warm and humid climates.
Research has shown that the antifungal compounds in tea tree oil, terpinen-4ol and 1,8-cineole, may reduce the growth of this mold on fruit and vegetables.
Add 5-10 drops of tea-tree oil to your water before you rinse and dry the produce.
SUMMARY- Tea tree oil has compounds that fight the growth mold on vegetables and fruits. Tea tree oil can be added to water while rinsing produce. This may help keep it mold-free.
14. Relieve Psoriasis
Psoriasis, an autoimmune condition, is characterized by red, itchy, and scaly skin.
While medications may help with symptoms, there is no cure for the condition.
Tea tree oil is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds that may help to ease psoriasis symptoms.
Mix 10-15 drops of tea tree oil and 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to provide relief from psoriasis flares. This can be used 2-3 times daily to treat the affected areas.
SUMMARY- A mixture of coconut oil and tea tree oil can be used to relieve symptoms of psoriasis.
Cautions When Using Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is safe in general according to research.
There are, however, some things you need to know before using it.
Tea tree oil should never be taken in as it can be toxic if swallowed. Keep it out of reach of children. An 18-month-old boy sustained serious injuries when he accidentally swallowed tea tree oil.
Before you use tea tree oil for your first time, try a few drops on a small patch of skin. Wait 24 hours to observe if there are any reactions.
This is because, ironically, tea tree oil users can develop contact dermatitis.
Tea tree oil undiluted can cause irritation to sensitive skin. It is best to combine tea tree oil with olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or another oil that is less irritating for sensitive skin.
Tea tree oil may not be safe for pets. Research has shown that over 400 cats and dogs developed nervous system problems and tremors after they were given between 0.1 and 85 mL of tea oil orally.
SUMMARY- Tea tree oil can be used on adult skin. However, some people may experience allergic reactions. Young children and pets may not be able to use tea tree oil.
The Bottom Line
Tea tree oil is beneficial for many reasons, as you can see.
It is an affordable natural alternative to chemical-based nail and skin treatments, personal care products and disinfectants.
Tea tree oil isn’t a miracle cure. Tea tree oil can cause skin irritations or allergic reactions in some people.
Tea tree oil is an excellent item to keep on hand for many reasons.
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