Tea Tree Oil may have become popular as of recent but it exists for a long time.
The tea tree name was given in the eighteenth century by sailors who made tea with a nutmeg flavor from leaves of the tree growing in southeast Australia.
It is also known as melaleuca oil and you can extract it by steaming Australian tree leaves.
These days it is part of skincare products but it is also antibacterial so its use extends beyond skin inflammation.
This article discusses its uses and benefits for skin and overall health. Read more to learn how you can use it in your routine.
Tea Tree Oil Uses For Skin
It soothes skin and promotes healing. Henceforth, it is popular for treating acne scars.
Therefore it treats, scars, infection, inflammation and comes into use for different types of skin. Let’s look at those below.
If you have oily skin then the oiliness in your skin may greatly bother you and could result in frequent breakouts.
However, this oil has antiseptic properties therefore, it can help reduce the oiliness on your skin.
Hence, if you use it regularly then you can see fewer breakouts and less oily skin.
Simply add a few drops of the oil to your sunscreen or moisturizer and apply it to your face.
- Relieving Dry Skin Itchiness
It can relieve you of constant itchiness, flakes and skin irritation of dry skin.
Moreover, it is also effective against eczema. Its antibacterial properties come into play to treat eczema, even better than zinc oxide.
Furthermore, it soothes the skin hence reduces itchiness. Plus, it also relieves itchiness from infections.
According to a study, an ointment containing about 5 percent of tea tree, relieved the itchy eyelids of more than half of the participants.
Hence, it is generally effective in reducing itchy dry skin by soothing and healing it.
Just add a few drops of oil to your moisturizer and let it work its magic.
- Works As An Antiseptic for Cuts
It can fight against any injury cut, scrape or infection because of its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
A small cut of broken skin can welcome bacteria such as S. aureus that can infect the wound.
However, this oil can disinfect the wound and promote wound healing.
In fact, the wound heals faster if you apply the oil in addition to the conventional medical treatment.
It triggers the white blood cells which help to decrease inflammation and promote healing.
To disinfect, clean the wound with soap and water and mix a teaspoon of coconut oil with a drop of tea tree oil.
Apply it to the wound and cover it with a bandage. Repeat the process daily once or twice till you have a scab.
This oil can relieve and soothe pain because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
It can reduce pain, swelling and redness because of inflammation in the skin. It can also decrease inflammation in the skin due to nickel skin sensitivity or exposure to other allergens.
In fact, it can reduce pain, redness, and swelling by up to 40 percent while treating contact dermatitis.
It can also provide relief from the symptoms of a bug bite such as redness, swelling and itchiness.
This happens because of histamine release which is the body’s reaction to the insect’s saliva.
To use, mix 10 drops of this oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and a similar amount of extra virgin olive oil. Appy it to the inflamed skin two times a day.
Benefits and Use in Skin Diseases
Acne can result in oily skin and leave behind scars. This oil has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that fight acne and decrease its severity.
It reduces inflammation, redness and swelling and can even heal acne scars.
Research suggests that it is as much effective as benzoyl peroxide which is the main ingredient in anti-acne drugs.
Do not use the oil directly on the skin rather mix one part with nine parts of water to use a diluted tea tree oil. Apply it on the acne using a cotton swab daily.
You can also make a toner by adding three drops of oil to witch hazel of about 2 ounces. Other than skincare such as tea tree gels and spot treatments work effectively too.
Athlete’s Foot and Nail Fungus
The athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that peels, cracks and makes blisters on the feet.
What’s worse is that it is contagious and can spread to your hands and nails too.
The ultimate treatment is to use antifungal medicines however, you can use this oil as a remedy because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
It can soothe the burning, itching, scaling and swelling however, it may not eliminate the fungus.
You can make a mixture of quarter cup baking soda, quarter cup arrowroot powder and 20 drops of this oil.
Apply it to your foot two times a day, while also taking the medications.
It also treats nail fungus found on the toenails. You can either use 100 percent pure oil or mix it with an equal amount of coconut oil to apply it on the nails.
It will help improve the appearance of the nails and reduce the symptoms as well as heal the infection.
It works similar to the use of clotrimazole 1 percent solution.
Though lower concentrations of the oil will not work properly hence, you need a higher concentration to get rid of all the fungus.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that does not have a definite cure. However, you can ease these symptoms such as scales, redness and itchiness by the use of this oil.
Mix about 10 drops of the oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to apply it to the scaly skin.
Tea tree oil can boost immunity while also reduce inflammation and itchy skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Hence, it may relieve psoriasis symptoms even if there is less evidence to support that yet.
Dandruff in the Scalp
Tea tree oil for hair can smoothen it by removing the white, flaky dead skin cells known as dandruff from your hair.
It cleans chemicals, reduces greasiness and itchiness inside the scalp. It moisturizes and smoothens the hair as well.
Hence, it cleans away dandruff and discourages its growth if you apply it regularly. You can use three products for better results.
Combine this oil with another carrier oil such as mustard oil. Apply it to your hair and head and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Next, wash your hair with a tea tree oil shampoo containing tea tree with a 5 percent concentration. Additionally, you can use a tea tree conditioner as the last step.
General Uses of Tea Tree Oil
The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil can help fight the bacteria inside your mouth that cause plaque, cavities, bad breath and decay.
It is in fact, even more, effective than some mouth rinses to combat germs and plaque.
Plus, it is a fine taste and does not taste heavily like a chemical.
You can make a chemical-free mouthwash by mixing a drop of oil into a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth with it for about 30 minutes.
However, be careful to not ingest any of it. It is toxic so you should not swallow it.
This antimicrobial oil is extremely effective in removing bacteria and viruses.
It kills the microbes that are responsible for several skin conditions and diseases we usually catch.
Adding a few drops to hand washes and cleansers helps to improve their efficacy against bacteria such as E.coli.
Make your own natural hand sanitizer using:
- 3 ounces ethyl alcohol 90%+
- Lavender oil 5 to 10 drops
- Aloe vera gel 1 ounce
- Tea tree essential oil 30 drops
- A quarter teaspoon of Vitamin E oil.
This homemade hand sanitizer can provide good protection against bacteria due to alcohol and tea tree.
*Preventing Gray Mold
Gray mold accumulates on fruits and vegetables, especially in warmer climates.
Though tea tree contains antifungal compounds that decrease the growth of gray mold on eatables.
All you need to do is to wash the fruits and vegetables with water and a few drops of the oil, about 5 to 6.
Then clean the vegetables thoroughly and dry them too. It will decrease the mold developing in moist climates on the food.
Do you know that sweat does not stink? It is actually the sweat combining with the bacteria on the skin which releases a stinky smell.
The underarm has sweat glands that produce secretions that combine with bacteria to give an unpleasant odor.
Hence, you can use this antibacterial oil as a natural deodorant to mask body odor.
Since it is a good hand sanitizer, it can also sanitize other surfaces and work as an all-purpose cleaner.
You can make a natural cleaner by mixing 20 drops of oil with 3/4th cup water and a half cup of apple cider vinegar.
Put this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on surfaces, later wipe them from a clean cloth.
Shake the mixture every time to mix the ingredients thoroughly.
There are many benefits and uses of tea tree oil and it is also generally safe to use.
Hence, you can use it to make sanitizers, insect repellants and deodorants at home.
However, be careful that you should never ingest it so it should be out of the reach of children.
Moreover, you need to mix it with a carrier oil, water or any other solution to dilute it. Pure oil is hardly ever used.
Before applying it on your skin make sure to do a patch test on your elbow as some people are allergic to it.