How much do you know about Tea Tree oil uses and benefits?
Tea Tree Oil, also known by the name Melaleuca Oil, is extracted by steam distillation from a plant native to Australia called Melaleuca alternifolia.
Before the invention of penicillin, Tea Tree Oil was commonly used for its antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties by aboriginal communities. They would crush the leaves and apply them to cuts, burns, and infections.
Now, once again, Tea Tree oil is growing in popularity throughout the world as people move away from pharmaceutical medications and towards alternative health care.
Tea Tree Oil is known for its purifying and antiseptic properties, and now, there are a handful of promising studies being conducted to reveal the various therapeutic benefits of this oil.
Tea Tree Oil History
In the mid-1700s, a British explorer and navigator, Captain James Cook identified the Melaleuca plant and its uses when anchored off the Purangi River in Mercury Bay, Australia. He then brewed a cleansing tea from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia for himself and his crew, naming it the “tea tree.”
And so, the first Tea Tree Essential Oil extractions began — a natural process that didn’t involve crushing the leaves or any heat treatments. Later, Captain James Cook went on to discover and chart the Great Barrier Reef, putting it on the map for all of us to discover and enjoy as well.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits
Tea Tree Oil was traditionally used primarily as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory oil, however, now, as more people are turning to natural medicine, we are discovering that the therapeutic benefits of Tea Tree Oil include treatments of bacterial, fungal, and respiratory infectious diseases.
Here are Just a Few Tea Tree Oil’s Benefits:
- Tea Tree Oil Helps Reveal Radiant Skin
Because of its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, Tea Tree Oil may help reduce skin redness, irritation, and swelling. The oil is a powerful solvent, which means it can break the oil, dirt, and debris that build under our skin and clog our pores. However, it’s important not to overuse this oil, even diluted with water or carrier oils.
It is best to limit the use of this oil to once or twice a month, and preferably at night to prevent any sun damage or photo-sensitivity. It is also important not to mix tea tree oil with other products with active ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, retinol-A, and salicylic acid.
Another excellent use of Tea Tree Oil is to make a natural household cleaner. Tea Tree Oil can disinfect, clean, and balance. And now, with this DIY recipe, you can use Tea Tree Oil and spray it onto countertops, kitchen floors, and other tough areas like bathrooms and sinks. It’s an excellent, safe alternative to many chemical-based products in the market today.
Tea Tree Oil is already starting to be picked up by expensive haircare and shampoo companies in the market, but all you need is a few drops (4-5) of Tea Tree Oil added to a full bottle your favorite scentless shampoo for an effective dandruff-free scalp. Dandruff can clog your pores, and when you itch incessantly, it can cause inflammation and hair loss.
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the antifungal properties of Tea Tree Oil can help with the treatment of Dandruff. In the study, it was shown that 41% of the people who received the 5% Tea Tree Oil Treatment in their Shampoo experienced a significant decline in dandruff. The participants also reported less greasiness, itchiness, and dryness. Please be sure never to apply Tea Tree Oil directly to your scalp.
If you wish to use Tea Tree Oil on your scalp, be sure to dilute the oil with a carrier oil such as Sweet Almond or Fractionated Coconut Oil. It may be beneficial to warm up the carrier oil for a few seconds before adding the Tea Tree Oil and applying the mixture to your scalp. The heat will open up your hair follicles and allow the oils to penetrate the scalp so your body can absorb the benefits of the oils.
- Tea Tree Oil Bug Spray and Wound Care
Tea Tree Oil, or Melaleuca Oil, is a powerful antiseptic oil that can treat wounds and be made into a bug spray to repel insects. The reason Tea Tree is so effective is that of an active chemical compound in the oil called Terpinen-4-ol. This compound is also responsible for killing Demodex mites, which predominantly are found on the human skin. The American Society for Microbiology has recently come out with a peer-reviewed study that involves the use of Tea Tree Oil as more than just an antiseptic oil. They discuss the mechanisms of antimicrobial and antibacterial activity in Tea Tree Oil.
Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Essential oils like Tea Tree Oil can be just as effective in the treatment of minor ailments without all the added side effects of over-the-counter medicines and antibiotics in the market. Not to mention the additional risk of falling prey to gram-negative bacterial infections (resistant to antibiotics). What’s the point of solving one problem if you end up getting stuck with five more?
Here are some of my favorite natural uses of Tea Tree oil for home remedies:
- Removing Acne
- Soothing Body Discomforts
- Bug Spray
- Soothing Congestion
- Cuts and Burns
- Dry and Itchy Scalp Relief: Tea Tree Oil Shampoo
- Facial Cleanser for Sensitive Skin
- Hand Sanitizer
- Removing Mold Naturally
- Household Cleaning
- Soothing Lotion
- Toenail Healing
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
Aromatically: There are two ways you can inhale Tea Tree Oil. You can either diffuse Tea Tree Oil with the use of a GuruNanda Essential Oil Diffuser or if you wish to open up your sinuses and get a much more concentrated aroma, you can also inhale the Tea Tree Oil directly from the bottle.
Guidelines: Place 5-7 drops of the desired oil in a GuruNanda Essential Oil Diffuser with distilled water.
Topically: You should always dilute Tea Tree Oil with a carrier oil like fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil in a 1:50 ratio before applying it directly to the skin. Similar to tea tree, these carrier oils have their own therapeutic properties that allow the skin to absorb the nutritional values of these essential oils and can create a synergetic effect when combined with essential oils.
Apply 2-4 drops to the affected area. Be sure to always dilute the essential oils with a carrier oil in a 1:50 ratio.
NOT for Internal Use: Tea Tree Oil should not be taken internally or used orally. Some traditional uses of Tea Tree Oil include the treatment of halitosis (bad breath), toothaches, mouth ulcers, and as a mouthwash. Taking large amounts by mouth, however, has been proven by medical studies to have some serious consequences, including digestive issues, hives, and/or dizziness.
To avoid these complications, it’s best to avoid putting Tea Tree Oil in your mouth at all. Try Ayurvedic Oil Pulling, which is a safe and effective way to help reverse tooth decay and gum damage according to Ayurvedic Literature.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits Only Work When 100% Pure and Natural
Every batch of GuruNanda Tea Tree Essential Oil is put through rigorous QC procedures. We use the highest level of testing available for essential oil, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) testing. This ensures that all Tea Tree Essential Oils are 100% pure and natural, do not contain synthetic or adulterated materials, and have the correct aroma and appearance. No synthetics or additives, and always Non-GMO!
Dry & Itchy Scalp Shampoo DIY Recipe
Benefit: Helps provide relief from dry, itchy scalp and dandruff.
What You Need:
- 1 tablespoon of Raw Honey
- 1 tablespoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon of Castile soap
- 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of Purified Water
- 4 ounces of Aloe Vera Gel
- 8 ounces of Distilled Water
- 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil
- 10 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
- BPA-free plastic dispenser bottle
- Mixing Bowl
- Combine the honey and apple cider vinegar.
- Add the Aloe Vera and Fractionated Coconut Oil.
- Blend thoroughly until dissolved. Then, transfer ingredient to mixing bowl.
- Add the castile soap and water and blend thoroughly.
- Add the essential oils together.
- Pour into your dispenser bottle and secure the lid.
- Shake the bottle until all ingredients are blended well together.
TO USE: Apply to wet hair and gently massage into your scalp. Rinse out thoroughly until clean. Be aware that you will not have a sudsy result that you are used to, but that is a good thing since the suds strip your hair of its natural oils. Following with conditioner is optional.
Tea Tree Oil Side Effects
Tea Tree is reported as safe, natural, and effective, with no known harmful side effects. However, due to its concentrated nature, for its safe use, it is recommended to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil or base oil in a 1:50 ratio. I recommend starting with low concentrations of Tea Tree Oil until you figure out your tolerance. A skin patch can be very helpful for determining sensitivity levels to Tea Tree Oil, and this can vary from person to person.
“Conclusions: Topical application of tea tree oil is associated with negligible skin irritancy. In the group of subjects studied, the risk of developing allergic dermatitis from topical tea tree oil usage was found to be <1%”(Aspres 259).
If you have any skin conditions or frequent dermatitis, you should consult with your doctor before use to prevent experiencing any adverse reactions. Please keep tea tree oil away from children under the age of two. In the case of contact with eyes or any sensitive areas, you may experience redness, irritation, and discomfort.
Tea Tree Oil Research and Studies
1. Abdelouaheb D., Amadou D., The Therapeutic Benefits of Essential Oils, Nutrition, WellBeing and Health, Dr. Jaouad Bouayed (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0125-3, InTech. Text. 2012.
2. Aspres N., Freeman S., Predictive Testing for Irritancy and Allergenicity of Tea Tree Oil in Normal Human Subjects. Exog Dermatol 2003;2:258-261. Web.
3. Carson CF, Hammer KA, Riley TV. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2006;19(1):50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006.
4. Pazyar N., Yaghoobi R., Rafiee E., Mehrabian A., Feily A., Skin Wound Healing and Phytomedicine: A Review. Skin Pharmacol Physiol 2014;27:303-310. Web.