Benefits of Tea Trea OilWiebke Venter
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil distilled from the leaves of the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oils have been used in Australia for close to a hundred years as a healing treatment, particularly for skin conditions.
In recent decades, its popularity has grown. Today, tea tree oil is used for a number of conditions and is commonly found in cosmetics to keep your hair, skin and nails healthy, as well as in topical medicines and household products.
The oil is probably best known for its antibacterial activity. Some research suggests that the broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity associated with the oil comes from its ability to damage the cell walls of bacteria. However, more research is needed to understand how it might work. The oil not only possesses antibacterial properties, but also anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties.
Here are some examples of how you can use tea tree oil:
The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil make it useful in relieving the discomfort of itchy skin. It soothes the skin and can help heal infections that cause itchy skin. It may also help to reduce redness and swelling. Simply mix a few drops of tea tree oil into a small amount of moisturizer or carrier oil (coconut oil for instance). Apply this mixture to the affected areas immediately after getting out of the shower and at least once a day.
The antiseptic properties of tea tree oil may contribute to its ability to combat oily skin as well. A small 2016 study found that participants who used a sunscreen containing tea tree oil for 30 days showed improvements in oiliness. Thus, you can mix a few drops of tea tree oil into your toner, moisturizer, or sunscreen. You can add two drops of tea tree oil to bentonite clay to make a mask or add it to one of your DIY facemasks.
Research supports that tree oil reduces inflamed skin from nickel sensitivities. This study used pure tea tree oil on the skin, but it’s usually advised that you dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin.
Tea tree oil is a popular choice for treating acne and psoriasis because of its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. However, please speak with your dermatologist if you have serious skin issues. It does help when you have a little surprise zit, though. Simply dab a little oil on it. That helps it to dry out and eventually disappear.
Using tea tree oil on your hair may help it to stay healthy and moisturized, promoting optimal growth. You can use tea tree oil to treat dandruff by removing chemicals and dead skin cells from the scalp.
Make your own hair mask: Apply a mixture of tea tree oil and a carrier oil (coconut oil for instance) to your hair and scalp. Allow it to stay in your hair for 20 minutes. Then use a shampoo to wash it out. Ideally, you should use a tea tree shampoo that contains 5% tea tree oil. Massage it into your scalp and hair for a few minutes before rinsing. If you have African hair, you can even add a little bit of tea tree essential oil in your moisturising oil as it helps with getting rid of dandruff, too.
Fungal infections are a common cause of nail abnormalities. They can be difficult to cure. Studies suggest that a cream containing 5% tea tree oil cured nail fungus in 80% of people after 16 weeks. None of the cases in the placebo group was cured.
Besides the mentioned benefits for skin, hair and nails, tea tree oil has many other applications. Some suggestions include:
- Wound dressing. Place a few drops of oil onto fresh wound dressing to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
- Homemade mouthwash. Add 2 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water and use as mouthwash. Do not swallow as tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally.
- Household cleaner. Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil with a cup of water and a half cup of white vinegar. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and use as an all-purpose antimicrobial cleaner.
- Use it as a hand sanitiser, as an insect repellent or to even treat athlete’s foot!
The possibilities seem almost endless. However, you need to take a few precautions:
- You should not apply tea tree oil directly to skin. It’s important to dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil.
- For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil.
- Also, be careful when using tea tree oil around the eye area. Exposure can cause redness and irritation.
- Before you use tea tree oil, do a patch test to make sure your skin doesn’t react to the tea tree oil.
- Tea tree oil should never be swallowed.
If you want to try this “wonder oil” you can buy yours here.
Other products with tea tree oil in our shop: