Melaleuca alternifolia or tea tree is native to Australia and using steam distillation; essential oil can be extracted from its leaves and used as a natural health remedy.
Tea tree oil is one of the most effective and versatile essential oils.
It has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. It contains terpenoids and it is believed that these naturally occurring organic chemicals are the main reason for its healing properties. Terpenoids are used extensively for their aromatic qualities and they also play a huge role in traditional medicine and are under investigation for their antibacterial and their pharmaceutical functions.
Dilution – Even though tea tree oil can be applied directly on almost any area, it can still be harmful in case you a sensitive skin or if you need to apply it over a larger area. In that case, you need to dilute it with a base oil such as sweet almond, grapeseed oil, jojoba, coconut oil etc.
- Abrasions, minor cuts, bruises and burns – Clean the affected are thoroughly and then apply several drops of the oil. If you have a sensitive skin, dilute the tea tree oil with a tablespoon of base oil. If a bandage is required, put a few drops of the oil onto a cotton ball and then place it on the wound and put a bandage on top.
- Allergies – To treat allergies naturally, you can apply some diluted tea tree oil and massage the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet.
- Arthritis – To ease the pain caused by the swelling of arthritis, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to two ounces of grapeseed or other carrier oil of your choice. Then massage onto the affected area 2-3 times a day.
- Asthma – Add a few drops of oil to a pot of water and heat until boiling point. Once the water has boiled, take the pot off the heat and drape a towel over your head and lean over, placing your head over the pot and breathe in for a few minutes. This will also provide a nice facial steam treatment!
- Baby Care – Keep your diaper pail squeaky clean and fresh by spraying it with tea tree oil mixed in with water. Many parents also report success with applying 5 drops tea tree oil mixed with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for diaper rash.
- Bacterial Infections – Massage some tea tree oil onto the affected area or add a few drops to a bath. If case you have a sensitive skin, dilute the oil before using it.
- Bronchitis – Start by following the same instructions as for asthma, with the variation of adding 5-10 to 1oz of carrier oil, and massage onto chest and throat 2-3 times a day.
- Dandruff – Add 10 drops of tea tree oil for every 8oz of your existing shampoo in the bottle. Then shake the shampoo bottle to distribute the tea tree oil thoroughly. Rub the tea tree oil shampoo into your scalp, let it sit for 5 minutes and then rinse it off with water. Repeat it on a daily basis.
- Immune System – Tea tree oil can give your immune system a boost by spraying it throughout your home regularly, and massage into the soles of the feet to enhance your immune response.
Tea tree oil can be used to treat many more diseases including the following:
- Gout, calluses and corns, blisters, boils, canker sores, carbuncles, bunions, cold sores, acne, chapped lips, warts
- Dermatitis, dry skin, earache and ear infection, eczema, emphysema, bladder infection, laryngitis, athletes foot, sciatica, sinusitis, shingles, stye, vaginal infections, staph infection, sore throat, rashes, psoriasis, viral infections, coughs, chicken pox, muscle aches and pains
- Pest control, insect repellent, treatment of almost any type of bites, flea collar for dogs
- Gum disease, bad breath and homemade mouthwash
- Household cleaning, carpet cleaning, air freshener, mildew and mold remover
- Tattoo aftercare
Even though tea tree oil has so many health benefits, it can also cause some side effects. This is the reason why contacting your physician prior to using tea tree oil is of such great importance. Another precaution is to never swallow tea tree oil because it is toxic when orally ingested.