Tea Tree Oil – one solution for many skin and other health ailments. This versatile oil is produced from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia which is a native plant of Australia. From over seven decades, it is one of the most researched essential oils which documented its exceptional benefits.
Due its antiseptic, antibacterial and other beneficial properties, it has become one of the important ingredients in a variety of household, and cosmetic products. Besides just improving the skin, it is also helpful in many other health issues like headache, sore throat, psoriasis, head lice, candida and many others.
Safety Concerns: Just like any other essential oil, tea tree oil is also very potent in nature. The main concern is it can cause irritation if the skin comes into direct contact with it. So, it always recommended to dilute with any carrier oil like coconut oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil and others. Diluted tea tree oil is safe to use for even people with sensitive skin. But it is always better to a patch test to be safe.
Below, we have put together 10 different uses of tea tree essential oil as a home remedy which can be helpful in our regular life.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits:
1. Cold Sores
Cold sores caused by herpes simplex virus, are painful blisters that develop on the lips and around the mouth. Generally, they don’t require any medication and get well on their own. But tea tree oil can help to cure the irritation, pain and burning sensation caused by cold sores. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil fight the herpes simplex virus and prevent further infection. The natural stringent property of tea tree oil extracts excess moisture from the sores and shrinks them.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Cold Sores?
- Take a cotton swab and dip it in water.
- Put a few drops of tea tree oil to it.
- Apply the diluted tea tree oil directly on the cold sores.
- Leave it on for few minutes.
2. Clears sore throat
Sore throat is caused by viral or bacterial infection that also causes cold or flu. These virus and bacteria causes inflammation of the mucous membranes and contributes to pain in the throat. A tea tree oil gargle is enough to soothe the inflammation and relieve sore throat. Using a tea tree oil gargle at the first sign of cold and throat pain prevents it from turning in to a serious condition (strep throat).
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Sore Throat?
- Add 2 drops of tea tree oil and a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water.
- Use this solution to gargle at least once in a day.
3. Fights cold
Cold is common viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory tract that affects the nose and can turn into a sinus infection. The inflammation of the mucus membranes makes it difficult for the mucus to drain out. The antibacterial and antiviral actions of tea tree oil destroy the infection-causing virus. Tea tree oil is used in the form of vapor to clear out the nasal passages.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Fight Cold?
- Add 5 to 8 drops of tea tree oil in a bowl of boiling water.
- Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel.
- Inhale and exhale the steam for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the process 2 times in a day.
4. Kill nail fungus
Nail fungus is a common condition that affects the toenails and fingernails. Nail fungus causes the nails to discolor, thicken and crumble. Nail fungus can also progress to athlete’s foot and ringworm. Tea tree oil has the ability to kill parasites and fungus that cause infections. Regular application of tea tree oil can also improve the appearance and health of the nails at a rapid pace.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Nail Fungus?
- For stubborn nail fungus: Dip a cotton swab in pure tea tree oil and apply it directly over the affected areas.
- For mild nail fungus: Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil and add 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil to it. Mix well and apply it generously to the affected areas. Repeat the application twice daily.
5. Treat psoriasis
Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease that causes thickened plaques and scaling skin. The excessive rapid proliferation of the skin cells is triggered by various environmental factors and chemicals. The anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties for tea tree oil relieves itching, redness and burning sensation. Terpinen – 4 – ol in tea tree oil removes the dry and dead skin cells that cause scaling. It penetrates into the deep layers of the skin and helps to diminish the scars caused by psoriasis.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Psoriasis?
- Add 8 to 10 drops of tea tree oil into a cup of water.
- Immerse a cotton ball into this mixture and apply it generously on the affected areas of the skin.
- Leave it overnight and wash it off with water the next morning.
6. Fight Acne
Tea tree oil is one of the most effective home remedies for acne. A recent research found that tea tree oil is as effective as benzoyl peroxide in fighting the acne-causing bacteria without the negative side effects. The astringent properties of tea tree oil strips excess oil from the skin surface and minimizes the breakouts. Terpenes in tea tree oil penetrate deep into the pores and loosen the oil and dirt that blocks the pores. The anti-inflammatory nature of tea tree oil reduces the redness, pain and inflammation associated with acne.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne?
- You can add few drops of tea tree oil to your anti-acne cleanser or moisturizer.
- You can also mix tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it directly to the affected areas of the face.
- Leave it on so that the oil gets absorbed into your skin.
7. Hair Care
Tea tree essential oil is a one stop cure for all types of hair and scalp problems. It stops hair fall, promotes hair growth, removes dandruff and soothes dry and flacking scalp. It also acts as an effective treatment for lice. The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil fights bacteria, fungus and viruses that cause itching and infection in the scalp and prevents dandruff. The astringent properties of tea tree oil unclog pores and remove the residue of hair products that clogs the hair follicles.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Hair Care?
- Combine a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and massage it into your scalp.
- Leave it on for 30 minutes and then wash off with a shampoo.
- Alternatively, add 10 drops of tea tree oil into 8-ounce bottle of shampoo and use it to wash your scalp and hair.
8. Cures cuts and aberrations
Tea tree oil makes an amazing homemade wound ointment that promotes faster healing of cuts. The antimicrobial action of tea tree oil disinfects and cleanses the area of the cut and wards of infection. Tea tree oil is a topical antiseptic that contains Terpinen-4-ol. It has powerful antifungal and antimicrobial properties that heal minor cuts, scrapes, burns and abrasions. Tea tree oil is available in the form of gels, ointments, solution and cream.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Cuts and aberrations?
- Clean the cut with water and hydrogen peroxide.
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in a cup of water.
- Immerse a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it over the cut.
- Cover with a bandage to prevent infection.
9. Ease bug bites
Tea tree oil is an effective natural cure for bug bites, insect bites, ant bites and mosquito bites. The toxic enzymes and chemicals injected by insects into the skin cause inflammation, swelling, redness, itching and pain. The antihistamine effect of tea tree oil neutralizes some of the harmful effects of the histamine which helps to reduce the severity of skin irritation and soothes the burning and itching sensation.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil to Ease Bug Bites?
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil on a cotton swab.
- Apply it directly to the affected areas and leave it on.
10. Freshens bad breath
Tea tree oil is a great natural mouth freshener that helps to get rid of bad breath. Tea tree oil kills off bad bacteria that causes gum infection and bad breath. It is an effective ingredient for homemade toothpaste and mouthwash that helps to reduce bleeding of gums and prevents tooth decay.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil for Bad Breath?
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda to make a homemade toothpaste.
- Use this paste to brush your teeth and massage your gums every day.
How to Make Tea Tree Oil at Home?
Most professional manufacturers use steam distillation method to extract tea tree oil. However, you can makes tea tree oil at home as well. Here’s how…
- Take some fresh tea tree leaves in a pot and add water to it.
- Place a vegetable steamer on top of the leaves and water.
- Place a measuring cup inside the steamer.
- Boil the water for some time so that the water will evaporate and the condensation will move into the measuring cup.
- Put a few ice cubes on top of the pot lid to speed up the condensation.
- Remove from heat once the ice is melted.
- Remove the lid and take out the measuring cup.
- Pour the contents of the measuring cup into a funnel with the stopcock at the bottom of the funnel closed.
- Close the top of the funnel and shake it for some time.
- Invert the funnel and then release the pressure.
- The oil will float on top of the water, separating the oil the water.
- Open the stopcock and collect the water in a container.
- Pour out the oil in another glass container.
- Repeat the steam distillation process 2 to 3 times to extract oil more effectively from the tea tree leaves.
Cautions of using Tea Tree Oil:
Tea tree oil is considered safe for topical use and does not cause any serious side effects. However:
- People with sensitive skin might experience an adverse reaction to pure tea tree oil, so it is best to use it in diluted form.
- Keep tea tree oil away from your eyes, inner nose and other sensitive areas of the skin.
- A concentration of more than 5 to 10% can cause dermatitis reactions, skin inflammation or blistering rashes.
- It is recommended to do a small skin patch test on your arm or leg before using tea tree oil in larger amounts.
- Consumption of tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions.
- Consumption of tea tree oil can also cause nervous system toxicity, decrease the number of white blood cells and intestine complaints.
- Pregnant women and those about to undergo childbirth should use tea tree oil with caution because it can decrease contraction strength.
- Don’t apply tea tree oil on and around the breast because it has mild hormonal activity.
Although, there are numerous benefits of tea tree oil, but it is best to use it with caution. When using topically, it is best to use tea tree oil in diluted form. Consumption of tea tree oil should be strictly avoided to stay away from the side effects like vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, rashes and unsteadiness.