Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils that is used in an assortment of ways—from household disinfectant to decongestant. Otherwise known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil is extracted from tea tree leaves and has a refreshing camphor-like aroma. The tea tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, is native to New South Wales and Southeast Queensland, Australia, but the multipurpose essential oil export is popular the world over, and for very good reasons.
Tea Tree Oil Uses and Benefits
Today, tea tree oil is a much preferred antimicrobial, antifungal agent that is administered as a natural medicine topical remedy to treat human ailments, such as scabies, nail fungus, bacterial infections, insect bites, acne, and scalp disorders.
Tea tree oil is one of the most widely used essential oils mixed with other oils to heighten potency. Alternative medicine and beauty markets are flooded with products—soaps, creams, deodorants, oral pastes, rinses, face masks, etc.—that contain either a barely quantifiable or a substantial amount of tea tree oil as the active ingredient. The following is a list of the most common uses of tea tree oil as a holistic remedy.
In addition to other chemicals, tea tree oil contains terpinen, a powerful ingredient known for its antibacterial and healing properties. A testament to its healing strength, even in trace amounts tea tree oil provides noticeable soothing properties in certain first aid products like creams and ointments.
As an ingredient in an astringent, tea tree oil rejuvenates weather-beaten skin. Refreshing mists cleanse pores and help heal subclinical scratches irritated by heavy makeup products. A tea tree oil, lemongrass, and lavender oil mix in a witch hazel solvent base is a great option for treating acne-prone skin and revitalizing an oily scalp. Boost your shampoo regimen by adding one or two tea tree oil drops for a stimulating sensation. Supplement foot scrubs and creams with drops of antifungal tea tree oil to enhance your nail care routine.
Antiseptic care often promotes deodorization, which is why tea tree oil in underarm deodorants possesses antibacterial and deodorizing properties. For a quick refresher, thoroughly soak a few drops of tea tree oil in a gentle cloth for cleansing clammier folds of the body.
Combining tea tree oil with a waxy base substance, like waxalene or coconut cream, works great as a decongestant to help clear up lungs and sinuses. Add a few drops of the essential oil to vaporizers when fighting off the cold, the flu, or sinus infections.
The seasoned aromatherapist uses this essential oil during massage or cleansing rituals to promote healing and purification. Essential oil burners under a controlled flame are great for releasing more concentrated amounts of the oil into the air during healing sessions or for room detoxification purposes.
Other purposeful tea tree oil uses showcase household disinfectant qualities. A modest mix of rose water or other natural botanically-infused liquids with tea tree oil makes for a less toxic home surface cleaner and mild deodorizing disinfectant. Yoga practitioners enjoy an aromatherapeutic workout when regularly cleaning yoga mats with the solution.
Monitor the proportion of tea tree oil you add to your choice solution so as not to damage your furniture, rugs, carpets, pillows, or clothing. Certain strains of the oil are more yellow than others and may stain at higher concentration levels. Over time, the oil and infused water mixture separates and the tea tree oil oxidizes. To prevent damage, periodically test various solution levels before more prolific use.
Cautious Use and Side Effects
Tea tree oil contains powerful chemicals, so be sure to practice caution when using this essential oil for any purpose. When used incorrectly and in high doses, certain tea tree oil side effects include dizziness, allergies, skin irritation, nausea, hypersensitivity, and hormonal disorders. Opt for mixing tea tree oil with less penetrating liquid solvents, like witch hazel, before applying directly to the skin.