Thanks to its excellent properties and benefits, tea tree oil has long been used to treat various ailments, from curing psoriasis to eliminating acne. But it is also widely used for beauty care of the skin, hair, and other parts of the body, such as nails, eyelashes, etc.
And while not all of its benefits have been verified by science, many people confirm that it is useful for a variety of purposes. In addition to being an inexpensive and safe oil, if used properly, it certainly deserves a place in your medicine cabinet and on your shelf for natural beauty products.
In this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about this essential oil and what considerations you should take into account in order to use it safely and effectively.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
This essential oil is extracted from the leaves of “Melaleuca Alternifolia,” a small tree of the Myrtaceae family native to Australia, more specifically, the coast of New South Wales and southeast Queensland.
The natives have used it as a traditional medicine for several centuries. They first crush its leaves to extract the oil and then apply it topically or inhale it, depending on the purpose they pursue.
This shrub flowers in summer and can reach five meters in height; it has narrow and very aromatic leaves of a creamy color.
In addition, it has a peeled trunk with thin bark that has earned it the name “paper bark.”
Tea tree oil has a pungent, strong, camphoraceous aroma and a color ranging from pale yellow to almost colorless and clear.
Tea Tree Essential Oil History and Extraction
It is believed that the name of this tree originated when Captain James Cook used some leaves of this shrub to prepare an infusion to drink instead of the traditional tea.
But the commercial industry of this oil began in the 1920s and was propelled by Arthur Penfold, an Australian who dedicated himself to researching the potential of different native oils extracted from plants in this region.
And it was he who, for the first time, spoke of the great potential of tea tree oil for various health and beauty uses, highlighting mainly its great antiseptic properties.
Later, in the 1970s and 1980s, it began to be produced in large quantities for commercial purposes.
Its extraction is commonly done by steam extraction, which allows preserving all its properties.
Main Chemical Constituents of Tea Tree Oil
As for its chemical composition, its main chemical components are mono- and sesquiterpene alcohols:
- Terpinene-4-ol: 29% to 45% (being its main component)
- 1,8 cineol: 0.5% to 15% (it is the second most important component)
- Gamma-terpinene: 10% to 28%.
- Alpha-terpinene: 5% to 13%.
- Alpha-terpineol: 1.5% to 8%.
- Alpha-pinene: 1% to 6%.
- Terpinolene: 1.5% to 5%.
- Paracimene: 0.5% to 8%.
Properties of Tea Tree Oil
Several properties are attributed to this oil, among which are the following:
- Antibacterial and antiviral
- Antifungal and antimycotic
What the Research Says
According to some research, it has been confirmed that it is beneficial to fight acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, helping to treat it.
Its ability to protect the skin from sun damage and to treat some skin problems and infections in humans has also been evaluated and confirmed.
It has also been validated as useful for eliminating nail fungus, scabies, and athlete’s foot, although it should be noted that scientific evidence in this regard is limited.
In addition, it has been shown to help improve hair and scalp health, helping with various hair conditions such as dandruff and hair loss.
What Tea Tree Oil is For?
This oil is a natural product to which various uses and benefits are attributed, the most important being its medicinal and aesthetic uses, as we will see below.
Medicinal and Aesthetic Uses
Tea tree oil is effective in promoting healthy skin and curing a wide range of health problems.
Its benefits include relieving ear pain, healing small wounds, relieving inflammation, improving the health and appearance of hair and skin, etc.
Personal Hygiene Uses
Thanks to its deodorant, antiseptic, and balsamic properties, it is beneficial to incorporate it into body and facial hygiene sessions and routines.
Household Cleaning Uses
It is also useful for creating household cleaning preparations due to its antifungal, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
It can be used in a variety of ways and is commonly used as an active ingredient to make natural health, beauty, and cleaning products that are free of hazardous chemical components.
It should be noted that it is not advisable to ingest it under any circumstances since it is very toxic and can cause digestive problems, dizziness, drowsiness, and urticaria, among the symptoms.
As with other essential oils, it should not be applied directly to the skin and should be diluted with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, or almond oil.
It is usually recommended to mix 6 to 8 drops of tea tree oil in 15 ml of carrier oil. But to know the ideal dilution ratio, you should consult the recommendations proposed by the manufacturer.
To use it in this way, you can use an oil diffuser, although it is also possible to inhale it directly by smelling it from the bottle. Smelling this oil will stimulate the mind.
It will also be very useful when there are respiratory problems such as flu or colds, for which you can make vapors that will help expel mucus and relieve the symptoms of these respiratory conditions.
In addition, it can be diffused in the environment by mixing a few drops of this oil with water and using a spray atomizer or atomizer, creating a very refreshing and stimulating home air freshener.
To Relax in Immersion Baths
If used diluted with a carrier oil in a bath, it will help to relax the muscles and eliminate any pain.
It can also be combined, after mixing with a base oil, with Epsom salts to obtain greater benefits.
Household Cleaning Products
Mixing a few drops of this oil in your household cleaning products such as floor cleaners will not only disinfect your floors, thanks to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties but will also leave a pleasant scent that will stimulate your senses.
For Cosmetic Products
This oil can be used to prepare different types of beauty products such as soaps, shampoos, exfoliating creams, lotions, colognes, etc.
Simply add a few drops to your usual cosmetic products or to your homemade beauty recipes for both skin and hair care.
Main Benefits and Uses of Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil’s versatility has allowed it to be used in many ways and in all kinds of applications, both for body care in general and to improve the health and appearance of hair, skin, nails, etc. It is, therefore, a common ingredient in soap, ointment, shampoo, and balm formulations.
Next, we will see the principal and different benefits and uses of tea tree essential oil.
Tea Tree Oil Health Benefits and Uses
Tea tree oil is an essential oil that has many general health benefits, in addition to its cosmetic qualities and uses for skin and hair care.
Fights Nail Fungus
According to research, it is as effective against fungal nail infections as conventional drugs and remedies themselves, thanks to being a great antifungal and antimicrobial.
As a result, it prevents fungi from growing and proliferating, but with the added benefit of being totally natural.
Treats and Eliminates Athlete’s Foot
Its antifungal properties help to treat and eliminate the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, by eliminating moisture and odor.
Soothes and Eliminates Sore Throats
Inhaled, it reduces inflammation of the mucous membranes, which helps soothe a sore throat and fights the underlying infection.
Treats Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)
This oil effectively treats sinusitis that can occur after a poorly cured cold, helping to eliminate the infection and excess mucus, which is the cause of the pain experienced in these cases.
Relieves and Reduces Abrasions, Cuts, and Minor Wounds
Its characteristics and antimicrobial properties help to heal minor cuts and abrasions, as it cleans the area and prevents the spread of infections. It also favors skin regeneration.
It also keeps wounds dry by preventing viruses or bacteria from growing.
Relieves Itching from Insect Bites and Stings
After insect bites, allergens and irritants that come into contact with the skin cause itching. This oil relieves this itching thanks to its properties.
Relaxes Sore Muscles and Eliminates Pain
Because it is a great natural anti-inflammatory, it is very useful and effective in relieving and soothing muscle pain, especially if combined in a bath with Epsom salts, relaxing and reducing inflammation of the muscles.
Fights Viral, Bacterial, and Fungal Infections
Thanks to its qualities, it helps fight many types of infections, so it is widely used as an active ingredient in health care products.
Its antiviral, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties enable the immune system to fight these infections and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body.
It helps to avoid herpes and irritations caused by the weather and other circumstances that can affect our lips, causing them to crack and hurt.
Tea tree oil moisturizes and keeps them healthy by adding it to your homemade lip balm recipes.
Treats Chickenpox and Measles
It is useful to treat these diseases naturally, economically, and without remedies or chemicals. It helps reduce inflammation, soothes itching and pain while accelerating healing.
Benefits of Using Tea Tree Oil on the Scalp and Hair
Improves Overall Hair and Scalp Health
Due to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, it helps to keep the hair and scalp clean and healthy, also strengthening the hair follicles.
Helps Hair Grow Faster, Healthier, and Thicker
This oil nourishes the hair follicles and hair roots, improves blood flow, and balances the pH of the scalp, all of which help hair grow faster, stronger, and thicker.
Helps Treat Dry Scalp and Eliminates Dandruff
Tea tree oil combats scalp dryness, such as the symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, eliminating itching and making the scalp less prone to flaking by moisturizing and softening it.
It also eliminates dandruff due to its antifungal properties, being a powerful cleanser that prevents the accumulation of dirt and dead skin cells.
Prevents Hair Loss
Excessive dandruff can block hair follicles, weakening the roots and causing damage to the cuticle and proteins of the hair and scalp.
This essential oil, by preventing the accumulation and proliferation of dandruff, helps prevent hair loss.
Prevents and Eliminates Head Lice
It also has powerful insecticidal effects so that it eliminates and prevents lice, keeping the scalp healthy, clean, and free of these parasites.
Its components act as a barrier protecting the capillary fiber, which prevents them from hatching their eggs.
Benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil for the Skin
As I told you before, tea tree oil is not only very good for hair, but it is also excellent for health and skin care, making it a good natural alternative to conventional treatments.
Let us now look at its main uses and benefits in this regard.
Reduces and Soothes Itching and Itchiness
As a result of its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to soothe and reduce itching, also curing the infections that generate it.
Dry Skin and Eczema
This oil has proven to be useful in the treatment of eczema, as well as helping to relieve dry skin by reducing the irritation and itching it causes.
Regulates Oily Skin
It is also very good to combat oily skin due to its antiseptic properties.
Relieves Inflammation and Irritated Skin
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects, it soothes irritated skin, relieves pain, and reduces swelling and redness.
Prevents and Eliminates Mild to Moderate Acne
It is a popular choice for treating acne problems, due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and effects. Tea tree oil also helps to diminish scars and leaves smooth and soft skin.
Treats the Symptoms of Psoriasis
It is useful for treating psoriasis symptoms such as inflammation while strengthening the immune system.
Treats Fungus and Other Skin Conditions
There are a variety of fungi that can affect different parts of the body and are called by different names, depending on what part of the body they affect. Tea tree oil is very good for eliminating these fungi.
Soothes Irritated Skin from Shaving or Waxing
This essential oil helps soothe the irritation that may occur after shaving or waxing.
To do this, dilute about 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil and gently massage the affected area.
Uses of Tea Tree Essential Oil for Your Home
It can be used to create an all-purpose cleaner to keep the house clean and disinfected without resorting to harsh chemicals while being economical.
It is especially useful for cleaning countertops and other surfaces that may come in contact with food.
It is also ideal for cleaning bathroom curtains, the toilet, or the dishwasher.
Natural Hand Sanitizer
Using it as a hand disinfectant soap helps to eliminate different bacteria and viruses, which can cause diseases, in a totally natural way and without risks to your health.
Thanks to its powerful antiseptic properties, this oil helps to disinfect the air in the home, being especially useful to use in rooms where there has been a sick person.
It is also possible to put a few drops in the washing machine to disinfect bed linens after the person has recovered from his illness.
Due to its strong scent, it helps to repel and eliminate a number of household pests such as bedbugs.
Deodorizes and Disinfects Garbage Container
Using it in the garbage can will help prevent bacteria from forming and proliferating, as well as avoid unpleasant odors.
Washing Machine Cleaner
When washing machines start to smell bad, it is a good idea to place a few drops of this oil to eliminate both the odor and the bacteria that can accumulate.
When you have very dirty clothes, you can put a teaspoon of this oil in the washing machine, and you will, thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties, prevent the proliferation of bacterial and fungal infections.
Uses of Tea Tree Essential Oil in Your Garden
It is also a natural and economical alternative to rid your garden of pests and other common problems.
Getting Rid of Ants
This essential oil helps to eliminate ants from your garden in a highly effective way without using chemical products that can be harmful to the health of your pets, your children, or other inhabitants of your home or garden.
If you mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil and put it on your skin, you will deter mosquitoes from biting you in a natural way and without any risk to your health.
Use Tt as a Fungicide
In addition, it is useful as a fungicide to prevent stains on plant leaves, pests, and mildew.
The antimicrobial properties of this oil help fight fungi, without risk or side effects to surrounding plants or your pets.
Side Effects and Safety
Overall, research has shown that tea tree oil appears to be safe; however, there are some considerations to take into account before using it.
- First of all, as mentioned above, it should never be ingested as it is toxic.
- It should be stored out of the reach of children and pets.
- As with all essential oils, they should not be applied alone directly on the skin, as they can cause irritation and swelling. Ideally, it should be mixed with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- In addition, before using it for the first time, a patch test should be performed by applying one or two drops previously diluted in carrier oil on a small area of the skin. To confirm that no adverse effects or reactions occur, wait 24 to 48 hours.
- It is also important to avoid the eye area, preventing it from coming into contact with the eyes, because it can cause irritation and redness.
- Pregnant and lactating women should also avoid using this oil.
Where to Buy Tea Tree Essential Oil and What to Consider?
Because tea tree oil is very popular, it is usually available without any problem, both in online stores and in physical specialty stores such as pharmacies or herbalist stores.
Some things to consider before you buy it:
- The most important thing at the time of purchase is to always purchase a high-quality essential oil so that the best results are obtained with its use.
- The best option is essential oils produced by organic farming or that are totally organic.
- You should only buy this oil when it is 100% pure.
- In addition, you must make sure that it comes from the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant, so if it does not meet this requirement, do not buy it.
- Also, make sure it comes in an amber or opaque bottle.
Ask all the questions you have before you buy it, and it’s not a bad idea to do a little research on the manufacturer to make sure it doesn’t have a “bad reputation.”
As you have seen, tea tree essential oil is good for different purposes and is generally safe to use, as long as you follow the instructions I mentioned before.
It can be a natural and economical alternative to other industrial products, whether you are looking to take care of your skin or hair or if you want to maintain good personal hygiene and general health.
However, in case of any unwanted side effects, discontinue use immediately and consult your physician.
I really hope this post on tea tree essential oil has helped you.
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