What is Tea Tree Oil?

Marketed in Australia, North America, Europe and around the world as an anti-inflammatory and a antiseptic agent, tea tree oil is a active ingredient in many topical formulas that are used to treat infections. You can find tea tree oil in many products like cleaning products, shampoos, laundry detergent, skin, and nail creams.

The main active ingredients in tea tree oil include sesquiterpenes, terpene hydrocarbons, and monoterpenes. These are the compounds that give tea tree its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial activity.

Tea tree oil contains over 100 different chemical compounds, with alpha-terpineol and terpinen-4-ol, being the most active. It also contains volatile hydrocarbons that are considered aromatic and can travel through air, mucous membranes, and pores in the skin, which is why tea tree oil is often used in aromatherapy and topically to kill germs, soothe skin inflammation, and fight infections.

Health and Beauty Tea Tree Oil Remedies

While tea tree oil has long been an effective way to treat acne, there are also many other beauty and health benefits of tea tree oil. With it’s anti-viral, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties, you can also use tea tree oil as a natural herbal medicine to treat numerous health and beauty issues.

Treat Acne

Probably the most known uses of tea tree oil is in the treating of acne. Our skin is a thriving environment that is full of living microbes. While certain bacteria is necessary, some bacteria, like Propionibacterium acne, can cause breakouts on your skin.

Along with fighting this bacteria, which is only a small cause of acne, the terpenes in tea tree oil work to penetrate your pores to loosen up blocked oil and dirt that cause blackheads, whiteheads, and those painful red acne lesions and breakouts.

In recent studies, a dilution of tea tree oil worked just as well as 5 percent benzoyl peroxide for controlling the symptoms of acne.

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Acne Treatment

  • 2 tablespoons pure Aloe Vera Gel

  • ½ teaspoon unrefined coconut oil

  • 12 drops pure tea tree essential oil

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined. After cleansing your face at in the evening before bed, apply the treatment to your skin. In the morning, thoroughly rinse your face with warm water. To use this treatment to spot treat acne, use a cotton swab to dab a small amount directly onto the blemish.

Cure Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a common skin disorder in which skin cells regenerate too quickly and accumulate on the skin’s surface resulting in the formation of scales on the surface of the skin. Although the disease may be mild, it can quickly progress.

There are many causes of developing psoriasis, and will usually appear for no reason. Those with skin lesions, such as insect bites and cuts, overweight and obese individuals, people who abuse alcohol, those who smoke, and those under a lot of stress are at significant risk for developing the condition.

Along with taking specific medications for the treatment of psoriasis, those suffering from the skin condition can use tea tree oil to help soothe the infected skin. You can mix two drops of tea tree oil with one drop of lavender oil and apply the oil treatment to the affected areas of your skin after your shower. For the best results, use this treatment several times a day.

Relieve Nail Fungus

Tea tree oil is excellent way to treat nail fungus because of its powerful antimicrobial and antifungal properties that will prevent the growth of pathogenic fungi while helping the nail and leg area from being adversely affected. Continually treat nail fungus to keep the disease from reappearing.

To use tea tree oil on nail fungus, rinse your nails and toenails with warm water and disinfectant soap. Next, dip a cotton swab into the tea tree oil and apply to the affected nails. Leave the cotton swab on the affected nails for fifteen minutes.

Treat Dandruff

Another little-known benefit of tea tree oil is it's ability to effectively treat dandruff. Dandruff is a common problem for people of all ages and can have mild to severe symptoms.

Tea tree oil is an effective and safe way to treat dandruff because of its ability to soothe a dry scalp and remove the dead skin that is associated with dandruff. The antibacterial properties help reduce skin irritation.

DIY Tea Tree Oil Shampoo for Dandruff

  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil

  • 10 drops lavender oil

  • 15 drops rosemary oil

  • 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil

  • 1 cup shampoo base

  • 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil

In a jar or plastic bottle, combine the ingredients. Replace the lid and shake to thoroughly mix. Store in a cool place. And stir the shampoo thoroughly before use. While this shampoo may not create the foamy lather you’re used to, this homemade shampoo will clean your hair and keep it healthy.

Treat Eczema

Another health benefit of tea tree oil is the treatment of eczema. This common skin condition is characterized by dry, itchy, red skin and commonly found in the folds of the legs and arms.

Factors that Trigger Eczema

  • Dermatitis

  • Asthma

  • Certain Foods

  • Stress

  • Sweat

  • Changes in temperature and humidity

  • Cigarette smoke

  • Air pollution

Tea tree oil will help relieve the symptoms of eczema, Along with helping the affected skin with its antibacterial properties, it may also help to moisturize your skin without causing any added irritation.

Adding moisture to your skin with the use of tea tree oil can help dramatically reduce the symptoms of eczema. To use tea tree oil to treat eczema, dilute several drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil, olive or coconut oil, and apply the solution to the affected skin. Repeat regularly for the best results.

Treat Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a condition in which you start to develop holes in your teeth as a result of bacterial activity. When left untreated, the gap will continue to grow and end up affecting the deeper layers of the tooth, which can lead to severe toothache, tooth fractures, and infection.

Fortunately, tea tree oil has been proven to help treat tooth decay. In a study conducted by Dr. Kate Hammer, that tea tree oil can effectively treat a range of oral bacteria that is responsible for tooth decay.

Not only does tea tree oil help to prevent bacteria from forming acid on your teeth, but it helps to stimulate the salivary glands in your mouth to eliminate dry mouth, which is a common cause of tooth decay.

To use tea tree oil to stop tooth decay, mix one to two drops of the natural oil with your regular toothpaste and brush your teeth as usual. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to baking soda and brush your teeth with the resulting paste, to treat tooth decay and whiten your teeth.

Treat Bad Breath

Bad breath is a result of bacteria that are found in your mouth, especially those found at the back of your tongue, throat, and tonsils. With tea tree oils antimicrobial activity, it can kill the bacteria and work as a natural remedy for bad breath.

Recent studies have shown that tea tree essential oil acts as an effective antiseptic against oral pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Candida albicans, and Escherichia coli. The antiseptic properties can be especially beneficial after oral surgery when you are at an increased risk of developing a fungal or bacterial infection.

When using tea tree oil to treat bad breath, it is important to remember that you should never take it orally, so if you are using it as a mouthwash to kill oral germs, be sure you spit it out and thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.

Eliminate Athletes Foot

If you’re dealing with athletes foot, tea tree oil is one of the best antifungal medications to treat it. You can make your anti-fungal powder using tea tree oil, baking soda and arrowroot powder to eliminate odor and absorb moisture.

The arrowroot powder is made from the rhizomes of several tropical plants and helps to extinguish smell while providing a moisture-absorbing base for the powder. The baking soda will help with sweating and odor and help stop the itch often associated with athlete’s foot. The tea tree in this recipe prevents the fungus and keep it from replicating.

In a randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded study, the efficacy of tea tree oil was tested in the treatment of athlete’s foot compared to a placebo. Patients in the treatment group received either a placebo, a 50 percent tea tree oil solution, or a 25 percent tea tree solution.

Researchers conducting the study reported a clinical response in 72 percent of the 25 percent tea tree group, a 68 percent of the 50 percent tea tree group, and a 39 percent in the placebo group, concluding that tea tree oil is beneficial in the treatment of athlete’s foot.

DIY Anti-Fungal Foot Powder 

  • ¼ Arrowroot powder
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 20 drops of tea tree oil
  • Shaker container

Add the arrowroot powder and baking soda to the shaker container. Add the tea tree oil to the powder, spreading the drops out as best you can. Use a fork to mash any lumps that you might have. Rinse your feet thoroughly and pat them dry, then apply the powder.

Repeat the process twice a day. Make sure your hands are clean to spread the powder around your entire foot evenly. Store the remaining powder in a cool, dry place.

Help Combat Head Lice

The powerful insecticidal properties of tea tree oil can be used to get rid of head lice, those small, parasitic insects that are a parent’s worst nightmare. Tea tree oil is one of the best ways to combat head lice. To eliminate head lice naturally, combine one teaspoon undiluted tea tree oil, one teaspoon of ylang-ylang oil, and three tablespoons coconut oil.

Apply the mixture to the scalp and thoroughly massage. Use a fine tooth comb to comb the treatment through the hair and cover with a shower cap. The treatment needs to sit for two hours before brushing through again and rinsing the oils out.

Next, you’ll need to combine one cup of water and two cups of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Completely saturate the hair with the spray. Then rinse with warm water and comb through the hair again. Finally, apply a light application of coconut oil and leave it in.

Repeat the entire process every five to ten days for several weeks to ensure you’ve killed all of the lice and the eggs.

Help Treat a Sore Throat

If you are getting a sore throat, you can use tea tree oil to reduce the inflammation of the mucous membranes, which is what contributes to the pain of a sore throat, while fighting off the underlying infection. If you can catch it in time, tea tree oil can also prevent the infection from taking hold in the first place. To use tea tree oil to treat a sore throat, place one drop of tea tree oil into a glass of warm water.

At least once a day, swish the treatment around your mouth and gargle with it. You can also add two teaspoons of table salt to the treatment to help draw out any excess water from the mucous membranes that can create pressure and increase your discomfort.

Treat a Sinus Infection

When a cold develops into a sinus infection, the resulting pressure can be miserable. Your sinuses are air-filled cavities located at the front of your skull, and they are lined with mucous membranes. When infection sets in, an excess of mucus in these cavities results in painful pressure. Plus, the membranes become inflamed, which makes it difficult for the mucus to drain.

To reduce the inflammation in the cavities and help the mucous drain, you can add several drops of tea tree essential oil to a container of steaming water. Lean over the pot, and cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Breathe in the steam for a good 15 minutes at least twice a day to eliminate the bacteria and clear out your sinuses.

Clean Abrasions and Minor Cuts

The strong antimicrobial characteristics of tea tree oil can benefit minor cuts and abrasions by cleansing the area and warding off infection. Start by cleaning the affected area thoroughly with plain soap and water, rinsing the soap off and ensuring there isn’t any dirt or debris left in the wound.

Mix a teaspoon of coconut oil and a drop of tea tree oil and apply the treatment directly to the cut. Rinse the area thoroughly, and reapply the tea tree oil gel several times a day as needed. To make the treatment last a bit longer, smear a small amount of the tea tree and coconut oil mixture on the inside of an adhesive bandage and place it on the cut.

Relieve Itchy Bug Bites

Early studies show that tea tree oil can play an essential role in decreasing the severity of allergens and irritants that come into contact with the skin.

Dabbing a small amount of tea tree oil, diluted with coconut oil or other carrier oil, onto a bug bite can reduce the initial reaction while soothing the burning and itching sensation that tends to be unbearable.

DIY Deodorant

If tea tree oil can deodorize your garbage can, it can act as a deodorizer for you. You have two types of sweat glands in your body, eccrine and apocrine. The eccrine sweat glands cover most of your body and don’t smell.

Apocrine, on the other hand, are those that are found in your armpits and around your genitals. The sweat released by these glands is thicker than the typical sweat gland, and it feeds on the bacteria that is located on your skin. When the bacteria begins to breakdown and decompose, the sweat releases the odor.

Since tea tree oil fights bacteria, using tea tree oil as a deodorant means there will be fewer bacteria to break down the sweat, resulting in less odor. You can make your own DIY deodorant by mixing a few drops of tea tree oil with some baking soda and coconut oil. Mix all of the ingredients until well combined, then add a thin layer to your armpits.

Soak Sore Muscles

Since tea tree oil works wonders on inflammation, it’s no wonder it can be used to treat sore muscles. When you combine the oil with Epsom salt, you can soak away the sore, tight and inflamed muscles.

Start by diluting the tea tree oil in any neutral oil, like olive or coconut, then mix with the Epsom salt. Fill your bathtub halfway with warm water, add the salt, and lay back and relax.

Fight Fungal, Bacterial, and Viral Infections

There is a good reason why so many health care products have tea tree oil as an active ingredient. In a scientific review published in Clinical Microbiology Reviews, data showed that the broad-spectrum activity of tea tree oil is due to its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, which means it is useful in fighting many infections, from MRSA to athlete’s foot.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil in Your Home

Recent studies have discovered that there are approximately ten pounds of chemicals found in every household’s cleaning products. If this number is valid, then it is essential to try to find alternatives for cleaning your home without using chemicals.

Using tea tree oil to clean your home is one way to get rid of the chemical-laden commercial cleaning products that you use to clean your house. The antiviral, antifungal and antiseptic qualities of tea tree oil make it the perfect solution to your home cleaning needs.

Disinfect the Air

The strong antiseptic characteristics of tea tree oil can help to disinfect the air in your home, especially after someone in your family has been sick. You can add six to eight drops of tea tree oil to your warm mist vaporizer to help get rid of any airborne virus and bacteria that might be lurking in your house.

You can also add several drops of the oil to your laundry when washing your linens after your family has recovered from an illness.

Make an All-Purpose Cleaner

You can create your own all-purpose cleaner using tea tree oil that will get your house sparkling clean without resorting to the use of harsh chemicals, like those you find in commercial detergents.

After all, it’s a bit counterproductive to try and clean your countertops to make them more food-friendly, by wiping them down with toxic chemicals.

Homemade All-Purpose Cleaner

  • ¼ cup water

  • ½ cup white vinegar

  • 30 drops tea tree oil

  • Spray bottle

Add the water, vinegar, and tea tree oil to the spray bottle. Replace the cap and shake the container vigorously to combine the ingredients. Spray the cleaner directly onto your countertops or other surfaces and wipe them down with a clean cloth.

Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Americans spend approximately $175 million a year on hand sanitizers. When it comes to the commercial hand sanitizers that you can buy in the store, many contain harsh chemicals like, triclosan, which can disrupt your thyroid functions and ultimately leave you with a weakened immune system.

To avoid these issues, you can make your hand sanitizer using tea tree oil and other bacteria-fighting ingredients.

DIY Hand Sanitizer

  • 25-30 drops tea tree oil

  • 9 drops of clove oil

  • 9 drops of lavender oil

  • 1 tablespoon witch hazel

  • 8 ounces aloe Vera gel

  • A bowl

  • A small container with a lid

In the bowl, add the tea tree, clove, and lavender oil. Stir thoroughly to combine. Add the Aloe Vera gel, and the witch hazel. Blend and store in a cool, dark place for up to a month. Use anytime you need to sanitize your hands.

Repel Pests

The scent of tea tree oil is a significant deterrent to a variety of pests and is one of the best ways to get rid of bed bugs in your home. In nature, the oils from the plant play a key role in warding off creatures that would enjoy it as a tasty snack, which leads one to believe that the tea tree essential oil would work just as well.

To repel pests in your home, add 20 drops of tea tree essential oil to a spray bottle, and fill the rest of the bottle with water. Shake to combine the ingredients, then spray the solution around doorways, cracks, and any other potential entry point for unwanted pests.

Deodorize Your Garbage Can

If you can’t stand the thought of opening your garbage can, or diaper pail if you use one, tea tree oil might be the answer to your problem. Along with eliminating the odors that tend to collect inside of trash cans, tea tree oil can also prevent bacteria from growing.

You can combine ½ teaspoon tea tree oil with one cup of baking soda to increase the odor killing power. Combine the ingredients in a shaker and shake the mixture into the bottom of your trash can to keep odors at bay.

Banish Mold

A common problem that many homeowners experience is a mold infestation. When exposed to this toxin, you might begin to experience black mold symptoms. Tea tree essential oil is an all naturalmold killer which can be used to eliminate mold from your home. You can get rid of the mold spores in the air by using a diffuser and diffusing several drops of tea tree oil around your house.

You can also use the tea tree oil, all-purpose cleaner on shower curtains, in your dishwasher or toilet, and in your washing machine to kill off mold and other bacteria that may be lurking.  

Get Rid of Mildew

Mildew is made up of tiny fungal filaments that tend to look white, powdery, or fuzzy. They like to grow on the damp and warm surface, and if not treated quickly can spread. You can treat mildew by adding ten drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle filled with water. Before each application, make sure to shake the bottle well, then spray directly onto the mildew.

Allow the solution to sit for five minutes before wiping with a damp cloth. The tea tree oil will work to inhibit the growth of future bacteria, as long as you manage the overall conditions.

Clean the Washing Machine

Washing machines, especially front load washers, can start to smell after a while. While there are commercial washing machine deodorizers that you can buy, they are filled with harmful chemicals. If you like the smell of a fresh washer, you can use tea tree oil to freshen it up.

All you need to do is add 10-15 drops of the oil to the drum of your machine and run it on the hot cycle to get rid of bacteria and odor.

Freshen Clothes in the Dryer

Tea tree oil not only works to clean your washing machine but can be used in your dryer to get rid of the damp mildew smell from your clothes. If you use a wool dryer ball, add several drops to it to freshen up your clothes, if you don’t have the time to rewash them.

If you don’t use wool dryer balls, you can use an old cotton shirt in the same way. Cut the shirt into 5-inch squares and add five drops of tea tree oil to each square. Toss the square into the dryer, like you would a dryer sheet. When the scent starts to diminish, refresh the cloth with a few more drops.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil in Your Garden

Gardening can be an enriching and fulfilling activity. However, the unwelcome presence of persistent pests can keep you from stepping foot in your garden.

If these nuisances are destroying your garden, you might want to consider using tea tree oil to get rid of them. Tea tree oil is a natural and relatively easy to use solution for ridding your garden of unwanted pests.

Get Rid of Ants

If you have an army of ants that are ruining the ambiance of your garden with their annoying hills, you can use tea tree oil to get rid of them for good. Tea tree oil is a highly effective solution for getting rid of a variety of insects, including ants.

Just apply a thin layer of the oil over any ant trails that you come across. The scent will disrupt the pheromone trail that they leave behind, rendering them unable to make it back to their favorite spots. You can also use a small drop of tea tree oil to get rid of unwanted ants in your home.

Deal with Flies

Flies can become a significant problem in your garden, especially if you have outdoor garbage cans nearby. Instead of giving up and sharing your garden with these pesky flying insects, repel them with tea tree oil. You can either move your garbage cans elsewhere on your property or if that’s not an option, wipe down the sides of your garbage cans with tea tree oil. The strong aroma will drive the flies away.

Repel Mosquitoes

If you’re sick of being the main course for the mosquitoes while you’re out in your garden, you can dissuade them from biting you with tea tree oil. Blend the oil with a carrier oil to dilute it. Then apply a thin layer of the mixture evenly on your body to help keep mosquitoes at bay.

You can also add several drops of tea tree essential oil to your hair to keep mosquitoes and other insects from feeding on you.

Use as a Fungicide

Leaf spots, root rot, blights, and mildew can all but destroy the garden you’ve worked so hard to build. Using commercial chemical fungicides can help to eliminate fungal infections on your plants, but at the risk of harming nearby plants.

Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial activity can effectively combat fungus, and it’s safe to use around your other plants, as well as your children and pets.

Homemade Tea Tree Oil Fungicide

  • 2 tablespoons tea tree oil

  • 4 tablespoons baking soda

  • 1 gallon of water

Mix the ingredients in a large container. Mixing well to ensure the baking soda completely dissolves and combines with the water and tea tree oil. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle.

Spray the fungicide on the plants in your garden that are affected every three days to control mildew and other fungal infections. Use the solution sparingly, and spray it in the morning to prevent the solution from burning the leaves.

Are There Any Side Effects with Tea Tree Oil?

While tea tree oil is relatively safe to apply to your skin, it can cause skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and swelling. If you are using it to treat acne, it might cause skin itching, dryness, stinging, burning, and redness.

When you apply tea tree oil topically, it’s best to dilute it with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil. If you have sensitive skin, then it is recommended that you dilute the tea tree oil. You should never ingest tea tree oil via the mouth due to the possibility of severe side effects like confusion, unsteadiness, inability to walk, rash, and coma.

Any time you are using tea tree oil for health and beauty remedies, always take the proper safety precautions to avoid accidental ingestion.

Due to its powerful antibacterial and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil has become a favorite essential oil for numerous health and beauty applications, as well as for use in the garden and around the home. The abundant tea tree oil uses sure to make it a must-have essential oil for your home.

It is such a diverse essential oil that is both convenient and practical, as well as being inexpensive that you’ll never want to live without it again.  

We hope you enjoyed learning about the many tea tree oil uses. If you found these natural oil tips useful, please don’t hesitate to share this tea trea post with your family and friends.

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