Tea Tree Oil Uses - What You Need to Know!

There are many common tea tree oil uses; it is one of the most versatile of all the essential oils! This oil is frequently applied to everyday skin problems and is effective at disinfecting cuts, scrapes, and abrasions (See DIY first aid recipe below!).

Tea tree oil is found as an additive in many natural shampoos and toothpaste. It is also effective at disinfecting countertops, cutting boards, and the inside of refrigerators. It can also be used as a sanitizer and deodorizer in the bathroom.

You should dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil when applying it topically to the skin. The only exception to this rule is when you are applying it to insect bites! In that case, you can apply it "neat" (a term meaning straight from the bottle without diluting it with a carrier oil or water)

Do It Yourself (DIY) First Aid Spray

Add several drops of tea tree and lavender oil to pure water in a glass 2 oz spray bottle (I recommend 1-2 drops of each oil per ounce of water). Spray this combination of oils on the affected area several times during the day to speed healing and new skin growth.

In addition to cuts and scrapes this first aid spray can also be used on sunburns and rashes! Apply as needed throughout the day.

You can carry this small 2 oz bottle with you in your purse, handbag or glove compartment in your car to use in case of an emergency. (If you live in a hot climate don't leave your essential oils in your vehicle during the hot summer months). 

Tea tree oil helps to disinfect and sanitize while lavender oil helps relieve pain and rebuild tissue. This recipe can also be used as a germ sanitizer in public restrooms or hotel rooms when you are travelling.

Use Tea Tree Oil for Acne

Acne is the result of sebum build up in the pores of the skin. This oily substance is produced by the sebaceous glands under the skin's surface. When the body produces too much sebum it clogs the pores and pimples, blackheads or whiteheads are formed.

Tea tree oil has strong antibacterial characteristics and can be used to fight the bacteria found in excess sebum. It can be applied to blemishes along with water as a carrier or added to a natural skin cleanser. You can also spray the affected areas with your tea tree and lavender oil and water mixture. Do this on a regular basis to help improve the health of your skin. 

Use Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff

Dandruff is a common scalp problem for both men and women. In addition to the itchiness and constant scratching, it can be embarrassing due to the dry flakes of skin that end up on your clothes. This condition can be caused by a dry scalp, dermatitis, eczema or psoriasis, yeast-like fungus, shampooing too often or not often enough, and certain hair care products.

Add tea tree oil to your favorite shampoo to help fight dandruff and get relief from this troubling condition (Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil per ounce of oil per ounce of shampoo).

Use Tea Tree Oil for Lice

One of the common tea tree oil uses is for combating head lice. This is a prevailing problem in many grade schools around the country.

My daughter-in-law adds several drops of this oil to my granddaughters' shampoo. This helps to kill any lice eggs that they might have in their hair. She hates it when the girls come home with a note from the school nurse informing her that one (or both) of her daughters are infected with head lice.

As a result, she has to visually examine her daughters' hair and scalp daily and comb out any nits or lice eggs until they are all gone. This is tedious as well as frustrating because when you think you have them all you find a few more. The process can go on for days at a time!

She also dislikes having to wash every blanket, sheet, pillow case, and bed pad in the house when one of the girls comes home from school infected with head lice. This is necessary in order to stop the spread of this pesky problem to other family members and to prevent the girls from getting reinfected.

It would be a good idea to spray a tea tree oil and pure water mixture on all the clean bedding and linens on a regular basis. (Again, 1-2 drops of tea tree oil per ounce of water). This is just added insurance and is a good preventative measure.

Diffusing Tea Tree Oil

This oil is especially effective at killing airborne bacteria! Add several drops (4-6 depending on the size of the water reservoir in your diffuser) of tea tree oil to your diffuser to help clean and purify the air. Diffusing tea tree oil is especially beneficial when an ailment has started to go from family member to family member.

More Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

This oil is also antiviral and anti-fungal and is effective against athlete's foot or toenail fungus! Apply topically with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil at least twice a day (more times if required).

Tea Tree Oil History

Tea tree oil or melaleuca oil is steam distilled from the leaves of a bush that grows in Australia. This oil has a long history of use in that part of the world. Tea tree oil was used in Australia as an antibiotic in hospitals until cheaper drugs like penicillin were developed.

During World War ll all Australian soldiers were issued tea tree oil as part of their basic first aid kit. The soldiers even used tea tree oil to oil and lubricate their personal weapons. During the war, you could always tell if you were around an Australian unit due to the pungent smell of tea tree oil.

Since the mid-1980s there has been a resurgence of interest and use of tea tree oil. Today you can find tea tree oil widely used as an additive in personal care products like shampoo, toothpaste, mouthwash, soft or liquid soap and body wash. These products can be found in health food stores, whole food markets, your local drug store or even in large discount retailers like Walmart. You can also find tea tree oil as a stand-alone product in many of these same retail locations.

A word of caution! Through the research and testing of Dr. Robert Pappas, essential oil expert, some of the cheap so-called essential oils found in large "brick and mortar" retailers and in online stores contain cheap synthetic additives and chemicals. They are not pure essential oils!

I am not suggesting all online essential oil retailers are at fault for misrepresenting the quality of their products but there are a few popular ones that are of concern. You should use high-quality therapeutic grade  essential oils sold by reputable retailers. Contact me if you would like to know which essential oil brands to avoid!

Tea Tree Oil Side Effects

Most essential oils have very few side effects but here are some general guidelines to follow: Avoid ingesting any essential oil internally! Essential oils are very concentrated and could damage the esophagus if swallowed. There is some concern that regular internal use of essential oils could damage the liver. Although this theory has not been proven in scientific studies it is better to be safe than sorry!

Do not apply this or any oil neat or without a carrier oil! This is especially true if you have sensitive skin. You can develop a sensitivity to an essential oil over time that will cause a red rash. Discontinue use of the oil if this occurs. You may be able to substitute another essential oil with similar characteristics without any reaction. Avoid using essential oils  around the eyes or other sensitive areas of the body!

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