Tea tree oil, also called melaleuca oil, is made from the leaves of the tea tree plant (Melaleuca alternifolia), a member of the myrtle tree family, which is native to Australia. The name was coined by British explorer Lieutenant James Cook in the 1770s, when he saw native Australians brewing tea using the leaves from the tree. Later on, he brewed his own batch of tea, and gave it to his crew to prevent scurvy.
Tea tree oil has such a diversity of usefulness that’s both practical and convenient that you’ll never want to live without it again. And the good news is that it is very inexpensive in comparison to other essential oils. Here are 18 great uses for tea tree oil.
People who are suffering from cough and cold, congestion, bronchitis and other troubles associated with colds, are sure to get relief using tea tree essential oil. It provides relief from cough, cold, bronchitis and congestion. It can be rubbed on the chest and inhaled while sleeping, or a drop can be placed on the pillow so it can do its magical work at night, and you can wake up feeling much better in the morning.
2. Tea Tree Oil for Acne
If you’re looking to get rid of pimples, a 5 percent solution of tea tree oil works just as well as the top drugstore acne remedy, benzoyl peroxide, according to Australian researchers studying their native resource.
Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with 20 to 40 drops of witch hazel, and apply to skin once or twice a day with a cotton swab. Be careful to not overuse it: while gentler than benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil can dry out your skin, triggering your body to overproduce its own oils and make your acne worse. If you apply it to your face, stay out of the sun—tea tree oil can make you more sensitive to UV rays.
3. Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
You’re out to a nice dinner and as you settle into the booth your mother-in-law whips out a little bottle of hand sanitizer. “Would you like some?” she asks-but you know it’s not a question. Obligingly you hold out your hand and try not to cringe as she squeezes out a giant dollop that floods your palm. That situation-or some take on it-has happened to many of us at some point or another. Now, thanks to the antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil, you can make your own (much more pleasant) hand sanitizer.
4. Tea Tree Oil Deodorant
Another great reason to use tea tree oil is to eliminate body odor. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that destroy the bacteria on your skin that causes body odor. You can make homemade tea tree oil deodorant by mixing it with coconut oil and baking soda. You can also add tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to your shoes and sports gear to keep them smelling fresh.
5. Fight the Fungus
Nail fungus is an unpleasant condition that can cause both physical and psychological discomfort. You can use tea tree oil mixed simply with water, or you can mix it with coconut oil. Coconut oil also has fungus fighting properties that complement the tea tree oil.
Melt down a tablespoon of coconut oil and then mix in 4-5 drops of tea tree oil. Store in an airtight glass container out of direct sunlight, and apply faithfully to the affected area once in the morning and once at night every day. You don’t need to use much-you don’t want greasy toes after all-and be sure to wash your hands between applications to avoid spreading the fungus.
6. Fight Foot Odor
As bacteria and/or fungus is often times the culprit behind foot odor, a little soak with tea tree oil can help freshen up your feet. Bring several cups of water to a boil and pour into a basin. Steep several sprigs of rosemary for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, add 15 drops of tea tree oil to 3 tablespoons of liquid oil (grape seed, almond, jojoba, olive, etc.) When the rosemary has finished steeping add the tea tree oil mixture to the water. Yes, it will separate-oil and water tend to do that. Simply swish the water around with your feet now and again. Soak for 15 minutes twice daily and pat your feet dry.
7. Pest Control
Household ants and other pests dislike tea tree Oil. Wipe surfaces with an oil and water solution at various points of entry, like window cabinets, to deter them.
Besides infections, another cause of disease is an accumulation of toxins in the body. These toxins are generated by the body itself, formed as a by-product of various reactions, or they get inside the body in some way. Our body has certain mechanisms to eliminate these toxins. One of them is perspiration or sweating, which has the its advantages, including removing toxins, moistening the skin, opening pores on the skin and keeping the body cool.
Tea tree oil, being a sudorific substance, increases sweating and promotes the removal of toxins like uric acid. It also helps remove excess water and salts from the body, while cleaning the pores. This further prevents the occurrence of acne, for which tea tree oil is often recommended.
9. Simple Soap
To make a basic antiseptic soap, combine 2 cups melted glycerin soap base and 2 tablespoons tea tree oil. Stir until blended, pour into soap molds and cool.
10. Cancer Prevention
Both tea tree oil and frankincense oil have been proven to have anti-cancer benefits. For abnormal skin lesions, you can mix frankincense oil, raspberry seed oil and tea tree oil, then place on the area three times daily.
11. Banish Dandruff
Tea tree oil’s primary ingredient is terpinen-4-ol, which helps to relieve symptoms associated with dandruff, psoriasis, and itchy scalp. Create a soothing scalp treatment oil by adding a few drops of tea tree oil to a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Warm the mixture and gently massage it into your scalp. Leave on for up to an hour, then shampoo. You can also add a few drops to your shampoo and wash your hair with the mixture.
12. Air Freshener
To make your own essential oil gel air freshener, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of clear gelatin powder, tea tree oil, a 1/2 cup of hot water, and clean, clear jars of your choice.
Stir together and heat the clear gelatin powder, approximately 20 drops of essential oil, and the water. Pour the liquid into clean jar(s) once the gelatin has melted. Put the jars in the refrigerator until the gel has set.
13. Sore Muscle Soak
As it seems to help with inflammation, it makes sense that tea tree oil would provide welcome relief from sore, tight, inflamed, muscles. As someone who suffers from tension headaches rather frequently, anything that helps release tension in my muscles is a friend. Epsom salts, thought to help relax muscles because of its magnesium content (magnesium plays a vital role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles) makes the perfect carrier for the tea tree oil. First dilute 10 drops of tea tree oil in any neutral oil, and mix into the Epsom salt. Fill the tub halfway with warm water, add the salt, and top off the tub. Relax, enjoy, and unwind.
14. Waxing Prep
Do you wax your skin to remove unwanted body hair? If so, you know how much waxing can irritate your skin. The pain that comes with waxing is never any fun, and if you do not prep your skin properly, you may find yourself dealing with irritation for quite a while afterward.
Tea tree oil is an ideal prepping agent for waxing, because it removes oil, making it easier for wax to affix to the skin. It also gets rid of bacteria, which reduces the likelihood of irritation or infection after waxing. Of course, it is important to make sure that you are using tea tree oil in the proper amounts before you decide to use it for waxing. Too much may make irritation worse.
15. Make Mouthwash
Bacteria in the mouth-it can be a good thing and a bad thing. Mostly it’s a good thing, but when there’s an overabundance, it can lead to halitosis, or chronic bad breath. Tea tree oil with its antibacterial properties can help kill off excess bacteria that is leading to bad breath. Mix 2 drops of tea tree oil with 1 drop of peppermint oil in 1 cup of fresh water. Swish, gargle, and make sure to spit it out!
It is obvious that an essential oil that is so deadly for bacteria and viruses will be effective against insects as well. Tea tree oil is an efficient insect deterrent and insect killer. It does not let parasites and other insects like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, or flies come near someone who has rubbed some of this oil on their body. It kills internal insects and worms too, such as intestinal worms like round worms, tape worms, and hook worms, because it can be absorbed by your body and skin.
17. Chicken Pox Sore Remover
The tea tree oil is a wonderful remedy to remove the sores and spots caused by chicken pox. Using a cotton swab, when this oil is applied to the sores caused by chicken pox 2-3 times daily, it can give wonderful results.
18. Head Lice Remover
Head lice are one of the most unwanted problems, especially in children. This problem can be solved by the daily use of tea tree oil. About 20 drops of this oil should be mixed with 2 tablespoons of shampoo and the mixture should be applied on the scalp and kept for about twenty minutes before washing off daily, until the eggs of lice disappear from the head.