Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca, is well-known throughout Australia for its ability to treat wounds and because of its powerful antiseptic properties. Tea tree oil has been documented in medical studies to kill many bacteria, viruses and fungi and is anessential oil that should be part of everyone’s natural medicine cabinet.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that melaleuca is “a powerful disinfectant and is non-poisonous and gentle” to the body. In 1923, Dr. A.R. Penfold found that tea tree oil was twelve times more effective at healing infections than the conventional antiseptic (carbolic acid) at that time.
During the 1930s and 1940s, tea tree oil became widely known as the go-to antiseptic and Australian World War II soldiers were given tea tree oil in their first aid kits.
Today, tea tree oil uses are numerous and include making homemade cleaning products, diffused in the air to kill mold, used topically to heal skin issues and taken internally to treat infections.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits
To date, 327 scientific studies refer to tea tree oil’s antimicrobial prowess alone. As if thousands of years of use have been done in vain, right? Thankfully, science is finally catching up and describing why tea tree oil is so effective as a treatment for some of its more traditional uses:
Congestion and respiratory tract infections
Fungal infections (especially Candida, jock itch, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus)
Halitosis (bad breath)
Itchy insect bites, sores and sunburns
Boils from staph infections
And this list doesn’t even include the cosmetic and general home uses of tea tree oil!
Acne face wash
Anti-microbial laundry freshener
Removes foot order
An article published in the journal Phytomedicine evaluated the relationship between various essential oils and found that none (including tea tree) caused adverse reactions when taken with several different antibiotics. In fact, they discovered that some essential oils even had a synergist effect, which could help prevent antibiotic resistance!
In many causes, doctors of functional medicine will prescribe essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil in replacement of conventional medications because they’re just as effective and without the adverse side effects.
Top 10 Tea Tree Oil Uses
Ready to use tea tree oil to transform your health? Here are the top 10 uses for tea tree oil for natural cures and home remedies.
1. Tea Tree Oil for Acne
One of the most common uses for tea tree oil today is in skin care products, and it’s considered one of the home remedies for acne. One study found tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but without the negative side effects of red and peeling skin.
You can make a tea tree oil acne face wash by mixing five drops of tea tree essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey. Simply rub on your face, leave on for one minute, then rinse off.
2. Tea Tree Oil for Hair
Tea tree oil has proven very beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp. Like coconut oil for hair, tea tree oil has the ability to soothe dry flaking skin, dandruff and even can be used for the treatment of lice. To make homemade tea tree oil shampoo, mix it in with aloe vera gel, coconut milk nutrition and other essential oils like lavender oil.
3. Tea Tree Oil for Cleaning
Another fantastic way to use tea tree oil is as a household cleaner. Tea tree oil have powerful antimicrobial properties and can kill off bad bacteria in your home. To make homemade tea tree oil cleaner, mix with water, vinegar and lemon essential oil.
4. Tea Tree Oil for Psoriasis and Eczema
Tea tree oil can help relieve any type of skin inflammation, including being used as a natural eczema treatment and for psoriasis. Simply mix one teaspoon coconut oil, five drops of tea tree oil and five drops of lavender oil to make homemade tea tree oil eczema lotion or body soap. In addition, if you have eczema or psoriasis, you should consider going on the GAPS diet and supplementing with vitamin D3.
5. Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus and Ringworm
Because of its ability to kill parasites and fungal infections, tea tree oil is a great choice to use on toenail fungus, athlete’s foot and ringworm. Put tea tree oil undiluted on the area and, for stubborn fungi, it can also be mixed with oil of oregano. Tea tree oil has also been proven beneficial for treating and removing warts, so simply put tea tree oil directly on the area for 30 days.
6. Tea Tree Oil Kills Mold
A common problem many people experience in their homes is mold infestation, oftentimes without knowing it. You can buy a diffuser and diffuse tea tree oil in the air around your home to kill mold and other bad bacteria. Also, you can spray tea tree oil cleaner onto shower curtains to kill off mold.
7. 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 that cause body odor. You can make homemade tea tree oil deodorant by mixing it with coconut oil and baking soda. (Yes, you can see that coconut oil uses and baking soda uses are many as well!) Also, if your kids play sports or if you’re a runner, you can add tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to your shoes and sports gear to keep them smelling fresh!
8. Tea Tree Oil for Infections and Cuts
Tea tree oil mixed with lavender essential oil is the perfect ingredient in a homemade wound ointment. Make sure to clean a cut first with water and hydrogen peroxide if necessary, then put on tea tree oil and cover with bandage to fight off infections. Also, a study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology found tea tree oil kills MRSA and staph infections.
9. Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste for Oral Health
Because of tea tree oil’s ability to kill off bad bacteria and yet at the same time soothe inflamed skin, it’s a perfect ingredient in homemade toothpaste. It’s been shown to reduce the bleeding of gums and reduce tooth decay. Simply mix tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda for an amazing homemade toothpaste.
10. Tea Tree Oil For Cancer
One of the most incredible studies done recently done on tea tree oil was on its ability to fight skin cancer. In a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Sciences, tea tree oil was found to have a rapid effect on reducing tumors and boosted immunity.
Also, 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
Soaps vary a great deal in terms of their ingredients. For example, while some soaps make your skin dry, other soaps are very moisturizing. Glycerin soaps are considered to be one of the most moisturizing types of soap. The unique quality of this type of soap allows it to be both moisturizing and effective for all different kinds of skin. The benefits of glycerin soap help your skin become healthy and moisturized.
One of the benefits of using glycerin soap is that it can be completely natural, with no synthetic ingredients added to it during the manufacturing process. All soap manufacturers differ, however. While glycerin soap can be totally natural, some glycerin soap manufacturers do add a small amount of synthetic ingredients.
Because glycerin soaps can be completely natural, they are particularly beneficial for people who have sensitive skin. Synthetic ingredients can create skin complications or irritate dormant skin problems. Glycerin soap, on the other hand, can be used for even the most sensitive skin. It can even be used with skin problems like eczema or psoriasis. Glycerin soaps do not irritate the skin or create negative reactions like normal soap does.
Glycerin is thought to be a humectant, which means that it can attract moisture. Due to this quality, glycerin soaps attract moisture to your skin and keep it locked in. This provides your skin constant hydration. Unlike some soaps that dry your skin out and make it feel tight and even flaky, glycerin soap keeps your skin feeling more hydrated for several hours after you use it. Using glycerin soap on a regular basis can help your skin become softer and suppler.
By keeping your skin well moisturized, you can create the foundation for healthy skin. Completely moisturized and healthy skin prevents you from developing wrinkles, stretch marks and tears in your skin. Although glycerin is a great soap to clean your whole body, using it to wash your face can offer you additional benefits. Using harsh soap that dries out the skin of your face often causes your skin to make up for its dryness by creating extra oil, which clogs your skin and creates skin problems. Glycerin soap can help decrease or completely rid you of acne when you use it as a face wash.
Lavender oil can help your hair grow. Many people lose their hair because of a medical condition called alopecia areata. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to reject its hair follicles as foreign objects. Lavender oil is a natural product to help treat this disease. A sense of calm is a bonus!
The essential oil aids in hair growth as well as treats sleeplessness, stress and anxiety. It can also help stop hair loss.The lavender flower has a sweet, soft scent and is where the essential oil is extracted from. Lavender oil is regenerative and found in hair formulas for all types of hair and scalp conditions.
A study by a group of dermatologists in Scotland showed that 44 percent of alopecia patients who were tested experienced new hair growth when they massaged their scalp daily with lavender and other essential oils for seven months.
The essential oil blend included lavender, thyme, rosemary, cedarwood and the carrier oils jojoba and grapeseed. A carrier oil dilutes the essential oils and aids in the delivery of their healing properties without irritation
Shea butter often is used to moisturize hair. Photo Credit IT Stock/Polka Dot/Getty Images
Shea butter has been a part of the African culture for centuries ad is commonly used to moisturize the hair and protect it from dryness and breakage. It is rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins that condition the hair, reduce breakage and soften the hair cuticle. Shea butter can be used as a daily conditioning cream, prewash conditioner or deep conditioner.
Shea butter is rich in vitamins A, F, and E, and using it as a daily conditioning cream helps to strengthen the hair's cortex and cuticle with essential vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. Shea butter for conditioning the hair is beneficial for mending split ends, softening the hair cuticle and reducing frizz. As a daily conditioner, add shea butter throughout the length of your hair and style as usual.
Commercial shampoos often contain a drying agent such as sodium lauryl sulfate, which gives the shampoo its lathering properties but also causes dryness and strips the hair of its natural oil. Using shea butter to condition your hair prior to shampooing fortifies your hair strands with essential fatty acids and oils to reduce the drying effect of the shampoo. Apply shea butter through the length of your hair and leave it for five to 10 minutes.
Shea butter is a versatile butter that can be liquefied for easier distribution. The liquefied butter can be massaged into your hair and scalp and left in overnight for maximum absorption and conditioning. Leaving shea butter in overnight encourages deeper penetration of its vitamins, oleic acid and minerals, and softens the hair shaft to reduce breakage and brittleness.
Shea butter contains high amounts of saturated fat, a necessary component for obtaining effective conditioning for hair. Shea butter can be used as an additive to your favorite brand of conditioner or used alone. Apply shea butter through your hair, detangle from root to ends, and place a steam cap or warm towel over your hair for an hour. The heat from the towel will help your hair absorb the conditioning properties in the butter. Rinse and style as usual.
Shea butter can be used as a moisturizing and strengthening hot-oil treatment. Warm the shea butter in a microwave-safe container until it is melted, then apply the hot oil on freshly shampooed hair and allow it to sit for several minutes before rinsing. The heat from the oil and the wetness of the hair creates a light steam that softens and conditions the hair.