10 Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils, and it that can be used for many different purposes. Many of these benefits revolve around keeping your hair, skin, hair, and nails healthy and beautiful.
This very useful essential oil comes from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia. This is a small tree native to the regions of New South Wales and Queensland in Australia.
Tea tree oil has been in use for centuries. Historically, it has been used as medicine by the Aboriginals, who were indigenous to Australia. The aboriginals used to crush tea tree leaves in order to extract the oil from the tree. This oil was then used to cure symptoms of a cough or cold. Sometimes, the oil was simply applied directly to the skin to help it heal.
Even today, tea tree oil is widely available as a 100% undiluted oil, and is pretty popular around the world. You can even purchase a diluted version of the oil if you wish to use it directly on your skin. This is because an essential oil should never be directly applied to the skin because of its concentration and strong effects.
According to a number of studies, tea tree oil contains a range of compounds which include terpinen-4-ol. These compounds can apparently kill particular bacteria, fungi, and even ward off viruses.
Terpinen-4-ol can also increase the activity of white blood cells in your body. This is useful because white blood cells generally help fight germs as well as other foreign species.
Because of these valuable germ-fighting properties, tea tree oil is an effective natural remedy for treating and curing fungal as well as bacterial skin conditions. It can also help prevent infections and encourage faster healing.
Science and research has supported these benefits thoroughly. Additionally, this highly versatile essential oil is relatively inexpensive and safe to use.
Here are ten health benefits of tea tree oil as well as some guidance on how to make sure you are using it safely.
1. A Natural Insect Repellent
Tea tree oil is a natural way to keep pesky insects at bay.
According to one study, cows that were treated with tea tree oil had 61% fewer flies, within just 24 hours of tea tree oil exposure, as compared to cows not that were not treated with tea tree oil.
In addition, a certain test-tube study discovered that tea tree oil had the ability to repel mosquitoes, more effectively than DEET, which is the ingredient common to all commercial insect repellents.
You can easily find a number of recipes online for DIY insect repellants that are all natural and effective.
2. Acts as a Natural Deodorant
While sweat itself does not have a smell, when secretions from your sweat glands combine with the bacteria on your skin, an undesirable odor is generally produced.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that can help regulate underarm odor that is often caused by perspiration.
Your underarm area contains a whole lot of these glands and this area is mainly responsible for what is we call body odor.
Tea tree oil can fight off these bacteria better than a lot of the commercially available deodorants in the market. Moreover, because tea tree oil is natural, it is a better alternative to store-bought deodorants and antiperspirants.
You can search online and find many recipes for making a natural deodorant using tea tree oil.
3. Acts as a Hand Sanitizer
Among the many uses and benefits of tea tree oil is that it can easily be used as an effective hand sanitizer.
According to certain studies, tea tree oil is capable of killing several common viruses and bacteria such as E. coli, H. influenzae , and S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae that can cause many diseases.
Another study that tested different types of hand washes showed that adding tea tree oil to any sort of a cleanser boosted its effectiveness against E. coli.
You can easily find recipes online for making your own hand sanitizer using tea tree oil.
4. Acts as an antiseptic for Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Any injury that results in broken skin can allow germs to enter your bloodstream. This can in turn lead to an infection.
Tea tree oil is pretty effective in dealing with and disinfecting any small cuts or abrasions by killing S. aureus and other such bacteria that can generally lead to an infection in an open wound.
Disinfecting a scrape or cut using tea tree oil is pretty uncomplicated. All you have to do is begin with cleaning the cut. Next, mix some tea tree oil with coconut oil, apply it to the injury and cover with a bandage.
Because an essential oil can never be directly applied to the skin, it’s always best to mix it with a carrier oil such as coconut oil.
After you are done disinfecting, wash off the scrape with plain water.
5. Can Boost Wound Healing
Tea tree oil doesn’t just help prevent infections in cuts and bruises. It also helps wounds to heal more quickly than they otherwise would.
Certain research has supported the idea that tea tree oil can help reduce inflammation. It can also increase activity of the white blood cells. Since these white blood cells are important for healing, tea tree oil too is important for the whole healing process.
In another, small study of about 10 people who each had a wound, adding some tea tree oil to conventional wound treatments reduced healing time considerably in almost all the participants.
In fact, each time you have a wound, you can mix a few drops of tea tree oil to the conventional wound creams etc and see much faster results.
6. Can Fight Off Acne
A whole lot of research has supported the idea that tea tree oil can fight against acne powerfully. In fact, many studies have proven that tea tree oil can help reduce the overall amount and even the severity of the acne.
According to one study, if you apply a 5% tea tree gel to acne lesions, this can be up to three times as effective at reducing the number of lesions as compared to a placebo. It was also up to six times as effective in reducing the severity of the acne.
In another study, tea tree oil was found to be equally effective as benzoyl peroxide, which is typically the strongest anti-acne medication that is prescribed.
It is quite easy to make your own treatment for acne using tea tree oil. All you have to do is mix one part tea tree oil with nine parts water and apply this mixture to any of the affected areas with a cotton pad, once or twice daily. You should begin to see results in just a matter of days.
7. Rid Yourself of Nail Fungus
It is pretty common to get a fungal nail infection. Although these are not exactly dangerous, they aren’t at all a pretty sight to behold.
While there are certain medications you can take to treat nail fungus, many people want to opt for a more natural cure.
Studies have shown that tea tree oil can effectively get rid of nail fungus when used by itself or even when used together with other natural remedies.
In another controlled study, people affected by nail fungus were made to use tea tree oil or an antifungal medication for six straight months.
Once the study came to a close, almost 60% of all the people in each of the groups experienced either a partial or sometimes even a full resolution of the fungus.
All you have to do is to take a few drops of tea tree oil, mix it with some coconut oil and then apply it to the affected area.
Take special care to sure to wash your hands right after this to make sure the fungus doesn’t spread anywhere else.
8. Soothe Inflammation of the Skin
Of the many health benefits of tea tree oil, it can even help cure inflamed skin.
Oftentimes, your skin gets irritated enough to get a condition called dermatitis. This usually occurs when your skin comes in contact with an allergen, such as a nickel.
Exposure to this allergen can make your skin itchy, red, and even painful.
Human and animal research has suggested that if you apply tea tree oil to inflamed skin, tea tree oil may even help reduce just how severe these symptoms may be.
In a particular study which focused on comparing the effects of different treatments for dermatitis, it was found that tea tree oil could reduce symptoms of dermatitis by 40%, and this was far greater than the typical medication that can be purchased from stores.
Furthermore, tea tree oil can even provide relief from bug bites by significantly reducing the swelling, the redness, and the itching that tends to occur whenever your body releases histamine to defend itself against the saliva produced by the insect.
In order to use tea tree oil to protect yourself from inflamed skin, all you have to do is combine a few drops of tea tree oil with some olive oil or coconut oil.
Next, all you have to do is mix all of these and store them in a container. Apply to the affected area twice a day until the symptoms begin to go away.
9. Chemical-Free Mouthwash
According to research, tea tree oil can even function as a natural mouth freshener, by helping fight germs that are responsible for bad breath and even tooth decay.
In fact, one study proved that tea tree oil was even more effective in fighting against plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, which is a common disinfectant and oral rinse.
Moreover, its taste was found to be less objectionable compared to commercial mouth rinses.
In order to make your own mouthwash that is all natural and free from chemicals, all you have to do is , add a single drop of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water, mix properly and swish in your mouth for about 30 seconds.
Just like other mouthwashes, tea tree oil should also not be swallowed because it can be pretty toxic if consumed.
10. Controls Dandruff
Dandruff refers to white flakes of dead skin that often fall from the scalp but isn’t dangerous. It can however be embarrassing and pretty annoying.
There isn’t too much research supporting the fact that tea tree oil can in fact help reduce dandruff, there is one controlled study that supports the idea that it may in fact be effective.
In this particular four-week study, the group which used a shampoo containing tea tree oil had a 40% improvement in dandruff.
Furthermore, the tea tree group also reported massive improvements in terms of the severity of dandruff, the itchiness as well as the greasiness.
In order to use tea tree oil to help reduce your dandruff, you can try mixing a few drops of tea tree oil to whichever shampoo you are using right before washing your hair.
Do this each time you shower for a few days and notice a marked improvement in your dandruff. .
Precautions When Using Tea Tree Oil
Most research has concluded that overall, tea tree oil is pretty safe to use. It can however be helpful to take certain precautions when using it. In fact, precautions are important whenever you are applying an external substance directly on to your skin.
The few things that you need to keep in mind are never to ingest this oil as it can be very harmful. So under all circumstances, make sure that your bottle of tea tree oil remains out of the reach of children and infants.
Even when using tea tree oil yourself, the smart thing to do is to first test a few drops of it on your skin to see if it negatively reacts in some way. Wait at least 24 hours to ascertain if it is suitable for your skin.
This is particularly important if you are someone who has sensitive skin that can easily develop a rash. If you do in fact have sensitive skin, make sure to always mix your tea tree oil with carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil.
Do make sure to avoid using tea tree oil on your pets as this isn’t always safe for them.
This was our list of some of the main health benefits of tea tree oil. So what are you waiting for? Grab your bottle of tea tree oil today and experience its many benefits!