Tea tree oil has become a popular natural ingredient in all kinds of shampoos, face soaps and ointments because of its amazing healing powers.
This skin miracle comes from Australia, where over 300 species of tea trees naturally grow.
Aboriginal tribes in Australia have known of the tea tree's healing qualities for thousands of years.
They boiled the leaves of the tea tree to make tea and antiseptic poultices that treated cuts, wounds, and skin infections.
One legend even describes a magical lagoon where native people bathed to heal their burns, cuts, and skin disorders. Tea trees surrounded the pool, and the fallen leaves created a natural healing bath.
But you don't have to travel all the way to Australia to get the benefits of the tea tree.
It's widely available now as an essential oil, and it treats a variety of conditions!
Tea Tree: Skin Treatment
Tea tree has so many anti-viral and anti-fungal benefits that the Australian army puts it in soldiers' first aid kits. Now, you can use tea tree oil in a variety of ways, especially to heal your skin.
Tea tree oil can benefit the following skin conditions:1
- Ring worm and athlete's foot
- Softens corns
- Cuts and scrapes
- Itching of insect bites and chicken pox
In fact, tea tree oil may be a better alternative to conventional skin treatments.
Tea tree oil is an excellent treatment for acne. One study found tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but without the negative side effects like redness and peeling.2 Tea tree oil can also treat minor wounds, encourage healing, and prevent infection, so you may want to add this versatile oil to your own first aid kit!
Besides improving your skin, tea tree oil has all kinds of other health properties, including:4
- May help reduce fevers and end headaches
- Pain reliever
- Treats lice
- Can help lower blood pressure
- Helpful for infections including vaginitis, sinusitis, cystitis
- Anti-viral and anti-candida
Tea tree essential oil is a potent healer, especially 100% pure tea tree oil. Keep in mind that many essential oils on the market (even those sold in health food stores) have potentially toxic extenders. (Labeling laws allow manufacturers to use up to 50% chemical extenders and still say they are 100% pure.)
You can use tea tree oil in the following ways:
- Directly on your skin in the area affected. For cuts and sores, add 1-2 drops to targeted areas.
- Mixed with a carrier oil. Mix 3 - 5 drops with a carrier oil and apply to skin after a bath or shower.You can make your own Body Ecology friendly carrier oil by using a lightly scented oil like almond oil that is unrefined and organic.
- A household cleaner. Add to water and vinegar for a non-toxic household cleaner.
- Treatment for lice and dandruff. Rinse your hair with warm water and 2 drops of tea tree oil to control lice and dandruff.
- Healing bath. Add 6 drops to your bath water for a soothing soak.
- Diffused. Using an essential oil diffuser, tea tree oil may be diffused into the air, creating a medicinal antiseptic.
Tea tree essential oil is an amazing tonic for your skin and can support your health in so many other ways, so if you experience skin conditions and also for cuts, etc., Body Ecology recommends always keeping some on hand.
- Bassett, et al, "A comparative study of tea-tree oil versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne," Med J Aust. 1990 Oct 15;153(8):455-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?db=PubMed&cmd=Retrieve&list_uids=2145499
- Halcon, L, Milkus, K, "Staphylococcus aureus and wounds: a review of tea tree oil as a promising antimicrobial," Am J Infect Control. 2004 Nov;32(7):402-8. School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
- "Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase by Tea Tree oil," J Pharm Pharmacol. 2004 Mar; 56(3):375-9.
- "Terpinen-4-ol, the main component of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil ) inhibits the in vitro growth of human melanoma cells," J Invest Dermatol. 2004 Feb;122(2):349-60.
- "Antifungal effects of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and its components on Candida albicans, Candida glabrata and Saccharomyces cerevisiae," J Antimicrob Chemother. 2004 Jun; 53(6):1081-5. Epub 2004 May 12.
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