Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree that grows in Australia. Originally used in herbal medicines by the Australian Aboriginal people, it is now commonly used as a beauty treatment to treat acne, dandruff, and many other conditions of skin diseases. Tea tree oil has several natural benefits for health. It is used to kill bacteria and support your beauty and skincare routine.
Being rich in antioxidants and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil is good for skin hydration when used with the right components per your skin type. This essential oil can be used for curing blemishes to give you glowing skin.
Overview of Tea Tree Oil (TTO)
Tea tree oil (TTO) is an essential oil that contains a fresh color and smell. It was originally used in herbal medicines by the Australian Aboriginal people. They traditionally used the oil as an antiseptic to kill germs.
Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Before the oil reaches you, it goes through a long process of distillation and extraction of both leaves and branches in the laboratory.
Tea tree oil contains several components, such as;
- p-cymene, and
Terpinen-4-ol is a component that is likely to kill certain viruses. It increases the activities of WBCs or white blood cells and helps fight foreign particles. All such properties of tea tree oil make it a popular remedy to treat skin issues caused by bacteria and fungi. It also promotes healing by preventing infections.
Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil’s benefits are wide-ranging, making it a significant oil to safeguard against infections and allergic reactions. Below are some of the key benefits:
1. Antimicrobial Properties of Tea Tree Oil are a significant property to count on. Terpinen-4-ol and 1,8-cineole are some important components of TTO, and these are regarded as antimicrobial agents to safeguard against viruses and bacteria. Due to this property of TTO, it is used as an antimicrobial and antifungal agent in creams, soaps, toothpaste, etc.
2. Tea tree oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory effects. As per research, this oil is an excellent agent to lower inflammation. Further, it also triggers WBC activity to aid in the healing process. As an antioxidant, tea tree oil supports inflammation reduction and boosts healing. The antifungal properties of tea tree oil are likely to support severe skin issues like acne and eczema.
3. Tea Tree oil is also rich in Antioxidant properties that are observed to be greater than synthetic antioxidants called butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). The oil is rich in reducing power, which decreases the number of inflammatory lesions.
4. Further, tea tree oil is perfect for fighting several infections to support the immune system. TTO fights infections and prevents bacteria from multiplying to boost immunity.
Common Uses of Tea Tree Oil
1. Various Tea Tree Oil uses for skin:
Tea Tree Oil is very effective for your skincare regime, especially if you are struggling with acne. As per studies, Tea Tree Oil reduces acne’s severity and its effect on your skin. This is especially true when the acne is caused by bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Gels made with TTO can be used to limit the lesions on your face if applied correctly.
Other skin infections, like fungal nail conditions, can also be controlled with the help of TTO by combining it with other natural remedies. Besides, TTO is also an effective medication against germs and infections caused by injuries. This oil can be used on minor cuts to disinfect it.
Besides the above, TTO is an effective composition for many beauty recipes. Let’s look at how to apply tea tree oil on the face.
Here is a DIY recipe for wonderful skin using Tea Tree Oil and Aloe Vera:
- Take an airtight container and add one tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
- On to this gel, add 3-4 drops of the magical TTO and 3-4 drops of Almond oil
- Now, add a few drops from a Vitamin E capsule to this and mix well
- You can keep this in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks and use it as a moisturizer
2. Different uses of Tea Tree Oil for Hair:
Tea tree oil is also beneficial for the scalp, controlling dandruff and enhancing hair health. Dandruff is the white flake of dead skin on your scalp. Though it is not dangerous, it can be not very comfortable. It has been found that using tea tree oil in shampoo is effective in reducing dandruff. The acidic properties of TTO support clearing the scales of dandruff on your scalp. For effective results, you can add a few drops of tea tree oil to a spoonful of shampoo every time you wash your hair.
TTO is very effective and should be used in your hair care products. It can act as a savior for people struggling with hair fall. It strengthens the roots of hair to limit hair loss and make them healthy. Further, it is an effective remedy against lice as a natural lice repellent and helps soothe itchy scalps.
3. TTO for Oral Health:
Tea tree oil has many potential benefits regarding oral hygiene. It is regarded as a chemical-free mouthwash. It is used to fight germs that are the reasons for bad breath and tooth decay. It is also effective against the bacteria that cause plaque.
If you want to use a natural mouthwash free of chemicals, you can take a cup of warm water and add a drop of tea tree oil to it. Mix it well and swish it in your mouth for 30 seconds. Remember not to swallow it, as it can be toxic if gulped. Just use it like any other regular mouthwash.
4. TTO for Household Cleaning:
Tea tree oil is an incredibly essential and all-purpose oil. It can be used as a cleaner to disinfect surfaces. Being a natural disinfectant, you do not have to worry about the traces of chemicals on the surfaces that were cleaned using this TTO solution.
Here is a DIY recipe for a homemade cleaning solution using TTO:
Mix about 20 drops of tea tree oil with 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar and 3/4 cup of water. Store it in a spray bottle. Shake well and spray directly onto surfaces that you want to clean. Use a clean, dry cloth to wipe the surface. Don’t forget to shake the bottle every time you use it.
Potential Side Effects and Precautions
Tea tree oil has several benefits. However, there are some precautions to note while using the oil. Some people may face tea tree oil side effects if not used responsibly by diluting the oil.
Here are some precautions and side effects of tea tree oil:
Tea tree oil is safe for external use. However, it should not be swallowed as it can be toxic if ingested. Hence, it is important to store tea tree oil away from children’s reach.
If you are using tea tree oil for the first time, you can take a patch test by using a drop or two of the oil in your skin and check for any reactions within 24 hours.
If you have sensitive skin, you need to be more cautious while using TTO as they may experience irritation, especially if TTO is undiluted. Diluting TTO is essential with water or other oils before using.
People with sensitive skin can use TTO after mixing it with greater amounts of other oils like coconut, olive, or even almond.
You may also note that inhaling excess amounts of the essential oil may cause vertigo, nausea, headache, etc.
Choosing and Using Tea Tree Oil
As discussed, TTO is an essential oil that is beneficial in many ways. However, choosing a good brand of TTO may be difficult, especially looking at the wide range of products available in the market. So, how do you choose the best TTO? The first thing about choosing genuine tea tree oil is to buy a product containing 100% pure TTO with at least 10% concentration.
You must also consider the tea tree oil price depending on the size of the bottle to ensure that it is a value-for-money product.
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Once you start using tea tree oil, it will show results soon. In certain conditions, it may take more time to heal, depending on the usage and the condition being treated. It is important to use TTO responsibly, considering the various precautions mentioned above. Taking an allergy patch test is important before you start using the TTO. You may also consider consulting with a healthcare professional if required to use TTO for any particular skin or other health condition.