Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the steam distillation of leaves and twigs of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia).
The tea tree plant is native to New South Wales and Southeast Queensland in Australia. As such, tea tree oil is widely popular in Australia. However, tea tree oil is also popular in numerous other countries such as the USA and Canada due to its numerous medicinal and therapeutic properties.
Tea tree oil’s medicinal and therapeutic properties could be attributed to its antibacterial, antimicrobial, balsamic, antiviral, cicatrizant, antiseptic, insecticide, expectorant, fungicide, stimulant, and sudorific qualities.
Tea tree oil’s active constituents include; alpha pinene, myrcene, alpha phellandrene, beta pinene, limonene, cineole, gamma terpinene, sabinene, terpinolene, linalool, alpha-terpinene, para-cymene, terpineol, and alpha-terpineol.
This essential oil also blends well with numerous other essential oils such as lavender oil, myrrh oil, rosemary oil, and clove oil.
Below are various health benefits of tea tree oil;
1. Prevents Bladder Infections
The antibiotic properties of tea tree oil make it effective in the prevention of bladder infections. With a broad range of antimicrobial properties, tea tree oil is able to curb numerous forms of resistant bacteria that may be thriving along the bladder walls. For the notorious E.coli, the tea tree oil vapors inhibit the growth of these microorganisms that may grow to infectious levels. Furthermore, an addition of the oil in bathing water acts as a urethral cleaner, disinfecting the entire urethral tract from bacteria. The oil can, therefore, be used as adjuvant therapy for urinary tract infections as well as preventing urinary infections especially in premenopausal women.
2. For Sexually Transmitted Disease
Tea tree oil’s much celebrated broad range of antimicrobial activity also aids in relieving symptoms of STI’s. Tea tree oil application to the affected surfaces, of painful syphilis and chancroid, bring significant pain relief as it kills the surface microbes that create the painful sensation. A periodic application of the oil or even showering with water enriched with the oil alleviates the painful sensations.
Chlamydia, caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, is also treatable with tea tree oil as the infection is bacterial.
3. For Eye Stye Treatment
The swelling at the edge of the eyelid, known as stye, is often caused by inflammations related to bacterial infection. With the bacteria being completely susceptible to tea tree oil antimicrobial properties, the stye can be completely inhibited, thus, serving as a cure for the condition. Tea tree oil application reduces the inflammation and bacterial upsurge which leads to healing of the stye. Upon continuous application of a mixture of the oil with refrigerated water, the stye greatly reduces.
4. For Belly Button Infection Treatment
Belly button infections are caused by fungus and bacteria leading to an itchy sensation around the belly area. Tea tree oil’s antifungal and antibacterial properties provide a proper remedy for these infections. Upon application on the affected areas, a mixture of the tea tree oil with olive or coconut oil heals the belly button infection.
5. Alveolar Osteitis Treatment
Commonly known as dry socket, alveolar osteitis is a condition that instills an intense pain after the removal or extraction of a tooth. The anguish is normally caused by bacterial infections in the gum area. As such, tea tree oil can offer a proper remedy to ease the pain.
A gentle application of tea tree oil, using a cotton swab, on the affected area exposes the oil to the bacteria with a consequent reduction of the pain. A continuous application leads to complete healing of the dry socket.
6. For Foot Blister Treatment
The broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties of the tea tree oil enable it to be an effective remedy for most microbial infections. Foot blisters, being susceptible to microbial infection, an application of tea tree oil could offer protection and treatment of the blister upon a periodic and appropriate application on the affected area.
With a mixture ratio of 1:3 with water or carrier oil (such as olive or coconut oil), the mixture would offer a healing sensation when applied to the affected area for at least 10 minutes then rinsed off with water. When done twice or thrice a day, the blisters would eventually heal.
7. Treatment Of Ear Infections
Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial and antifungal properties also aid in the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections in the ear. A dropwise application of a premixed solution of the oil and water, in the ear, serves as an effective therapy that can eliminate ear infections. However, the drops should be added to an infected ear when the head is tilted toward one side, usually to the side exposing the ear. The head tilting enhances the sliding of the oil into the ear and subsequent target reached.
8. Vagina Odor Treatment
The vagina is always vulnerable to microbial infections due to the optimum conditions for microbial growth present. Often, some of these bacteria usually create an unpleasant odor in the vagina inhibiting the comfortability of the lady. Tea tree oil offers complete inhibition of the bacteria causing these odors and a consequent reduction in the vaginal odor.
Tea tree oil is premixed with water and applied in a dropwise way to the vaginal outer surface. A continuous application of the oil would greatly reduce the odor. Also, a cotton pad may be used for the application of the oil to the vaginal surfaces. However, if the odor persists it would be advisable to consult a physician.
9. Relieves Root Canal Pain
The pain felt in the root canal is usually caused by tooth decay catalyzed by bacterial growth. However, the use of tea tree oil to eliminate the bacteria acts as a primary remedy for root canal pains, and a constant application of the oil may induce an entire healing process to the root canal.
10. For Cellulitis Treatment
The broad range antimicrobial activity of the tea tree oil against bacteria and fungus has greatly assisted in the healing processes of open wounds as well as other microbial infections. Cellulitis is a condition obtained from a persistent wound and tea tree oil could offer assistance to its healing.
By applying a premixed tea tree oil with water using a moistened cotton swab to the open wound, and leaving to air dry, offers an environment for the destruction of the microbes inhibiting the healing process. Periodic application of the oil to the wound creates an antiseptic condition on the wound thereby increasing the healing rate.
11. For Treatment Of Pneumonia
Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial and healing properties are also present when the oil is heated to release the oil’s fumes. Upon heating the oil, inhalation of the tea tree oil helps to alleviate a number of pneumonia symptoms. As such, a combination of the oil will other therapies may hasten the treatment of pneumonia.
12. For Treatment Of Oral Thrush
Oral thrush is usually caused by microbe overgrowth such as Candida albicans overgrowth. The effective antifungal properties of the tea tree oil can, therefore, provide healing for the thrush. Tea tree gel as a toothpaste, therefore, becomes an effective way of combating oral thrush.
After brushing your teeth using the tea tree oil gel, you can also rinse your mouth with a dilution of the oil to ensure complete inhibition of the fungi. The periodic and consistent application ensures the mouth returns to its healthy condition. However, a precaution to take is to avoid the ingestion of the tea tree oil at all costs.
13. Eliminates Bad Breath
Apart from offering a therapeutic solution to mouth infections, tea tree oil also eliminates bad breath from your mouth. Due to its celebrated antimicrobial properties, an addition of the tea tree oil, on your toothpaste before brushing your teeth, offers an aseptic condition in your mouth.
The oil may also be added to your periodic mouthwash for the elimination of bacteria that bring bad breath.
14. For Strong Nails
The strong antiseptic properties of tea tree oil can also be beneficial in the elimination of fungal infections that may cause brittle nails. The yellowing and discoloring of the nails, related to bacterial infections, may also be solved. For this remedy, the oil is premixed with a Vitamin E oil and the mixture rubbed on the nails and subsequently massage for a few minutes.
This nail therapy is also accompanied by the use of lukewarm water and lotion application to keep the nails moisturized.
15. For Blepharitis Treatment
Similar to stye, blepharitis is also an eyelid condition caused by inflammations from bacterial infections. The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil can, therefore, offer therapeutic abilities to help cure the condition.
However, blepharitis is accelerated by the intrusion of dust mites into the eye causing inflammations in the eyelids. The eyelids, therefore, swell due to the inflammation. Tea tree oil helps reverse the inflammation after a thorough application on the eyelids.
16. For Lymphadenitis Therapy
The extent of bacterial infections may be heightened to even the lymph nodes where they may invade and make them feel tender and swollen a condition called lymphadenitis. The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil are ideal for the treatment of this condition.
The application of this oil could be in two ways; either you can inhale the oil directly or apply it on the affected surfaces. The application of the oil relieves the pain due to bacterial elimination as well as alleviating any other symptoms.
17. Reduces Body Odor
The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil help inhibit armpit odor as well as body odor especially those related to perspiration. Sweat itself does not smell but when it combines with bacteria that thrives on sweat, the combination could result in an odorous smell. You can click here to see various home remedies for stopping underarm odor and body odor.
18. For Acne Treatment
Tea tree oil is also a therapeutic agent for a number of skin problems, especially in healing acne. The skin disorders are often due to microbial infection and application of tea tree oil offers a great solution. For this remedy, the oil is premixed with either honey or yogurt and applied on the affected areas, left for about 20 minutes then washed off. The periodic application ensures the skin is revitalized back to normal levels.
A combination of the oil with other carrier oils such as almond oil, jojoba all as well as some homemade naturals has been proven to be an effective skin remedy, healing a wide range of skin disorders.
19. For Treatment Of Ringworm
Ringworms are caused by fungal infections on the skin. The roundworms are completely susceptible to tea tree oil’s antifungal properties, therefore, the use of the oil provides a total cure. The affected area is initially thoroughly cleaned before application of the pre-diluted oil using a cotton swab. A continuous application ensures the inhibition of symptoms of the ringworm.
20. For Treatment Of Psoriasis
Psoriasis is usually activated and enhanced by the bacterial activities that attack the skin. A continuous shower with water diluted with the tea tree oil would help in the elimination of the bacteria and thereby relieve psoriasis. For this remedy, the bathing water should, therefore, be mixed with tea tree.
21. For Eczema Treatment
The combination of the antibacterial tea tree oil with coconut oil and lavender oil offers a complete reduction of eczema growth and development. The mixture should be applied to the affected areas prior to showering. However, better healing results are derived from a continuous application of the oil mixture throughout the day.
22. Relieves Razor Burns
Razor burns are always a painful experience that could only worsen if you use a misguided therapy. However, aftershave razor burns could be relieved and alleviated by the application of a mixture of tea tree oil and water. Tea tree oil may also be premixed with shaving lather to help reduce the likelihood of razor burns.
23. For Makeup Removal
Some of the artificial makeups are completely sticky and therefore one could experience a hard time removing such makeup. A mixture of tea tree oil, with sterilized canola oil, can ease the makeup removal process. The oil mixture, when added to a cotton ball, helps in the complete removal of the makeup.
24. For Healing Of Cuts
To reduce any microbial build-up on the cuts and facilitate the healing process, an application of the tea tree oil should be considered. The oil possesses antiseptic properties that enable the removal and elimination of bacteria. The oil should be mixed with the bath water and used to clean the cuts.
25. For Nail Fungus Treatment
The antifungal properties of tea tree oil enable the inhibition and treatment of fungal infections on the nails. A periodic application of the oil, using a cotton swab, serves as a remedy for the fungal infection.
26. For Treatment Of Athlete’s Foot
Tinea pedis of the foot, commonly known as athlete’s foot, is a fungal infection that affects the feet and, rarely, the hands (tinea manuum). A combination of tea tree oil with arrowroot powder serves as an effective remedy for this fungal infection.
27. Soothes Boils
The inflammation and pain caused by boils can be greatly reduced by the application of diluted tree tea oil on the boil region. Boils are often characterized by increased pain as the body’s immune system fights the infection. Tea tree oil tends to alleviate this pain.
28. For Wart Treatment
The antiviral properties of tea tree oil enable effective action against warts especially those caused by human papillomavirus. A drop application of undiluted tea tree oil to the affected area, with a bandage covering, enhances the healing process of the skin.
29. Relieves Symptoms Of Chicken Pox
The itchy pain and symptoms of chickenpox could also be relieved with the application of tea tree oil on the entire body. For this remedy, a high concentration of tea tree oil could be mixed with bathing water and an eventual prolonged body soak in the water helps relieve the pain.
30. Helps Eliminate Dandruff
When mixed with other hair oils, tea tree oil enables the elimination of dandruff on the hair and scalp as well as reduces the itchy sensation that could come along with dandruff.
31. For Longer And Thicker Hair
Tea tree oil could be mixed with your shampoo to boost the therapeutic benefits of your hair shampoo. You could also mix tea tree oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or olive oil, and massage the mixture into your hair and scalp. Leave for about 15 minutes before rinsing off. This mixture would give a refreshing and tingling sensation to your hair leaving it smooth and soft as well as well-stimulated for further hair growth.
32. For Cancer Treatment
Tea tree oil also possesses antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties especially for the treatment of skin cancer. The abnormal growth of the skin, in the form of lesions or squamous cells, is greatly reduced upon the application of the oil.
33. For Household Cleaning
The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil enable it to be used in household cleaning as an antiseptic. When used for cleaning of home surfaces, the oil delivers an effective elimination of bacteria and fungi that may be contaminating your home.
Word Of Caution
- Some side effects of using tea tree oil include; diarrhea, skin irritation, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, vomiting, and severe rashes.
- Some people tend to be overly sensitive to tea tree oil and it could trigger an allergic response in such people.
- Tea tree oil should be kept out of the reach of children and pets as it has toxic effects.
- Tea tree oil could disrupt the hormones in certain cases. For instance, it could lead to breast growth in boys (prepubertal gynecomastia).
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