A real powerhouse, tea tree essential oil is one of the most versatile and popular of all the essential oils. It is inexpensive, extremely practical and confers such a wide range of health benefits that it should be a staple of any medicine cabinet. Tea tree oil which is also known as melaleuca oil is derived from the leaves of the Maleleuca alternifolia or the tea tree plant which is a native of Australia. Its common name was originally coined back in the 18th century by the famous British explorer James Cook who observed the indigenous people brewing a tea from the leaves.
James Cook actually made his own tea from the leaves to prevent his crew from getting scurvy. The native Australians had long been familiar with the healing properties of the tea tree long before Australia was discovered by the Western world and according to historians the leaves were commonly used by aboriginal communities to treat infections, burns and cuts.
Top Benefits of Tea tree oil
1. Hand sanitizer
Tea tree oil makes an ideal natural hand sanitizer. Studies have shown that it kills several common bacteria and viruses responsible for causing illness, including E. coli, S. pneumoniae, and H. influenzae. In fact, a study testing several types of handwash shows that adding tea tree oil to the cleansers boosted their effectiveness against E. coli.
Studies continue to confirm that hand sanitizers with tea tree oil are effective for hand disinfection, killing bacteria without antibiotics
2. Fight acne
Tea tree oil can be a powerful weapon against acne. Several studies have shown that it helps reduce the amount and overall severity of acne. Some acne is caused by bacteria that are becoming resistant to traditional antibiotics. Scientific examination of tea tree oil found that application not only reduced the activity of bacteria but also killed them in the lab after 4 to 6 hours. In another study, tea tree oil was found to be as effective against acne as benzoyl peroxide, the most common anti-acne medication.
3. For Skin
Tea tree oil is commonly used to treat numerous skin complaints as well as for purely cosmetic reasons. It can increasingly be found in a variety of skin care products like creams and soaps because of its proven benefits.
4. For Acne
Tea tree essential oil is regarded as one of the best home remedies for those suffering from acne. Studies have actually confirmed that tea tree oil is a very effective remedy which offers natural hope to the millions of sufferers worldwide.
One Australian study conducted on 124 patients found that tea tree oil was equally as effective as Benzoyl peroxide in reducing the symptoms of acne yet it had none of the potential side effects associated with the pharmaceutical medication
5. Chemical-free mouthwash
Research suggests that tea tree oil may fight germs that cause tooth decay and bad breath. One study found that tea tree oil was more effective against plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, a common disinfectant and oral rinse. What’s more, its taste was found to be less objectionable. A 2020 study found that a tea tree oil mouthwash was an effective treatment to reduce the inflammation of gingivitis.
To make your own chemical-free mouthwash, simply add a drop of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water, mix thoroughly, and swish in your mouth for 30 seconds or so
6. For the flu
Tea tree essential oil may be an effective weapon against the common influenza virus which affects so many people each year. In vitro research has proven very positive with several studies demonstrating that it significantly reduced replication of the influenza virus when administered in the first few hours following infection.
7. Athletes foot and Nail fungus
Tea tree oil is one of the most effective anti-fungal oils yet discovered. It can be used to treat a range of common fungal infections including athlete’s foot and nail fungus. A study published back in 1999 demonstrated just how effectively toenail fungus could be treated with tea tree oil.
The study which recruited 60 patients treated them with a cream made of tea tree oil for 16 weeks after which 80% of the patients were fully healed and experienced no relapse.
• To treat nail fungus simply add a drop or two of tea tree oil to the affected nail and the surrounding area of skin several times a day until it is healed.
• To treat athlete’s foot, make sure that you clean your feet well and apply diluted tea tree oil to your feet each day until the complaint has resolved itself.
8. Jock Itch
Jock itch is another common fungal disease that tea tree oil can be used to treat effectively.Before applying the oil to your skin, be sure to dilute it with a quality carrier oil like olive oil or sweet almond then apply a thin layer to that affected region each day.
9. Improves Dry Scalp
Research suggests that tea tree oil is able to improve symptoms of seborrheic dermatitis, which is a common skin condition that causes scaly patches on the scalp and dandruff. It’s also reported to help alleviate contact dermatitis symptoms.
A 2002 human study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatologyinvestigated the efficacy of 5 percent tea tree oil shampoo and placebo in patients with mild to moderate dandruff.
10. Soothes Skin Irritations
Although the research on this is limited, tea tree oil’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may make it a useful tool for soothing skin irritations and wounds. There is some evidence from a pilot study that after being treated with tea tree oil, patient wounds began to heal and reduced in size.
There have been case studies that show tea tree oil’s ability to treat infected chronic wounds.
11. Improves Bad Breath
Bad breath comes from bacteria that is found in your mouth, especially the back of your tongue, throat and tonsils. Because tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that can kill this bacteria, it works as a natural remedy for bad breath.
An in vitro study also shows that tea tree oil acts as an effective antiseptic agent against oral pathogens, including Candida albicans, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus andEscherichia coli. This tea tree oil benefit can be extremely helpful after oral surgery, like a root canal, that increases your risk of developing a bacterial or fungal infection.