Tea tree, originating from the Australian Melaleuca tree is practically in everything we consume! For thousands of years the aborigines used tea tree for it's antiseptic, antibiotic, and anti fungal properties; often using it for the treatment of cuts and burns.
It's still used today for many different treatments for general well being, beauty, and injuries. But what really makes this oil so special from the rest? Check out these amazing benefits below to find out...
1. It’s great for those prone to dandruff
A simple yet effective hair treatment is only drops away! According to Dr. Terry Loong, AKA the 'Skin Energy Doctor' tea tree oil helps induce hair growth by helping unclog hair follicles and nourishing roots.
ITV Beauty presenter Hayley Sparkes even swears by the oil for curing dandruff and dry areas. We recommend buying 5% tea tree oil shampoo or even try adding tea tree oil to your own shampoo. "Preferably a natural scentless shampoo as this will help combat dandruff,"says Hayley.
For maximum results, mix at least 2-3 drops of oil with the shampoo. This is key to getting and maintaining gorgeous locks.
2. It helps provide relief from pink eye or "conjunctivitis"
We've all had it. The itching, the burning, the gunk? Eek, nobody likes getting pink eye, but there is something that can help...
Dr. Terry Loong says, “Tea tree oil helps to reduce the pain and itchiness in the eyes. To use on eyes, boil green tea bags in water and add a few drops of tea tree oil. Boil for about 5 minutes and allow to cool. Place the tea bags on your eyes and keep them on for 20 minutes.”
Don't go overboard with the oil though!
3. It helps relieve infections
Who knew a tree could be one of nature's most powerful immunity boosters!? That's right, tea tree oil has the ability to treat both bacterial and fungal strains; making it an ideal treatment for recovery. Its rare phytochemicals including terpenoids and cineole are to thank for its amazing medicinal properties.
"Tea tree oil is great for any sort of infection. Boil water and add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to the water. After removing the water from the heat, put a towel over your head and breathe deeply for 15 minutes," says Hayley. It works absolute wonders.
According to a 2004 NCCAM-funded review, tea tree oil was found to kill bacteria. This provides evidence for the use of tea tree oil as a treatment against aggressive infections, such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, also know as, MRSA. However, there are still more studies to be done. But at least we know it can help!
4. It helps treat acne
Tea tree oil is a lot tougher than you think. A study published in the Medical Journal of Australia reported that a solution of 5% tea tree oil treated acne JUST as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide (which is often touted for it's ability to treat acne), except with tea tree you don't have to worry about peeling.
“Tea tree oil is a powerful, yet gentle antimicrobial and antiseptic; great to reduce excessive oil and fight off bacteria on the skin. It's usually used as a pimple treatment, but it's also an anti-inflammatory, calming the inflammation and redness around pimples," says Dr. Loong.
But it's only a miracle when you use it in the right ways! To use, dilute a couple of drops of tea tree oil with water and apply directly to the pimple and affected areas. Remember, diluting is important to avoid further irritation!
For something milder, try Australian Bodycare's Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick infused with 1% tea tree oil to calm and cool red angry pimples. If you suffer from chacne or bacne we recommend Body Shop's Tea Tree Body Wash, which uses hand harvested and steam distilled tea tree oil from Kenya for the best in quality.
5. It's handy for shaving or waxing
Do you suffer from razor burn and stubbly ingrown hairs? Seriously, there's nothing more embarrassing. But don't fret, we know just the solution.
Tea tree oil of course! Hayley recommends adding 3 drops of tea tree oil onto a razor blade before shaving, which helps soothe the area. After shaving and washing, add 3 drops of tea tree oil to 1 tbs of aloe vera gel and smooth over the area to avoid common irritation. Sounds easy enough, right? Give it a go!
6. It's effective against thrush
Vaginal yeast infections are pretty common. Roughly three-thirds of women will suffer from vaginal thrush at some point in their life time. But that doesn't mean you have to deal with it. Cure it.
Anti-fungal creams and pills can definitely do some good, but why not try treating your problems naturally as well? Consultant Aromatherapist at Base Formula, Joannah Metcalfe recommends taking regular therapeutic baths to treat and help prevent re-infection.
"Add 1 cup of dead sea salt to the bath water. Then mix 5 drops of tea tree, 3 geranium and 3 bergamote with 15ml of fragrance-free bath milk or gel and add this to the water. If you don’t have a suitable bath milk/gel you can use a little full fat milk which will help the essential oils to disperse in the water."
7. It provides relief from muscular pain, aches and sprains
Burning off fuel in the fitness department lately? Due to tea tree's anti-inflammatory properties, it makes for a great treatment for those post workout muscles.
Dr. Loong says, "It encourages blood flow to the specific area, which in turn speeds up healing and increases the rate of new tissue and cellular growth". Which is perfect for relieving muscular pain, aches and sprains.
8. It can help improve your oral health
You might be surprised to find 'tea tree' as a toothpaste choice nowadays. But the natural phenomenon is only getting bigger. In fact, it's used in many oral care products! Tea tree oil fights against infectious microorganisms that can cause plaque, gum disease, and even tartar. Smokers, this can make a great treatment for tobacco stained teeth.
Dr. Loong says, “When used as a mouth wash, tea tree oil helps to cure bad breath, plaque, inflamed gums, and gingivitis. It kills the bacteria in the mouth and reduces the pain and irritation due to it's anti-bacterial properties.”
Why not try it for yourself? Dr. Loong recommends diluting 3 drops of tea tree oil into a large bowl of warm water and rinsing (orally) twice a day. Straightforward and simple - just the way we like it.
9. It's amazing for aromatherapy
Tea tree oil is pungent. It's a bit earthy and quite eucalyptus-like in scent, but absolutely DIVINE when inhaled. Try it as aromatherpay!
Aromatherapy is an effective treatment for treating colds, coughs, toothaches, viruses, and even sunburns. To try it , Hayley recommends putting a drop or two of tea tree oil onto a warm cloth or towel and inhaling. Imagine you're in a rainforest!
10. It makes an effective home cleaner
Mixing oils and creating your own DIY blends is a great way to clean effectively without the worry of harmful chemicals. And the best part? It's super easy to do yourself.
"Add 5 drops of tea tree, 5 lavender and 5 spearmint to your floor cleaner; mix with hot water for cleaning surfaces; and even add into your bottle of cream cleaner for added cleansing properties," says Joannah. The aroma even boosts your mood while you clean! Household chores just got fun!
If you don't have time to whip up your own, try Dr. Bronner's Magic 18 in 1 Tea Tree Pure Castile Liquid Soap. Not only is it suitable to use on skin and hair, but it's antiseptic properties also makes it powerful enough for dishwashing, pest control, and even laundry! Trust us, it's one of the purest, highest organic cleaners on the market.
What other treatments do you use tea tree oil for? Tweet us @wewomenCA!
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