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Tea Tree Oil: Health Benefits and Uses

Tea Tree Oil is an essential oil popular as an alternative and supplementary remedy. Its demand has increased significantly in the last few decades. Its use in medicines, cosmetics, fragrance oil etc., is widespread. It has some scientifically proven benefits and it is a low-cost option that adds to its popularity.

The remedial benefits of tea tree oil are due to these properties. It is antimicrobial, antibacterial, balsamic, antiseptic, antiviral, cicatrizant, expectorant, fungicide and insecticide.

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil is an essential oil extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It originated in Australia and is known as melaleuca oil. For generations, Aborigines have used it as a traditional remedy. 

We get tea tree oil by crushing the tea tree leaves. These leaves are light yellow and have a mild and refreshing herbaceous fragrance. Later, the process involves smoking the oil to make it usable. You can use it to cure coughs and colds, or even directly to the skin to heal wounds.

Nutritional Properties of Tea Tree Oil

The main constituents of tea tree essential oil are:

Alpha-pinene 
Beta-pinene 
Sabinene 
Myrcene 
Alpha phellandrene 
Alpha-terpinene 
Limonene 
Cineole 
Gamma-terpinene 
Para-cymene 
Terpinolene 
Linalool 
Terpineol 
Alpha-terpineol

It’s a wonder medicine with remarkable medicinal and disinfecting capabilities. It also helps strengthen your immunity. However, it is harmful for oral consumption. Therefore, you should refrain from swallowing it. Tea tree oil is solely for external use.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits and Uses

Remedial Benefits

Toenail Fungus (onychomycosis)

Applying a 100% tea tree oil solution may help cure toenail fungal infections. It has antiseptic and antifungal properties. Therefore, it works effectively on nail fungus. However, the results are not immediate, but a regular application may help treat nail fungus. In addition, it prevents the infection and refines and improves the overall feature of the infected area. 

Several studies prove tea tree oil’s effectiveness in treating toenail fungus. However, studies also suggest that nail fungus is challenging and takes time to resolve. Therefore, it requires regular application. It works like clotrimazole 1% solution. However, if you apply diluted and smaller quantities, it might not be effective. 

Mix five drops of tea tree oil in any carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil. Gently stir it in a bucket with warm water. Then soak your feet in this mixture for 20 mins. Apply the solution twice daily for six months to get the best results.

Treatment of Athlete’s foot (Tinea pedis)

A 2002 study suggests that a 25% to 50% of its solution may help treat athletes’ feet. Studies further indicate that tea tree oil 10% cream works almost as well as tolnaftate 1% cream for curing athlete’s foot symptoms. However, it might not treat the infection effectively Therefore, a concentration of 25% to 50% tea tree oil is recommended. 

Studies prove that half the patients who try a more concentrated tea tree oil solution (25% or 50%) for four weeks or more, have experienced the reduction in the severity of the infection. 

Add carrier oil like heated coconut oil to tea tree oil. Apply it twice a day to the affected area, to receive maximum benefits. Remember, the concentration should be 25% to 50%.

Tea Tree Oil May Help Oral Health

Chronic gingivitis is an inflammatory gum disorder that can be treated  with tea tree oil. A study proves that it can be more effective in reducing and treating bleeding and inflammation than a placebo or a chlorhexidine antiseptic gel.

According to another research, tea tree oil and alpha-bisabolol, the constituent in chamomile, can help treat and prevent a kind of bacteria linked to bad breath.
You can use tea tree oil as a mouthwash and oral pulling. However, you should not swallow it as it might have adverse effects.

For Hair

Among its various benefits, tea tree oil can help treat many conditions related to hair. It can help improve hair quality. The shampoos that we use daily are full of harsh chemicals. Although they claim to improve our hair, their chemicals cause significant damage. These chemicals rob the hair follicle of their essential nutrients.

Cleans Scalp

Applying small amounts of tea tree oil to the hair removes the dead skin cells. It also helps to remove the accumulated dirt and buildups. Getting rid of them is crucial for the hair to stay hydrated and for the roots to breathe. Furthermore, it facilitates hair growth and prevents hair fall to a great extent.

A deposit of scaly, dry skin on your scalp produces dandruff. The development of dead skin, when left untreated, might eventually act as a barrier to average hair growth. You can use tea tree oil shampoo and tea tree oil solution to treat fungal and bacterial infections. 

You can make a tea tree oil solution by adding a few  drops to a carrier of hair oil like coconut oil or olive oil and then applying it to hair. The essential oil should not be highly concentrated and only applied once diluted.

Tea Tree Oil May Prevents Head lice

As head lice have become immune and more resistant to medical treatment, specialists increasingly examine essential oils as an option. Therefore, tea tree oil and nerolidol, a natural chemical found in various essential oils, were tested for head lice. 

As per the study results, tea tree oil proved more successful at killing lice, with 100% eradication after 30 minutes. At the same time,  nerolidol was more successful at killing the eggs. The combination of both chemicals, in a 1:2 ratio, was most effective in killing lice and eggs. Therefore, tea tree and lavender oil are most effective in suffocating hair lice when applied together as a solution.

Add 3 to 5 drops of tea tree oil with about one 30g of shampoo. Use this mixture when in the shower. Then, detangle and remove dead lice from your hair using a comb.

Tea Tree Oil May Prevents dandruff at the root

The anti-flake, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal qualities of tea tree oil together help to soothe the scalp. It may also relieve symptoms in adults having dandruff. Several studies also show that a tea tree oil shampoo may result in less oily hair. Oily hair is one of the many causes of the development of dandruff. 

According to a study, shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil is beneficial in eliminating dandruff produced by the yeast Pityrosporum ovale (Malassezia). The study results show a 41% decrease in dandruff after using the shampoo for a month. 

To get rid of dandruff, use a 5% tea tree oil shampoo. Use it on your hair and scalp for 3 minutes daily for four weeks.

Tea Tree Oil for Skin

Antibacterial properties

Australians have been using tea tree oil as a healing remedy for more than a century, notably for skin disorders. Now people use it to treat a variety of ailments. However, the antibacterial properties are arguably its most notable feature. The oil’s wide-ranging antibacterial effect stems from its ability to break bacteria’s cell walls.

Heals Wounds

Tea tree oils are effective in fastening the process of healing wounds. They push the activity of white blood cells that help ward off infections, boosting the healing process. Studies suggest that they aid in the healing of wounds induced by germs. 

Apply 2 to 3 drops of the oil directly on the wound and affected nearby area. It will accelerate the overall healing process.

Anti – Inflammatory

Tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties aid to soothe and alleviate itchy, inflamed skin. It may also help reduce oedema and redness. When the skin encounters allergens, it might become red, itchy, and painfully irritated. It is due to a reaction with Nickel present in the allergens. 

According to research, tea tree oil soothes and relieves sore skin, which helps to reduce itching and redness. But, before applying it to the skin, dilute it with a carrier oil.

Prevent Acne

Tea tree oil can help treat acne because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory qualities. Several studies prove its ability to treat acne. Although there is a possibility of some peeling and drying, there are no significant side effects. As a result, tea tree oil could aid in treating mild to moderate acne. Although it takes time for the results to show up, it is a safe and natural way of treating acne and acne marks. 

Dilute the tea tree oil in any carrier oil and apply it directly to the area affected. Let it dry and then put on some moisturiser. Repeat the process in the morning and evening.

Glowing Skin

Tea tree oil not only can help you fight and prevent breakouts, but it can also help you attain that radiant, healthy glow. A glow that will never require you to use Instagram and Snapchat filters again. As per a study, using a face treatment containing tea tree oil may hydrate the skin and lessen oiliness. Also, it may reduce dryness and flakiness in acne-prone skin.

Apply diluted tea tree oil on your skin daily for a month to see results.

It Prevents Staph Infections

Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria can lead to staph infections. It usually spreads through gym equipment and yoga mats. However, tea tree oil can effectively kill bacteria. According to research, tea tree oil’s Terpinen-4-Ol is an effective agent that attacks Staph. 

Use a tea tree oil body wash after a workout to get rid of the microscopic germs.

Other Benefits and Uses

Insect repellent

Tea tree oil can assist in warding off troublesome insects. According to a study, cows treated with tea tree oil had 61% fewer flies 24 hours later than other cows. Another test-tube investigation suggests that tea tree oil can keep mosquitoes away better than DEET. DEET is the most prevalent ingredient in commercial insect repellents.

To create a terrific DIY mosquito repellent spray:

Take a spray bottle and mix ten drops of tea tree oil 
Add 30 ml of coconut oil along with distilled water and vodka

Natural Deodorant

The antimicrobial properties of tea tree oil may aid in the reduction of sweaty underarm odour. Sweat gland mixed with microorganisms releases a mild to a strong smell. These glands concentrate in the underarm area, and they are mostly the cause of body odour. Tea tree oil is a natural alternative to conventional deodorants and antiperspirants because of its bacteria-fighting qualities.

To make a natural deodorant using tea tree oil, take

Coconut oil – ⅓ cup
Cornstarch (or arrowroot powder for sensitive skin) – 1/4 cup 
Baking soda – 1/4 cup 
Tea Tree Oil – 6–10 drops

Mix these ingredients in a container and then transfer them to a deodorant tube for convenient application. 

Chemical-free Mouthwash

Tea tree oil can attack germs that lead to tooth decay and bad breath. In addition, it is more effective against plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, a common disinfectant and oral rinse. However, it does not taste well, and you can use it regularly for oral hygiene. You should remember not to swallow tea tree oil as it may turn out to be toxic if ingested.

Mix 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil in a cup of warm water. Swirl the mixture in your mouth like your regular mouthwash. Make sure not to swallow it.

Precautions

Swallowing tea tree oil is not advisable. It can produce serious side effects like disorientation, ataxia (muscle coordination loss), respiratory issues, and coma.
Many people don’t face any problem using optical products, with one of its constituents being tea tree oil. However, few people can experience contact dermatitis (an allergic skin rash) or skin irritation.
There is not much information on whether you can use tea tree oil during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Conclusion

Tea tree oil has numerous great qualities. First, it is an inexpensive alternative to mainstream commercial cosmetics. However, it also comes with possible cons, depending on how you use it. In addition, it also depends on the suitability to different skin types. But, overall, it is a product that everyone should keep in handy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What is the purpose of tea tree oil?

A. You can use tea tree oil for various purposes. It ensures oral hygiene, medicinal usage, hair care, acne control, and fragrance. In addition, it possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties.

Q. Can I put tea tree oil on my skin every day?

A. Yes, you can use it every day after doing a patch test to check and confirm if it suits your skin type. When it is proven safe for your skin, you can apply the tea tree oil to the affected area twice a day.

Q. Can you leave tea tree oil on your face?

A. Yes, you can leave tea tree oil overnight on your face to let the skin absorb it and wash it in the morning to prevent the pores from blockage. Do a patch test before its application.

Q. Does tea tree oil remove dark spots?

A. Tea tree oil has been found helpful in lightening dark marks when applied regularly and for preferable 3 to 4 months. It rapidly heals and prevents a blemish or wound and reduces the risk of a dark spot forming.

Q. Why is tea tree oil good for skin?

A. Tea tree oil is good for skin because of its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, fights germs and prevents bacteria that causes skin related problems. It also soothes and relieves painful and irritated skin.

Q. Is tea tree oil good for anti-ageing?

A. Tea tree oil rejuvenates the skin by removing impurities. It keeps skin young and supple. However, it is better for oily and acne-prone skin. For dry skin, combine tea tree oil with hydrating ingredients. 

Q. What are some benefits of tea tree oil?

A. There are multiple uses of tea tree oil. For example, it acts as an acne reduction agent, natural deodorant, hair care product, and antiseptic. 

Q. What nutrients are in tea tree oil?

A. Tea tree oil contains many compounds. It has alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, sabinene, myrcene, alpha phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, limonene, cineole, gamma-terpinene, para-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, terpineol, and alpha-terpineol.

Q. Is tea tree oil scientifically proven?

A. There are sufficient studies conducted to prove the beneficial effects of using tea tree oil for different purposes. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties activate monocytes, which enable circulation in the tissues.

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