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Five Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Updated on October 25, 2014

About Tea Tree Oil

The tea tree is an Australian plant that was given its name in 1770 by Captain James Cook and crew. Tea tree oil is an herb that has origins among the Aboriginal natives of Australia. Also known as Melaleuca Alternifolia, tea trees are perhaps best known for their antiseptic properties and were used as such during World War II. For hundreds of years, tea trees have been used as a medicine to treat various conditions ranging from acne to wounds to infections.

Today, tea trees are grown in California and are still used for the oil properties found in their leaves.

Tea trees have proven beneficial uses as an:

  • Antibacterial
  • Antiseptic
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antifungal
  • Animal Care

Tea Tree Oil for Antibacterial Use

As an antibacterial agent, tea trees have the ability counter bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), also called the hospital super bug. Studies have shown that tea tree oil has the capability to perform better than some antibiotics in fighting against infections like MRSA.

Tea tree oil may be used to treat acne.
Tea tree oil may be used to treat acne.

Tea Tree Oil as an Antiseptic

Perhaps a favored use of tea tree oil is its use as a natural antiseptic for skin infections. The oil is easily absorbed and is able to combine with our natural body oils. This combination allows for treatment of acne, insect bites, cuts, infected wounds, lice, poison ivy and sun burn.

How is tea tree oil used to treat acne? Wash your face with soap containing tea tree essential oil or apply pure tea tree oil on the acne twice daily. This should be done in moderation however as too much tea tree oil can lead to skin irritation or even blistering.

Tea Tree Oil has Anti-inflammatory Properties

Tea tree oil is also reported to have anti-inflammatory properties and can be used for a variety of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, eczema and bursitis.

Experts recommend adding 18 drops of tea tree oil can be combined with 1/8 cup of almond oil, then put in a dark bottle and shaken before applying topically two to four times a day as a massage oil or even adding a dozen drops of tea tree oil to bath water.

Tea Tree Oil as an Antifungal Agent

Tea tree oil is a strong antifungal agent and has been sued to manage athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch. Tea tree oil may be used to aid in the disinfection of washing machines as well. A Ideally, a 10-percent solution (about one-and-a-half tablespoons to a cup of warm water) can be used to rinse and clean infected areas for best results. Higher concentrations of the oil may cause a reaction in some individuals –particularly in young children and/or pets.

Tea Tree Oil for Animal Care -Use with Caution

Tea tree oil may be used on pets for the treatment of diseases including as arthritis, fleas, gum disease, dermatitis, lice, parasites, and ringworm. After bathing your pet, shaving the area of application, you can apply the oil with a spray bottle or mister (after mixing 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil with 1/3 cup of water).

Again, it is important to remember that when applying tea tree oil on your pet, be sure to always dilute this solution so that they do not experience any type of reaction such as muscle tremors or poor coordination. Avoid contact with the eyes.

Other Reported Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Other reported uses of tea tree oil include use for sore throat and chest infections, relief of gingivitis, fever blisters as well as relief of stuffy nose by placing five drops of tea tree essential oil in hot water.

It is important to note that research has shown that pure tea tree oil is contradicted for babies, young children, pregnant women, and some pets.

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks


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    • Mahogany Speaks profile image

      Mahogany Speaks 3 years ago from Texas

      Thank you for the feedback!

    • Janellegems profile image

      Janellegems 3 years ago from United States

      Excellent, Informative Hub about Tea Tree Oil. I love and use Tea Tree Oil,but did not know it can be used as a disinfectant in the washing machine or for sore throat. Thanks for this info. Very helpful Hub. Voted up!!! and useful, awesome, beautiful.