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Tea Tree Oil Benefits and Uses in Health and Skin Care

Updated on February 6, 2012

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of a plant called Narrow-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca alternifolia). The plant, native to New South Wells, Australia, is now cultivated commercially all over the world to fulfill the rising demands. The rising demand and popularity is the direct result of the benefits of tea tree oil that scientists have discovered recently.

The use of this wonder oil is not just limited to curing acne but a number of other diseases. One interesting fact about this oil is that its benefits are not limited to that, you can use it in household cleaning, in your aquarium and in many ways you may not have heard of. Read on to learn more.

Antiviral Benefits and Uses

Some recent research results show that tea tree oil have some antiviral qualities especially against herpes, chicken pox, shingles, flu etc.

This oil can effectively cure hand warts. The antiviral abilities of the oil can heal warts in short time. Warts are the result of infection from HPV (human papilloma virus). Regular use of tea tree oil for 2 weeks is found to be enough to cure warts completely.

Tea Tree Oil to Cure Mild Acne

This oil can be used to treat mild to moderate acne effectively. A 5% tea tree oil gel is found to be more effective than common gels available in the market containing 5% benzoyl peroxide. Tea tree gel acts slowly but shows fewer side effects than other treatments. To prevent recurring acne problem, continuous use of this oil is recommended.

Antifungal Benefits and Uses

This oil is effective against a variety of fungal infections of skin and mucus membranes. Seborrheic dermatitis, which causes dry flaky patches on skin, can be treated with this ointment. You can use it as a mouthwash to treat bad breath, plaque and inflamed gums. 2-3 drops of the oil in a cup of lukewarm water will prepare the mouthwash for you. You can use it 2-3 times daily. Many Australian dentists prescribe tea tree oil as a mouthwash and use it for sterilizing cavities before filling.

To Cure Dandruff

It is also effective against mild to moderate dandruff problem. 5% tea tree oil shampoo can reduce scaliness, itchiness, and greasiness significantly.

Antiseptic Benefits and Uses

Sometimes a special type of bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) responsible for causing infection to human body develops resistance against known antibiotics (MRSA). Scientists have found this oil to be effective to prevent transmission of those bacteria. You can use tea tree oil solution or any soap or washing liquid containing the oil to disinfect the places form where these bacteria can spread. Carpet, toilet seat, faucets, upholstery, door handles can be disinfected properly with this oil.

Effective against Head Lice

Tea Tree gel is found to be more effective against head lice than even 1% permethrin gel, the common treatment for head lice. Use a shampoo containing tea tree oil daily until the lice eggs are gone completely.

Main Uses of Tea Tree Oil

  • To cure acne
  • To cure fungal infections, especially toe nail infection
  • To cure Yeast infection
  • As a general antiseptic to treat Wounds and infections
  • To Treat ring worm, athlete’s foot
  • As a household cleaner
  • To keep the scalp free of bacterial and fungal problems.
  • And to keep head lice away

Safety Precautions

Don’t swallow the mixture as the oil is known to be harmful when swallowed. It can cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset and severe rashes. Known to cause hormone imbalance and it is reported to cause unusual breast enlargement in boys. Pregnant and nursing women should not use this oil. Undiluted oil applied to skin can cause skin irritation, redness and itchiness.

List of diseases treated by tea tree oil

  • Acne
  • Athlete's foot
  • Thrush
  • Periodontal disease
  • Boils
  • Head Lice
  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Yeast infection

Now, that almost sums up all the benefits of this wonder oil. But, not finished yet! This oil is also used to treat bacterial and fungal infections in aquarium fish. It is effective for almost all kinds of aquarium fish except Goldfish. Tea tree oil Have some analgesic effects, can reduce pain and inflammation. You may find it as an ingredient in many burn ointments and lotions.

Regular use of products containing tea tree oil will strengthen your immune system and keep you away from a number of minor and major diseases.

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    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Good points here and so well researched information. There are many helpful ways to use tree oil I had no idea of such information, thanks.

    • writerscentro profile image

      Aditya Soni 5 years ago from India

      You have done a great job by discussing about the benefits of tea tree oil. I just want to add more benefits so that the viewers will gain some knowledge about this :

      1- Its an antiseptic which can be used on cuts and burns.

      2-Used for dandruff and dry scalp.

      3-Used for sinus infection.

    • lucybell21 profile image

      Bonny OBrien 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

      I never knew about tea tree oil like that before. I just thought it was good for an itchy scalp. Nice hub.

    • Vinodkpillai profile image

      Vinodkpillai 5 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Never knew tea tree oil has so many uses / benefits. Thanks!