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Uses for tea tree oil - How to use tea tree oil to cure infections and fungi
The first time I stumbled upon tea tree oil was when my cousin got bit by an insect. My aunt, who is a health-freak, applied it to his tiny wound and everything in the world was better. I was curious; What is this cure-all oil? What else can I do with it?
These questions took me on a google search that led me to the many benefits and uses of tea tree oil, and since this knowledge is too good to keep it all to myself, I decided to share it with you.
What is tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil comes from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree. It was called "tea
tree oil" because it was later discovered that the leaves of this tree could
replace the traditional leaves used in teas.
Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic
properties. In other words, it keeps bacteria, virus, fungi and pain away. It
also helps wounds heal faster and leave less scar tissue, in addition to
boosting your immune system just by smelling it.
So now that you have the general picture, let's move on to the good stuff...
Before you use it, you need to know...
- Tea tree oil should never be ingested. It could be highly toxic and cause diarrhea, vomit, dizziness or even death.
- Tea tree oil should always be used diluted, except when treating nail fungus.
- It can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. Therefore, before using tea tree oil, test a small area of your skin to see how your body will react.
Uses for tea tree oil
Because it has so many properties, tea tree oil can be used pretty much for
anything, AS LONG AS IT IS DILUTED. I will mention this several times over the
course of this hub because it is superimportant that tea tree oil is always
diluted to prevent any kind of harsh reactions. The only time that TTO does not
need to be diluted is when you're treating nail fungi.
So, keep in mind that in all the tea tree oil uses that are about to be listed,
it always has to be diluted...
Tea tree oil is typically used to treat problems caused by bacteria, viruses or
fungi, such as:
- Oily skin
- Athlete's foot
- Herpes (simple and zoster)
- Insect bites
- Minor burns, including sunburn
- Warts and skin tags
- Tooth pain
- Swollen gums
- Oral candidiasis (thrush)
- Nail fungi
- Yeast infections and vaginitis
Let's see how this versatile oil can be used.
Precautions with tea tree oil
Some studies have shown that tea tree oil can alter hormone levels and increase certain hormones, leading some men to develop gynocomastia (enlargement of breast tissue in males).
Because this oil can alter hormonal levels, people with hormone-sensitive cancers and pregnant or nursing women should not use tea tree oil, unless it is under expert supervision.
Risks vs. benefits
Do you think the benefits of using tea tree oil outweigh the risks?
Tea tree oil for acne
Probably one of the worst things about being a teenager is having to put up
with an oily face and acne. Sometimes, even if you're not a teenager, you still
have to put up with these annyoying little bumps sprouting on your face or
other parts of your body.
How to use it
There are several ways you can use tea tree to treat those annoying bumps.
Dilute tea trea oil (1 part TTO and 9 parts of water)
Dab a cotton ball in this mixture
Apply to clean face at night
Aloe vera gel
3 drops of tea tree oil
Apply to whole face or to problem area (your choice)
Ideally, this mask should be left on overnight, but if you're running short on
time, choose the express treatment and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
This mask can be used once or twice per week.
*For this mask, you can choose to dilute the tea tree oil with aloe vera gel or
with other carrier oils such as almond, jojoba or wheat germ oil. But always
Add it to your night cream
You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your night cream and let it
work its magic overnight. The tea tree oil's antiseptic and antibacterial
properties will fight acne bacteria while you sleep.
Tea tree oil for oral health
Tea tree oil can be an effective treatment for oral problems such as
gingivitis, oral candidiasis, plaque, swollen gums, bad breath, tooth pain and
cavities. However, keep in mind that even though tea tree oil can be used to
treat mouth and throat problems, it should never, ever be swallowed.
Here's how it can be used:
- Mix 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in 1/2 cup of warm water
- Gargle with the mixture twice a day, morning and night.
*This can also cure a sore throat.
If gargling is not your thing, add 1 drop of TTO to your toothpaste before brushing your teeth.
Congestion and respiratory infections
If you have a cold and your boogers don't let you breathe, or if you're having
a respiratory infection, try this:
- Boil water in a pot
- Once water has boiled, remove from heat and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
- Place you face on top of the water so that you can inhale the sweet, minty
- smell. (Don't get too close to the water or you could burn yourself. Stay at a
- distance that feels confortable.)
- Place a towel on top of you face as to create a little cave and to avoid any
- vapor from escaping.
- Inhale the vapor for 5-10 minutes
- Repeat every night before going to bed until symptoms have cleared.
Another quick trick is to add a few drops of tea tree oil to you pillow or handkerchief. This will decongest your nose almost immediately.
Tea tree oil for dandruff and hair lice
When even head 'n shoulders isn't doing the trick, use tea tree oil to get rid
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo or conditioner. I prefer to add
the oil to my shampoo, since conditioner can sometimes be the cause of your
The method that has worked for me is to add 10 drops of tea tree oil to my
shampoo and don't use conditioner at all. Once out of the shower, I apply a few
drops of argan oil or jojoba oil (or a mix of both) to my hair. I have noticed
that with this method I don't need hair conditioner at all and my hair has
never felt softer and I don't have dandruff or dry scalp anymore. Yoo-hoo!
The same method can be used for hair lice. Just add a few drops of tea tree oil
to your shampoo and let it work its magic while it evicts those annoying
creatures from your head.
You can also dilute 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in 1 cup of water and apply
directly to scalp.
Tea tree oil for feet
One of the most common ailments that affects feet is Athlete's foot.
Here's what you can do:
- add 10-20 drops to a bucket or warm water (or as hot as you can stand it) and soak the affected foot in it.
- Let the foot relax in the warm water for as long as the water is warm.
Repeat every day or until fungus is gone.
This is the only time when you can apply tea tree oil directly without having to dilute.
With a swab, apply 1-2 drops of TTO on top and under the affected nail. Do this every day, once a day. You will start seeing results in 4 weeks.
Yeast infections can be embarrassing and smelly. Here's a simple remedy:
- Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to your underwear or liner
It will immediately get rid of the smell and it will eventually get rid of the infection.
Other uses for tea tree oil
Add a few drops to your bath - helps with muscular pain
Add a few drops to your laundry load - antibacterial and wonderful smell
Overall disinfectant for house cleaning.
Where can I buy it?
Tea tree oil can be bought at any health food store and the price is not too high. My favorite place to buy it is Trader Joe's because it is always reasonably priced.
There are tons of cures in nature. We just gotta keep looking and experimenting. Happy living!