Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

Have you ever used Tea Tree Oil? Well, there are many reasons why you should have it in your home.

As stated in my post on Essential Oils:

Tea tree oil (melaleuca alternifolia): has powerful antiseptic properties and the ability to treat wounds

This amazing and inexpensive essential oil has been around and  used for thousands of years and for the past 100 years by the aboriginals in Australia. It has so many uses: home cleaning products; diffusing in the air to kill mold; topically for skin, hair and nail issues; and for treating viral infections.

One of the active ingredients found in tea tree oil is terpinen-4-ol, that has shown to kill certain bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Two more of it’s active ingredients are monoterpenes, and sesquiterpenes. These compounds also have been proven to help fight germs and other foreign invaders by increasing the activity of your white blood cells. Tea tree oil is a valuable natural remedy to treat bacteria and fungal skin conditions helping prevent infection and promote healing. These chemical components are considered aromatic and capable of travelling through the air, pores of the skin and mucus membranes.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information web site and Dr. Axe., there have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 327 scientific studies done that refer to tea tree oil’s anti-microbial capabilities alone.

So what can you use tea tree oil for and/or in?

All-Purpose Cleaner – As an all-purpose cleaner, tea tree oil helps to not only clean, but sanitize at the same time, without leaving any chemical residue where you don’t want it where it might be in the reach of children or animals. For an all-natural, all-purpose cleaner: Combine 20 drops tea tree oil, 3/4 cup water, and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake well til thoroughly mixed. Spray directly on surfaces and wipe clean with a dry cloth. (Make sure to shake the bottle before each use to ensure the tea tree oil mixes with the other ingredients because as you know oil and water don’t mix well!)

Hand Sanitizer – making your own hand sanitizer makes more sense than buying the chemically laden ones from the store. You can make your own with the following recipe:

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Arm yourself with a softly-scented natural version of hand sanitizer using this recipe: Ingredients
Author diynatural.com

Ingredients

  • 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 30 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 1 Tbsp witch hazel extract or high-proof vodka
  • 8 oz. 100% pure aloe vera gel
  • ¼ tsp. Vitamin E oil

Instructions

  1. Add essential oils and Vitamin E oil to a small glass bowl or container and swirl to mix. Add witch hazel (or alcohol) to the oils and swirl again. Combine this mixture with the aloe vera gel and mix well. Shake gently before each use. (Sanitizer should last several months with the addition of Vitamin E and alcohol to help preserve.)
  2. Transfer hand sanitizer to small, clean squirt bottles. Perfect for throwing into a purse or a backpack! You could also mix up a batch and keep in a container with a pump.

Recipe Notes

Use colored bottles so the essential oils in the recipe are not exposed to light. Small bottles make it easy to carry in your purse or pocket. You could also make a large batch and place in a pump bottle to keep beside your sink at home.

I make my own hand sanitizer and carry it in my purse, so it’s with me whenever I need it.

Acne treatment – skin care products is one of the most common uses for this oil. Making an acne face wash with 5 drops of tea tree essential oil mixed with 2 tsp. of raw honey, then rub on your face, leave on for a minute, then rinse off, will help naturally treat acne without the side effects from using something like benzoyl peroxide (which usually leaves red, dry and peeling skin). *Note: Tea Tree Oil should not be used “neat” or “naked” on your skin – always dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil.

Insect Repellent – Tea Tree oil has a better ability to repel mosquitoes than DEET (in commercially produced repellents). Make you own insect repellent with the following ingredients: 1/2 cup witch hazel; 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar; 40 drops essential oils (eucalyptus, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree or rosemary); 1 – 8 oz. glass spray bottle. Mix all together and shake bottle before spraying on the skin.

Hair treatment – Using tea tree oil on the hair can help soothe dry flaking skin, remove dandruff and may be used for treatment of lice! Make homemade tea tree oil shampoo – mix several drops of tea tree essential oil with aloe vera gel, coconut milk and lavender essential oil. Shampoo as usual, then rinse and dry hair.

Natural Deodorant – tea tree’s antibacterial effects may help control underarm odor due to perspiration. Sweat itself doesn’t smell, but when it comes into contact with bacteria on the skin a moderate to strong odor is produced, such as in the arm pits. Making and using a natural deodorant made with tea tree oil and a few other ingredients can help with this problem:

All Natural Deodorant with Tea Tree Oil

Author modernhippiehw.com

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp Shea Butter
  • 1/4 Cup Arrowroot Powder (or Cornstarch)
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1 Tbsp Bees Wax
  • 20-30 Drops Tea Tree Essential Oil or Lavender

Instructions

  1. Melt the coconut oil and shea butter (and bee's wax if using) in a glass jar. To do this, sit the jar in a pot of boiling water--this will create a double-boiler affect. I use the same jar everytime I make deodorant because it's very hard to clean the jar after this process.

  2. Once they have melted together, remove from heat, and stir in the baking soda, arrow root powder and tea-tree oil.

  3. Pour the misture into silicone molds, a jar, a small container or an old deodorant stick. If using an old deodorant stick, wait a few minutes until the mixture has thickened a bit--this will make it easier to work with. 

  4. Let the mixture set for several hours or overnight before using.

Recipe Notes

Depending on how you made it, you can apply the deodorant directly to your underarm, or with your fingers. If you get some on your hands just rub it in, it's just like lotion.

I use this deodorant all the time and love it.

Minor Cuts and Scrapes – when injuries occur that result in broken skin, it’s easy to get germs into your bloodstream which can lead to infection. Using tea tree oil as a disinfectant can kill S. aureus and other bacteria that can cause these infections. To disinfect a cut or scrape: Clean the cut thoroughly with plain soap and water; Mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 tsp of coconut oil (which has its own antibacterial properties); Apply a small amount to the injury and cover with a bandage; Repeat once or twice daily until a scab has formed.

Nail Fungus, Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot and Warts – These are horrible afflictions and need to be treated as soon as possible once they get started! Nail fungus is quite common and can affect both fingers and toes. You can get medication to treat nail fungus, but using a natural approach is preferable. Tea tree oil can be used alone or in combination with other natural remedies, such as Oil of Oregano (also an anti-fungal) to treat nail fungus, ringworm, or athlete’s foot. In the case of nail fungus, I’ve used tea tree oil “neat” or “naked”, but you can also try using it with coconut oil and apply it to the affected area(s). Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, immediately after applying it, to avoid spreading the fungus to other areas. To treat warts, apply tea tree oil undiluted directly on the area making sure to cover with a bandage. Keep covered for at least 8 hours (overnight would be best) then remove bandage, wash the area and leave open to the air during the day, reapplying the tea tree oil and bandage at night or right away. Do this for 30 days or until the wart falls off.

Oral Health – Tea tree oil can be used to kill off bad bacteria and soothe inflamed skin at the same time, making it a great ingredient for homemade toothpaste and mouthwash, but also in Oil Pulling. It helps reduce bleeding of gums and tooth decay. Mix tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda for an amazing toothpasteTo make a chemical-free mouthwash – add a drop of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water, mix thoroughly and swish in your mouth for 30 seconds or so For Oil Pulling – take 1 Tbsp. Coconut Oil, add a drop of tea tree oil, put in your mouth and swish around anywhere from 5-20 minutes, spit into the garbage (not the sink), then rinse with warm salt water and brush teeth as usual. This helps kill all the bad bacteria in the mouth and leave it feeling fresh and clean.

Cancer Treatment – Tea tree oil and Frankincense Oil both have been proven to have anti-cancer benefits. For abnormal skin lesions, mix frankincense oil, raspberry seed oil and tea tree oil and place on the area 3 times a day.

You can use Tea Tree oil: Aromatically by diffusing in an oil diffuser, by directly inhaling the oil right out of the bottle, or putting some on your skin and/or clothing and smell it like perfume. Topically by first diluting the oil with a carrier oil (coconut, almond, jojoba) in a 1:1 ratio before applying directly to the skin. Using tea tree oil and coconut oil together has it’s own list of benefits for skin and immunity making them an even better combination. NOT for Internal Use so make sure you DO NOT SWALLOW tea tree oil as it is considered poisonous even though it is used in mouthwash, toothpaste, and oil pulling. Make sure you spit out the oil once you use it to prevent any side effects such as digestive issues.

When purchasing Tea Tree Essential Oil, make sure you look for Melaleuca alternifolia that is 100% pure therapeutic grade and organic if possible. This means the oil has been tested, is free from chemical toxins, fillers or solvents.

Keep all essential oils in dark, cool, dry conditions in glass containers to help preserve their stability.

I hope this helps anyone suffering from skin, hair, or nail issues that can be assisted using tea tree oil. Plus the benefit of using this or other essential oils in cleaning products (lemon, lavender, eucalyptus to name a few). The cleaning products we buy at the store are full of chemicals that are toxic to us, our families and our animals. If you haven’t yet started, consider making your own cleaning products to help keep your home a safe environment for everyone!

(Make sure that if you have a medical condition, you check with your medical team to ensure you do not exacerbate your condition.)

Have a wonderful day and week ahead.

Blessings,

Louise