Tea tree, MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA, native to Australia, is a tree or shrub with needle like leaves similar in appearance to cypress with heads of sessile pale flowers. The popular tea tree oil is derived from this tree. The aborigines of Australia have been known to have used the tea tree oil to treat a range of ailments from colds, sores to acne and even whooping cough.
Extensively used in aromatherapy, the leaves when crushed release essential oils of varying amounts and constituents. The oil is so potent that it can be diluted up to many times its volume and it still manages to retain its effectiveness all the same. Although the benefits of tea tree oil are numerous, for beauty treatments, it’s been found effective in skin and hair care. The following sections describe the uses of Tea Tree Oil for skin care and hair care.
Tea tree oil for skin care
Tea tree oil has been used effectively to treat acne, abscess, athlete’s foot, blisters, burns, cold sores, insect bites, oily skin, rashes, spots, warts and wounds. You can use tea tree oil to cure sunburns, diaper rash, toenail infections and problems of smelly feet.
Tea tree oil for hair care
Add a few drops of Tea tree oil to your regular shampoo to treat hair problems like persistent dandruff, itchy-scalp and even prevent head-lice. Massage it in, leave it on for 5-7 minutes and rinse off. Adding a few drops in pet shampoo/bath helps keep tics and rashes at bay.
Other benefits of tea tree oil
Fed-up with allopathic medicines? Packets of antibiotics that have gone down your throat seem to be of no use? The only things you find they have lightened are your pockets? Well, don’t panic, help is at hand, Tea Tree oil can be used to treat a variety of medical problems. A great remedy to soothe your sinuses; dab a drop of tea tree oil around your nose can help clear up blocked sinuses.
Add a few drops in a steam bath or vaporizer and inhale, a great relief for persistent colds and cough. Regular use of tea tree oil has been found to be effective in treating Asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cough, sinusitis and even tuberculosis.
Tea tree oil is a great general disinfectant and can be effectively used to treat genito-urinary tract infections such as thrush, vaginitis, cystitis and pruitis.
Tea tree oil has properties that act as a immune booster. It helps equip the body to fight off a host of infections. Using tea tree oil is particularly effective if the body is already in a weakened condition due to illness, stress or prolonged treatment-involving antibiotics that lead to a reduction of the body’s natural resistance.
Using tea tree oil prior to a surgical operation or for those suffering from long-drawn debilitating illness has been found to be beneficial. The anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties have seen tea tree oil being used extensively in soaps, toothpastes, deodorants, disinfectants, gargles, germicides, aftershaves and colognes. Tea tree oil is safe to use, as it is non-toxic and non-irritant.
Although tea tree oil has no known side effects, some individuals may be sensitive to it. This calls for consideration of the strength of tea tree oil and should never be used undiluted on the body and particularly on sensitive areas.