Tea tree oil is an essential oil whose mention is also found in Ayurveda and has been in use for many centuries. Tea tree oil is a versatile and popular plant known for its medicinal benefits and protects the body against all kinds of infections and allergic reactions.
Also, Tea Tree oil is used as a natural beauty enhancer and treats many skin problems as well. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of Tea tree oil have led to its widespread use in a variety of products, such as soaps, shampoos and topical creams. In this article, we will explore the uses and benefits of Tea tree oil in detail.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is an evergreen shrub native to the swampy southeast coast of Australia. It is known for its ability to survive even in poor soil and little water. Tea tree oil comes from the steam distillation of the leaves of the tea tree. It is also known as Melaleuca oil.
Tea tree oil is an essential oil ( An essential oil is a natural oil that is obtained by distillation and retains the natural smell and flavour of its source) that has several uses, including keeping the skin, hair and nails healthy. Not only this, tea tree oil is known for its anti-microbial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea Trees should not be confused with the tea plant (Camellia sinensis) which is a species of evergreen shrub native to Asia and leaves which are widely used to make the most favourite beverage, Tea.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has several medicinal properties and is also used in a variety of health and beauty products. Let’s know about some potential benefits of Tea tree oil:
1. Anti-bacterial property
Tea tree oil has been used for over 100 years as a healing treatment in Australia, and now in different parts of the world. This oil can damage the cell walls of bacteria and thus is used as a broad-spectrum anti-bacterial and anti-microbial remedy.
2. Boost wound healing
Tea tree oil has anti-septic properties that make it effective at killing bacteria and healing wounds. In addition to this, tea tree oil also prevents infections in cuts and abrasions. Studies have determined that tea tree oil allows for lowering irritation and triggers the activity of white blood cells that are instrumental in the healing process.
3. Athlete’s foot treatment
An athlete’s foot (or Tinea pedis) is a fungal pores and skin contamination that generally starts among the toes. Tea tree oil has anti-fungal properties that make it effective in treating athlete’s foot and other fungal skin infections as well. According to a study, a marked improvement was observed in people having athlete’s foot disease who applied tea tree oil cream.
4. Soothe skin inflammation
Tea tree oil is found to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness and swelling caused by skin irritation (dermatitis). To get quick relief, combine 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 tablespoon each of virgin olive oil and coconut oil, mix them well and apply to the affected area as required.
5. Fights Acne
Tea tree oil is effective in killing the bacteria that cause acne. According to a study, tea tree oil was found to be as effective against acne as benzoyl peroxide, the most common anti-acne medication. It also helps in reducing redness and swelling of the skin.
6. Dandruff treatment
Dandruff is one of the most irritating problems we face, especially in winter. Dandruff is white flakes of dead skin that fall from the scalp. Tea tree oil’s anti-fungal properties make it effective in treating dandruff and other fungal infections of the scalp. To reduce dandruff, try adding a few drops of tea tree oil to shampoo while washing the hair, and the results will be evident in due time. Also, tea tree oil is found effective in killing head lice within a few minutes.
7. Treats Nail fungus
Fungal infections are a common cause of nail abnormalities and applying tea tree oil cream can be the perfect cure. The anti-fungal properties of tea tree oil help in getting rid of nail fungus and prevent further growth of the fungus as well.
Apart from the health benefits of tea tree oil, it has many other uses as well. Let’s see some of them.
Uses of Tea Tree Oil
The multiple uses of tea tree oil are:
1. Hand Sanitizer
Tea tree oil works as a perfect natural hand sanitiser. Also, it kills the bacteria and viruses which cause illness and infections. Studies have found that tea tree oil is effective for hand disinfection.
2. Natural Deodorant
The antibacterial properties of tea tree oil help to control underarm odour caused due to perspiration. Thus, tea tree oil is an ideal alternative to commercial deodorants and antiperspirants.
3. Anti-Septic cream
Tea tree oil effectively heals minor cuts and scrapes and also prevents infection caused by open wounds.
4. Oral Health
Tea tree oil is often used as an ingredient in mouthwashes and toothpaste because of its ability to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation in the mouth. Not only this, tea tree oil reduces bad mouth breath and tooth decay. Add a drop of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and rinse your mouth for effective results.
5. Insect Repellent
Yes, tea tree oil also keeps insects away. It is an effective mosquito repellent, as effective as other standard insecticides and repellents.