Tea Tree The Workhorse Oil
I call Tea Tree the workhorse oil because it is so very versatile. Not everyone appreciates its’ earthy aroma, but I can tell you from experience how good – and easy – it is to use around the house.
Melaleuca alternafolia is the Latin name for Tea Tree oil and it is native to western Australia. At one time, the leaves of the plant were used as a substitute for tea which is how it got its’ common name.
According to Cathy Wong, ND, Tea Tree oil has a long history of use by Australian Aboriginals. They used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area.
Since it’s not really practical to crush leaves, a bottle or two of Tea Tree essential oil around your home can help you with everyday life.
Luckily, the scientific community researches essential oils to find out which components are most useful for medicinal applications. You can read more about the scientific evidence here and also find many uses for Tea Tree oil here.
It’s not without safety concerns though – please do not use Tea Tree oil if you are pregnant or nursing or have had hormone-sensitive cancers. As with almost all essential oils, I don’t recommend using it straight out of the bottle – especially if you have sensitive skin. And NEVER take Tea Tree oil internally as it is very toxic.
According to an article in the International Journal of Aromatherapy, Tea Tree oil has a combination of useful properties including strong antimicrobial activity especially when combined with other oils such as Lavender and Eucalyptus.*
So, what does that mean for you? You can use Tea Tree to address everyday concerns such as acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff and even against mold. I’ve used a combination of 8 ounces of 100 proof vodka with 10 drops each of Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender and Rosemary in a spray bottle in the shower area to help keep mold to a minimum. This is also good to spray on areas where germs are rampant such as high chairs; simply spray and wipe with a dry cloth.
- Add a few drops in your running bath water to help with symptoms of cold and flu.
- Add a few drops to your shampoo to deal with head lice.
- Add a few drops to a cold mist diffuser to help with congestion.
- Add no more than 5 drops to your washing machine to help get rid of the musty smell from towels and gym clothes.
- Treehugger suggests using a couple of drops in a steaming bowl of water for sinus infection.
Aromatics International is a wonderful place to purchase pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils – this is the company I use.
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As always, I am very grateful you chose to stop by.
PS – *the above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any and all health issues.