Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca Oil, is a yellowish coloured essential oil made from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca alternifolia (native to Australia).
This oil has a really distinctive smell, more medicinal than floral/fragrant, it’s used as a cure-all oil – a reputation well deserved thanks to its almost magical healing and disinfectant properties. Almost every home in Australia will boast a bottle of the oil – perfect for treating tropical infections and diseases, but it’s not just for inhabitants of tropical climes. Tea tree oil is great for everyday ailments, wherever you happen to live.
There have been very few high-quality clinical trials on the oil to date, but anecdotal evidence suggests its uses are very varied, and results excellent.
WHAT IS TEA TREE OIL USED FOR?
Antiseptic: An open wound is a vulnerable site, so treatment with tea tree oil is good solution. Applied directly to wounds, sores, boils, cuts and insect bites, it can help prevent infections as well as any antibiotic – but without the adverse side effects.
Antimicrobial: Microbes don’t stand a chance against this oil, since it is a highly effective antimicrobial substance. It can kill and keep away certain microbes (protozoa) which are responsible for causing severe tropical fevers and malaria. Use tea tree oil to create your own hand-sanitizer – www.everydayroots.com/diy-hand-sanitizer
Anti-viral uses. Viral infections are clever! In order to survive, they grow a protective shell around them (known as a ‘cyst’). This barrier allows the virus to withstand heat, cold and even poison. They don’t die naturally and can live dormant for hundreds of years. They can only be eliminated if their cyst is ruptured using a particular compound, which is exactly what the tea tree oil helps to do. It also helps cure viral infections like the common cold, influenza, mumps, measles, and pox.
An Expectorant: An expectorant is a medicine or potion which encourages the secretion of sputum through the air passages. Anyone suffering from congestion, coughs, colds or bronchitis would find relief by rubbing the oil on the chest to inhale whilst sleeping. Alternatively, it could also be sprinkled on the pillow to inhale at night, or even used in a steaming bowl of water to inhale. Just cover head well with a towel to ensure the steam doesn’t escape, and breathe deeply.
Fungus Prevention: A study published in Tropical Medicine International Health verified that 80% of patients treated for fungal nail infection were cured using an oil/cream combination.
A gargle: Perfect for sore throats or treating halitosis! Add a drop of oil to a glass of warm water and gargle once or twice a day. Don’t swallow, but spit it out. For sore throats, iIt’s also helpful to add 2 teaspoons of salt to the mix, which will help draw excess water out of the mucous membrane.
Hair Care: Tea tree contains various ingredients that act as stimulants. In the case of dandruff or hair loss, just pop a few diluted drops onto the scalp and rub in gently to stimulate blood flow and skin condition.
Insecticide: The smell of tea tree oil acts as an excellent repellent to mosquitos, fleas and lice. Rubbing the oil onto the body will not only do this, but also help kill internal worms, as the oil will be absorbed by the body and skin.
Side effects linked to tea-tree oil
Topical use of the tea-tree oil may cause rash or irritation of the skin, especially in people who already suffer from eczema or other skin conditions.