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Multitasking Tea Tree Oil

Published on Jun 17, 2016 in Essential Oils

In today’s day and age of rapid scientific breakthroughs and cutting-edge medical research and development, it is easy to pay less attention to some incredible “all-in-one” home remedies that have been around for centuries. Our tech savvy generation can often look upon these remedies as old-wives tonics or witch doctor cures, but they should not be so easily cast aside or doubted, especially when their usefulness has now been scientifically proven.

Thanks Captain Cook

Captain Cook and tea tree oilThough over the past decade this wonder has begun to once again gain popularity, tea tree oil, is not some passing fad. This multi-use essential oil is made from the steam distilled from the Australian tree Melaleuca alternifolia (unique to Australia and native to Northern New South Wales). It’s member of the myrtle tree family.

The name was originally coined by Lieutenant James Cook in the latter half of the 18th century, when the famed British explorer saw native Australians brewing tea using the leaves from the tree. The natives had long utilized this prized shrub for multiple health-related uses such as an antiseptic for skin conditions. They would also crush the tea tree leaves and apply it to burns, cuts, and infections. Cook eventually began to brew his own batch of tea, and give it to his crew to prevent scurvy, and it, later on, became a traditional Australian home-remedy in many outback homesteads.

Since the 1920’s, numerous medical studies have documented its ability to kill various strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi and stimulate the immune system, leading to wider knowledge and usage of this wondrous oil both in Australia and around the globe. Modern distilled Tea tree oil is usually clear to very pale golden in color and exudes a fresh, camphor-like scent, and can be mixed with some other ingredients to achieve different results.

It is important to note here that Tea Tree Oil should not be confused with the unrelated common tea plant that is used to make black and green teas, and that Tea Tree Oil is best used topically rather than being ingested. Due to low para-cymene content, a potential irritating compound that can occur in essential oils, Tea Tree Oil has a lower risk of causing potential skin irritation, but as with any ointment, certain people can still be sensitive to it.

While there are long lists of usages for Tea Tree Oil (this really is a wonder oil), we will focus on some of the main ones here:

Microbes, Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi oh my! 

tea toe fungusThe unique weather in the tropics creates the perfect breeding conditions in which microbes, bacteria, viruses and fungi flourish. Luckily nature’s answer to this is that most of the medicinal plants used to treat those dangerous things are locally found in the Tropics as well.

The Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree, is one such example. Highly effective in killing and keeping away certain microbes (protozoa) which are responsible for causing severe fevers and malaria, it can also be used to cure dangerous bacterial infections found in the tropics and worldwide. In its modern incarnation, this oil (which can be toxic in high concentrations) is seldom taken orally, but if it is, it should be in mild concentrations, where it can help cure internal bacterial infections such as those in the, intestines, colon, stomach, excretory system and urinary system.

Viruses have always been harder to deal with and treat because they are masters at survival. The tiny intelligent infectious agent can lay dormant for long periods and develop protective shells, or cysts, which allow them to endure in the harshest of environments.  They also mutate constantly in order to trick our immune systems. The tea tree oil deals with this by helping to rupture the protective shell, thus providing cures and protection from the common cold, pox, influenza, measles and mumps.

Because of its effectiveness against parasites and fungal infections, tea tree oil is often used on toenail fungus and athlete’s foot, where it inhibits fungal growth.  It is, by extension, good for odor control. Tea tree oil has also been proven beneficial for treating and removing warts.

Acne Be Gone!

tea tree oil for acneWe all dread waking up in the morning and seeing a fresh outbreak of those unsightly blemishes, but with this essential oil we have little to fear. One of the most common uses for tea tree oil today is in skin care products. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties tea tree oil for acne has a significant effect in ameliorating a person’s acne without the associated negative side effects that many people experience with products like benzoyl peroxide (such as red, dried and peeling skin). This same strong chemical anti-inflammatory effect is beneficial in treating psoriasis and eczema, and can provide relief from muscular pain, aches, and sprains.

Studies have even found it to  encourage blood flow to a specific area (being a stimulant), which speeds up the healing process and increases the rate of new tissue and cellular growth, so cuts and bruises heal faster! This leads directly to the next benefit-

Hair and Scalp Care

   The market is saturated with products that promise to take care of a whole host of hair conditions. When you’re looking to narrow it down, tea tree shampoo and conditioners (those that are 100% organic) really stand out. The stimulant property of these can be very beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp, and will keep you coming back for more.   

  Applying tea tree oil shampoo to your scalp has the ability to soothe dry flaking skin, remove dandruff, and repair damaged dry hair. You can even be use tea tree oil for lice. The increased blood flow that you experience will then help your hair follicles stay healthy and strengthen their hold and combat premature hair loss. A healthier scalp will then be easier to keep moisturized and dandruff- free in the future.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits Don’t End There

  • Kills 99.9% household germs, so it is perfect for all-natural cleaning
  • A great choice for Oil Pulling!
  • Make-up Removal
  • Softening dry cuticles
  • Mold control and elimination 
  • Getting rid of mustiness from fabrics and carpets
  • An effective insect repellent
  • And more!

Bottom line,  whether you use tea tree oil for hair or fungus the diversity of usefulness of tea tree oil should make it a no-brainer for medicine cabinets around the world, especially with its inexpensive price in comparison to other widely available essential oils on the market.  It is easy to research which simple combinations with the tea tree oil give the best desired results. Why buy a multitude of products for each of the above mentioned problems when you can drastically reduce purchasing down to only a few items. I’m already stocked up on tea tree oil, are you?