Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Although melaleuca alternifolia is known as the tea tree, it should not be confused with the plant that produces leaves used to make black, green and oolong tea. Tea tree oil has been used as a traditional medicine by Aborigines for centuries. This oil can be used in cosmetics, aromatherapy, and in household cleaning supplies. It can treat wounds, provide soothing relief for aches, pains, and congestion, promote a sense of calm, and also disinfect surfaces.
BENEFITS FOR SKIN
Tree Tea oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-microbial and antiviral properties. As a result it helps soothe dry skin by reducing itching and irritation, heals infections that cause itchy skin, combats oily skin problems, helps to reduce redness and swelling and helps in healing wounds and cuts. Tea tree oil can be a powerful weapon against acne. It also helps relieve inflamed skin and heals acne scars.
How to use?
- Mix a few drops of tea tree oil into a small amount of moisturiser or carrier oil. Apply this mixture to the affected areas.
- You can add two drops of tea tree oil to bentonite clay to make a mask.
- In case of an inflamed skin, combine 10 drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of melted coconut oil. Mix well, and store in a sealed container. Apply to the affected area up to twice a day until symptoms are there.
BENEFITS FOR HAIR
You can use tea tree oil to treat dandruff by removing chemicals and dead skin cells from the scalp. Using tea tree oil on your hair may help it to stay healthy and moisturised, promoting optimal growth. According to a controlled study, it was found that the group who used a shampoo containing tea tree oil had a 40 per cent improvement in dandruff. Moreover, the tea tree group reported significant improvements in dandruff severity, itchiness and greasiness.
How to use?
Apply a mixture of tea tree oil and carrier oil to your hair and scalp. Allow it to stay in your hair for 20 minutes. Then use a tea tree oil shampoo that contains five per cent tea tree oil. Massage it into your scalp and hair for a few minutes before rinsing. Follow with a tea tree oil conditioner.
ALL PURPOSE CLEANER
Tea tree oil also makes a great all-purpose cleaner that also sanitises surfaces. Plus, it does so without leaving traces of chemicals you wouldn’t want your family members or pets coming in contact with.
How to use?
Combine 20 drops of tea tree oil, 3/4 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake well until thoroughly mixed. Spray directly onto surfaces and wipe clean with a dry cloth. Make sure to shake the bottle before each use in order to mix the tea tree oil with the other ingredients.
A word of caution: Do not apply tea tree oil directly to skin. It is important to dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, coconut oil, or almond oil. For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, 12 drops of carrier oil should be added. Tea tree essential oil should never be applied to sensitive areas of skin such as around the eyes or in the nose. Sun exposure should be avoided after using the oil, as the oil can sensitise the skin to UV rays. Before using tea tree oil, patch test should be done to make sure your skin doesn’t react to it.