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Tea tree oil is lauded for helping with everything from relieving acne to healing wounds, but what is the truth?
There are a lot of essential oils on the market and for every essential oil, there are just as many (if not more) claims about what those oils can do to benefit one's life.
Essential oils are as multifaceted as the people who use them. When discussing the benefits of any essential oil there is one major question to keep in mind; "what is in this oil that leads to that effect?"
1) Fight acne
Tea tree oil is high in terpinen-4-ol which has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
One of the major causes of acne is bacteria. Since tea tree oil is high in antibacterial terpinen-4-ol, it makes sense that tea tree oil can help fight acne.
Tea tree oil can be used on the skin in dilutions of up to 5%, so this oil can be used to kill acne-causing bacteria that may be living on one's skin.
2) Soothe sore throat pain
Sore throats are often caused by the same viruses that cause the common cold and the flu. However, sore throats can also be caused by bacterial infections such as Streptococcus pyogenes.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties which can help soothe pain caused by bacterial infections. Put one or two drops of tea tree oil in warm water and gargle the water for about 20 seconds.
Do not ingest tea tree oil as it can be toxic if swallowed in large quantities.
3) Soothe skin inflammation
There are multiple conditions that can lead to skin inflammation. Psoriasis, Eczema, and Rosacea are just a few of the many potential causes of skin inflammation.
Studies show that tea tree oil is an effective anti-eczematic agent.
Bug bites and exposure to allergens are more common causes of inflammation. When people are exposed to allergens or toxins, such as those in some insect bites and stings, histamines in the body get rid of them. However, histamines also cause symptoms like sneezing and itching.
Studies show that tea tree oil can reduce histamine-induced skin inflammation.
Tea tree oil has antibacterial properties, which is exactly what one wants in their cleaning products.
Use a mixture of:
1/2 cup white vinegar
3 cups water
10 drops of tea tree oil
for a natural all-purpose cleaner.
Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested, especially to animals, so be cautious when using this mixture around pets. Always properly dilute tea tree oil before use.
5) Kill lice
Tea tree oil has been proven to be very effective against head lice.
Use this blend to wash your hair:
10 drops tea tree oil
2 drops lavender oil
1 cup water
Tea tree oil kills lice because it contains both 1,8-cineole and terpinen-4-ol, which have insecticidal properties.
The Final Say
Tea tree oil has a myriad of uses. Like all things in life, it's important to do your research. Always consult your physician before using essential oils for medical conditions and always perform a patch test before using essential oils on sensitive skin.
What are your favorite uses for tea tree oil?