Tea Tree oil comes from the leaves of the Australian tea tree, the oil is distilled from it. I have found it to have several topical uses that have both cured and prevented so many everyday troubles.
Another name for tea tree is melaleuca, this oil is mostly derived from the Melaleuca alternifolia, which is a native plant to Australia.
For over 100 years, it has been used widely across Australia and for more than 70 years, it has been shown to kill several strains of fungi, bacteria, and viruses.
This means that tea tree oil is great for treating wounds.
My Top 5 Best Tea Tree Oil Brands In 2018
*The companies chosen above are based upon my personal opinion based upon me giving them a try and testing their quality.
What is tea tree oil?
The name itself is somewhat of a sweeping name for the entire malaleuca family of plants. This is because of the traditional uses of the tree leaves that are used to make herbal teas.
The actual tree is typically distinguished by its leaves. There are three varieties of this tree, and it is easy to find websites that get them confused and end up using them interchangeably.
The three varieties include the narrow leaved variety, which is the tea tree. There is also niaouli, this has broader leaves, and then the cajuput, this is also known as the river tree.
The tea tree oil plant has long twigs and branches and is bushy. They only grow to about 20 feet and have white bark on the trunk and branches, giving it the nickname paper bark.
The oils that come from these trees medicinal value as they are antimicrobial. It can be used to help both immune and respiratory systems along with wounds and skin eruptions.
The oil itself is steam distilled from the branches and the leaves, it is either clear or a pale yellow. The smell is one that is clean, it has a medicinally fresh smell along with a spicy undertone.
There are some sources that claim that the Melaleuca alternifolia is produced only in Australia. The tree itself is actually indigenous to areas of Southern Queensland as well as Northern New South Wales.
However, the oil is now being produced in several places, such as Kenya, China, Indonesia, Thailand, and Africa. Only a third of what is produced worldwide comes from Australia.
What Can You Use Tea tree essential oil for?
There are a plethora of uses for tea tree oil. One of these uses includes treating infections and wounds. The terpenes that is in tea tree oil gives this substance antiseptic properties.
I have used it for both and found it to work wonders for me. It is even effective at fighting MRSA, the strain of staph bacteria that many antibiotics can't even touch. This is a wonderful natural remedy for burns, wounds, and blisters.
Most everyone has to deal with nail fungus from time to time. It just happens. Tea tree oil has properties that can help to kill the fungal infections and parasites that can cause nail fungus.
It also is great for athlete's foot. It actually has been proven time and again to work just as well as those chemical treatments you get over the counter.
If you apply it twice a day to the affected areas it will relieve the symptoms and could even heal the ailments.
Another use for tea tree oil is as an acne treatment. It is common as a teenager to have breakouts, and even as an adult, I for one can speak for this. Tea tree oil works wonders whenever I'm having a breakout.
It kills Propionibacterium acnes. These live inside of your hair follicles and are the cause of acne and inflammation. It also helps with the discomfort that can go along with a flare up.
If you've ever had ringworm, you know you want to get rid of it as soon as possible. It is a fungal infection of the skin that is caused by fungus tinea exposure.
It is very contagious and is easily spread through contact with the infected, people, animals and items alike.
After just four weeks of treatment, tea tree oil has been shown to completely cure ringworm. It not only cures it, but can prevent it from spreading.
Bug Bites and Stings
During the summer you will likely find yourself suffering from insect stings and bites. Luckily, tea tree oil works great for stings and bites. It not only brings down swelling, it also disinfects.
Once you have applied the oil, keep it covered with a band-aid so that it won't evaporate. Do this twice a day to until the sting or the bite is healed.
Not only can tea tree oil fix bug stings and bites, it can also work well with keeping bugs away entirely. The oil has anti-parasitic properties which can then make it great at suppressing and destroying the growth of most parasites, such as fleas, lice, ticks, and leeches.
It also is great at repelling ants, spiders, and mosquitoes along with several other types of bugs. Soak a cotton ball in tea tree oil and place them throughout your home. This is great at keeping ants and spiders away.
Children are especially susceptible to head lice, and because it can be spread so easily, parents often get it too. Mixing tea tree oil with peppermint oil has been shown to get rid of head lice in kids.
It is important that you only use this on people and not pets as there can be adverse reactions in smaller animals.
Research has shown that tea tree oil can help to kill lice both in the adult and nymph stages of life. It can also help to reduce the number of eggs that will hatch.
Getting a sore throat can be a real literal pain in the neck. Diluted tea tree oil has been shown to be a great natural cure for a sore throat.
This can be caused by either a bacterial or viral infection that can cause either a cold or a flu. The virus or bacteria can cause inflammation in the mucous membranes which can then contribute to a sore throat.
Diluted in water, tea tree oil gargled can help to calm down that inflammation and, in turn, relieve your pain. It is best to use it as soon as your throat begins to hurt, to keep it from getting any worse.
Another way to ease a sore throat is to breathe in steam with tea tree oil in it. Add a few drops of it to some boiling water and then lower your face in towards those vapors.
This works best whenever you keep a towel draped over your neck and along the back of your head so that the sides of the pot are covered and the steam is trapped. Do this for five to ten minutes.
This will also help with any congestion you have in your chest or sinuses.
Oral health is an important part of your overall health. If you have bleeding gums or tooth decay, then tea tree oil can be a great help. This is because of its ability to kill of any kind of bad bacteria.
It can also sooth inflamed skin, this is why it is great for your gums. Just be sure that you never swallow tea tree oil as it can be very dangerous when consumed. Add a drop, undiluted, to your toothpaste right before you brush.
You can even make your own:
Scalp and Hair Health
You've likely started seeing tea tree oil in your shampoos and conditioners. This is because it is very beneficial to not only your hair, but your scalp as well. It has even been shown to eliminate dandruff.
Plus, it is much safer than those harsh chemicals that are in anti dandruff shampoos. There have been times when I found myself with an itchy, flaky scalp and tea tree oil worked like a charm every time.
You don't have to have dandruff to have an itchy scalp. This can be extremely frustrating and also lead to things such as hair loss.
There are a few things that can cause an itchy scalp, an allergic reaction, a fungus, or a bacteria.
Tea tree oil can easily combat all of these problems effectively. Should you struggle with scalp follicultis or scalp eczema, then tea tree oil could also cure these ailments.
Studies have shown that tea tree oil is helpful in fighting the fungi that can cause Fusarium head blight in oats, wheat, and barley. It is also great at treating barley leaf stripe as well as powdery mildew.
Other types of research has shown that the oil is great at getting rid of leather rot in strawberries, early blight disease commonly found in tomato plants, fruit rots, and cercospora beticola that is found on sugar beets. It can also protect your potatoes from alternaria solani.
Cleaning Your Home
I am always looking for natural products to keep my house clean. This is where tea tree oil really comes in handy. There are several aspects of house cleaning that this oil can help with.
You can use it as an all purpose cleaner, for mirrors, counters, throughout your entire bathroom, and even for fixtures.
You can also use it for an air freshener, fighting mildew and mold, and even for your laundry by simply adding ten drops to the wash.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits and Studies
Records have shown that indigenous people have been taking advantage of the benefits of tea tree oil for centuries.
Science has taken a little longer to get the message, but finally, the rest of us are catching up in finding out just what all this oil can do to help us.
One of the biggest benefits of tea tree oil is its ability to heal us.
A few ways we can benefit from tea tree oil include using it for its anti-fungal properties. I mentioned it helping with toenail fungus and athlete's foot, but did you know it can also help with jock itch and Candida?
A specific study showed that tea tree oil has been shown to show signs of anti-fungal activity against Botrytis cinerea by directly affecting mitochondria.
Basically, tea tree oil is a fantastic natural remedy in fighting against any type of fungal infections. (source)
Tea tree oil works great whenever you have any type of skin problem, from itching, to soreness. For instance, it can help with the itching and inflammation that comes with chicken pox.
It can take the itch out of a bug bite, and even help whenever you have sores. For instance, a study on cochlear implant wound infections showed that tea tree oil helped to heal not just the wound, but the infection as well. (source)
I previously mentioned how tea tree oil can help with your overall oral health. Tea tree oil can not only keep your gums healthy, it can even help with bad breath as well.
Also, it helps take out the sting and inflammation of cold sores. A study that set out to determine the antimicrobial properties of 10 natural plant products against microorganisms used tea tree oil as part of one of the 10 plant products.
Tea tree oil had maximum efficacy against microorganisms and is therefore recommended for topical gels and mouth rinses. (source)
Whether you get a burn during a cooking incident, or if you stayed out in the sun too long, tea tree oil is great at helping out your skin whenever you have a burn of any kind.
I personally have used it for both sunburns and once for a burn I had in the kitchen when I accidentally touched a dish that had been in the oven. It worked wonders for me.
In a randomized clinical trial, tea tree oil products were used along with running tap water. In the study, tea tree oil products showed to help alleviate the pain as well as cool the skin. (source)
Tea tree oil can even eradicate mold. Pythium insidiosum is a species of water mold that can infect people and animals, especially dogs and cats, horses, and cattle.
Exposure via contact with the water can lead to large lesions on the skin and in your gastrointestinal tract. There is a high mortality rate with this specific type of mold. (source)
Studies showed that mixing just a teaspoon of tee tree oil per cup of water put into a spray bottle can help to get rid of mold.
If you are using tea tree oil to fight mold in your garden then you will need the following:
Add to a mister once the solution is mixed together well. You would then just use it as you normally would in your garden.
Skin issues such as acne can be embarrassing and painful. The same goes for psoriasis and rosacea. Acne and rosacea are classified in the same disease category.
Research has shown that tea tree oil can help to heal both rasacea and acne. of the aforementioned skin ailments. (source)
Adding tea tree oil to your shampoo may help to ease the itching and take out the redness for scalp psoriasis.
Tea Tree Oil Side Effects and Precautions
Some people may need to alter the way they use tea tree oil dependent on their skin. For instance, because I have sensitive skin, I have had to dilute the oil with a carrier oil.
You can use sweet almond, coconut, or olive oil. It is best to do a skin patch test before using tea tree oil undiluted, just to know for sure how your skin will react.
Do this by applying one to two drops on either your back or inner forearm.
It is very important to purchase tea tree oil from reputable sources as it only has about 30 compounds so it can be easily reconstructed.
These oils are inferior and can cause issues with skin and even cause medical emergencies.
This is why it is crucial to get a pure version of the oil. Also, it is not required, but it is recommended to go organic.
When shopping for tea tree oil, beware of companies that use the term 'therapeutic grade' tea tree oil. This is actually the case for any type of oil.
This is simply a marketing term that companies use in the hopes that you will buy their product.
Do not fall for it. Also, watch for the main ingredient, which is terpinen-4-ol. This ingredient must be between 30% and 48%.
When you find a manufacturer that you want to buy the oil from, then make sure that they can prove that they use pure Australian TTO. If they cannot verify it, then look for another retailer.
There is also a rumor going around that the 1,8 cineole has to be low in order to avoid a dermal reaction.
This is a false rumor, in fact, there can be up to 15% of it, this is according to the industry standards.
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Tea Tree Essential Oil Research and Facts
There are a lot of things that tea tree oil may be able to do for you. There are plenty of things it should be able to assist you with. Then there are a plethora of facts about the oil itself.
Let's focus on the actual facts of this oil as well as studies that have been done on it in order to get a really good idea of what this oil is all about.
MRSA is basically a super bug and it is responsible for several dangerous infections in people. It can cause infections all throughout the body.
It is resistant to most commonly used antibiotics making it extremely difficult to treat. MRSA can cause all types of symptoms, dependent on where on your body you are infected.
Studies have shown that tea tree oil treatment is more effective than a placebo. There have even been cases where tea tree oil has been more effective than standard treatments of MRSA.
In the study, there were a total of 32 participants, 16 were in a control group and the other half were in the tea tree oil group. The patients in the control group received a routine saline gauze dressing.
The tea tree oil group in turn received 10% topical tea tree preparation dressing. The tea tree oil group had previously had delayed healing in their chronic wounds.
With the tea tree treatment, their wounds were healed in 28 days with no adverse reactions. MRSA was also wiped out in 14 out of the 16 wounds in the tea tree oil group. (source)
Another fact of tea tree oil is that it reduces inflammation. An experimental study done in 2002 proved the significant anti inflammatory effect tea tree oil has on histamine induced weals on the skin.
Weals are raised areas on the skin that look like small blisters, they are itchy. In the study, 27 volunteers were injected with histamine diphosphate. The skin was measured every 10 minutes for one hour.
At the 20 minute mark, tea tree oil was applied topically to the arm being studied to 21 of the volunteers. The weal volume decreased significantly after 10 minutes. (source)
Another study done in 2015 showed that there were positive effects against the microbial triggers of rheumatoid arthritis. The study itself did not address tea tree oil's ability to fight the inflammation that goes with rheumatoid arthritis.
However, it did show that it was possible for those with the disease to fight both the cause and effect.
Lastly, a 2018 study analyzed the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of tea tree oil and the hopeful application on dental issues.
Laboratory studies showed that tea tree oil has both bacteriostatic and bactericidal effects on even the most prevalent periodontopathogens.
It has helped to reduce inflammation and plaque. This particular study suggests that tea tree oil has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory potential properties. (source)
Final Thoughts About Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil really is a wonderful tool that you can use in your everyday life. Whether you need it for pain, itchiness, inflammation, or to help your garden grow it can work wonders for you.
From bad breath to MRSA tea tree oil is essential in helping to keep you healthy and feeling and looking great as it can treat acne and rosacea as well. You would be hard pressed to find something that tea tree oil cannot do for you.
I personally have been saved by it time and time again, and I know that in the future I will continue to be using it on myself, on my home, and on any gardens I may begin to plant in the future.
I can protect myself and my animals as well as my yard from mold thanks to this oil. I can also use it to prevent any potential issues and cure any current ones.
What Company Should I Purchase Tea Tree Oil From?
I hope you enjoyed learning about all of the cool benefits and uses that tea tree essential oil offers. It is definitely one of the most versatile oils because it can be used to create so many different types of blends to solve your everyday problems.
My personal favorite brand that I purchase most of my oils from is doTERRA. I find that they offer the highest quality oils, starter kits, and diffusers. They are especially good if you are brand new to oils because they offer a lot of free resources and education once you become a customer.
I highly recommend giving them a try. You can read more about my story of using their oils here.