Tea tree oil-driven from tea tree leaves has been used for acne treatment for centuries as it has components that could kill fungus and bacteria on the skin and prevent skin allergies. Some have also used it as oil for hair growth and protection as well as nail health. The oils are deemed to boost several health benefits worth exploring.
Exploring what tea tree oil is and how it works
The oil comes derived from the leaves of a tree called Melaleuca alternifolia, originating from New South Wales, Australia, but now available in many places globally. Tea trees should not be confused with tea plants used to produce green, oolong, and black tea. The natives in South Wales collect the leaves and then extract the oil by crushing the leaves. The oil is then inhaled to treat colds and coughs and could also be topically applied to the skin to facilitate healing. The extracted oil has several compounds, including terpinene-4-ol, known for killing fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Studies also show that the terpinene-4-ol compound improves the efficiency of white blood cells in fighting foreign invaders and germs. No wonder tea tree oil has been used widely to promote healing, prevent infections and fight bacteria.
Benefits and uses of tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has trended in the recent past owing to its inclusion in natural cleansers and beauty products. Now it is very popular worldwide due to these benefits.
Help in fighting acne
Many studies suggest that tea tree oil is an excellent weapon for fighting acne as it helps reduce the severity and the amount of acne on one’s skin. A study conducted on individuals having acne applying 5% tea tree gel indicated a reduced acne lesion reduction by over 33% and six times more effective in minimizing severity than placebo.
The gel from the tea tree is purchased online or at the natural grocery store. However, one can make a homemade acne treatment by extracting the oil and mixing nine parts of water and one part of tea oil, and then applying it on the area with acne using cotton wool twice a day or whenever needed.
It promotes healthy hair and scalp
Tea tree oil is one of the components of some popular hair shampoos. Since it is considered a natural cleanser, it can improve hair health without adding chemicals. Hair treated with tea tree oils and shampoos regains its natural shine and beauty. Additionally, it helps enhance scalp health by reducing flakiness, itchiness and fighting the accumulation of dead skin on the scalp’s surface. Due to its strong antimicrobial capacity, tea tree oil can act as an antifungal agent protecting the scalp from infections.
It is a natural hand cleanser com sanitizer
The current hand sanitizers and cleanser rely on their alcoholic and chemical compounds to fight germs; however, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. It can help kill the bacteria and germs that often build upon the palm by rubbing it on the hand. Some studies indicate that adding tea tree oil in many cleansers improves their ability to fight bacteria E. Coli.
Because tea trees can kill bacteria, they can help control the underarm smell that results from sweating. When sweat mix with bacteria on the skin, giving a strong odor. The underarm is full of sweat glands and bacteria that causes bad body odor, and tea tree oil properties make it a perfect natural replacement for commercial deodorants.
Used as antiseptic for scrapes and minor cuts
Injuries that open up the skin, such as cuts, can give the entryway for germs to enter the bloodstream resulting in infections. By applying tea tree oil to disinfect wounds and cuts, you kill S. aureus bacteria and other related terms resulting in infection. After cleaning the cut with soap and water, apply a mixture of a teaspoon of coconut oil and an equal amount of tea tree oil. Close the wound with a bandage, then repeat the process twice daily until it heals.
It can act as a chemical-free Mouthwash
Several studies suggest that tea tree oil can help fight germs responsible for bad breath and tooth decay. Another study even found that tea tree oil is more effective in fighting plaque-causing bacteria than a commonly used disinfectant- chlorhexidine. Remember that tree oil used as a mouthwash may cause digestion problems when swallowed.
Treatment of athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot is the result of a fungi infection and can be very contagious and can spread to the hand and toenails. The symptoms of the infection include cracking, peeling, redness and blisters. Studies suggest tea tree oil can be effective for relieving symptoms of athlete’s foot.
The oil can help keep insects away, with some studies suggesting that using tea tree oil on cows resulted in 61% fewer flies than those not treated with the oil. Another study also suggested that this oil can repel mosquitoes than most commercial products for insect repellents.
Eliminate nail fungus
Nail fungus infections are a common problem in many people, and although there are several medications for fungi, many prefer the natural approach. Studies show that tea tree oil fits the bill of natural remedies to nail fungi used alone or with other medications. Using tea tree oil and coconut oils is also regarded as effective in fungal nail treatments.
Used for an all-purpose cleaner
Tea tree oil is appropriately used in sanitizing surfaces without the effects of chemical residue left behind. Use apple cider vinegar coupled with tea tree oil in a spray bottle, spray it on surfaces, and wipe the surfaces with a clean, dry cloth. The result is a germs-free surface preventing the spread of diseases.
The Bottom Line
From the previous, it is clear that tea tree oil has many uses and benefits. Besides, it is a cheap natural alternative that can remedy many ailments, including wound healing and cleansing. Its antibacterial properties make it effective for surface cleaning, hand washing, and sanitizing as well as mouth washing. It is also to significantly reduce the amount and the severity of skin acne, resulting in radiant and smooth skin. However, tea tree oil can cause some skin irritation for some people. Generally, tea tree is beneficial and can be used by the family in various ways.