Uses for Tea Tree Oil

November 12, 2012

Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most versatile aromatherapy oils available. It can be used by itself, combined with other oils or with cosmetics. People who like to make their own soap, shampoo or candles enjoy adding a few drops to make their products smell nice. Whole books have been written devoted to the many uses of tea tree oil.

This oil may be sold under different names such as Australian tree oil, Australian tea tree oil or Melaleuca oil. The best oil companies label their oils with one common name and the Latin name of the plant, flower or fruit they are from. The scientific or Latin name for the tea tree bush is Melaleuca alternifolia. It is not to be confused with cajuput oil, made from a similar species, Melaleuca leucadendra. That smells a bit like turpentine.

Tea Tree Scent

The smell of tea tree oil may take a little getting used to. It’s described in aromatherapy books as medicinal, meaning it smells like an antiseptic. However, tea tree is much more subtle and plant-like than commercial antiseptics. If you’ve smelled eucalyptus or camphor oils, then you’ve smelled much more powerful oils than tea tree. Tea tree is much milder in comparison.

Tea tree oil can be blended with other essential oils in order to create your own cosmetics, potpourri or room scents for oil burners, used in a steaming bowl of water for steam therapy or in room scent diffusers. Oils can also be used in the bath for a luxurious, fragrant experience. Melaleuca blends especially well with lavender, lemon, orange, chamomile and marjoram oils.

Testing the Oil

Everyone has unique skin and unique reactions to each substance. Although this particular oil is noted for being mild on most people’s skin, it is always best to test it on your own before using a lot of it. Place a drop on the inside of your wrists or on your neck. Check that area 24 hours later. If you haven’t developed any symptoms such as itchy skin, then you should be safe to place tea tree oil directly on your skin or in a bathtub full of hot water.

Essential or aromatherapy oils are sold in two ways – neat and diluted. Neat means that the oil is 100% essential oil. It is far stronger than diluted oil and tends to be more expensive. Diluted oil is usually safe to place directly on your skin, because it only contains a small part of the desired oil blended with skin-absorbing oils like olive, almond or jojoba oil. Never drink essential oil or swallow mouthwashes with tea tree in it.

Some Medical Treatments

Melaleuca oil contains numerous medicinal properties. It can kill bacteria, viruses and fungal spores. Some people prefer to use the neat oil to clean minor wounds before bandaging. Some people prefer to mix this oil in with scent-free soaps and hot water to help clean laundry or walls.

Melaleuca oil is also used neat on athlete’s foot or toenail infections. A few drops can be added to a steaming bowl of water to help clear clogged nasal passages. It also it added to shampoos and conditioners for stubborn scalp conditions like psoriasis.

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