Where does tea tree essential oil come from?
Tea tree essential oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) through steam distillation. The plant grows on the swampy southeast coast of Australia. It’s been used in herbal medicine and for its antiseptic properties for hundreds of years.
The aboriginal people of the country traditionally used it to cure ailments and to kill germs. They would crush the leaves to extract the tea tee oil and inhale it to treat colds and coughs or use it on the skin to heal wounds.
What is tea tree oil good for?
Tea tree essential oil can be used to help skin, hair and nail health. You can purchase it in a pure form or diluted liquid for use on the skin. Tea tree oil is made up of several compounds, including terpinen-4-ol which studies have shown kills particular viruses, fungi and bacteria. The compound also seems to help stimulate white blood cell creation, which also fights germs in the body. It’s also successful in killing common bacteria like E.coli, H. influenzae and s. Pneumoniae.
Others use it as a natural insect repellent to keep those pests away, natural deodorant as it attacks the odour which forms when sweat gland secretions combine with bacteria on the skin to create BO. It’s also good for modern-day injuries, like small cuts and grazes, as it kills S. aureus and other bacteria on open wounds.
Although research suggests there are many benefits of using tea tree essential oil, you should always speak to a health professional before use. You should always use the skincare cleanser, scrub, or product as directed and follow directions.
It’s also commonly used in association with blemishes, acne and spots. Studies show it works to reduce the amount of acne present, as it fights the bacteria which leads to acne.
How to use and dilute tea tree essential oil?
What can tea tree oil be used for? Lots of things! If you’re using it to help keep small cuts and scrapes clean you mix one drop of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply a small amount over the wound. This should be after you clean the area thoroughly with plain soap and water. Then, bandage over to keep it clean and protected. If necessary, you can repeat this once or twice a day until a scab forms.
It’s believed it aids wound healing as it helps to reduce inflammation and helps white blood cells. You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to a wound dressing each time a new one is applied.
What does tea tree oil do for skin?
It helps to reduce inflammation and its antimicrobial properties help o remove bacteria from the surface. However, it can take up to 12 weeks of daily use for your skin to fully reap the benefits, of regular reapplications. It will never be a 'one-use scenario' where it fixes all your skin type problems forever. If you suffer from redness, or blemishes, you’re better off incorporating tea tree into your daily routine to truly benefit from the plant.
How to apply tea tree oil on the face for acne and spots
If you’re searching for an effective acne treatment, you can make one at home with tea tree oil.
First, mix one part tea tree oil with nine parts water, and use a cotton or cloth pad to sweep the mixture across the face morning and night. Or, you can mix it with aloe vera gel for a super hydrating experience.
Try our vegan soap bar infused with tea tree essential oil and activated charcoal to cleanse and soothe skin.
How to use and apply tea tree oil for the hair and scalp
You can add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil with every serving of shampoo and massage it into the hair and scalp before rinsing away. Then you can repeat the process for hair conditioner and run it through to the middle and ends of the strands before washing the soapy lather off after 10 minutes.
However, if you want to use tea tree oil - but not in the bath or shower - you’ll need to dilute it with carrier oil before massaging it into your scalp. This can be coconut or olive oil, but, it will likely leave a small oily residue on the scalp if you do not wash it out.
How to dilute tea tree oil with water
The best dilution for tea tree essential oil and water is to mix one part oil and nine parts water in a small container or spray bottle. Then shake well before use and use as needed.
Although, you can also mix it with other oils, carrier oils like coconut, sweet almond or olive oil and use it for other beauty treatments. To do this, use 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of the oil of choice (or a mixture of two different oils). Mix it well and store in a sealed container or jar and use it as needed.
How to use tea tree oil for dandruff
Tea tree oil is effective against dandruff as well, and using tea tree oil shampoo and hair treatments can help reduce the appearance of flakes on the scalp. It’s believed it’s effective due to its antifungal characteristics. If you don’t have tea tree oil shampoo at home you can add a few drops to a dollop of shampoo or hair product the next time you’re in the shower.
It can also aid another skin condition, psoriasis, the autoimmune condition which sees common outbreaks of sore, red and itchy skin. Medications prescribed by a health professional will be extremely effective but if you want some more help at home, you can combine 10-15 drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoons of coconut oil liquid and apply this as needed.
Although there are several health benefits to using essential oil, please always read the label of the product you are using and follow all tea tree instructions. It should never be ingested because it may be toxic if swallowed. Always store it out of the reach of children. Before using it for the first time, conduct a small patch test by using one or two drops on a small area of your skin and wait a full 24 hours to analyse if there are any reactions.
Also, those who suffer with sensitive skin may experience irritation when using undiluted and pure tea tree oil and are advised to dilute it effectively before use.
Never use tea tree oil on a pet before speaking at length with your trusted veterinarian.
Love essential oils? Try our vegan soap bar infused with lavender essential oil.