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Today in Health & Wellness
LOCAL THERAPIES

Tea Tree Treat

"Benefits of Tea Tree Oil"
By: Claire Y ContrerasTea Tree Treat

Tea tree oil is a household name in the skin care world. Its main job is for acne, but did you know that it has plenty of uses not only for the skin? We will learn more about tea tree oil and more of what it will bring for us.

But first, let’s take you back to where it all began. Tea tree, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia was discovered by British sailors in Australia around 1770. Captain James Cook stumbled upon native Australians brewing the leaves of the Melaleuca tree and he was told that the leaves contain healing properties as such when crushed the leaves were applied to injuries. He then brewed his own batch and gave some to his crew.

Throughout history, many have discovered its wonders then later extracted oil from the leaves. At around 1920, Australian doctor Arnold Penfold, with his partner F.R. Morrison, authored several studies supporting the use of tea tree oil as an antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and preventive properties. Due to its effectiveness and positive results, the Australian government began implementing the tea tree oil in medical kits to soldiers during WWII. 

Tea tree oil helps get rid of the following:

Acne

Tea tree oil + skin care = anti-acne. Most skin care products promote tea tree oil for acne. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties, it is effective against the bacteria causing acne on the face and other parts of the body. It is considered to be effectively similar to benzoyl peroxide, without being harsh to the skin. The oil penetrates the skin and unblocks sebaceous glands, removing bacteria and helping to dry out pimples, whiteheads, blackheads and other blemishes.

Take note: Be careful not to overuse tea tree oil as it can dry or irritate the skin. We all have different skin types, so a pea size of tea tree oil is enough to heal acne problems. To prevent dryness, 2 drops of tea tree oil can be mixed with other natural ingredients such as honey or coconut oil that helps moisturize the skin. For skin care products with tea tree oil in it, you may use it regularly.

Bacterial infections

Tea tree oil can be used as adjunctive treatment for infections caused by staphylococcus bacteria or those resistant to antibiotics. Tea tree oil can also relief eczema and psoriasis as it helps remove dead skin cells, relieves burning, itching and redness of the skin.

Take note: To help treat psoriasis and eczema, mix 10-20 drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and gently rub on affected areas twice daily. You may do tea tree oil bath if suffering psoriasis or eczema around the body by placing 15 drops of the oil and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin almond oil or olive oil and soak for 20 minutes.

Cuts & Wounds

Similar to lavender oil, tea tree oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that heal cuts, wounds and others like burns and scrapes. 

Take note: Clean first the cut or wound with water, then dilute 2 drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil in jojoba oil, apply on affected area and cover it with a bandage to prevent infection. If tea tree oil is available and no other oils present, you can apply a thin amount of it around the wounded area and cover with a bandage.

Fungal and Viral Infections

As mentioned before, tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties, which means not only antibacterial but also antifungal and antiviral. In several studies conducted, tea tree oil was found beneficial in treatment, killing bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Aside from psoriasis and eczema, tea tree oil helps eliminate nail infections caused by fungi, including athlete’s foot, dry cuticles, and foot odor. Not only on toes and nails but also on hair and scalp. Tea tree oil can soothe dry and flaky scalp, removes dandruff, and treats lice. 

Take note: Dilute tea tree oil with avocado oil, jojoba oil or lavender oil and apply on the nails once or twice daily. For athlete’s foot and feet odor, add drops of tea tree oil in water, mix with other aromatic oils and soak feet for 15 minutes, after that dry them well and dust feet with foot powder. For the hair and scalp, mix drops of tea tree oil, coconut milk, aloe vera gel and other essential oils like lavender and massage for several minutes, and rinse. Tea tree oil can also help treat boils, chicken pox sores, warts and jock itch. Apply a small amount of the oil on affected areas and don’t overuse nor apply more, as it can make skin dry and irritable. 

Molds and Household Germs

Yes, you read it right! Tea tree oil can be used as a household cleaner to fight off molds and germs. Mix tea tree oil with vinegar and lemon oil and use it to clean countertops, sinks, appliances, shower or bathtub, and around corners of your house. It also kills molds and bacteria in the air. Put some drops of tea tree oil in a diffuser to spread it in the air around your home.

Remember: Do not take tea tree oil by mouth, nor apply near eyes and mouth. Consult first with your dermatologist if you have any allergic reactions to tea tree, and always use it in moderation. 

There are tons of skin care products with tea tree oil in the market, even a bottle of pure tea tree oil can be bought. Hope you discover something about tea tree oil, and if you got skin problems especially acne, let tea tree oil treats your skin right and your worries bye bye!

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