What do you think of when you hear the words “tea tree oil?” Do you get images running through your head of people trying to balance their chakras? How about thoughts of a hippy mom’s medicine cabinet? Or maybe relaxing spa sessions? Do you ever think about cleaning products? How about for use for the skin, hair and beauty? What about on your downstairs bits? Oh yes, I went there (I always do somehow).
If you’re not familiar with tea tree oil, let me give you a bit of a background. Tea tree oil is a volatile essential oil derived mainly from the Australian native plant Melaleuca Alternifolia. Known for its powerful antiseptic properties, it has been in documented use for at least the past 100 years throughout numerous medical studies, to kill many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Dr. Axe states that, “while records show that tea tree has been used for thousands of years by some indigenous people, thankfully today science is finally catching up and describing why tea tree oil is so effective. To date, over 327 scientific studies refer to tea tree oil’s antimicrobial prowess alone.”
My favourite brand hails from the same place where this oil originated! For nearly forty years now, Thursday Plantation has been a leader in the delivery of nature’s oils. From skin relief to radiance, this Australian company carries products for the health and beauty needs of the whole family. With the belief in purity, their range does not contain synthetic parabens, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), sodium lauryl ether sulphate (SLES), or harsh detergents. All of their products are also free from animal testing.
Listen, I’m not here to cure your life with essential oils. I couldn’t do that anyways. But, I do want to improve it drastically by revealing why it should be a staple in everyone’s natural medicine cabinet. So that’s why I’m giving you my top 10 favourite ways to use tea tree oil.
A Holistic Nutritionist’s Top 10 Best Uses for Tea Tree Oil
For use aromatically or in a homemade household cleaner. Combine 2 cups of water with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil into a spray bottle. You can also add vinegar and lemon to this mixture. Shake to blend before using. This will help to kill off germs in the bathroom and kitchen!
You can use that same mixture in a spray bottle to spritz around the room. Another option is to keep a supply of cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil packed away in a plastic bag or tin. When things get a bit stinky in your surroundings, take a few out to freshen the air and to help remove the nasty smell.
Studies have shown that tea tree oil can be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide on addressing skin conditions like acne – but without the associated harsh side effects that many people experience. Mix with water to apply directly on the skin using a cotton pad. Or use Dr. Axe’s Homemade Honey Face Wash by mixing 5 drops of tea tree oil with 2 teaspoons of raw honey. Rub on your face, leaving it on for one minute, then rinse off.
Coughs & Colds
Aromatically, tea tree oil can help to ward off pathogens in the air – like colds and flus! Add a few drops to your favourite diffuser and breathe in! Don’t have a diffuser? Add 1-2 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water and breathe in the steam. Mix 1-2 drops and 1-2 drops of eucalyptus oil with a tablespoon of coconut oil and rub onto your chest for nighttime relief.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. Add 1–2 drops of tea tree oil directly to area. Then repeat every 2 hours or until signs of infection disappear!
Fill your bathtub up with warm water. Then, add a few drops of tea tree oil to the water. Get in and let those tight muscles relax. This can also be combined with epsom salts or magnesium salts for a deeper tissue relaxation.
Apply directly onto the bite. Yes – it works!!! No more itches, bitches. Woah, sorry – that was a bit rude… but worth it.
On Lady Bits
This part of a woman’s body is sensitive – in a good way mostly, but sometimes in a bad way. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) and Yeast Infections SUCK. Seriously – they are the worst. But they can also be a sign of something bigger going on within your body. Studies have shown that tea tree oil can actually help to combat infections… down there. For immediate relief, soak in a bath with several drops of hot water. Alternatively, Melissa Ramos from Sexy Food Therapy has a remedy for BV that uses tea tree oil. It’s so good that it’s worth sharing. Click HERE to watch this amazing video.
Cuts & Wounds
Known for its antiseptic qualities, many studies have shown the healing properties of tea tree oil when used topically. For burns, run cold water on area (as usual). After a few minutes, add a mix of 5 drops oil with 1 teaspoon raw honey to the affected area. Repeat 3-5 times daily. For cuts, soak wounded area in water with a few drops of tea tree oil. Depending on the wound and your own sensitivity you may be able to apply directly.
Aloe is awesome for sunburns, but so is tea tree oil! Mix 2-3 drops with coconut oil and apply directly on skin to feel that sweet relief!
As you can tell, there are also a few oils that mix really well with tea tree oil, like lavender and eucalyptus! Did you know that there are actually hundreds of ways to use tea tree oil? So be sure that you’ve got it stocked in your home, take it with you while you’re camping, throw it in your purse – wherever you feel that you’ll need it! Because trust me, you will.
Photos by Catherine Sugrue