Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) also known as Melaleuca Oil makes a great addition to your natural medicine cabinet. The essential oil is derived from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia (commonly known as narrow-leaved paperbark) native to Eastern Australia. Tea tree oil can also be derived from the shrub (Melaleuca dissitiflora F.Muell) and Snow-in-summer (Melaleuca linariifolia). The oil is pale yellow to clear in colour. It has a strong smell like Camphor and Eucalyptus.
You can purchase Tea Tree Oil at any local health food stores, pharmacies, super stores and online.
So what makes Tea Tree Oil so valuable in the medicine chest? It is a natural antiseptic, it’s anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and it’s an analgesic. This powerful oil is a must have in your medicine cabinet. Not only is it good for health applications, it can also be used as a natural disinfectant and household cleaner.
Some of the medicinal applications for Tea Tree Oil:
1. Skin Conditions – (acne, boils)
2 drops tea tree oil to 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure aloe vera gel, or virgin olive oil. Apply to spots. (best to use at night, has a strong smell) For dark skin types, don’t use tea tree oil instead use a solution of 25% water to 75% Apple Cider Vinegar to prevent darkening of the skin around the acne.
For boils, in a bowl of 1 cup ( 250 ml) of warm-hot water add 1 teaspoon (5ml) of tea tree oil, wring out most but not all from the cloth, apply to the boil, when compress begins to cool redip into solution. Use on boil for a at least 10 minutes then wipe some tea tree oil directly onto boil. Reapply several times a day.
2. Chest Congestion
Mix 2 drops with 1/3 cup (83ml) almond oil, massage on chest and back to help relieve chest congestion.
Lightly dab a few drops of Tea Tree Oil mixed with 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) of either almond or olive oil on the eczema. Apply a few times a day.
4. Nail Fungus
Apply a few drops of the Tea Tree oil mixed with 1 tablespoon (15ml) of almond oil directly onto the nail bed and around the toes. Wipe them with the Tea Tree Oil every night before bed for a week.
5. Head Lice
Mix 1/4 cup (60ml) of Olive or Almond Oil with 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Tea Tree Oil, massage solution into scalp then comb through with a fine toothed comb making sure that all hair is saturated, then wrap hair in a warm towel. Let the solution sit for 20 minutes then wash hair with shampoo and conditioner. Use this treatment for 1 week to make sure the lice and nits are killed off. (You can also use a shampoo made with Tea Tree Oil that treats lice.) Final step is to vacuum bedding, and furniture. Wash all clothing and sheets in hot soapy water with 10 drops of Tea Tree Oil added to the soap. Continue to check scalp for any new eggs every week, check around ears and the nape of neck.
A general antiseptic, helps wounds heal faster. (Dilute with a little water.)
7. Common Warts
Dab on a drop of pure Tea Tree Oil onto the wart, cover with a bandage. Change daily for a few weeks or until gone.
Add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo.
9. Oily Skin
Dilute 2 drops of the Tea Tree Oil with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of filtered water. After cleansing, use this as a toner. Take a cotton ball and dip into the toner and wipe your face.
10. Cold Sores
Dab onto the cold sore a mixture of 1 drop of tea tree oil and 1/4 teaspoon (1ml) almond oil. Use several times a day until healed.
11. Bed Sores
Mix 2 drops of Tea Tree Oil with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of almond oil. Wipe the sores and surrounding areas with the oils. Apply 2-3 times a day.
12. Ring Worm
Mix 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil with a teaspoon (15ml) of virgin Olive Oil. Dip a cotton ball into the solution then apply onto the ringworm 3 times a day for a week.
Do not use Tea Tree Oil neat (directly on skin), always blend it with water or an oil base such as almond oil.
Using it directly on skin may cause 2nd degree burns, or rashes on sensitive skin.
Toxic if swallowed. Never take internally. (can cause impaired immune function). Seek medical help immediately if ingested.
Avoid contact with eyes. Flush out immediately will cool water.
If rash occurs, discontinue use. Do not use if you have allergies to Tea Tree Oil. (serious allergic reactions are rare.)
Do not use on boys in their development stage ……Lavender and Tea Tree Oils May Cause Breast Growth in Boys (National Institutes of Health) The researchers found an association between the use of products containing these oils and the rare disorder prepubertal gynecomastia (enlarged breasts), but cautioned more research is needed.
Don’t use if you are pregnant or nursing. (may change hormone levels in pregnant women, it is not known if the Tea Tree Oil will be absorbed into the milk of nursing mothers so avoid it all together.)
Tea tree oil when stored properly has a shelf life of 1 – 2 years.
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