Tea Tree Essential Oil: Aromatherapy and Remedies
Tea Tree essential oil is created from a distillation of the ti tree, which grows on the coast of New South Wales, Australia. This oil produces a rather strong medicinal scent, which some find distasteful and others find comforting. I do not find it comforting and have discovered if you mix it with another essential oil, such as lavender or sweet orange, the smell isn’t quite so strong.
This oil can be used as an antibacterial and antifungal. It is used for cold sores (external only), blisters, athlete’s foot, nail fungus, dandruff, acne, insect bites of all kinds and minor cuts. It can also be used against MRSA, Staphylococcus aureus, which is why I use it as an agent in my homemade cleaning products.
In a 1995 article by C. D. Bishop, the Journal of Essential Oil Research even suggested its use on chicken pox and shingles. This past weekend I was stung by a wasp and used this oil. The pain went away in less than 15 minutes. The next day you could barely tell where I was stung. You can’t get an over-the-counter remedy that works this well, in my opinion.
You can use this oil diluted in water or in a carrier oil; I prefer grape seed oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil (for salves) and olive oil. You can also use it straight out of the bottle on a damp cotton ball – be sure to test a small patch of skin to ensure there is no reaction.
It is suggested for external use only; I have never seen any suggestions for internal use. If using on your pet, make double sure to dilute with a carrier oil or water, in case of ingestion through licking the wound.
Cuts and Scrapes – add 2 drops each of tea tree and lavender oils (lavender helps soothe the pain) to 2 cups of water in a small spray bottle. Shake well before using, to ensure even coverage. This works just as well as over the counter bacterial rinses, plus you can pronounce all the ingredients.
Head Lice and Dandruff Prevention – Add 12 drops tea tree oil per 8 ounces of your favorite shampoo. Rinse and repeat. This works just as well, or better, than the leading salon brand shampoo.
Toenail Fungus – Add a few drops per nail once a day for about 2 weeks. This works faster and is cheaper than a prescription from your doctor (a friend of mine used this prescription and it took more than six months to work), and without the side effects.