Among the many natural ways to treat infection, tea tree oil is one of the very best. Tea tree oil is an essential oil taken from the leaves of the melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia and New South Wales. It has a wide variety of uses with strong antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties are so effective that it actively attacks and eliminates staff infections, including MRSA.
The tea tree plant has a long history of medicinal use. The aborigines in Australia used tea tree leaves to heal skin infections, wounds, and burns by crushing the leaves and holding them in place with a mud pack.
Tea tree oil effectively treats a variety of conditions. It can be used without a carrier oil, but it is good practice to do a patch test on your skin first, as undiluted tea tree oil can irritate the skin. If the skin is sensitive, then it is necessary to dilute it. A good tea tree oil solution can be made by mixing 5 parts of tea tree oil with 95 parts of water. Please note that tea tree oil should never be taken internally, even in small amounts.
Below are just some of the many ways to effectively use tea tree oil:
Acne: Tea tree oil kills the skin dwelling bacteria that causes acne. Dilute the tea tree oil as directed above and apply to lesions. Another way to apply it is by diluting it with aloe vera gel. To begin with, mix one or two drops to one ounce of the gel.
Boils: Apply undiluted (or diluted if sensitive) tea tree oil directly on the boil with a cotton swab several times a day. Because boils are infectious and can easily spread, make sure to properly dispose of the swab after use, being careful not to touch uninfected areas of your skin.
Athlete’s Foot: Every morning and evening, saturate a cotton ball with tea tree oil (you may need to dilute it) and apply to the affected and surrounding areas. You may want to also apply a tea tree oil enriched moisturizer. Results should be evident in about a week. Tea tree oil is also very effective when treating nail fungal infections.
Oral Thrush and/or Periodontal Disease: Mix one capful of tea tree oil with 12 ounces of water. Swish, gargle, and rinse three times a day. Additionally, when brushing your teeth, you can apply two to three drops to your toothbrush.
Eczema/Psoriasis: It is not advisable to apply undiluted tea tree oil directly, as the affected areas may already be sensitive. Instead, mix 10 drops to 2 tablespoons of olive oil or almond oil and apply directly to the affected areas.
Warts: If the warts are on the feet, apply full strength tea tree oil. (Skin on feet is thicker and less sensitive than other areas.) For other areas of the body, mix a 50/50 solution using water or aloe vera gel. You may need to dilute it further, depending on skin sensitivity.
Insect Bites: Apply full strength to the bite area. Tea tree oil is also an effective insect repellent.
Wound Healing: Moderately apply tea tree oil at a strength of 70 to 100% on the wound at least twice daily.
Lastly, putting a few drops of tea tree oil in bathwater has a relaxing and rejuvenating effect. It will also soothe sore muscles and eliminate persistent body odor.
These are just some of the conditions that tea tree oil treats. Tea tree oil belongs in every natural medicine cabinet.