For those who are familiar with skincare products must have come across tea tree oil at least once. But, how many of them really know how tea tree oil came into being? The first time one heard about it, high chance are that they would suspect the oil to come out of the tree of tea leaves. You know, the ones that people use to brew tea. How surprised would they when they learned that tea tree oil really came from completely different type of plant.
Tea tree oil actually originated from the leaves of the tea tree. Not the tree we formerly suspect, the tree itself was named that way by eighteenth century sailors, who made tea from the leaves of the tree growing on the swampy southeast Australian coast. The tea itself tasted like nutmeg, much different from the tea we’ve known all along. That would make every differences there is, because the tea trees we’re currently talking about have more spicy scents on them compared to common tea trees.
As discussed on earlier paragraphs, tea tree oil contain chemical compounds that can kill bacteria as well as fungus. Not only that, because of its sterilizing nature, tea tree oil is widely used to reduce allergic skin reactions. To go more into detail, here are the health benefit of tea tree oil, many of them are basically treatment for damaged skins, while the others are cosmetics related usage. Indeed, here are health benefits of tea tree oil on skin.
1. As an Alternative Acne Treatment
To be fair, tea tree oil’s rise to fame owed so much to its antiseptic properties, as well as its softness to skin. Most people from adolescents to adults must have at least few struggling moments with acnes. They are unpleasant to look, make our faces look messy and give irritating, itching feelings.
Fortunately, bacteria which are the most common cause of acne can be annihilated by using tea tree oil on our faces, by which we mean face wash or skincare products that contain tea tree oil. Because of how soft its effect toward skin, tea tree oil has been replacing benzoyl peroxide-based skincare products (which is known for causing skin to dry and peeling) for some time now. We can even make our own, homemade tea tree oil facewash by mixing tea tree oil, approximately five drops of it with two teaspoons of raw honey. After mixing, we can use it by rubbing on our faces and wait for one minute before rinsing it off.
2. Treatment For Scalp
Yes, not only is tea tree oil beneficial for our skin, but also for the skin on our head. Tea tree oil has proven very beneficial for scalp health and consequently, hair. Because of its softening, moiturizing nature, tea tree oil can be used for flaking scalp and thus remove dandruff. Likewise, because of its antiseptic properties, tea tree oil is also commonly used for treating lice problem.
Many varieties of tea tree oil based shampoo are widely available on the market, but for those who like to make their own shampoo, they can make it by mix the oil with aloe vera gel and coconut milk. For scents and other benefits, it’s also possible to add some other essential oils like lavender oil.
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3. Treating Skin Inflammation
One of the dominant characteristics of tea tree oil is its lightness to human skin, practically made it suitable for skin cleanser. Not only that, tea tree oil also has curative ability. As we learned that tea tree oil is also a potent antiseptic, it should be no wonder that tea tree oil can be used to relieve skin inflammation, for instances, psoriasis and skin eczema.
The skin inflammation gives unpleasant itchy feeling and can be unsightly at times. Fortunately, to prepare lotion for skin inflammation treatment is quite simple. We can mix about one teaspoon of coconut oil, five drops of tea tree oil and five drops of lavender oil.
4. Treatment for Feet Related Problems
Tea tree oil’s antiseptic properties can kill off many parasites as well as fungi. It goes without saying that parasites and fungi that grow on feet are no exception. The parasites that make feet their home are quite large in variety, for instance, ringworms and toenail fungus. To treat feet infections, we can just simply dab tea tree oil with cotton to the infected area.
5. Used for Deodorant
The cleansing and anti-bacterial nature of tea tree oil means it can also be used for eliminating body odor. To make our own tea tree oil deodorant, we can mix tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda. Those three substances work with each other wonderfully and they also smell really nice. We can also apply some tea tree oil to our shoes and socks to keep their smells fresh.
6. Treatment for Infection in Wounds
Nowadays, people can always dab a little disinfectant to their cut wounds to avoid infections. For those who prefer natural, homemade approach, they can always use tea tree oil. The mixture to treat wound mostly consists of tea tree oil and lavender essential oil. Of course, for wounds with higher infection potential we should clean them with hydrogen peroxide before cover it with tea tree oil mixture described earlier. In the Journal of Investigative Dermatology it’s even described that tea tree oil might help to kill MRSA and preventing staph infections.
7. Fighting Skin Cancer
So we have learned so much about tea tree oil and its ability to kill off parasites. So, how about that one parasite that has been menace to humanities for long? The final question to be asked would be, can it kill cancer? Turns out, researches have been conducted relentlessly on tea tree oil for the past few years. The results was of no disappointment, because it was found in a study published on Journal of Dermatological Sciences that tea tree oil has significant effects on reducing cancerous tumors.
8. Antiseptic Properties
So, the tea tree in question is also known as melaleuca, and the plant itself is widely known for its potent antiseptic properties. It almost goes without saying that the essential oil extracted from the plant should have the same properties, if not more potent. It was in Australia where it all originated, where the oil itself has been widely used for hundred years.
9. Strains of Bacteria
Going through so many uses, wide ranges of researches have also been conducted to tea tree continuously for about seventy years. One consistent finding is that tea tree oil do have potent antiseptic properties which can kill many strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
10. On Skin Treatments Product
While the oil has been used as active ingredient for homemade cleaning products, it also has seen popularity in other uses, such as cosmetics ingredients and skin-treatment products. Nowadays it became easier find tea tree oil contents in variety of face wash, shampoos, massage oils, skin and nail creams.
11. Variety of Concentrations
Tea tree oil is unique in some ways. There are even researches conducted to identify chemical components that made up the oil as well as the concentration of each components. It was suggested from the researches that there are in fact more than 100 different chemical components with variety of concentrations.
12. As Aromatic
The components, mostly volatile hydrocarbons are identified as “aromatic” and capable of traveling through air as well as the pores of the skin. The uniqueness didn’t stop at that, for according to British Medical Journal, the tea tree essential oil is “a powerful disinfectant and is non-poisonous and gentle” to the body.
13. Healing Infections
The potent healing potential as well as versatility has made tea tree oil an antiseptic of choice for Australian soldiers who fought in World War II, which was back then said to be twelve times more effective at healing infections than some other antiseptic substances such as carbolic acid.
14. Natural Skin Treatments
To use tea tree oil is quite simple. But some things should be put in mind first. The most important thing is, tea tree oil is only for topical use (applied to the skin). The oil can be used for infections such as acne, fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm.
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More Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Indeed, here are more health benefits of tea tree oil on skin, for more benefits:
- It is also used topically as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions.
- for burns
- insect bites and stings and boils
- vaginal infections
- recurrent herpes labialis
- infections of the mouth and nose
- sore throat
- and for ear infections such as otitis media and otitis externa.
- Some other uses exist which is to add it to bath water to treat cough
- bronchial congestion
- and pulmonary inflammation.
So, those are the benefits of tea tree oil for skin uses. The high amount of anti-bacterial substances suggested a wide variety of uses, luckily, researches is keep being done to this day to tap into the potentials of this essential oil. It’s a good thing that tea tree oil don’t end up being used only as cosmetics, as this amazing essential oil do pack more benefits than that. Thank you for reading, may you too can experience the true benefit of tea tree oil, the key is to keep yourselves informed and to believe that there are myriads of ways to be healthy.
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