Guest post by Ali Lawrence
The Narrow-Leafed Tea Tree, also known as Melaleuca alternifolia grows in Australia, and
its derivative, tea tree oil, has become quite popular.
There’s good reason for this — tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial agent, and it has a wide
variety of uses.
Don’t let the name fool you, though.
It may have “tea” in the name, but it’s not safe to drink.
It can actually be toxic when consumed orally, but it still has plenty of other uses.
Tea tree oil (which is also called melaleuca oil) is often derived by steam distillation.
The steam preserves the organic and olfactory properties of the leaves, which creates higher
According to the International Standard, tea tree oil doesn’t consist of a single oil — it actually
The major oil is terpine-4, which is what makes tea tree oil an antimicrobial product and provides
The higher the concentration of terpine-4 your oil has, the more potent it will be.
What Can You Do with Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil’s anti-microbial properties make it great as a topical remedy for a variety of ailments.
But, sometimes people can have negative reactions to the oil.
If you’re using it on your skin, it’s always best to test the oil on a small spot to check for any adverse
From treating acne to disinfecting a counter-top, tea tree oil can be a powerhouse of usefulness.
Here are some popular ways you can use it:
Most of the time, your face is a pretty sensitive area, so you may not want to apply tea tree oil on as-is.
Diluting it with a decent face oil, however, can work wonders on acne breakouts.
Jojoba oil is a good choice for all skin types, while coconut oil works well on dry, sensitive skin.
Try to avoid castor oil — it might be oil, but it can still dry out your skin!
Athlete’s foot is nobody’s friend.
Instead of going out to get more medicine, give the tea tree oil a try first.
You’ll want to apply it directly to the affected area 2-3 times a day, and continue the treatment
for up to a week after symptoms disappear.
You can help speed the recovery process by wearing open shoes as much as possible, and cotton
socks when you have to wear sneakers.
Remember, athlete’s foot is contagious!
Wear flip flops in public showers and don’t borrow anyone’s shoes.
You don’t want to pass it around.
If your dandruff is due to dry skin, then tea tree oil might not be a solution.
However, if it’s caused by anything else, it’s probably either an irritated skin condition or malassezia,
Some people are more sensitive to these skin conditions, and tea tree oil will help to clear them up —
including the malassezia.
To make it work, just add some oil to your shampoo.
Be careful not to rinse it out right away, though.
The oil needs at least a few minutes to do its job.
Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties can come to the rescue!
The most common method for dealing with toe fungus is pretty straight forward.
Take a hot shower first, or soak your foot for a bit to soften the surface.
Then apply the oil directly on the nail.
Some people will also put a few drops on a cotton pad and tape it on for extra disinfection, but try just
applying it directly first.
You’ll want to continue to do so for a week after symptoms have disappeared.
5. Sore Muscle Soak
Since this oil also has anti-inflammatory properties, adding a few drops to a hot bath can help to relax
and unwind sore muscles.
This works well for people who have back problems or tension headaches.
For extra power, you can not only add tea tree oil, but also drop in some Epsom salts and watch your
worries drift away on the steam.
6. Bad Breath
You can use tea tree oil to gargle with, but don’t swallow it.
Bad breath is usually caused by germs and bacteria.
There are plenty of people who don’t like harsh mouthwashes, so tea tree oil can provide a good alternative.
Put a drop per cup of warm water, and swish it around for 2 minutes.
7. All-Purpose Cleaner
For your kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and anywhere else you’d like to get some disinfectant, tea tree oil can
be your go-to!
Just mix about 25 drops with ¼ cup water and ½ cup white vinegar, and spray it on walls, counters and
As an added bonus, not only does this potion disinfect, but you can also spray it around your doors to keep bugs
at bay during the summer.
Ah, who loves the smell of mildew in the morning?
Probably not too many people, since it usually signals there’s something in the washer that should have
made it to the dryer last night.
If you need to rewash your clothes, add a few drops of the oil to your detergent to disinfect the load.
9. Diaper Rash
While some people use diluted tea tree oil daily on their baby’s bottom, it isn’t recommended for infants
under 6 months.
However, if your little one is suffering from the beginnings of a mild diaper rash, mixing tea tree oil in
with some coconut oil can make a nice, soothing diaper rash ointment.
This is also an option if you’re using cloth diapers and can’t make use of the zinc oxide treatments.
Using tea tree oil to keep pests at bay is pretty fantastic if you enjoy the smell.
A few drops mixed into your shampoo will help keep lice disinterested in your scalp.
It may not be something you do regularly, but if you ever get a notice from your child’s school about a lice
outbreak, it doesn’t hurt to take some extra precautions.
In addition to lice, it can also be used to keep fleas away.
A few drops in your dog or cat’s bedding should discourage fleas from hanging around.
Be careful with this, however.
Both dogs and cats have very sensitive noses, and too much oil may irritate their smellers.
About the author:
Ali Lawrence is a kombucha tea-sipping writer who focuses on healthy and sustainable living via her family blog Homey Improvements. She also writes about DIY projects, home tips and organic gardening. Ali was born and raised in Alaska and dabbles in Pilates and is a princess for hire for kid’s parties. Find her on Twitter at @DIYfolks.
Have you used tea tree oil in your home?
What are your favorite ways to use it?
Share your suggestions, thoughts and comments with us.