14 Surprising Everyday Uses For Tea Tree Essential Oil
If you’re looking to replace some of your not-so-natural drugstore products with natural, homemade remedies, tea tree essential oil is the perfect place to start. Derived from the leaves of the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia, it has some amazing health benefits – it’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and a fungicide, just to name a few of its properties.
But did you know that it can also be used to treat common skin conditions, and as a natural part of your beauty regimen?
From vibrant hair to odor-free feet, read on to find 14 unexpected ways you can add tea tree essential oil to your everyday routine.
(For some people, tea tree essential oil can be an irritant, causing itching, dryness, redness, or a rash, so it’s important to always test a small area of skin or scalp before using. In addition, tea tree oil may be toxic if ingested – so use topically only.)
1. Promote Hair Health
Tea tree oil will give your hair a beautiful boost by unclogging its follicles and nourishing its roots. It naturally moisturises and helps get rid of dead skin, which promotes hair growth. Just add a few drops to a carrier oil like coconut or jojoba. Massage the mixture into your scalp, then rinse thoroughly. Your head will feel fresh, tingly, and rejuvenated, and your hair will look vibrant and shiny.
2. Banish Dandruff
For an effective dandruff treatment, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a gentle, lightly scented or unscented shampoo (about 5% oil to shampoo). Massage the tea tree/shampoo combination into your scalp, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Tea tree oil can also be added to your conditioner to help treat a dry scalp.
3. Clear Acne
Tea tree oil penetrates the skin and unblocks the sebaceous glands to disinfect pores and dry out blemishes. Simply combine a few drops of tea tree oil with 20 drops (or more, depending on the strength you want) of witch hazel. Just wipe on your skin with a cotton swab twice a day. Be sure to test a small area before applying all over!
Also, be careful not to overuse, as tea tree oil can dry out your skin, and avoid direct sunlight since it also makes skin more sensitive to UV rays.
4. Remove Makeup
For a gentle, natural makeup remover, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with ¼ cup of canola oil in a glass jar. Shake well. Apply to your skin with a cotton ball, then rinse off with warm water.
5. Fight Bad Breath
Tea tree oil is very effective at helping eliminate bad breath caused by bacteria in your mouth and at the back of your throat. Just mix a drop of tea tree oil with a cup of warm water, swish around in your mouth, gargle, and spit out (don’t swallow).
For even fresher breath, mix a couple drops of tea tree oil with one drop of peppermint oil in a cup of water to create your own natural mouthwash. Then, just swish, gargle, and spit!
6. Eliminate Cold Sores
You can apply a drop of tea tree oil directly to a cold sore about 3 to 4 times a day to dry it out. Just be sure to avoid putting it directly in your mouth.
7. Clean Your Toothbrush
To help get rid of germs and bacteria between uses, put a drop of tea tree oil on your toothbrush; rinse thoroughly with water and let dry.
8. Soothe Sore Muscles
Add Epsom salts and a few drops of tea tree oil to warm bath water for a soothing, muscle-relaxing soak.
9. Treat Minor Cuts
Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties make it super-effective in warding off infection in minor cuts and wounds. Simply mix a drop of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Clean the area thoroughly with soap and water, then dab the tea tree oil mixture directly onto the cut 1 to 2 times a day until healed.
10. Relieve Psoriasis
With its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, tea tree oil can help provide relief from the itching, redness, and burning discomfort of psoriasis. Just mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil and apply to affected areas 2 to 3 times daily, as needed.
Or, to soften the red, scaly patches and help relieve itching, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a little olive oil and rub into affected areas several times a day.
11. Reduce Insect Bite Irritation
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to some coconut oil, then dab on insect bites to decrease itching and irritation.
12. Clear Up Nail Fungus
Get rid of unsightly nail fungus by applying a drop or two of pure tea tree oil to the affected nail for a minimum of 3 months or until the fungus clears up.
13. Treat Athlete’s Foot
With tea tree oil’s fungicidal properties, it’s a natural to fight athlete’s foot. And, luckily, it’s been found just as effective at it as one of the most popular over-the-counter remedies. For an easy treatment, add a few drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of witch hazel, then use a cotton swab to dab on affected areas several times a day.
You can also create a fungus-fighting, moisture-absorbing powder with tea tree oil and baking soda. Just combine equal parts baking soda and arrowroot powder in a shaker, then mix in about 20 drops of tea tree oil. Wash and dry your feet, then sprinkle on the powder. Use this mixture 2 to 3 times a day to help eliminate fungus, prevent itching, and get rid of odor.
14. Eliminate Foot Odour
You can attack foot odour with tea tree oil in a couple of different ways. You can try rubbing a few drops on your feet at night and in the morning (be sure to test a small patch of skin for reactions first). Or, you can add tea tree oil (and other fragrant essential oils like lavender or rosemary) to an Epsom salt foot bath for a soothing soak that’ll leave your feet smelling sweet.
It’s easy to see why tea tree oil has been used for in its native Australia for hundreds of years to treat the problems listed above and more. With its healing properties and health benefits, tea tree essential oil can easily replace many of the over-the-counter products you’re currently using.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what tea tree oil is capable of doing – why not add a bottle to your medicine cabinet so you can try it for yourself?