Tea tree oil sounds like something you steep in a cup of hot water, but it’s really a powerful tool around the home. Tea tree oil is a natural antibacterial and disinfectant. According to the National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the essential oil comes from the leaves of a tree native to Australia, where the aboriginal people have been enjoying the benefits of this powerful, natural oil for thousands of years. Discover the top 10 uses for tea tree oil.
1. Acne treatment. Tea tree oil is very helpful in reducing the skin irritation, infection and inflammation found in acne. A drop of the essential oil directly onto the affected area is all that’s needed to begin the healing process. Tea tree oil also relieves other skin infections like boils and carbuncles.
2. Nail fungus. Whether you’re a fan of acrylic nails or suffer from toenail fungus, tea tree oil is a healthy and effective treatment. A drop or two on the nail with the fungal infection should clear up the problem in a few days.
3. Sinus congestion. Tea tree oil steam can help relieve the discomfort of sinus congestion. Simply add a few drops to a bowl of very hot water or in the sink filled with hot water and inhale.
4. Wound disinfectant. Skin injuries can be treated with tea tree oil to prevent or induce healing.
5. Lice. Tea tree oil has been used to treat and prevent infestations of scabies, ringworm and lice. Mix water and tea tree oil in a spray bottle and mist hair once a day to prevent and treat lice. Try mixing 10 drops of tea tree oil in your normal shampoo to treat lice as well. The Lice Treatment Center has several suggestions for using tea tree oil in lice prevention and treatment.
6. Thrush (candidiasis). The antifungal properties of tea tree oil make it a natural for treating fungal infections of the skin, such as oral thrush, jock itch or vaginal yeast infections. A highly diluted tea tree oil and water solution (such as a one-to-five part solution) can be used for these types of fungal infections; however, everyone’s health needs are unique, so check with your doctor to be sure tea tree oil is safe for your use.
7. Cold sores. The healing process is enhanced and infections cleared when cold sores are treated with tea tree oil. A few drops on the affected area two or three times a day is usually enough to clear up the lesion.
8. Dandruff. Tea tree oil shampoo, or about 10 drops of tea tree oil in your usual shampoo, can help manage dandruff.
9. Household mold and mildew. The home also needs mold and mildew treatment. Tea tree oil can help. Mix a teaspoon of tea tree oil and a cup of water in a spray bottle. Clean and then spray the tile, grout or other area with mold and mildew. Let the area air-dry.
10. Laundry mildew. Clothes can get a mildew-like smell if left in the washer too long. Rinse out or rewash that smell right out of clothes with a tea tree oil and water cycle. About a teaspoon per load is effective in freshening your clothes and machine.