What a wonderful plant Tea Tree is! The plant’s botanical name is Melaleuca Alternifolia. The essential oil has many properties including being antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrisant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant and sudorific substance. The tea tree is native to Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, in Australia, which is why it is such a common and popular essential oil in that country. However, its impressive qualities have spread to other parts of the world, so it can no be found internationally. So, Tea Tree Oil does not, infact, have anything to do with what we usually associate with tea, green, black or herbal.
We absolutely believe that Tea Tree Oil should be in every Holistic Housewife’s bag of tricks. Here are 11 of our favorite ways to use Tea Tree Oil.
- Use as an antiseptic for small cuts and scrapes.
- Dab daily on an infected tooth or gums. (We’ve had luck curing an abscessed tooth by using Tea Tree Oil 2 or 3 times daily.)
- Mix a bit of baking soda with hot water and add a few drops of Tea Tree Oil and use as a shampoo to help an itchy scalp. This works great!
- It works great as a remedy for Ringworm. Pictures coming soon.
- Use it as a mouthwash by adding a drop or two to water and swishing.
- Mix a little bit of Tea Tree Oil with warm olive oil and use to treat earaches.
- Dab on pimples to quicken (by a lot) healing time.
- Add a few drops to your hot tub water to keep it fresh. Plus it smells like you’re at the spa!
- Cures athletes foot.
- Add a few drops to your load of laundry to freshen rags and/or diapers.
- Use with water and vinegar in a spray bottle to disinfect all areas of your home. Especially kid stuff: high chairs, toys, car seats etc.
Tea tree oil is derived from the leaves of the tea tree. The tea tree was named by eighteenth century sailors, who made tea that smelled like nutmeg from the leaves of the tree growing on the swampy southeast Australian coast. Do not confuse the tea tree with the unrelated common tea plant that is used to make black and green teas.
Tea tree oil is applied to the skin (used topically) for infections such as acne, fungal infections of the nail (onychomycosis), lice, scabies, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm. It is also used topically as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions, for burns, insect bites and stings, boils, vaginal infections, recurrent herpes labialis, toothache, infections of the mouth and nose, sore throat, and for ear infections such as otitis media and otitis externa.