Did you know…that tea tree oil is a veritable “medicine chest in a bottle” that heals many ailments…yet costs so little?
The aborigines do. They’ve been well aware of tea tree oil’s medicinal qualities for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the late 18th century that the versatile nature of tea tree oil grabbed the attention of the West.
Captain Cook copied the aborigines and brewed the tea for his shipmates in order to prevent scurvy. He coined the concoction, tea tree. Around the same time, botanist Joseph Banks observed how Australian natives mixed together an oily poultice from the sticky leaves and needles of the melaleuca alternifolia plant in order to heal wounds, treat skin infections and repel insects.
In the 1920s, Australian physicians discovered that tea tree oil benefits could disinfect wounds and fight infections far more effectively than carbolic acid, the most popular antiseptic at that time. During World War II, tea tree oil benefits was a staple in every soldier’s first aid kit.
Tea tree oil benefits took a back seat to antibiotics such as penicillin in the 1940s, but has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity ever since antibiotic resistance became an issue in the 80s. Since then, researchers have uncovered a plethora of benefits, rendering tea tree oil a bona fide “medicine chest in a bottle.”
An Inexpensive Skin Tonic
Tea tree oil benefits are praised for its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, making it an ideal topical ointment for almost every skin condition. The chemicals in the oil are potent enough to kill bacteria and fungus (such as skin mites), and minimize flare-ups of skin allergies. Laboratory experiments have found that tea tree oil can destroy hard-to-kill bacteria and germs otherwise resistant to antibiotics.
Researchers have also discovered that the oil performs just as well as the much harsher benzoyl peroxide in clearing up blemished skin.
Tea tree oil benefits is a wonderful treatment for burns, as it penetrates deeply into every layer of the skin. It is the perfect treatment for sunburn, as it is 4 to 10 times more calming than aloe! It has also been shown to protect skin from radiation burns, a common side effect of cancer therapy.
Even moms can use tea tree oil to treat diaper rash by distilling 1 drop of oil in diaper washing rinses. You can also amp up the antibacterial powers of your dish-washing liquid by adding a drop of the oil, ensuring squeaky clean, bacteria-free dishes.
A Powerful Remedy Against Infection
Tea tree oil benefits are commonly used in massage oils, compresses, washes and salves to ward off infections, such as ear infections, herpes, chicken pox, shingles, candida, thrush and urinary tract infections. Even in the face of pus and blood tea tree oil heals, increasing its antiseptic powers to eradicate all signs of infection.
Tea tree enthusiasts claim that the oil stimulates the immune system by boosting a sluggish lymphatic system. This explains why it is so effective in treating lung and respiratory conditions ranging from the common cold to pneumonia.
Medical journals attest to tea tree oil’s ability to effectively treat mouth infections. In fact, tea tree oil is primarily used in products that heal gum infections and canker sores. A 2006 study showed that tea tree oil was able to kill the yeast found in the mouths of cancer sufferers with weakened immune systems.
Other common uses for the oil include:
- Treating athlete’s foot
- Ringworm and other similar skin infections.
An Anti-Cancer Agent
Tea tree oil benefits are also touted as a possible preventative against certain types of skin cancers. The journal, Cancer Chemotherapy harmacology, reported tea tree oil’s curative effects on patients diagnosed with non-melanoma skin cancers or pre-cancerous lesions. Within 1 day of treatment tumor growth had slowed and tumor size had shrunk, and within 3 days tumors were almost invisible.
How to Use
Tea tree oil is a common ingredient in cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, cleansers, detergents and natural disinfectants. You can also find tea tree oil as an undiluted tincture at health food stores and drug stores. It is best to purchase oil bottled in indigo blue colored glass, as sunlight can filter into clear and plastic bottles, ruining the oil’s potent properties.
Tea tree oil is a strong essential oil, and as such must be diluted before application, otherwise it can cause skin irritations. You should never take tea tree oil internally, as it is toxic.