The Many Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil, also known as Melaleuca oil is a type of oil obtained from the leaves of the tea tree plant. A British explorer suggested the name tea tree, Lieutenant James Cook in the 1770s after he saw some Australians making tea from the leaves of the tree. Later on, he made his tea from the same tree leaves and gave it to his crew as a means to reduce the development of scurvy.
However, the benefits of tea tree oil were brought to light in the 1920s after a government chemist from Australia; Arthur Penfold published some reports on the antiseptic properties of the tea tree oil. Nowadays, through the modern distillation methods, many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies can easily extract golden oil with a fresh scent similar to the scent of camphor. This golden oil is known as tea tree oil.
Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has a number of uses; the diversity in the uses of tea tree oil is due to its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties. In the early 20th century, the oil was mostly used by dentists and surgeons to reduced prevent infection and to clean wounds. The uses of tea tree oil have been confirmed in the recent past to be not only as antiseptic. Nowadays, much personal hygiene and cosmetic products such as soaps, lotions and shampoos are made containing tea tree oil. Tea tree oil can be used at home for the following purposes:
As a toothbrush cleaner – putting a drop of tea tree oil when cleaning toothbrush helps to prevent propagation of bacteria and molds in the toothbrush.
Mold treatment – formation of molds can be prevented in the house or on items by adding a few drops of tea tree oil into a cup of water used to clean the house or the items. For a much stronger effect, one can sprinkle a little amount of baking soda into the solution then use the solution to sprinkle on the house or the items that are prone to molds.
Pest Control – due to the strong scent of tea tree oil, it can be used as a natural repellant to insects especially when mixed with coconut oil.
Laundry Freshener – adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the last rinsing water bath when cleaning clothes makes them look cleaner.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has many benefits. Due to the versatility of tea tree oil, it has several benefits such as:
Acne: both tea tree oil and benzoyl peroxide can be used to deal with acne. Although tea tree oil delivers its results slower, it has an advantage over benzoyl peroxide since it does not have side effects as it is the case with benzoyl peroxide.
Fungal infections: it has been proven that a fungal cream containing 5% tea tree oil cures 80% of patients suffering toenail fungus. Tea tree oil was also noted to have the potential to cure genital infections, athlete’s foot, gingivitis, and lice.
Aromatherapy: being aromatherapy oil, tea tree oil helps to ease head and chest congestion. Tea tree oil also helps to reduce a stuffy nose and reduce the impacts of other symptoms of cold and flu. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil into bathing water helps to prevent developing a cold.
Composition of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is made up of more than 100 other components, but the more basic ones are terpene hydrocarbons, such as sesquiterpenes, monoterpenes, and their corresponding alcohols.
How to Store Your Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil should be stored in an airtight container which must be kept in a cool, dry and dark place since light, heat and air exposure can affect the stability of the oil.
The benefits of tea tree oil have been brought into attention for the past few years to many cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies. Many beauty and personal products have tea tree oil in them. No product is better than tea tree oil especially since it’s an essential oil for acne in its pure form.