Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia) - Tea tree oil, a powerful antibiotic, is known as the "oil of first aid". It is useful in treating fungal, bacterial, and viral infections. Tea tree oil is good for cracked rough skin, acne, burns, sores, boils, warts, blisters, chilblains, sunburn, athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, herpes, fever blisters, insect bites, bee stings, varicose veins, dandruff, itchy scalp conditions, yeast infections, and blemishes caused by chicken pox or shingles.
Tea tree oil is an immuno-stimulant. Inhaling vapors from the oil can help sooth colds, whooping cough, tuberculosis, asthma, and bronchitis symptoms. For treating respiratory problems, use tea tree oil in a steam tent, a hot bath, or inhale vapors directly from the bottle. The fresh scent is very pleasant with marvelous head clearing effects. Tea tree oil may also be mixed with a carrier oil and massaged into the chest area for night time relief.
Tea tree oil is a natural insect repellant and good disinfectant. It contains numerous compounds that kill fungus and bacteria, including ones that are resistant to prescription antibiotics.
To treat external skin problems (but not open sores or deep puncture wounds), apply the oil at 70% to 100% strength at least two times a day. For acne, dilute tea tree oil with a carrier such as grape seed oil. For use in the treatment of toenail fungus, apply at full strength. Tea tree oil causes less of a stinging sensation than some other antiseptics.
For mouth and gum infections use one drop on sore area or add to water and gargle like mouth wash. Do not swallow. Tea tree oil can be massaged into the gums but must be rinsed and spit out after a few minutes. The use of tea tree oil in oral products like toothpaste is considered safe as long as the tea tree oil is not ingested and it is not used by small children.
Tea tree oil is an excellent scalp treatment when combined with eucalyptus essential oil. Add to warm oil and massage into scalp, use in water as a rinse, or add a few drops to any shampoo. Tea tree oil is also good in pet shampoos to help itchy skin conditions and to repel fleas.
Tea tree oil comes from the melaleuca tree, an Australian evergreen with white spongy bark. The oil is distilled from the leaves or “needles”. (Captain James Cook named the tree “tea tree” because his crew used the leaves as a tea substitute.) Tea tree leaves are also used to flavor beer.
Australian Aborigines have used tea tree oil for thousands of years for treating everything from abrasions to sore muscles. In Australia, tea tree oil is known as the “healing oil.”
*Do not apply tea tree oil to broken skin or to areas of rash not caused by fungus. Never take tea tree oil internally. Before using tea tree on sensitive skin, a patch test should be done. Always consult with a physician before using any herbal remedy.
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