Tea tree oil has beneficial medical properties when applied topically, including antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral action, and is also believed to have beneficial cosmetic properties. Tea tree oil is usually used diluted, as reactions are common with pure tea tree oil, but it can also cause irritation for some people when diluted. Tea tree oil is toxic when taken internally, and so should never be added to food or drinks. According to the American Cancer Society: “Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed. It has been reported to cause drowsiness, confusion, hallucinations, coma, unsteadiness, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach upset, blood cell abnormalities, and severe rashes. It should be kept away from pets and children.”
Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Skin and scalp. You can add a couple drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo and wash your scalp. You can also find tea tree shampoo at health food stores. California Baby makes a good one for hair and body all in one.
General Disinfectant It is a natural disinfectant. You can add a couple drops to a gentle soap for hand and body washing. You can add several drops to a bottle of natural hand soap instead of using chemical soaps.
A common use of Tea Tree Oil is as a natural Acne treatment. Add it to a gentle cleanser or you can buy a cleanser with it already in it.
Bad Breath, Inflamed Gums, and Plaque
Tea Tree Oil, when used as a mouth wash, acts as a natural cure for bad breath, oral candidiasis, gingivitis, plaque, and inflamed gums. It also kills mouth bacteria prior to dental surgery and also reduces mouth irritation that is often caused by dental procedures. Do not swallow it.
You may also add 1 drop of Tea Tree Oil to toothpaste when brushing teeth. Do not swallow it.
Sore Throat and Congestion Tea Tree Oil can be combined with a simple steam inhalation technique to naturally cure congestion, sore throat, chest infections, and clearing up mucus:
Fill a large cooking pot with water to a boil
Remove the pot from the stove and add 3 to 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil into it.
Cover your head with a towel and lean over the top of the bowl.
Inhale the vapors for about 5-10 minutes.
Repeat the process each night before going to bed until symptoms are cured completely. If symptoms persist for more than 5 days it is best to consult your doctor.
Dandruff and Lice
Studies have shown that shampoos with 5% of Tea Tree Oil can cure dandruff and help get rid of head lice.
Undiluted Tea Tree Oil can cause itchiness, irritation, and redness on sensitive skin. It is always safer to dilute the oil in another base oil such as olive oil.
Where and How to Buy Tea Tree Oil
Pure Tea Tree Oil and shampoos that contain Tea Tree Oil can be found in almost any natural health or nutrition store, or from online retailers such as Amazon.com (see below).