Tea tree oil holds wondrous properties for preserving your health and treating a variety of ailments. The indigenous people of Eastern Australia have long considered tea trees a staple in traditional medicine, to the point that the name of one of the tea tree groves translates to “healing grounds.” In Australia, tea tree oil is a household remedy, and it has found footing in the West in alternative medicine.
Primarily used topically, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties that allow it to treat and cure many bacterial infections. The oil also can reduce recovery and healing time for wounds while protecting them from any further infection.
Studies demonstrate a strong likelihood that tea tree oil can be used to combat melanoma. Certain markers could inhibit the growth of regular melanoma cells and interfere with the processes of drug-resistant cells.
Shampoo using a 5 percent concentration of tea tree oil shows promise of controlling dandruff, and this product can be found either over the counter or made at home. The tea tree oil shampoo can help reduce scalp itchiness, and it is more effective the longer it sets in the hair before rinsing, according to Healthline.
A few drops of tea tree oil can aid and treat ear infections. The antibacterial properties of the oil help clear out the affected area. The oil also addresses the pain by reducing inflammation and promoting faster healing.
Early trials suggest that tea tree oil can effectively combat head lice, killing adults and nymphs while also limiting hatching eggs. In one study, a lavender and tea tree oil product demonstrated better treatment of children with lice than two common anti-lice ingredients.
The essential oil can also be highly effective against acne, containing antimicrobial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This treatment also extends to other skin problems, such as dermatitis and psoriasis, and tea tree oil seems to have anti-skin-cancer properties, according to the International Journal of Dermatology.
Antifungal properties aid in combating athlete’s foot because tea tree oil is able to both relieve athlete’s food and treat the infection, depending on the concentration of oil used. This application also extends to fungus infections of nails, vastly improving symptoms over the course of three to six months, according to WebMD. However, tea tree oil seems to not be effective in concentrations lower than 10 percent.
Tea tree oil can be used to relieve certain cold and bronchitis symptoms, such as cough and congestion. Rubbing the oil on the chest helps treat these symptoms because the oil is inhaled during sleep.
Essential oils show promise for common health benefits, and researchers are conducting more studies to determine other uses and effective areas. However, it is generally accepted that tea tree oil should not be ingested, as it can cause complications within the body. Seek a medical professional if symptoms worsen or allergic reactions occur while using tea tree oil.
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Sources: [Healthline, Healthline, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NCBI. Organic Facts, Remedy Daily, Tea Tree, Thieme, WebMD]