For centuries, Australian aborigines have relied on the leaves of the tea tree to treat a variety of common infections. Today, Australian tea tree oil is valued throughout the world as a potent antiseptic with various studies showing that it possesses a number of antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties.
The oil is extracted, by a steam distillation process, from the leaves of the tea tree or melaleuca alternifolia which grows only in Australia. Tea tree essential oil, is used topically and once applied to the skin, is said to make it near impossible for a number of disease causing fungi and bacteria to survive.
Here are 7 great uses for Tea Tree oil
Tea tree oil has been shown to fight the fungus known as trichophyton which is the main culprit in athletes foot. One procedure to get rid of athlete’s foot is to first wrap the affected shoes in plastic wrap and place them in the freezer overnight to kill the germs. The socks should be washed separately with about twenty drops of tea tree essential oil added to the wash. Finally, apply two to three drops of tea tree oil to the affected areas on the feet and continue to do this on a daily basis.
Both cold sores and canker sores can be treated with tea tree essential oil by applying it directly to the affected area twice a day. For sores in the mouth make a rinse using two capfuls of oil and gargle twice a day. Tea tree can also be applied directly on to mouth ulcers by either using a cotton bud or using your little finger. Beware - this will sting initially but then soothe.
Toothache and Gum Infection
If you are suffering from toothache and your dentist can't fit you in immediately, tea tree oil can help alleviate the pain symptoms. Just apply the oil directly to the infected area and it will penetrate the gums and help kill off the bacteria that is causing the pain. This may not work in all cases, depending on the nature and cause of the toothache, but the oil will at least have a soothing affect.
Cold and Flu Symptoms
Cold and flu symptoms can be eased with the use of tea tree oil. For sore throats, add ten drops of tea tree oil to a cup of warm water and gargle and spit out. You should avoid swallowing the gargle. Doing this twice a day will help clear mucus and kill off any bacteria lurking in your throat. If you have chest and nasal congestion, try adding ten drops of tea tree essential oil into a vaporizer to help clear the congestion. Doing this at the onset of symptoms will aid in killing germs and bacteria.
A drop or two of tea tree oil can be applied directly onto an insect bite or sting to help alleviate swelling, itching and redness. You should repeat this two or three times a day
Add around ten drops of tea tree essential oil to a bowl of almost boiling water. Cover your head with a towel, close your eyes and inhale the vapor gently through both nostrils. Do this for about ten minutes and blow your nose frequently to get rid of any loosened mucus.
Bikini Line and Leg Waxing
Prior to the hot wax hair removal treatment, gently rub in a few drops of tea tree to cleanse and dry the area that is to be waxed. Repeat the same step after waxing and then twice again on the same day. From experience, all redness and swelling should subside within 24 hours.