An age-old essential oil, the tea tree oil has anti-microbial qualities that are useful in umpteen ways ranging from treating acne to keeping ants off your kitchen counter.
What is tea tree oil?
An essential oil, the tea tree oil is obtained from steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, native to Australia. This essential oil contains naturally occurring organic chemicals called terpenoids, which have anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. This oil’s antimicrobial qualities are useful in a host of ways ranging from treating acne to keeping insects off your kitchen counter.
Tea tree oil is used to treat a host of health conditions:
- It’s antimicrobial qualities help treat Athlete’s Foot, medically known as tinea pedis.
- In case of cuts and burns, dab some tea tree oil to prevent infection
- The anti-fungal properties of this essential oil can help treat fungus infections of the nail
- Massaging the scalp with tea tree oil will help treat dandruff
- In case of eczema, apply tea tree oil to lessen its severity
- Using a few drops of tea tree oil in a hot bath acts as a preventive care against infections and might also help treat acute cold and flu symptoms
- Rubbing some tea tree oil on the forehead, nose and chest can help relieve chest infection
- Adding a few drops to your shampoo can help kill head lice
- Some suggest that tea tree oil can help treat periodontal disease, which is why small amounts of this oil are used in some toothpastes and mouthwashes.
- Tea tree oil is also effective in treating psoriasis.
- Tea tree oil can be used to treat a variety of skin eruptions like acne, rashes and boils
A natural antiseptic, tea tree oil can also help keep your living space clean:
- Add a few drops of tea tree oil to half a bucket of water to mop floors.
- Want to keep your kitchen counter free of ants? Then wipe it with a mixture of tea tree oil and water.
- Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to your washing machine load will give you fresh smelling clothes.
- Use tea tree oil in a vapouriser in your home to keep it smelling fresh and also keep colds at bay.
Cautions against tea tree oil
Tea tree oil must only be used for external application. It must not be taken orally at any cost, as it can result in severe side effects. The use of tea tree oil in toothpastes and mouthwashes is permitted as these are not swallowed.
Some people might be allergic to tea tree oil, and might have severe reactions.
If the tea tree oil is applied undiluted it may cause skin irritation, redness and itching.
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