The Many Uses of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is my secret weapon, especially for when I have a surprise pimple come up. Known since the time of Captain Cook, tea tree oil, or ti tree oil, has been used for treating ailments from acne to dandruff. Here I will outline some of the possible uses for this remarkable plant.
Used topically as an alternative to conventional treatments, tea tree oil should always be diluted. Neat use can damage the skin. For every two drops of tea tree oil, I add a minimum of twelve drops of carrier oil or water. I recommend coconut oil but olive oil and almond oil work just as well. Test a patch of skin to ensure your skin doesn't react badly to the mixture.
Tea tree oil can reduce inflammation, help to soothe dry skin, and reduce itching and irritation. It has also been found to be more effective than clobetasone butyrate and zinc oxide creams for treating eczema.
Tea tree oil has been found to reduce itching around the eyelids, but use with caution as contact with the eyes can irritate! A 2012 study found that tea tree oil was effective in this way after an ointment containing 5 percent tea tree oil eliminated itching in sixteen of 24 participants with the remaining eight showing some signs of improvement. And the antiseptic qualities of tea tree oil could help it combat oily skin. In 2013, a study revealed that tea tree oil aids the healing of wounds caused by bacteria.
It can also be used in the treatment of dandruff as it removes dead skin cells and chemicals from the scalp. When treating acne, tea tree oil is a popular choice due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to calm swelling, redness, and inflammation and may even reduce scarring, helping to leave the skin smooth and clear. There is some anecdotal evidence that suggests that tea tree oil is useful for the treatment of psoriasis symptoms including inflammation and infection.
The quality of tea tree oil varies. Buy 100 percent natural, additive-free oil. Buy organic if possible. Look out for the country of origin and that the oil contains a concentration of 10-to-40-percent of the main antiseptic component of tea tree oil, which is terpinen.
While scientific research on tea tree oil might be lacking, anecdotal evidence and the large number of products using it as an ingredient is intriguing. Personally, I wouldn't be without it. Its a staple in my bathroom cabinet.