Because it is so universally used, tea tree oils are the sort of item that every home should have in ample supply. The most common uses include anything antibacterial such as treating acne and insect bites but there is a lot more to it than that. This natural remedy has healing properties that make it ideal for skin conditions. Although it should never be swallowed, its value as an alternative medicine goes deeper than you could imagine. Here are some of the quirkier uses for tea tree oils.
First of All, What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Derived from Australian Tea Trees, the leaves were traditionally crushed and the resulting oil was used medicinally. Now it is available both diluted to 5 – 50% strong or undiluted in its purest form.
Tea Tree Oil has long been touted for its bacteria-fighting capabilities and can both heal and prevent illness depending on how it is used.
What Are The Unusual Uses?
This might not be as ‘’out there’’ as some of the other uses, but considering that the active ingredient in a lot of common hand sanitizers is alcohol which can be harsh on the skin, tea tree oil represents a more holistic alternative.
Because it has been found to kill several types of germs and bacteria and some of the most common illnesses causing viruses such as E.Coli, it can be used as part of a regular hand sanitizer or for a homemade version.
First Aid Kit
A bit of an all-rounder, tea tree oil can be used for multiple first-aid benefits including burns and small cuts to help disinfect the wound. Tea Tree Oil also has links to pain relief in such situations so it is handy to keep it in the medicine cupboard just in case.
The likes of DEET are commonplace in a lot of insect repellants and although they are potent, this is part of the problem. Tea Tree Oil is a useful alternative that can be used without the risk of side effects. It can be combined with witch hazel in a sprayer to give you protection against ticks around the ankles.
Otherwise, add 12 – 15 drops in water and use it to repel mosquitoes and other flying nasties.
Post Natal Uses
When bringing newborns into the home, there is often an emphasis on plant-based products and anything with harsh chemicals tends to be replaced where possible. Firstly, it is important to dilute the mixture, especially when taking care of sore breasts as it is absorbed easily. Also, disinfecting toys and other spaces your baby will be near can be done with a TEA Tree Oil mixture in place of a store-bought chemical-based product.
The likes of aluminum in antiperspirants are controversial, to say the least with links to causing serious illnesses. This makes it unsurprising that many people are opting for a plant-based alternative and Tea Tree Oil is one such ingredient. Because it fights bacteria, including the ones that cause body odor under the arms, it is a common find in natural deodorants and can be used to make a homemade solution.
Studies have shown Tea Tree Oil to be as effective as some of the common active ingredients in anti-acne products. Because of this, products containing Tea Tree Oil that is tailored towards acne treatment are often found in natural grocery stores. However, it is easy to make your own, combining a few drops to some water so it doesn’t aggravate, and apply via a cotton swab.
Some of the harsher ingredients found in mouthwash can put people off using it. Not only is there alcohol in a lot of products but a whole host of ingredients that are near-impossible to pronounce. Still, a mouthwash has its uses, notably for fighting tooth decay so it is good to know that a natural alternative exists.
Mix a drop of Tea Tree Oil to a cup of water and swish it around your mouth for 20 – 30 seconds before spitting it out. There is no burn like you can feel with most products and the taste is more pleasant.
When combined with water and apple cider vinegar (20 drops of Tea Tree Oil, a cup of water and half a cup of vinegar), you can make a home cleaner that will sanitize your kitchen surfaces and that of your bathroom. It’s natural which makes it safe for kids and pets.
Speaking of our furry friends, Tea Tree Oil can be used to keep their fur hygienic and free from some of those irritating ticks and mites that can cause them discomfort. The same sanitizing yet natural benefits your home can get when treated with this ingredient can be used on your pets so when it comes to bath time, use it instead of a chemical-based formula.
Head Lice Solution
There are few things as bad as head lice so when your kids are bringing all manner of things home from school, it is good to know that you have a fast and effective answer to this problem. Head lice hate the scent and it can be used to rid your hair and home of lice or as a preventative measure. Combine 15 – 20 drops to a squeeze of shampoo and work it through your hair in a lather. Allow it to soak and get to work for around 20 minutes before rinsing. If necessary, repeat the process.
Another good use for Tree Tree Oil, especially when you have pet odor to deal with, is an air freshener. Because it is antibacterial and has a pleasant natural scent, it makes a perfect air freshener when combined with water in a sprayer or soaks cotton balls in Tea Tree Oil and leave them around the house for a fresh scent.
You may be one of the many people who experience muscle and joint pain that can be near debilitating. If this is the case, Tea Tree Oil just might be the solution to get you back on your feet. It can be added to a hot bath to relieve muscle pains and the pleasant scent can be therapeutic as you relax.
Whatever use you put this ingredient to, remember that it can be toxic so should not be swallowed and kept out of reach of children and pets at all times.