A Quick Guide to Tea Tree Essential Oil: Its Usage and Benefits
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Tea tree essential oil has been used for hundreds, maybe thousands of years. As with many things of old, it is new again, much thanks to getting science in on the fun.
These days the oil no longer has that old wives’ tale feeling when considering its uses, and instead, is now a homeopathic remedy that comes bearing with a discussion of its attributes, scientific facts to back them up.
Maybe the ancients had a knowledge for these things that we’re less intuitive about, but the history of tea tree oil is as fascinating as the science behind it. You’ll understand better as you find out more.
Tea Tree Essential Oil History
From the Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree, this Australian-borne essential oil was first used by the aborigines. One tribe in particular, the Bundjalung people, would use it to treat coughs and colds. They would infuse the leaves for relieving skin conditions and additionally take the dried leaves and apply them to wounds for faster healing.
Where Sydney now stands today, the HMS Endeavour sailed in, helmed by Captain James Cook in 1770. He made his way to the north where New South Wales is located, discovering the trees in the forest with these sticky, intensely aromatic leaves. By taking those leaves and boiling them, he found it a delightfully spicy tea.
What Captain Cook didn’t know then though was that ingesting the oil is harmful, but to his great fortune, he didn’t drink too much of it. He is the reason though that it is called “tea tree” because he used the leaves to fashion himself a proper spot of tea on his travels.
Years later in the 1920s, an Australian by the name of Arthur Penfold was looking into some of the native oils found in his country. One of them he looked to was the one aboriginals had been using for ages and distinctively named by Captain Cook, tea tree.
From there, the oil’s antiseptic properties became quite revered. In the 1970s and 1980s, other species of the Melaleuca tree sprouted up around Africa and Asia, though the most common genus used for the production of the oil today is from Melaleuca alternifolia.
How Science Stands Behind Tea Tree Essential Oil
As tea tree oil was further probed, it was found that it had incredible antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. Great for myriad applications and offering an uplifting, invigorating scent, science decided to find out more about why tea tree essential oil has these properties.
A look at the chemical compounds it naturally contains brought the “wow” factor. But before we get to that, you should know a little something about terpenes. If you know anything about CBD oil, you’ve probably heard the word “terpenes” thrown about, but what are they and what do they do?
As it turns out, terpenes are important for mental and physical health, primarily for mood and stress. They create a state of homeostasis in the body. Once upon a time, when mankind lived in more natural surroundings, breathing in the terpenes was a natural process. But in today’s world, we’re getting less and less of it and more and more pollution. Not an apt replacement if you ask us!
But wait! Before you pack your bags and run off to live in the forest among the trees, you can get the terpenes your missing out on by using tea tree essential oil. Diffuse it in your home or apply it directly to get the results of better health. All of the terpenes found naturally in this oil have their own distinctive benefits and together, create a harmony of healing for your best health.
4-terpineol is one of the most abundant terpenes found in tea tree oil and has a highly antiseptic property. 1,8-cineole which is better known as eucalyptol, ideal for repelling insects, relieving coughs, and for oral sanitation. A-pinene is a completely organic anti-inflammatory agent while p-cymene, a natural antioxidant, is the same type of aromatic compound found in cumin and thyme.
The terpenes you are exposed to in tea tree oil create a synergistic approach to treating many ailments and bringing about effective healing. In fact, there are many ways you can incorporate the oil into your life for better health.
How to Use Tea Tree Essential Oil Today
You’ll find that if you have a bottle of tea tree essential oil on-hand in your home that you can do so much with it. I recommend tea tree essential oil by Healing Natural Oils because it is a high-quality brand. Here are a few tea tea tree oil uses to make it effective for your health in your home.
– Cleaning wounds
Just cut yourself? Ouch! Keep bacteria away and reduce irritation by applying a few drops of tea tree essential oil onto fresh wounds before bandaging.
– Oral sanitation
While you can’t ingest tea tree oil, you can use it as a mouthwash. Just be sure not to swallow! You only need to add 2 drops of to a cup of water. Then use it as you would regular mouthwash except without all those harsh chemicals.
– Dandruff relief
Instead of buying dandruff shampoo, mix in a few drops of tea tree essential oil with your conditioner and wash your hair in the typical fashion. It won’t make dandruff disappear in an instant but it will heal your scalp and promote healthy hair growth.
– Skin toner
Ideal for acne-prone skin, mix 4 drips of tea tree oil with half a cup of water. Store in an air-tight container and apply to your face once per day with a cotton pad.
– Clean house
Want a green clean for your home? Use 20 drops of tea tree oil, a cup of water, and half a cup of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake it up for an amazing cleaner that cuts through grease and grime while killing off nasty germs. Plus, it will leave behind a refreshing fragrance!
Summary of Materials for Using Tea Tree Essential Oil:
100% cotton balls
Clean, lint-free cloth
A Quick Guide to Tea Tree Essential Oil: Its Usage and Benefits Final Thoughts
Being healthy and staying healthy are two critically important factors of enjoying a good life. With the historic roots of tea tree essential oil combined with the knowledge of science, you can now see the advantages of using this healing oil for so many applications, and how I can be beneficial for you. How do you use your tea tree essential oil? Tell us in the comments!
Kimberly Clay is the founder and creative force behind What She Say. She’s a business professional, writer and editor who’s been creating and managing digital content for nearly twenty years. Her work is now focused in the areas of self-improvement and personal development, and she is passionate about helping other individuals, especially women, to find a path for living their best life.