Tea tree oil is one of the most popular essential oils in use. Also referred to as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil comes from the Australian Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It has the ability to kill numerous bacterial and fungal strains and has prominent use in historical, herbal healing practices. To this day, tea tree oil remains an alternative, complementary treatment for common skin problems.
There are many studies that indicate the diverse health benefits of tea tree oil. Many health experts attribute the healing properties to the inherent terpenoids, which exhibit anti-fungal and antiseptic activity. Terpinen-4-ol is abundant in tea tree oil and scientists believe it to be the primary reason for tea tree’s antibacterial properties. In the past, tea tree oil has helped people overcome symptoms of vaginal yeast infections, athlete’s foot, acne, mild nail infections, and even minor cuts and burns.
Note: Keep in mind that tea tree oil is a very powerful essential oil. Experts do not advise that people apply it directly to the skin. Please dilute it in a carrier oil (like olive oil, jojoba oil, or sweet almond oil) before topical application. Direct application of 100% tea tree oil can result in burning, allergic reactions, or skin irritation.
Reduces Appearance Of Acne
According to many anecdotal reports and research studies, tea tree oil has the ability to reduce inflammation caused by acne. Roughly 50 million Americans suffer from acne at a given moment. One study monitored the effects of tea tree oil gel and a placebo for acne treatment. The results indicated that the tea tree oil group experienced a reduction in total acne and the severity of acne. The placebo experienced limited to no improvement.
Help For Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot is a common fungal infection that occurs on the feet. It’s very contagious and can spread from the feet to the toenails to the hands. A controlled trial monitored the use of 25% tea tree oil solution, 50% tea tree oil solution, and a placebo in 158 people. After two daily applications for one month, the two tea tree oil solutions proved to be more effective than the placebo. In the group that used the 50% solution, about 64% of the participants were cured. 31% of people in the placebo group were also cured.
It’s common for many adults to experience dandruff. It can result from poor diet, excessive shampooing, or chemical hair care products. Mild dandruff that is related to the Pityrosporum ovale yeast may be remedied with a 5% tea tree oil solution. One study found that shampooing with a 5% tea tree shampoo for one month led to less itchiness and greasiness. Additionally, participants experienced improvements in the severity of dandruff. A different study found that tea tree oil shampoo may benefit children with cradle cap. The solution has to be diluted before used on an infant. Test on the baby’s arm and rinse to see if a reaction occurs within 24-48 hours.
Great For Toenail Infections
Be the cause nail abnormalities or a result of untreated athlete’s foot, nail fungal infections are quite common. They are also problematic because treating them is difficult. One randomized study examined the use of a solution with 5% tea tree oil and 2% butenafine hydrochloride in 60 people. After 16 weeks, 80% of the people who used the cream experienced significant improvement. Another study monitored the twice daily application of 100% pure tea tree oil versus 1% clotrimazole solution (common anti-fungal medication). After six months, the tea tree oil group proved to be more effective as an anti-fungal remedy.
For Cuts, Infections, And Scars
Historically, people used tea tree oil for wound healing. Experts attribute tea tree’s ability to accelerate healing to the antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The broad-spectrum antibacterial activity helps damage bacterial cell walls, helping to kill bacteria. One study in the British Medical Journal found that tea tree oil is a powerful disinfectant. Another study found that a combination of tea tree oil and raw honey helps reduce burns and scarring.
Bye Bye Itchy Skin
As mentioned earlier, tea tree oily can help reduce itchiness and dryness associated with dandruff. The anti-inflammatory properties offer soothing and relief from itchy areas of skin. Several studies found that tea tree oil has the ability to reduce inflamed, itchy skin. One study found that it reduced itchiness as a result of nickel sensitivity. The study used pure tea tree oil application, but it’s better to apply it with a carrier oil.