Spotlight Oil: Tea Tree

Tea Tree oil also known as Melaleuca, originates from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree, which is native to Australia.  This oil has been proven to be highly effective for a number of dermatological conditions and is a great addition to every family’s tool kit.

THE BACKGROUND OF Tea Tree:

Tea Tree was discovered in 1770 by captain James Hook in Australia.  This oil was commonly known by the locals for its “healing powers”.  The Australians used this oil for their cuts, wounds, and numerous other applications.  They would crush the leaves and apply them directly to an injury and then hold it in place with a homemade mud paste.  During WW2, an outbreak of fungus broke out.  This fungus was so awful that people were being hospitalized because of it.  A soldier, originally from Australia, recommended the use of tea tree as a last resort to combat the fungus.  The soldiers began applying it and were the fungus was eliminated.  In South Wales, tea tree leaves fell into the waters of the lagoons and created waters, that are to this day, still believed to contain “magical waters”.  Called “snow in the summer”, tea tree is used today for a variety of cosmetic and health uses.  It is believed to be a prized essential oil.

THE USES FOR Tea Tree:

This oil provides support for

  • Coughs/Colds/Sore Throats (Place in a small bowl filled with steamy water, using a towel over your head, lean over the bowl and directly inhale the steamy vapors)
  • Insect Repellent
  • Sunburns
  • Itchiness
  • Rashes
  • Acne
  • Ticks (This is a great one to keep in your tool chest as we approach the summer months where kids and animals are plagued with ticks.)

ticks Tea tree

  • Lice
  • Fleas
  • Freshen Laundry
  • Dandruff (Check out our DIY to Try at the end of this post for a great shampoo recipe)

HOW TO USE Tea Tree:

There are two main ways to use Tea Tree.

  1. Diffuse up to 30 minutes, 3 times a day.
  2. Apply 2-4 drops topically.  This oil does not typically require dilution.

BLENDS WELL WITH:

Lemon, Lime, Orange, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Lavender, Rosemary, and Thyme

CAUTIONS:

Oil Specific: DO NOT INGEST!!!  There are a lot of recipes found on the internet that suggest ingesting Tea Tree.  As for me and my readers, we will avoid ingestion!  This oil can be harmful.
General: As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted, in eyes or mucus membranes. If taking internally, be sure that your oil is marked for ingestion and that it is 100% pure. Keep away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier.

D.I.Y.’S FOR YOU TO TRY:

shampoo

Directions to Make the Shampoo:

Combine all the ingredients in a BPA Free bottle.  Shake to combine.  To use, measure out a small amount into the palm and shampoo as normal.

sugar scrub

Directions to Make the Sugar:

There is a specific science behind the ingredients for this scrub.  When you are assembling, it is important to place the ingredients into the jar as they are listed.  Being by placing your sugar.  Follow that with the baking soda, grape seed oil, honey, tea tree and lavender essential oils, and lastly add the lemon juice.  Stir to combine.  The lemon juice and the baking soda may react to each other at first, so stir slowly.  To use a sugar scrub, take a small amount in your palm and scrub skin in the bath or shower to exfoliate.  Rinse off and enjoy smooth, beautiful skin.

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