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Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea Tree is an Australian tree that has extremely effective anti-microbial properties. This is why you find tea tree in products used to kill germs such as shampoos, soaps and acne treatments. Tea Tree is a very potent germ-killer, yet gentle enough to use directly on the skin of an adult.

This essential oil should be in everyone’s home pharmacy and can be used for anything you would want to “disinfect” such as acne, scrapes, cuts, mouth ulcers, gingivitis, athletes foot, stubborn skin infections and more. Opening a bottle of Tea Tree for the first time can be very surprising. Tea Tree is not an olfactory delight, such as rose or lavender. This plant oil is a warrior against infection, hence its medicinal scent with a hint of pepper. Its remarkable antiseptic power has been one of the most researched, documented and clinically proven therapeutic essential oils in the world.

 


How does Tea Tree work?

Used topically, Tea Tree works in the following ways:

  • Anti-microbial – kills microbes, bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites
  • Antiseptic – Prevents infection
  • Astringent – Contracts, firms, and strengthens skin and other tissues; reduces secretions
  • Immuno-stimulant – boosts immune system
  • Venous decongestant – encourages circulation and detoxification through the veins

 


Indications & Treatments

Acne

Apply 1 drop Lavender and 1 drop of Tea Tree per pimple/small acne area. For a more effective acne treatment, use 1 drop of Helichrysum italicum, serotinum and 1 drop Lavender essential oil. Essential oils are drying. Therefore, if skin is dry, apply high quality, organic lotion after using these essential oils undiluted on the skin.

Air Disinfectant

Excellent air purifier. Combine tea tree with lemon, lavender, lemongrass, pine, or other anti-bacterial oils and diffuse for 20 minutes in a NON-HEAT nebulizer or diffuser. Great for use in hospitals, office, home, workspace, childcare centers, etc.

Cuts & Scrapes

  1. Clean the area with warm water.
  2. Apply a mixture of 4 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of Tea Tree to cover the area.
  3. Apply often until scab appears. (2-4 times per day)

Natural Deodorant

Place 1-3 drops of Lavender under each arm. You can add 1 drop of Tea tree and 1 drop of Vetiver for added antimicrobial and fixative benefits.

Shoe Deodorant

Place 2-6 drops of Tea Tree and 4-10 drops of lavender in tennis shoes 1-4 times per month.

Dry Brushing for Prevention

Dry brush weekly to stimulate the immune system, slough off dead skin cells, improve circulation, and keep microbes at bay.

Dry Brushing Method:

You can buy dry brushes at your local health food store. Dry brush when the skin is dry. First, use 10 drops of Lavender, 5 drops Tea Tree and 5 drops Eucalyptus radiata for arms, legs and torso. Rub oils into body. Then, dry brush your body in a circular motion working from the arms and legs toward the heart. Shower after you dry brush and you will feel the oils penetrating! This method has been called a “live embalming.”

Ear infections and “itchy ear”

Mix 5 drops lavender, 3 drops tea tree and 1 drop Thyme thymol into a teacup. Dip finger in teacup and apply mixture behind ear. Apply 2-3 times daily. Mixture should last for 1 day.

If the ear infection is also in the Eustachian tube (tube that runs from ear to throat), apply the mixture behind the ear and down the neck.

** Never apply essential oils INSIDE the ear canal.

Insect Bites 

Apply 1 drop lavender and 1 drop tea tree to bite as often as needed.

Mouth/Throat

Sore throat: to relieve pain and help heal the inflammation/infection

Here are three applications to choose from. You can do more than one, but not at the same time. Only take one application once every 2-3 hours.

  1. Put 1 drop of tea tree on a finger. Rub finger inside throat and on tongue.
  2. Put 3 drops of tea tree in 4 oz of warm water with a pinch of sea salt. Gargle for 25 seconds.
  3. Add 3 drops tea tree, 5 drops lavender and 2 drops peppermint to 1/4 cup of honey. Stir essential oils in to honey. Take 1/2 teaspoon of honey every 2 or 3 hours.

**Important note** It is crucial that a sore throat be treated as soon as you feel a “tickle.” Therefore, treat the “tickle” before the throat becomes inflamed for best results. Arm your mucosa with tea tree.

Mouth Ulcers/Sore Gums 

Stir 3 drops of tea tree into 4 oz of warm water. Swish water around mouth as a mouthwash for 30 seconds and spit out water. DO NOT SWALLOW or use with children. You can also use 1 drop of lavender or 1 drop of tea tree directly on the tongue, gums, tooth or mouth up to 2 times per day.

Sinus Infections 

Add 1 drop tea tree, 1 Eucalyptus Globulus, 1 drop rosemary cineol and 1 drop peppermint into 1 TBSP olive oil. Mix. Take a Q-tip and soak Q-tip in mixture. Then rub mixture into both nostrils.

See “sinus congestion” for further uses in the lavender medicinal uses page.

Bath – make formula above and rub on chest before getting into a hot bath.

Shower – sprinkle 3 drops tea tree, 2 drops Eucalyptus 2 drops rosemary and 1 drop peppermint onto the shower floor immediately before shower.

Tooth Decay/Gingivitis 

Use 1 drop of tea tree daily as a daily preventative for tooth decay. Place 1 drop of tea tree on finger and rub onto gums where the gum and tooth meet. This treatment is used in Australian preventative care.

Yeast Infections

The treatment of yeast infections should be a holistic one. Try to stay away from sugar, antibiotics, caffeine and nicotine and try to eat whole foods. Essential oil treatments consist of direct application and sitz baths. Mix 3 drops tea tree, 5 drops lavender, 1 drop thyme linalool, 1 drop blue chamomile and1 drop helichrysum. Mix into a teacup. Use 1 drop of this mixture to rub in/on the vagina 2-3 times per day. Continue as symptoms persist and discontinue use if irritation occurs. For a sitz bath, use 4 drops of tea tree per bath and alternate between a hot and cold sitz bath.

 


Contraindications

None known. Use highly diluted in children under 12. (10% tea tree or 10 drops tea tree per 100 drops of carrier oil or 1oz lotion)

 


Active properties:

Terpinene 4-ol, Terpinene, Paracymene