Tea tree oil delivers more than just its fresh, spicy scent.
The herb is distilled from the leaves and twigs of the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant native to Australia. Many people connect the scent to childhood and their association with head lice, as tea tree oil is effective at removing this insect.
The characteristic fragrance you recall is due to its 1.8 cineole content which emits a powerful smell. Many find this scent fresh and pleasant, which is why it is so versatile and can be used in a variety of beauty and cosmetic products, as well as in the home.
But the benefits of tea tree oil are not purely cosmetic; it is also packed with practical and medicinal properties. It's an insecticide but also boasts antibacterial properties making it an ideal household cleaner.
Deters Spiders and Rodents
It can also be used to ward off household pests such as spiders and rodents, as many will find the smell a deterrent.
You may also be surprised to learn, however, that it has powerful effects when used as an antiviral immune stimulant.
The natural oil provides the perfect ingredient to foot creams, cuticle, and massage lotions, providing moisture and protection for your skin. This can be used as a moisturiser, an antiseptic and also to soothe your skin if you suffer from eczema or other conditions.
It is an incredibly effective anti-dandruff product, hence why it's often used in shampoos and conditioners. If you have psoriasis of the scalp, you may find that tea tree oil provides an effective treatment.
Many hairdressers use it in salons, combined with Aloe Vera concentrate as an after wax gel. It smooths and conditions the hair, leaving it in notably better condition.
Tea tree oil can be combined with lavender essence to produce an effective after-sun treatment. Lavender has also been proven to have pain-relieving properties, so a few drops on a flannel can help relieve a variety of ailments including migraine headaches, muscle aches and skin conditions.
If you suffer from sore limbs post-exercise, you may be pleased to know that, when combined with massage oils it can soothe the pain of aching joints. It can be added to Calendula to create an effective anti-fungal cream to treat conditions such as athlete's foot and thrush.
If you regularly use healing balms like aftershave or balms on your children, you may want to consider creating your own natural balm using tea tree oil.
Freshens Air and Clothes
Tea tree is regularly used in diffusers and burners to keep air smelling fresh and clean. Try a couple of drops in your washing load will help freshen your clothes and keep them smelling nice.
Experts recommend using it neat or in quantities of over 2%, as diluting it too much can lessen its effects. If used in excess you may find you react if you have sensitive skin - so perhaps try just dabbing a small amount on to your arm to see how it fares.
When you discover the many benefits of tea tree oil, you will want to keep it as a handy part of your herbal medicine cabinet.
If you're interested in making your own cosmetic or skincare products, then check out the Herbal Collective July'19 issue, which has 3 skincare recipes plus much more.