Tea Tree Oil
It was first scientifically discovered in 1922 by Arthur Penfold. His studies discovered that the oil had a Ridealwalker co-efficient between 11 and 13, meaning it is 11 to 13 times more powerful than carbolic acid or phenol (an antiseptic and disinfectant) for killing bacteria and fungi, and yet unharmful to the skin. Tea tree oil is derived from steaming the leaves of the Australian tea tree. It is known to be anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and new studies have shown it to be anti-viral. Tea tree oil is a topical and should never be ingested. It has been used to treat acne, athletes’ foot, contact dermatitis, and even head lice. It can also be used for around the house cleaning, hair care, deodorant, insect repellent, and so much more. So how do you use it for yourself?
Tea tree oil baths can be therapeutic and soothing, as well as beneficial to your health. Soaking in a tea tree oil bath can reduce overall body acne due to the antibacterial properties in tea tree oil. Before you go hopping in the tub, it is important to use essential oils properly in the bath.
Make sure to research the oil you plan to use beforehand, if not tea tree oil. Certain essential oils such as spearmint, cinnamon, wintergreen, oregano, savory, and clove are known to irritate mucous membranes. Lean towards lavender, chamomile, and rose, or tea tree oil!
Rather than adding essential oils directly to the bath, combine them with a carrier oil first. Essential oils will adhere to the skin and cause burns, just as if you had rubbed the oil bare directly onto your skin. Carrier oils for the bath include coconut, olive, sunflower or jojoba oil. According to the Tisserand Institute, a
research education organization on essential oils, “Mix 5-20 drops of essential oil per ½ ounce (tablespoon) of your chosen bath base.” This allows for safe contact with the essential oil since oil is not water-soluble.
When adding the mixture to the bath, add it after the water has run. The essential oil gets evaporated and scents the bathroom, rather than providing health benefits from the tub. Although the scent may be nice, it will still create a great aroma when added after the water has run, and added benefit, it lasts longer.
The anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties in tea tree oil make for a great hand sanitizer. In fact, during the second world war, tea tree oil was given to Australian soldiers to treat their wounds, cuts, and insect bites. Here are the ingredients you’ll need:
- Carrier oil (coconut, sweet almond or jojoba), ½ teaspoon
- Aloe vera gel (all-natural, real), 2 teaspoons
- Alcohol (60% at least, can be ethanol or isopropyl), 3 tablespoons
- Glycerin, ½ teaspoon glycerin
- Vitamin E, 2-3 drops
- Tea tree oil, 10-12 drops
- Small bottle
Combine all ingredients in a small bottle, shake to mix, and you’re done! You can blend in lavender for added scent as well.
A great way to sanitize the home without any nasty chemicals is with homemade cleaners. Tea tree oil combined with apple cider vinegar is perfect to cleanse and sanitize surfaces. Simply combine 20 drops of tea tree oil, ¾ cup of water, and ½ cup of apple cider vinegar. Put in a spray bottle and shake vigorously.
Make sure to shake before each use in order to fully incorporate all the ingredients. This combination can be combined with other home safe oils for a complex scent.
With any topical use, it is important to dilute the oil because it is too strong on its own and may cause dryness or irritation dependent on your skin type. The essential oil will evaporate fairly quickly by itself, so without the carrier oil, it vanishes before the full effects kick in. It is recommended 1 drop tea tree oil to 10-
12 drops of a carrier oil. It is always best to start with more carrier oil than essential oil to leverage how potent the mixture is. Carrier oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, almond oil, or grapeseed oil work perfectly, each having their own separate benefits, textures, and scents. Always patch test on your skin before trying
new products over large surface areas of your body. Keep the oils away from your eyes to prevent redness and irritation.
Oils are a super fun way to spice up home living, for more remedies and essential oil uses, check out our must have essential oils for beginners blog!
“Tea Tree Oil: Benefits and Uses.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/262944.
“Bath Safety: How to Use Essential Oils Safely in the Bath.” Tisserand Institute, 8 Jan. 2019, tisserandinstitute.org/safety/bath-safety/.
Young, Allison. “The Best Essential Oils to Add to Your Bath Routine (and How to Do It Safely).” Good Housekeeping, 4 Mar. 2020, www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/wellness/a20707661/essential-oils-in-bath/.
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