Oh Hey Tea Tree

Tea tree essential oil really is one of the most glorious essential oils ever. It's extremely gentle, yet tough, and it's very inexpensive (compared to other essential oils).

Tea tree, or specifally melaleuca alternifolia, originates from Australia and has been used for centuries for healing various ailments including cuts, wounds, and skin infections. It is a very powerful and versatile oil that has been used for its antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating properties. There have been several studies done on tea tree's ability to both kill and inhibit the growth of bacteria, and it has even been proven to "effectively treat infections of drug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA". Studies have shown that there is no link between the use of tea tree oil and antibiotic resistance, ruling out recent concerns. It is also highly unlikely that bacteria could develop a resistance to tea tree oil itself. Essential oils contain hundreds more chemical compounds than antibiotic medications, making it difficult for bacteria to adapt to them.

It's seriously some powerful and amazing stuff! Certain people in the medical field are catching on, and it's really gaining popularity (especially with the recent 'post-antibiotic era' talk). It's not only the mac daddy go-to for anything skin related, but it's very easy to find a use for it every day. That's right. Every. Single. Day. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it!

1. Face cleansing/blemish treatment
Say bye bye blemish- just dab a little bit on and watch it do its thing. I also love adding a few drops to my homemade oil cleanser to help clean any bacteria and promote clear skin.

2. Dandruff
Did you know that dandruff is a yeast-like fungus? Gross, right? Well thanks to tea tree's amazing antifungal properties it does wonders for killing this fungus and treating most cases of dandruff. I like to add a few drops to Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar and then douse my head and let it sit for a few hours. Or if you prefer not to have a headful of vinegar you can just rub a few drops of pure tea tree on your scalp before bedtime.

3. Diaper cream
Tea tree is soothing to irritated skin and has anti-inflammatory properties, so it is an amazing ingredient in homemade diaper cream.

4. Baby wipe spray
When Fox was really little his skin was very sensitive to anything and everything (and still is hah). His poor little bottom would turn bright red with every organic wipe we tried. I eventually came to the conclusion that the only way to prevent it and save his booty was to use cloth wipes, and to make my own wipe spray for them! Using cloth wipes kind of sounded gross at first, but actually it really was not that bad. I added tea tree essential oil and a few other ingredients in a little spray bottle, and would just wet wipes as we used them. His red booty ceased, and was it was clean and happy.

5. Fruit and veggie wash
I"m a stickler for washing my fruits and veggies before they go in the fridge, but I'm not about paying $8 for a bottle that will only last a week (we eat lots of vegetables and fruit, okayyyyy). I started making my own with distilled white vinegar, and adding tea tree and a few other essential oils. It works great!

6.  Makeup brush cleanser
Tea tree is a great essential oil to add to home made makeup brush cleanser because of its cleansing properties.

7. Insect bites
If you've ever been attached by mosquitos, you know that the aftermath is not fun. Tea tree is a great way to speed up the healing process of any bug bite, and also relieves the itch and irritation!

8. Ear aches/infections
Great remedy for any kind of ear pain. It helps with the inflammation, and also stimulates the immune system which speeds up the recovery time. A tea tree/garlic mullein oil mixture does wonders when applied to the bottoms of the feet and in or around the ear.

9. Homemade deodorants
Tea tree is a must have for any kind of natural/aluminum-free homemade deodorant. It helps fight oder by killing bad bacteria.

10. Mold and mildew
Have you ever forgotten about a poor load of laundry in the washer? I have...for longer than I'm willing to admit. Well good news...Tea tree straight up kills mold and mildew and gets rid of the awful stench. I like to add a few drops to my detergent too!

*PLEASE NOTE- Tea tree oil (because of the chemical compounds it contains) is one of the few essential oils that can be toxic to cats specifically, so please never apply it directly to them! 

Have you ever experienced tea tree oil's awesomeness? What are your favorite ways to use it?

Want to learn more about how you can get your own therapeutic-grade tea tree essential oil? Click here!