Tea tree oil is a favorite among aromatherapy lovers. Tea tree oil is distilled from the leaves of a plant called Melaleuca alternifolia, found in Australia. According to the University of Western Australia, this oil contains more than 100 components called terpenoids, like terpinen-4-ol, that have antifungal and antiseptic properties.
The most popular uses for tea tree oil, beyond aromatherapy, are topical, for the treatment of skin conditions like acne, eczema and athlete's foot. But there's even more this essential oil can do. Here are 10 unexpected ways we found to use tea tree oil:
Add two teaspoons of the oil to two cups of water in a spray bottle to make an all-purpose cleaner. This mixture fights germs and bacteria and controls mold growth on surfaces like glass and countertops.
Take the all-purpose cleaner one step further by adding salt and it turns into a powerful scrub that tackles built-up soap scum and lime scale on bathroom surfaces.
Mold and mildew can make fabric smell anything but clean. Adding a few drops to your laundry detergent before washing or during the rinse cycle helps each load smell fresh.
You know tea tree oil can soothe a bug bite and keep you from scratching, but it can also help you keep bugs away before they bite. Combine a dozen or so drops of oil with one quart of water and mist onto the skin to keep bugs away.
Ear ache remedy:
Rubbing a few drops of tea tree oil on the outer ear can help with the pain because of the oil's antiseptic properties.
Adding tea tree oil to warm bath water not only makes you smell great -- it can also help with symptoms of a sinus infection, cold or the flu by opening nasal passages while helping you relax.
Diluted with water in a spray bottle to your desired scent, tea tree oil can be used to freshen all the rooms of your home with a calming scent that isn't overpowering.
Just like it can help open nasal passages in a bath, you can get a similar effect without getting in the tub. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to hot water in a pot or bowl, lean over and breathe in with a towel over your head to relieve symptoms.
Massaging a few drops onto your toothbrush weekly can help kill germs.
You can apply tea tree oil to the affected area or directly to the tick (if you can find it) to help save your pets from pesky critters.
Where to Find Tea Tree Oil
You can purchase pure tea tree oil (look for it in a brown bottle to keep out light) and use it in any of the formulations listed above. Like all essential oils, pure tea tree oil can be irritating to the skin, so make sure to cut it with water or another carrier oil. You can also look for skincare or hair care products that list it as an ingredient to get all the benefits of the oil without any mixing.
This essential oil does more than smell nice. How do you use tea tree oil?
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