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Tea Tree – The Essential Oil

Most people have heard of tea tree and know it to be beneficial, however most people would associate it with skin products for drying up spots or chemist bought products for treating headlice. The uses for tea tree however are far ranging, and although most are due to it’s antibacterial action, because of it’s suitability for a range of applications, keeping a bottle of the oil in your medicine cupboard is well worth it.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the applications of tea tree oil, and in many cases, tea tree can be an effective alternative to many chemically produced products on the market. In addition, what could be better than one ‘cure all’ product to cover many things instead of paying out 4 or 5 times as much money for 4 or 5 different products that you many only use once, then they sit on the shelf, often not used again before their use by date. So even before we look at the many uses for this wonderful essential oil, there is already an argument that alternative remedies can be more cost effective!

As mentioned at the start of the article, one of the most well known uses for tea tree oil is as an astringent for drying up spots. Tea tree can easily be found in small glass bottles with a dropper top which makes it really easy to add to cotton wool or cotton buds for application to the necessary area. A couple of drops of neat oil on a cotton bud can be dabbed onto the surface of a spot, and the surrounding area, to help dry out the grease build up on the skin. You will often see results in a couple of days, maybe less if applied twice or three times throughout the day, and the overall time taken to heal is reduced too.

Tea tree oil can also be applied to small cuts and grazes as an effective alternative to Germaline or Savlon. The antibacterial properties of tea tree mean that chances of infections are minimised. The area should be gently cleansed to remove any dirt or grit, and then a few drops of tea tree oil, again neat, can be applied to the affected area on a cotton bud or cotton wool ball. One application at the time of the injury should be sufficient to clean the area and kill off any lurking germs. Obviously large injuries should be treated accordingly and medical help sought if wounds are deep or there is a lot of blood loss.

A further use for tea tree oil is in the treatment of fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot. The area should again be clean and dried thoroughly to prevent moisture build up in any case, however in order to treat the infection, neat tea tree oil should be gently dabbed onto the areas affected by the Athlete’s Foot, and then left to dry before covering the foot back up. The treatment should be repeated at least twice a day – morning and night tends to be the easiest way to do this (after getting up and before going to bed!), and the treatment should continue until the Athlete’s Foot has gone.

Another use that people are less likely to have heard about, may come as a welcome alternative remedy to relieve one of the uncomfortable problems that women can suffer with. Tea tree oil can be used to help cure thrush. Adding drops of the oil to a tampon can help to sooth and reduce the irritation that the complaint brings, whilst the antibacterial action of the oil gets to work fighting the fungal infection in the same way as with Athlete’s Foot detailed above.

So as you can see, with the amount of different uses for tea tree oil, keeping a bottle of the essential oil in your medicine cupboard really makes sense. Even if all you keep it for is for treating odd scratches and cuts to make sure they stay clean, it’s surprising once you get a bottle, how many times you get a call to use it. Of course, if you have a reaction to it when used, you should discontinue use and as with any remedy/medicine, seek advice from a qualified medical practitioner if you are unsure about using it.

Posted in Green LivingHealth and Wellbeing
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  1. Great article. Very thorough and well-written. I just wanted to clarify something. You mentioned that tea tree oil is useful for thrush. I see your site is from the UK. I’m sure terms vary around the world, but in the United States, the term “thrush” is typically used to mean a breast yeast infection…common to breastfeeding mothers. It also occurs in the mouth of the breastfed baby. Tea tree oil should not be used to treat breast yeast infections as it can be very toxic to the baby, if accidentally ingested.

    I assume by thrush you mean a vaginal yeast infection, which is completely different, and yes tea tree oil is a great for those infections. For more information about tea tree oil, visit

    Posted by September 5, 2010 at 10:55 am | Permalink
  2. Thank you for a great article. Tea tree oil can indeed help cure a yeast infection. But i agree with my-home-remedies, it should not be used while breastfeeding.

    Posted by Mathias November 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

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