Tea Tree Essential Oil is one of the most widely used essential oils for its many benefits and applications.

Tea Tree or Melaleuca alternifolia is a genus of plant in the Myrtaceae family. Tea tree is a tall evergreen shrub. The flowers develop clustered together in groups on the spike with as many as 80 individual flowers forming the shape. Alternifolia means “having leaves that alternate on each side of a stem.” The flower heads are sometimes said to resemble white cleaning brushes with small bristles. The leaves of Tea Trees are arranged alternately, smooth, and linear in shape. Tea Trees grow very quickly and can typically be harvested just two years after they are planted. Although the Tea Tree is native to the swampy regions of the eastern Australian coast, it can grow in many different climates and soil types including those of New Zealand, areas in the United Kingdom, and some parts of the United States.

Tea Tree essential oil has a long history of use for its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Long before its commercial production, Tea Tree oil was used by native Australians, who were known to speak highly of the healing properties of the tea tree leaves. They would commonly crush the leaves to release the oil and inhale the soothing aroma to help treat colds and coughs. The leaves of the Tea Tree were also used topically to help heal wounds and combat infection and irritation. The crushed leaves would be placed over wounds and often held in place with mud poultices while the wound healed. Though the Aboriginals were aware of the healing properties of the Tea Tree for much longer, its use eventually began to spread across Australia. Australian soldiers were even issued Tea Tree oil during World War II for use as an antiseptic.

Tea Tree was given its name by eighteenth-century sailors, who made teas from the leaves of the tree that smelled like nutmeg. These sailors came across the Aboriginals in Australia preparing an aromatic tea made from sticky, camphorous leaves gathered from the Melaleuca tree. It is believed that captains brewed this tea and served it to the crews on their ships in an effort to prevent scurvy. Captain James Cook is believed to have pioneered this idea in the 1770s and is often attributed with the naming of the Tea Tree plant.

Uses and Benefits 

The benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil are abundant and can be utilized through aromatherapy as well as topical use. Used in aromatherapy, Tea Tree essential oil can be calming to the mind, allowing the brain and body to relax while also reducing feelings of stress. This also allows Tea Tree oil to improve sleep quality and promote falling asleep faster and experiencing a deeper sleep. Tea Tree essential oil also possesses expectorant properties that make it effective in relieving congestion and helping to alleviate respiratory infections. 

Used topically, Tea Tree essential oil is a powerhouse for the skin and can help with a variety of issues. Because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree can help to provide relief to minor burns, cuts, insect bites, and general skin irritation. It works to ease pain and decrease any bleeding while also eliminating bacteria from the wound, and promoting faster healing. Tea Tree essential oil can help to improve the appearance and feel of acne-prone skin. It is known to cleanse the skin and improve the look of pores, while also eliminating blemishes and helping to reduce signs of aging. Tea Tree oil can also help to balance oily skin and soothe skin inflammation, including that which may be caused by topical allergic reactions. Used in hair care, Tea Tree is known to soothe dry and flaking skin on the scalp and help to eliminate dandruff. It can also boost circulation to the scalp which stimulates hair growth. 

Tea Tree essential oil has antibacterial, antimicrobial and odor eliminating properties that make it useful in natural deodorants. These benefits can also be seen to combat fungal infections including Athlete’s Foot and toenail fungus. Tea Tree oil’s antibacterial properties make it great for use in household cleaning products and soaps. It can help to reduce unwanted odors in laundry, carpets, and linens as well as freshen the air in our homes. When used to clean surfaces, Tea Tree can work to remove bacteria and pesky germs while leaving behind a fresh, clean scent.

DIY Germ-Free Area Diffuser Recipe

DIY Tea Tree Surface Cleaner

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients into a 16 oz spray bottle and shake very well until thoroughly combined. This spray can be used to clean floors, wood furniture, countertops, tables, sinks, and all of your bathroom & kitchen surfaces. Shake well before each use and store in a cool, dark area out of the reach of children and pets. 

DIY Pore Reducer Toner Spray

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Add all the ingredients to the bottle and shake well to combine. Spray on skin after cleansing. Shake well before each use and store in a cool, dark area out of the reach of children and pets.

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