Essential Oils: Tea Tree
At Alabu we use the essential oil Tea tree for many different uses.
Tea Tree oil is not new, but many people have still not heard of it. In Australia, the Aboriginal people have used it for over one hundred years. But it was not until the 1920’s that the first report of tea tree oils antimicrobial properties was published. Since then there have been a lot of studies regarding the effectiveness and uses for tea tree oil. Most of the research is being done in Australia, the main producer of tea tree oil.
If you are thinking of going out and buying any essential oils, make sure you are buying a good, quality oil that is packaged in a dark glass container. Also keep in mind that there is no such thing as a therapeutic grade, it is a marketing term used to charge a higher price. Most essential oils will keep for at least one year, as long as you keep them away from sunlight and heat. To get the longest shelf life out of your essential oil, store them in the fridge. Health food stores carry brands that are perfectly acceptable.
I have already mentioned in a previous post that my son used it quite successfully to treat poison ivy, but it has many other uses. Here is more information from part of a lecture given by Robert Tisserand in October 2007 on the science and safety behind its use:
Soaps: Soap containing tea tree oil has been shown to be very effective for skin blemishes, irritations and as a general antiseptic. Using the soap on a daily basis would be beneficial for acne, cuts, abrasions, foot conditions, fungal irritation and rashes.
Shampoo: A shampoo containing tea tree oil helps in the control of dandruff, itchy scalp, ringworm, lice and seborrhea.
Antiseptic cream: a therapeutic cream containing about 5% tea tree oil helps heal sunburn, cuts, insect bites, rashes, athletes foot and a number of other skin irritations.
Acne control: Following the directions on the container, acne medication containing tea tree oil has been shown to be very effective at reducing the appearance and severity of acne.
Dental hygiene: Many dentists use tea tree oil as a mouthwash and to sterilize cavities prior to filling. Studies have shown that use of a mouthwash containing tea tree oil twice a day inhibits bacterial growth, reduces gum bleeding and helps control plaque.
Toothpaste: With regular use a toothpaste containing tea tree oil can help reduce the symptoms and severity of gingivitis, halitosis, plaque buildup and pyorrhea.
Deodorant: Many deodorants contain aluminum and other ingredients that damage clothing and can irritate sensitive skin. A deodorant containing tea tree oil may help minimize the risk of bacterial buildup while its soothing qualities can help heal razor burn too.
Pet Products: Pet care products containing tea tree oil help to reduce itching and chafing skin, heal minor wounds and abrasions and promote a healthy coat. Applying a few drops of pure tea tree oil to ticks makes them back out of the animal’s skin while applying a few drops of pure oil to your pets bedding can control fleas.
For a lot more information on Tea Tree Oil, check out Australian Tea Tree Industry Association.
Want to try Alabu Tea Tree soap for yourself?
Topical use of tea tree essential oil is safe for most people when diluted properly, but adverse reactions can occur. Disclaimer
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