Tea Tree Oil is also known as Melaleuca alternifolia / Melaleuca leucadendron (Scientific Binomial Name), Fine leaf melaleuca / Punk tree / Cajeput tree / Swamp Tea tree / White Tea tree (Common English), Kaayaaputi (Ayurvedic), (Unani), Shitanshu / Vishaha (Hindi / Urdu), Kaiyapputai (Tamil), Kayaputi (Marathi), Kayaputi (Sanskrit), (Bengali), (Telugu), (Kannada), Cajeputier (Malayalam). This small tree or shrub is a traditional remedy among the Aboriginal people of Australia. Tea tree oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antiviral as it fights bacteria, viruses, and fungi. True tea tree oil is one of the few oils that does not usually irritate mucous membranes and it can be used undiluted on the skin. In aboriginal medicine, tea tree leaves, crushed and inhaled or infused, were employed to treat infections of all kinds. Today, the essential oil is normally used, its unrivaled antiseptic action proving effective at countering fungal infection affecting the hair, skin, and nails.
Cold Sores or Canker Sores: A drop of tea tree oil, applied undiluted, can help prevent cold sores from developing if used as soon as the pricking sensation that heralds the sore starts, or it can help soothe them once they appear. OR Put 10 drops of tea tree oil in 1/3 cup of water, and swish the liquid in your mouth. The mild solution will act as an antiseptic to help prevent secondary infection, and it will also help to heal the sore.
Insect Bites: Tea tree cream can be used to soothe insect bites and tea tree diluted in water (20 drops in 1 cup of water) can be used in a spray as an insect repellent. OR For swelling due to insect bites, use neem and tea tree oil topically. The venom of the insect irritates the skin, and neem and tea tree oil mixed together in equal proportion will neutralize the venom toxicity and minimize the edema.
Yeast Infections: Topical vaginal yeast infection treatment is possible using 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil on a tampon. Simply push about 1/4 inch of the tampon out of the applicator and moisten with 3 drops of tea tree oil in 1/2 teaspoon water. Push the tampon back, insert into the vagina and leave it there for no more than three hours. Repeat two to three times a day. OR Mix two to three drops of Tea Tree Oil in a tablespoon of yogurt. Soak a tampon in the mixture. Insert the tampon at night for up to six nights. Care must be taken when using any plant extracts. They are extremely concentrated and even in small doses can cause harm.
Boils: Tea tree oil has antimicrobial effects and helps to draw the pus out in case of boils. Apply topically as a cream or 10 drops diluted in a half ounce of water three times daily.
Ear Infection / Earache: Begin by pulling down on the lobe of your painful ear. If this hurts, it means there is otitis externa, external ear infection. For infection of the external ear passage and for a mild earache, put 1– 2 drops of neat oil on cotton wool and plug into the affected ear overnight. Using plain tea tree oil may create a burning sensation on sensitive skin, so it is usually best to dilute it, using 10 to 20 drops of tea tree oil mixed in 1 ounce of sesame oil. Tea tree oil also combines well with lavender oil – use 1 drop of each.
Treat Acne with Tea Tree Effectively: Tea tree is helpful for acne and other minor skin problems. Apply a solution by dabbing it onto blemishes twice daily. It’s available in many over the counter acne preparations. A 5 % solution of tea tree oil in diluted water acts similarly to benzoyl peroxide but without the drying side effects. Since tea tree oil is quite potent, test the solution on a small area of your skin first. OR Make a lotion by adding 40 drops of tea tree oil to 1/2 cup of rosewater and 1/2 cup of distilled witch hazel. Store in a dark glass bottle and shake well before use. Apply with a cotton swab three or four times a day. OR Blend 2 drops pure tea tree essential oil with 1 teaspoon aloe gel. Dot the mixture on blemishes using a cotton swab or clean finger. Tea tree oil and aloe gel both are anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. In addition, it reduces discomfort and speeds healing.
Athlete’s Foot: A strongly anti fungal lotion for athlete’s foot can be made by adding 5 drops of tea tree oil to a tablespoon of infused marigold oil. The infused oil can also be used directly on dry skin, or a tablespoon can be added to the bath water to ease irritant eczema. OR Apply tea tree oil liquid directly to the fungal infection. For toenail fungus, trim the nails, wash the feet with soap (tea tree oil soap is a good choice), and apply as far under the nail as possible. Repeat daily for six to eight weeks or until the infection is cleared. OR For a soothing, healing treatment, mix tea-tree oil with the same amount of olive oil and rub the combination into the affected area twice a day. The olive oil helps to tenderize skin toughened by athlete’s foot so the tea-tree oil is better absorbed. OR Athlete’s foot can be effectively treated with Ayurveda remedy. An alternative treatment is to wash your feet with Neem soap. Then dry thoroughly with a hair drier or soft towel, and apply some Neem oil (about 1/4 teaspoon) mixed with about 10 drops of tea tree oil. Apply that mixture topically to the affected area with a cotton swab.
Herpes / Warts: Apply tea tree oil to sore areas liberally. It is also effective on warts. Use one drop each morning directly on the wart.
Infected Gums and Teeth: Tea tree oil is effective for painful infected gums, as is clove oil. Both help to reduce pain and heal the infection. All you need is one drop of tea tree oil directly at the site of the pain. Dental floss with tea tree oil will take care of infected pockets in the gums below the gum line. Some dental floss treated with tea tree oil is available commercially; otherwise, just dip the floss in the oil prior to flossing. OR To treat the infection, wet a clean toothbrush, and put a few drops of tea tree oil directly onto the brush. Brush your teeth. Then use a cotton swab to apply some tea tree oil to the exposed part of the gums. This treatment will help arrest further infection of the teeth and will take care of pain and sensitivity to hot and cold. OR Try everyday tea tree oil mouth wash for healthy teeth and gums. Add 1 or 2 drops of tea tree essential oil to 1/4 cup (60 ml) water. Swish around in your mouth and spit out.
Head Lice and Hair Care: The oil, used undiluted on a comb or added to shampoos (10 drops to 1 tablespoon of shampoo), can be used for head lice and nits in children. Also tea-tree oil has strong anti fungal properties. Dilute the oil in a little bit of a carrier oil (such as olive or grape-seed oil) and apply to your scalp. Leave it overnight. Or add a few drops to your shampoo. In health-food stores you may find shampoos with tea-tree oil already in them.
Tea Tree Oil Herbal Shampoo: To make a natural lice shampoo out of herbs, add 5 drops each of essential oils of tea tree, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus to a base of 5 teaspoons (28 ml) of pure olive oil. Add a small amount of regular shampoo to the mixture and put this all over the hair to the ends. Leave on an hour under a shower cap to prevent drips. Rinse and shampoo the hair.
Tea Tree Oil for Thrush / Candidiasis: Tea tree oil is mainly used topically for skin related yeast infections. The tincture form can also be mixed in water (5 to 15 drops) and swished in the mouth for treating thrush.
Deter Scabies and Tea Tree Oil: Use a salt rub on your skin by moistening salt with water and rubbing all over the body. Leave on for 1/2 hour. Soak deep in a hot bath scented with tea tree oil for 30 minutes to an hour. Then friction dry. Take a sauna. Scabies can’t survive in temperatures of 120°F (49°C) for more than 5 minutes. After the heat treatment, apply undiluted tea tree and lavender oil to infested areas of the skin to deter the critters, who won’t like the taste and will leave. Itching can persist for several days, even after the parasites are dead.