Tea tree oil is a beautiful all-rounder that you’ve probably heard or read about. But what is it all about? We explain here!
Tea tree oil is considered a panacea that should no longer be missing in any household these days. Surely you have already heard or read about it; it is said to have miraculous effects.
It should work against pimples, blemished skin, or herpes against nail fungus, itchy scalp, or bad breath. But is that all true? We’ll check it out here.
Why is it called tea tree oil?
Contrary to what you might think, tea tree oil has nothing to do with tea. It is an essential oil whose ingredients are extracted from the leaves of the tea tree. The Melaleuca alternifolia is originally an Australian tea tree. Its leaves and the oil extracted from them have long been tried and tested remedies among the Australian natives, the Aborigines: For centuries, they have shredded the leaves to treat wounds, skin infections, or insect bites. If you have a cold or constipation, inhale the steam or sip the brew with a sore throat or cough.
During the colonial period, European residents discovered the medicinal plant and brought it home with them. Even today, the essential oil is an integral part of numerous cosmetic products, and because of its effect, pure oil is still very popular.
What is the effect of tea tree oil?
Research and self-experiments prove that the essential oil has healing properties – it is even considered a natural antibiotic. This is the high proportion of terpinene, which is around 40 percent in pure oil.
- They support wound healing.
What should I look for when buying tea tree oil?
Please always make sure that you buy quality goods. Because here, too, as is so often the case, there are big differences in the ingredients. Here is a small checklist for the purchase:
- It is best to buy New Zealand or Australian tea tree oil; high-quality tea tree oil is usually used here.
- You should always take a critical look at cheaper oils, for example, from Indonesia. To save costs, these are often mixed with low-quality oils. Too cheap is usually not good.
- The only thing you shouldn’t rely on is its origin: Pure oil from the tea tree has a clear to slightly yellow color and a fresh, spicy smell. And: It is best only to use oils that have ISO certification.
- In the case of pure oils, the terpinene content is around 40 percent. This value is also usually stated on the packaging.
- Another quality feature is the content of cineole. This should not exceed a value of 3 to 4 percent, as otherwise, the skin can be excessively irritated. In the case of reputable products, this value is on the back.
What are other uses there for tea tree oil?
It sounds like a miracle cure, yes. But: if you’ve never used it before, you should be careful. First, test it on an inconspicuous area of skin, for example, on the inside of your forearm. No redness, no burning, and no dry skin? Then you can use it! For example like this:
- For inflammatory skin problems: Who does not know it: An important event is just around the corner, and the skin is going crazy again. And now? No panic! Use a cotton swab to apply a few drops to the inflamed and previously cleansed areas of the skin. You will see that the antibacterial effect of the essential oil reduces inflammation faster.
- For oily, impure skin: Even if your skin quickly becomes greasy and shiny, tea tree oil is just right for you due to its sebum-regulating properties. Important: never apply pure on the whole face. Mix better with other oils such as jojoba or argan oil, and then apply the DIY facial oil to the skin.
- As a tea tree oil face mask: You can also easily make an anti-pimple face mask yourself. For this, you need the following ingredients: 8 drops of tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, ½ cup of warm chamomile tea, and 2 tablespoons of flaxseed (ground).
- Preparation and use: Mix all ingredients in a bowl to a paste and apply the mask to the face. Important: Avoid contact with eyes, mouth, and mucous membranes! Wash off with warm water after 20 minutes. Important: use a maximum of once a week. Otherwise, the skin of the face will dry out too much.
- Against pimples on the body: Do you tend to have blemished skin on your back or cleavage? Sure, you can also apply the mask there. Much easier if you don’t have any helping hands with you. However, it is a full bath with tea tree oil in the water. Drip a few drops into the bathwater and relax.
- For fungal infections: The essential oil has a fungicidal effect and therefore fights fungal diseases. In nail fungus, it can help to apply the oil to the affected area twice a day. But: This type of therapy at home does not replace a visit to the doctor but only works as a support for prescription ointments and tinctures.
- Against bad breath: You can use a tea tree mouthwash if you have bad breath or inflamed gums. Put 3 to 5 drops in a glass of water and gargle. Important: Do not swallow, but always spit out after gargling!
- If the scalp is dry and itchy: does an oily scalp cause problem? Then a tea tree oil and rosemary hair treatment can help regulate sebum production. You need the following ingredients: 50 ml jojoba oil, 10 drops tea tree oil, 15 drops rosemary oil
- Preparation and use: Mix the three oils. Moisten hair and distribute the mixture on the scalp. Massage in with your fingertips in circular movements. Wrap a towel turban and let the cure work for about half an hour. Wash out thoroughly with shampoo.
- For colds: Tea tree oil works against colds too. Gargling with the oil can relieve a sore throat. To do this, put 3 drops in a glass with lukewarm water. If you have a cold, it helps to put a few drops in a chamomile steam bath and inhale with it. Win-win: The steam is also good for the irritated skin around the nose. You can find more home remedies for colds here.