A few week ago, my friend Christie from Reinvention Girl was talking about how she is like the father from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who could fix any problem with Windex, except that she is usually armed with coconut oil. It gave me a chuckle because, while a fan of coconut oil, my weapon of choice is tea tree oil. All too often you can hear me tell someone in the family to, “put tea tree oil on it.”
Why tea tree oil, you ask?
You did ask, right?
As far as I am concerned, the potential uses for tea tree oil are endless. Also known as melaleuca oil, tea tree oil comes from the Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. It has a camphor-like scent and is known for having wonderful anti-fungal properties that can kill bacteria. Tea tree oil can be applied to the skin but it should not be ingested.
Here are 18 potential tea tree oil uses, based on experience:
- Apply it directly to treat acne.
- Use to treat scrapes, cuts, and burns.
- Continued use on acne, scrapes, cuts, and burns – not just for healing but to reduce scarring too.
- Use it under fingernails and toenails to prevent and heal fungal infections.
- Use a dab on the scalp to prevent lice. Supposedly it not only keeps them away, but it can also be used when head lice is found on the scalp to kill them, though I have personally not tested that theory yet.
- Apply it to ankles, behind knees and behind ears to keep ticks and mosquitos away. You can also make a spray by diluting tea tree oil with water in a spray bottle and applying to clothing. (For pet owners, I have heard that putting a few drops in a pets’ crate or bed can also repel fleas.)
- When in a hotel, I put it on before bed to prevent bedbugs.
- Use it as an antiseptic for treating insect bites. Tea tree oil is also known to be helpful for removing ticks too.
- Use it to heal dandruff and dry, itchy scalps that are common during the winter months.
- Use it to treat athlete’s foot.
- Use it to treat blisters and minor warts.
- Use it as a natural deodorant.
- Adding a few drops to a humidifier/vaporizer can help to reduce wheezing from asthma.
- Adding a few drops to bath water can help to treat illnesses such as a cough, bronchial congestion, and symptoms of colds and flu.
- Use it for cuts, scrapes and infections in the mouth. You can apply it safely as long as you do not apply too much and you do not swallow it. The tea tree oil found in toothpastes is considered safe because it is not meant to be ingested.
- Adding a few drops to the wash makes towels smell fresh.
- Apply it to doorknobs, handles, remote controls, and phones to keep germs away.
- Use it in a solution to reduce mold and mildew in the bathroom by spraying it in the bathtub/shower and to the floor.
Do you use tea tree oil in your home? If so, what is your favorite use for it?
Disclaimer: Thought I am passionate about natural health and wellness, I am not a medical professional (nor do I play one on television). This post should not be deemed as medical advice. Like with anything new applied to the skin, there is a possibility of an allergic reaction to tea tree oil. Ask your doctor before using tea tree oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.