If you’ve ever browsed down the essential oil aisle at the store, you’ve probably noticed there are dozens of oils to choose from. Lavender, rosemary, basil, lemon, orange, sandalwood, and even some more exotic scents like vanilla amber or twilight moon. But tea tree oil has long been a popular choice for essential oil diffuser users, and it’s easy to see why.
There are a ton of benefits to diffusing tea tree oil, ranging from fewer insect bites to less acne. This oil can kill germs, promote wound healing, soothe inflammation, and much more. Read on to discover ten of the benefits you can experience from bringing tea tree oil into your life.
What Is Tea Tree Oil?
Before we talk about all the benefits tea tree oil can bring, let’s take a moment to discuss what tea tree oil actually is. Tea tree oil comes from a small tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, native to parts of Australia. Although the tree is called a “tea tree,” it’s not the same plant used to make your favorite cup of Earl Grey.
There are a few different ways tea tree oil may be made. Sometimes, essential oils are diffused from plants until only the “essence” is left – thus giving the oils their name. Other times, leaves may be cold-pressed to extract oil from them, which can then be purified and refined.
1. Killing Bacteria
Tea tree oil contains a compound called terpinen-4-ol, which is known to kill certain bacteria and viruses. Many of the applications we’ll discuss here relate to this handy ability of tea tree oil. You can use tea tree oil to disinfect surfaces in your house, to sanitize hands, and as an antiseptic for small cuts and scrapes.
It is important to note, however, that tea tree oil only kills certain types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It’s great to use in a pinch or in situations where you don’t want to use harsher chemicals. But especially in our pandemic-riddled world, you don’t want to rely too heavily on tea tree oil to kill all germs.
2. Repelling Insects
Do you find yourself avoiding long summer evenings on the back porch because you get eaten alive by mosquitos, gnats, and chiggers? Tea tree oil can give you those lovely endless summer evenings back. It can act as a natural insect repellant, killing or banishing mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, fire ants, spiders, bed bugs, and bees.
One lab study showed that tea tree oil may be even more effective at repelling bugs than DEET, the active ingredient in most bug sprays. You can make a natural bug spray by diluting tea tree oil in distilled water. As we’ll discuss more later, you should never use undiluted tea tree oil directly on your skin.
3. Banishing Odors
Because of tea tree oil’s antifungal properties, it can also be a great way to banish unwanted odors. Got a musty corner of your kitchen or laundry room that you can’t seem to get clean? Spray some tea tree oil on it and watch that musty smell disappear.
Tea tree oil can also work as a natural deodorant if you’re wanting to avoid the chemicals most popular brands use. You can combine tea tree oil with shea butter, coconut oil, bees wax, and a few other ingredients to make a natural deodorant that will keep you smelling fresh all day. However, it is important to note that this only works as a deodorant, not an antiperspirant.
4. Promoting Wound Healing
There is some evidence that tea tree oil may actually help to promote wound healing. We mentioned that it can sometimes be used as an antiseptic for small cuts and scrapes to prevent infection. But aside from preventing damage, tea tree oil can actually help wounds heal better and faster.
Tea tree oil helps to improve inflammation around a wound, as well as triggering white blood cell production. Your white blood cells are an important part of your immune system, as well as helping to regrow damaged tissue. One small study showed that tea tree oil can help decrease healing time on wounds for most people.
5. Fighting Acne
How much time do you spend staring into a mirror picking, poking, and squeezing at pimples and blackheads? Fighting acne can be terrible, and there aren’t a lot of great options for treatment. You can use super harsh medications that can have a number of harmful side effects or try to live with your complexion and hope it gets better with time.
Tea tree oil can be a great way to relieve acne without exposing yourself to harsh chemicals. Some studies have suggested that tea tree oil can be as effective as benzoyl peroxide, the main ingredient in most acne treatments. It can help to reduce both the number and the severity of breakouts and keep your skin naturally beautiful.
6. Managing Nail Fungus
Fungal nail infections aren’t pretty, and they can make it embarrassing to take your shoes off around people. As the name suggests, these nail infections are caused by a fungus, and if we remember, tea tree oil can be a great antifungal. In some situations, tea tree oil can help to manage a nail infection naturally.
It’s important to talk to your doctor before you begin to use any sort of treatment, natural or otherwise. Some nail infections can be very dangerous, and tea tree oil may not work in more severe cases. If you plan to use tea tree oil to treat a nail infection, make an appointment with your doctor first.
7. Soothing Inflammation
One of the other things tea tree oil is great for is soothing inflammation, especially skin inflammations. Part of the reason tea tree oil is so good for acne is that it helps to cool that redness and even out your complexion. But it can also be helpful for other inflammatory skin conditions.
If you have an allergic skin reaction to something, a tea tree oil ointment can help soothe some of that irritation. It can also be helpful with itching from bug bites to prevent you from scratching it raw. As always, talk to your doctor before you begin using tea tree oil to manage any sort of diagnosed condition.
8. Minimizing Dandruff
Fighting dandruff can be difficult and embarrassing. You may feel like your only option is to use harsh dandruff shampoos that include sulfates that can damage your locks. Luckily, tea tree oil may be a great natural way to manage dandruff without stripping all healthy oil out of your hair.
If you’re fighting dandruff, look for a sulfate-free shampoo that includes tea tree oil. You may want to give this some time to work before you decide whether it works for you. In some cases, it can take a month or more for results to start fully showing.
9. Treating Athlete’s Foot
Athlete’s foot can be uncomfortable and embarrassing, not to mention hard to treat. Often, people will have to use topical creams and lotions to treat it, which can expose you to harsh chemicals and side effects. But the good news is that athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection.
Tea tree oil can help to relieve some of the symptoms of athlete’s foot naturally. Look for a good tea tree oil cream and apply it to your feet at least twice a day. And, as always, consult your doctor before you begin self-medicating for any sort of condition.
10. Getting Rid of Lice
Many of us wind up with lice at some point in our lives, and dealing with them can be a pain. You have to use special shampoos, get a nit comb, and try to avoid getting anywhere near your friends. Luckily, tea tree oil can help to manage the annoying little pests and get your scalp clean and clear again.
In order to get the full benefits of tea tree oil for lice, it should be used in combination with lavender oil. It is important to note that this combination won’t get rid of adult lice, only the eggs. And you should never put undiluted essential oil directly on your scalp or any other part of your body.
Potential Side Effects
While tea tree oil has many wonderful uses, it can have some side effects, like anything else. One of the biggest concerns is that tea tree oil can be extremely dangerous for dogs and cats. If you have a furry friend at home, always be sure your tea tree oil is tightly sealed and put somewhere where they can’t get into it.
If you use tea tree oil, or any essential oil on your skin, you could wind up with a rash or even chemical burns. Essential oils are extremely potent and should never be used on their own. Instead, you should use them in a diffuser or diluted in an odorless carrier oil.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
There are a number of different ways you can reap the benefits of tea tree oil. To begin with, diffusing it can help to drive insects and other pests out of your home. This can also help to keep your home smelling fresh and kill any bacteria that may be hanging around in your space.
You can also get tea tree oil in a variety of topical mixtures, including ointments and lotions. Some shampoos, gels, and other hygiene products can contain tea tree oil. Under no circumstances should you ever swallow tea tree oil; it can be toxic if ingested.
How to Use an Oil Diffuser
An essential oil diffuser can be a great way to start incorporating tea tree oil into your day to day life. Oil diffusers use heat, vibrations, or fan blades to break essential oil into smaller particles that can then disperse throughout the room. You can find oil diffusers that produce either a warm or a cool mist, depending on your situation.
If you’re using an ultrasonic oil diffuser, you’ll start by filling its basin to the fill line with water. Add five or six drops of tea tree oil – it’s better to start small and then increase the amount you use depending on your needs. Turn the diffuser on and watch as your room transforms into a healthier, lovelier place to be.
Diffuser Safety Tips
Oil diffusers can be wonderful tools, but there are some measures you need to take to use them safely. First and foremost, always keep your oil diffuser and its cord out of reach of any pets you have. They may be intrigued by the aroma and poison or burn themselves investigating.
Never leave an essential oil diffuser on and unattended, especially if you use one that produces hot steam. And make sure you clean your diffuser out with soap and water at least once a week. Oil diffusers that go uncleaned too long can begin to grow mold and mildew which then gets diffused out into your house with the oil you’re using.
Discover the Benefits of Diffusing Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a powerful substance that can help you live a healthier, more hygienic life. It can work as an antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal agent, and it can repel insects. Always use proper safety measures when you’re diffusing essential oil and talk to your doctor if you begin to experience any negative side effects.
If you’d like to discover the benefits of diffusing tea tree oil for yourself, check out the rest of our site at Everlasting Comfort. We have everything you need to live your most comfortable life, from memory foam pillows to oil diffusers. Shop our collections today and start living your healthiest, happiest life.