Tea tree oil is considered a panacea that no household should be without nowadays. It is said to be effective not only against pimples, skin impurities or herpes, but also against nail fungus, itchy scalp or bad breath. But is all this true?
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 extracted from the leaves of the tea tree. The tea tree – Melaleuca alternifolia – is originally from Australia. Its leaves and the oil that is extracted from them have long been a tried and tested remedy for the Aborigines: for centuries they have been crushing the leaves to treat wounds, skin infections or insect bites.
For colds or constipations, they inhale the steam of the tea tree oil or sip the brew for sore throats or coughs.
During the colonial period, European inhabitants discovered the medicinal plant and brought it back home. Even today, tea tree oil is an integral part of numerous cosmetic products. Even the pure oil is still very popular.
Making natural cosmetics yourself
What effect does tea tree oil have?
Research and self-experiments prove that tea tree oil has a healing effect – it is even considered a kind of natural antibiotic. The reason for this is the high proportion of terpinene, which is about 40 percent in a pure oil. Terpinenes work…
- and they assist in wound healing.
What should I look for when buying tea tree oil?
Please always make sure that you buy quality goods. Because, as is so often the case, there are big differences here too. Here is a small checklist for the purchase:
- Good oils often still come from Australia or New Zealand.
- Cheaper oils, from Indonesia for example, should always be viewed critically. To save costs, these are often mixed with inferior oils. Too cheap is usually not good.
- But you should not rely solely on the origin: Pure tea tree oil has a clear to slightly yellow colour and a fresh, spicy smell. And: It is best to only use oils that have a ISO -certification.
- With pure oils, the terpinene content is at least 40 percent. This value is also normally indicated on the package.
- Another quality feature is the content of cineol in tea tree oil. This should not exceed a value of 3 to 4 percent as otherwise the skin may be too irritated. For serious products, this value is stated on the reverse side.
You can place a check behind all the points with “Bader’s tea tree oil”, for example. Order right here at amazon.de!
What are the possible applications for tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil sounds like a miracle cure, yes. But if you have never used it before, you should be careful. First test it on an inconspicuous area of skin, for example on the inside of the forearm. No redness, no burning and no dry skin? Then you can use it! Like this, for example:
1. 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? Not to panic! Simply apply a few drops of tea tree oil with a cotton swab to the inflamed and previously cleansed skin areas and you will see that the antibacterial properties of the essential oil reduce inflammation more quickly.
Mosquito bites can also be treated very well with tea tree oil. Simply apply a drop of pure tea tree oil to the bite.
2. for oily, impure skin: Even if your skin quickly becomes oily and shiny, tea tree oil is just right for you because of its sebum-regulating properties. Important: Never apply Tea Tree Oil pure to the whole face. It is better to mix it with other oils such as jojoba or argan oil and then use the DIY -apply facial oil to the skin.
By diluting with water or other oils you avoid overdosing and excessive drying of the skin.
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3. as a tea tree oil face mask: You can also make an anti-pimple face mask yourself with Tea Tree Oil easy. For this you need the following Ingredients: 8 drops of tea tree oil, 1 TL olive oil, ½ cup of warm chamomile tea and 2 EL Linseed (ground).
Preparation and application: 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! After 20 minutes, wash off with lukewarm water. Important: Use a maximum of once a week, otherwise the tea tree oil will dry out the skin of the face too much.
4. Against pimples on the body: If you are prone to skin blemishes on the back or décolleté, you can also apply the mask. Much easier if you don’t have helping hands, but then a full bath with tea tree oil in the water is much easier. Simply drip a few drops into the bath water and relax.
5. for fungal infections: Tea tree oil has a fungicidal effect and therefore fights fungal diseases. In case of nail fungus it can help to apply the oil twice a day pure to the affected area. But: Such a tea tree oil therapy at home does not replace a visit to the doctor, but only supports prescription ointments and tinctures.
6. For bad breath: If you have bad breath or gum inflammation, you can use a tea tree mouthwash. Put 3 to 5 drops in a glass of water and gargle. Important: Do not swallow, but always spit out after gargling!
7. for dry, itchy scalp: Does an oily scalp cause you problems? Then a tea tree oil-rosemary hair treatment can help to regulate sebum production. You need the following ingredients: 50ml jojoba oil, 10 drops of tea tree oil, 15 drops of rosemary oil
Preparation and application: Mix the three oils together. Moisten hair and spread the mixture over the scalp. Massage with the fingertips in circular movements. Wrap a towel turban and leave the treatment to take effect for about half an hour. Rinse thoroughly with shampoo.
8. for colds: Tea tree oil is actually also effective against colds. Gargling with the oil can relieve sore throats. To do this, put 3 drops of tea tree oil in a glass of lukewarm water. For a cold, it helps to put a few drops into a camomile steam bath and inhale with it. Win-win: The steam is also good for irritated skin around the nose.
9. For stress: Tea tree oil is also said to have a highly beneficial effect on mind and soul. A few drops of tea tree essence in the bath water promote relaxation and thus support the recovery process. Or simply put a few drops in a small bowl and then put it on the heater.
Tea tree oil has an antibacterial effect and can therefore relieve cold complaints. © Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash.com
What should I consider when using tea tree oil?
Before use, please observe the following warnings: Tea tree oil is a highly concentrated natural remedy and should therefore always be dosed correctly. As with all essential oils, contact with eyes and mucous membranes should be avoided at all costs in order to rule out undesirable side effects. Tea tree oil can cause itching and redness if used undiluted. And it makes the skin sensitive to light. Therefore, it is essential to use sunscreen after using it during the day.
Sad but true: unfortunately tea tree oil is not suitable for everyone. Especially those of you who have sensitive skin should be careful with tea tree oil.
And another small tip: Tea tree oil itself is extremely sensitive and begins to oxidize by oxygen or light. This can trigger contact allergies. Therefore, only buy smaller bottles and store them airtight and protected from light in a cool place.
Attention, danger of addiction: Once you have tested tea tree oil and found it to be well tolerated, you will almost certainly not want to do without it. The scent alone is a relief.