Melaleuca oil, which is known in many parts of the world as tea tree oil, comes from the leaves of the tea tree plant. Native to Australia, this plant is a member of the myrtle tree family and was discovered in the 1700s. For many years, tea tree oil has been valued for being having properties that protect the body against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In fact, in the 1920s, it was used in surgery to prevent infections and clean wounds.
Today, even though it is widely used as an essential oil, but it actually has a number of benefits – some are quite surprising. Here are the things you can do with tea tree oil:
1. Fight Bacterial Infections
With tea tree oil, you can treat infections, including those that are quite severe, such as Staphylococcus aureus, which is actually resistant to methicillin. According to a study in 2004, which was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), tea tree oil can be used to help heal wounds faster as it kills bacteria effectively.
2. Reduce Acne
A study, which is published in the Medical Journal of Australia, discovered that tea tree oil can be compared to benzoyl peroxide, a common ingredient found in acne medications. Although the essential oil does not provide the same speedy results as benzoyl peroxide, it is effective and has fewer side effects.
3. Minimize Fungal Infections
A study in Tropical Medical and Internal Health journal found that tea tree oil can help treat toenail onychomycosis.
4. Clean Toothbrushes
Most people neglect the fact that they need to clean their toothbrushes, allowing mold and bacteria to grow there. You can start your cleaning routine with just a single drop of the oil, which can easily disinfect your toothbrush.
5. Improve Laundry Smell
You can use tea tree oil to keep your clothes smelling fresher. Since this oil has other strong properties, it can also help eliminate organisms that thrive in the washer.
6. Control Pests
If you are looking for an effective yet natural way to get rid of pests, tea tree oil is the answer. It has a strong smell that when the ants and other insects detect, they will stay away from it. Experts recommend adding a drop of coconut oil for better results.
7. Treat Different Conditions
Whether it is a stuffy nose, cold, flu, lice, dandruff, or genital infection, you can use tea tree oil to alleviate your condition. For those who are trying to rid of colds and flu, using the oil in steam inhalation is the best way.
Tea tree oil has chemicals that can kill fungi and bacteria, while reducing allergic reactions. Note however that this oil is designed for topical use only.