Tea Tree Oil - Benefits, Usage, and Side Effects
Owing to its magical prowess in treating a wide array of ailments, best tea tree oils are gaining its foothold in all parts of the world. Starting from cosmetics and medicines to household products, it’s now an essential component in a range of daily necessities. Best of all, the tea tree oil price is quite affordable. It can cost you somewhere between Rs 200 (USD 2.5) to Rs. 600 (USD 7.5) per ounce.
What is Tea Tree Oil?
The tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is a type of essential oil that is derived by steaming the leaves of the Australian tea tree. (Reference: Tea tree oil, Wikipedia, Retrieved on 25 May 2020) It’s a key ingredient in various cosmetics and medicinal products because of its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. (Reference: 11 benefits of tea tree oil, Medical News Today, Retrieved on 19 May 2020)
History of Tea Tree Oil
The plant, Melaleuca Alternifolicia, is native to Australia and is found in Queensland and the northern coast of New South Wales. The tea tree oil is a result of extraction from the leaves by the process of steam distillation. Though the name may appear similar to a common tea plant, in reality, they don’t have any relation.
The name was coined by James Cook, the famous explorer after he saw the native people of Australia preparing tea from it. He described it to have a taste resembling the spice, nutmeg. The use of tea tree oil has a rich history going back to Australia’s aboriginal times. It was used as a traditional medicine back in those days to cure diseases like cold and cough. The oil was also used to cure skin related problems. It is said that the sailors used to brew beer using the leaves. The tea also played a significant role in WWII as it found its place in the first-aid kits of the Australian soldiers. They used to treat wounds with it.
People who produced tea tree oil during the war were given exemption from draft to continue the production for the army and the hospitals. The first instance of its commercial production dates back to the year 1920. It was then, an Australian, Arthur Penfold recognized the business potential of this herbal oil. The commercial cultivation of this plant began in 1970 when vast plantations of Melaleuca Alternifolicia started producing tea tree oil.
According to studies, the tea tree essential oil is becoming so popular among the people these days that it is believed to have a projected market value of Rs. 450 crores ($59.5 million) by the year 2025.
What is Tea Tree Oil good for and its Benefits?
The tea tree essential oil is famous for its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties. Due to these qualities, it's regarded as an excellent alternative to antibiotics in treating wounds and infections. Some of the benefits of the tea tree essential oil are as follows:
- Its anti-inflammatory properties help in curing inflammatory problems of the skin. The presence of Terpinen-4-ol in high amount makes it a potent anti-inflammatory agent.
- Due to its antibacterial properties, it yields magical results in protecting the body against pneumonia and influenza.
- It helps overcome issues in hair arising due to excessive lice or dandruff. However, it must be used regularly.
- It has proven its worth multiple times as an effective solution against acne. According to experts, it’s best suited for mild to moderate level acne.
- Topical creams and solutions made from the best tea tree oil are used by patients to cure athlete's foot problem.
- Tea tree oil is used to cure several fungal diseases because of its antifungal properties. (Reference: Tea tree oil, Mayo clinic, Retrieved on 19 May 2020)
How Much Tea Tree Oil Should I Use?
Though the tea tree oil is used extensively for medicinal purposes, there are specific guidelines to be followed. In general, the oil is used topically. And, it is advised to be used in a diluted form, as 100% tea tree oil may cause skin irritation issues like dry skin, rashes, and red skin. Ensure to mix tea tree oil for skin or hair with a carrier oil before applying. You can use oils like coconut, jasmine, olive, and almond.
However, sanitizers, creams, lotions, or ointments having the tea tree oil as a component doesn't need to be diluted and can be used directly. They have less quantity of it. Still, it is advised to take proper medical help if any unwarranted effects appear on continual usage Tea tree oil for skin or hair. (Reference: How Does Tea Tree Oil Help the Skin, Healthline, Retrieved on 19 May 2020)
How do I Use Tea Tree Oil?
The use of tea tree oil can be found in various products in modern times. Here are some of the products that have this natural wonder as a part of their composition:
- Sanitizers: Many sanitizers have tea tree oil as an ingredient.
- Insect-repellent: The oil can be used as insect-repellents to keep the bugs like flies, and mosquitos at bay.
- Antiseptic lotion or Creams: Most antiseptic creams in the market today have tea tree essential oil. It’s also possible to make a homemade solution by mixing it with a carrier oil and applying onto the wounds.
- Acne creams and Gels: Several acne gels or creams use this oil. Studies also suggest that it may be as effective as benzoyl peroxide in the fight against acne. Also, tea tree oil for face is rich in antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it a potent agent against external agents that might tend to damage the skin.
- Mouthwashes: If you are looking for a chemical-free mouthwash, you can make it yourself by mixing 1 or 2 drops of tea tree oil with water. However, ensure not to swallow it, as it can be toxic for health if ingested. A large variety of mouthwashes available in the market use this essential oil.
- Household Products like Cleaners: The use of tea tree oil as a replacement for the chemical cleaners help sanitize the surfaces without affecting the skin surface.
- Anti-inflammatory Oils: By mixing the tea tree oil with carrier oils, you can use it to cure skin inflammation caused due to dermatitis. It can also provide a soothing effect when applied to rashes, bug-bites, swelling, and redness of the skin.
- Cures Dandruff: Quite a few studies have found that the use of tea tree oil hair is effective in combating dandruff. Another tea tree oil hair benefit is that it adds moisture and prevents the hair from falling out. (Reference: 14 Everyday Uses for Tea Tree Oil, Healthline, Retrieved on 19 May 2020)
Be Beautiful. Benefits & Uses Of Tea Tree Oil For Acne, Scarred & Oily Skin. Online Video Clip. YouTube. Uploaded on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 27 May 2020. Licensed under CC BY 2.0
Can You Put Tea Tree Oil Directly on the Skin?
For topical treatment, experts find the use of tea tree oil directly on the skin more or less safe. However, if you start to develop any kind of allergy, it is suggested to take the help of a doctor. One simple way to check whether it suits your skin is to apply it on a small area and check for any unwanted reaction. If you want, you can also use the tea tree oil in a diluted form by mixing it with other oils. However, the tea tree oil shouldn't be applied to the inner ear or the inner linings of the mouth.
What are the side-effects of Tea Tree Oil?
Though the tea tree oil is regarded as a natural wonder, it too has its own set of pros and cons. Though lesser in number than the benefits, some side effects may occur from its usage. Below are some of the side effects -
- Irritation of skin
- Itching of skin
- Burning sensation
- Redness of the skin
- Scaling of the skin
- People with eczema might have difficulties
- It is toxic if ingested
Not everyone using the tea tree oil will suffer from these. The majority of the users report having no bad reaction and the side effects are only present in very few cases. It is better to take professional advice before using the tea tree oil in any form, to avoid any unwanted situation.
From a systemic review of all the aspects of the oil, its usage, benefits, and side effects, it’ll be safe to conclude that the tea tree oil is now the need of the hour. This is because it has a range of inherited benefits. As long as it is used properly, you can witness its magical prowess.
Frequently Asked Questions related to Tea Tree OilQ. How can I use tea tree oil?
A. You can use tea tree oil for skin or hair problems. Tea tree oil has antifungal and antibacterial properties, so it seamlessly fights problems like acne and bug bites. It can also be used as a natural remedy for dandruff.Q. What happens if you don’t dilute tea tree oil?
A. 100% tea tree oil may cause skin irritation problems like redness and dryness of the skin in some people. This is why it is advised to dilute the tea tree oil with carrier oils before use.Q. Is tea tree oil a sanitizer?
A. Experts find tea tree oil to be an effective natural disinfectant. 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil can be mixed with 9 parts of water and used as a homemade sanitizer.Q. Can you die from tea tree oil?
A. According to some studies, 7ml of undiluted tea tree oil may cause severe cases of toxicity. Thus, experts always advise not to ingest tea tree oil.Q. Which is the best tea tree oil?
A. Some of the best tea tree oil brands are Healing Solutions, Sun Essential Oils, and, Artnaturals.Q. What is the price of tea tree oil?
A. According to the Chicago Tribune, tea tree oil price can range from $2.50 to $7.50 per ounce.
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