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Tea tree oil: Nature’s Disinfectant


Tea tree oil might be the most essential of the essential oils. Native to Australia, the oil of the tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) was issued to infantry men in that country in the early 1900s to treat infections. And they were on to something. Scientific studies have shown when used in combination with other oils on wound dressings, tea tree oil can inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus like Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans. And, when combined with geranium oil, tea tree oil inhibited the growth of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

But for everyday purposes, tea tree oil has antiseptic and antiviral properties and is often used topically to treat skin abrasions, acne, bug bites, and fungal problems. It’s useful for cleaning and deodorizing your household, when diluted with water in a spray bottle. For that reason, tea tree oil has become a popular addition to natural cleaning and beauty products.

Yes, the smell is quite sharp, akin to camphor, and can be hard on the olfactory nerve in large quantities. However, when diluted and mixed with other powerful essential oils, such as lemon or orange, it can be quite pleasant.

Additional uses for tea tree oil in your daily life:

Deodorant: Mix a few drops with coconut oil and rub under your arms, and the oil will inhibit the odor-causing bacteria.

Deodorizer: Dab a little bit of tea tree oil on a cotton pad and rub onto your shoes or gym equipment or any other smelly item. Dilute a few drops in water and add to your laundry to deodorize it, too! Spray that mixture onto your carpet or furniture for a refreshing feel.

Keep mold at bay: Keep a spray bottle of diluted tea tree oil in your bathroom to keep mold at bay on the shower curtain and in the corners of the tub. You can also use it to disinfect your toothbrush.

Treat bug bites: Ideal for soothing ant bites or mosquito stings, a few drops of tea tree oil can keep the area clean and reduce swelling.


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