Tea Tree Oil Benefits
is extracted from a plant native to Australia. The leaves were first used in brewed tea, although the Aboriginals of the area were the first to use the oil of the plant medicinally. For generations, Australian natives crushed the leaves of the plant to rub on wounds, infections and burns to use as a natural pain reliever. Still, it wasn’t until the 1920’s that the extracted oil was commonly used after a study was published demonstrating its antimicrobial benefits. Today, tea tree oil is popular in traditional medicine and has a number of proven healing benefits.
Antiseptic and Antibacterial Benefits
The oil from the Melaleauca alternifolia plant has wonderful antiseptic and antibacterial properties that make it an excellent natural pain reliever. It has been shown to soothe minor skin irritations including rashes, cuts, sunburn and even insect bites. Naturally occurring antiseptics have the ability to kill off germs that may cause infection as well. These healing benefits of tea tree oil come from a compound called a terpenoid, which is found in high numbers in the oil.
A Natural Antifungal and Anti Viral
Tea tree oil is used in traditional medicine to treat fungal infections as well. The antifungal properties of the essential oil have been well known at least since the 1930’s when it was found to be better than prescription medications. The oil can be applied undiluted or in a cream to fungal infections on the feet, face and scalp. One study found tea tree oil to be twice as effective as a placebo while another study found the oil is as effective in treating toenail fungal infections as a prescription-strength medicine.
Cleans and Repairs Wounds
Tea tree oil was first used to clean and repair wounds and still remains an effective treatment for many skin problems. Because it’s not greasy or volatile, the oil is a great way to soothe burns. It’s also used to treat mouth ulcers and skin boils, which can be very painful. Because of its antiseptic properties, small cuts can heal quickly without infection after a few applications of the oil. Tea tree oil can even be used to clear up diaper rash by applying a few drops of oil along with a carrier oil. Many people also use it to soothe sunburns and reduce blistering and peeling.
It has been found that tea tree oil is effective at treating mild to moderate acne as well. A study in Australia compared the effectiveness of tea tree oil gel against benzoyl peroxide lotion. Both groups showed significant reduced in acne lesions, although benzoyl peroxide did work better. Still tea tree oil presents a way to treat acne for individuals with sensitive skin or those that wish to avoid chemical solutions. The oil is also safe and natural and does not cause side effects, unlike the medication which can cause stinging and dryness.
Because of its ability to treat a range of conditions, tea tree oil has been a staple in traditional medicine for years. Its effectiveness has been proven in multiple studies and it’s an excellent natural pain reliever. Originally used in Australia hundreds of years ago, the oil is still a good way to clear up acne, small skin wounds, and fungal infections in the hands and feet. This oil is sold today in pure extracted form or in a lotion or gel that can be applied directly to the skin.
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