Tea Tree: From Australia with Love!

By Lisa Maliga Copyright 2009-2016

aloe vera tea tree glycerin soap by lisa maliga

For those of you with oily skin and hair, bath and beauty products containing tea tree oil can balance this problem and leave you with more radiant skin and naturally moisturized and shining hair. If your muscles are tired or your mood is exhausted – tea tree can give you an added boost of energy. From nail care to cradle cap to skin rashes to cold and flu relief – a small glass bottle of pure Australian tea tree essential oil can be the remedy that helps soothe and heal life’s discomforts.

The therapeutic properties of tea tree are what make this essential oil so popular year after year on people’s lists of preferred oils. It’s an ‘anti’ oil which means it combats a lot of things you don’t want on your skin, hair, or in your home. It’s anti-viral, which means it may get rid of colds and cold sores. It’s anti-fungal, able to clear up painful and unsightly toe or fingernail infections. Tea tree is also commonly used for cuts, scrapes, and burns. And it’s anti-inflammatory, which means it reduces swelling, tired muscles.

When purchasing essential oils, it’s important to look for at least four items that must be on the label to help determine its authenticity as a pure essential oil.

[1] Latin name: tea tree is called Melaleuca alternifolia.

[2] Country of origin, usually Australia, China or New Zealand.

[3] Method of extraction of the oil from the plant; this will be steam-distilled.

[4] Part of the plant used: leaves.

There are several easy products you can make for a fraction of the cost of those found commercially.

Carrier oils are recommended for diluting tea tree essential oil for safe use on your skin. In the book “Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art” by Kathi Kelville and Mindy Green, the authors explain the use of these oils: “Seed and nut oils, commonly referred to as vegetable oils, are high in vitamins A, E, and F. These soothing, skin softening, nourishing, and rich-in-nutrients oils feed the skin and are among the best carriers of essential oils.”

Bath & Body Recipes:

Hair rinse - use a 16 ounce bottle of spring water and add 2-3 drops of tea tree essential oil. Shake well and add a few capfuls to your hair after you’ve thoroughly rinsed out the shampoo. Allow to remain on for about 30 seconds, then rinse thoroughly. Shampoo – add 12-15 drops of tea tree to 16 ounces of any type of shampoo. Liquid soap – add 3-4 drops per 16 ounces of soap. Lotion – add 2-3 drops per 16 ounces of lotion. Massage – for tired muscles, a blend of tea tree and a carrier oil will help rejuvenate you. Try 10 drops tea tree per one ounce of carrier oil. Bath soak – add 5 – 10 drops of tea tree oil to a hot tub of water and soak your cares away. If you have other essential oils on hand, tea tree blends well with: lavender, rosemary, cinnamon leaf, clove, cypress, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, or ginger.

Home Cleaning Recipes:

Tea tree essential oil is a marvelous and fresh smelling disinfectant. It may also help eradicate mold and mildew.

Countertops/Stovetops – on a damp sponge apply 2 drops of tea tree oil.

Linoleum/Tile floors – add 20-30 drops of tea tree per bucket full of water.

NOTE: Please DON’T use tea tree essential oil on wood floors or furniture.

First Aid:

This is where nature’s first aid kit moves in to your medicine cabinet. Cuts, scrapes, and burns can be soothed with a carrier oil and a few drops of tea tree oil. From ingrown toenails to poison ivy, the herbal wonder from Down Under can make you feel upbeat again!

Fingernail/toenail infection – apply tea tree oil to the infected area three times a day. Unless you have sensitive skin, put on the area as is, which is referred to as neat. If not, add a few drops to a small amount of olive oil and apply.

Cuts and Burns [Minor] – add a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected area or combine tea tree with pure aloe vera gel [or a fresh aloe vera leaf] and apply.

Bottles of tea tree essential oil range in size from 1/6 ounce to several gallons. For small amounts, tea tree should be in a glass bottle and will usually contain a dropper top for ease of use. Tea tree is best measured in drops for smaller amounts, in teaspoons for larger. Store all tightly sealed bottles in a cool, dry area, preferably a cupboard, away from any light or heat source. Keep out of reach of children and pets.

Warnings: Tea tree oil should not be taken internally. While in many cases it is safe to use neat, it is recommended that children, those with sensitive skin, and pets are given tea tree mixed into a carrier oil.

Tea tree is one of the most diverse essential oils available. This clear to light golden colored oil is a rescue from pain, a delightful fresh bouquet that personifies cleanliness in a bottle, and a way to help heal life’s bumps, burns, nicks and sores … and it does it all … naturally.

For the Aloe Vera & Tea Tree soap recipe, you'll find it in The Joy of Melt and Pour Soap Crafting