Today, 9/13/2018, Dr. Oz gives us information on the uses and benefits of an essential oil that has been around for centuries, tea tree oil. The oil is often found in soap, face wash, toothpaste, and shampoo. The oil has long been used as a natural antiseptic and is known for its antimicrobial, healing, and aromatherapy properties. Tea tree oil has been used by the aboriginal natives of Australia for hundreds of years. Derived from the Melaleuca Alternifolia plant, which is commonly found throughout the country, the native people would crush the leaves for the oil and use it in applications for cuts and wounds.
When buying tea tree oil, look for 100 percent tea tree oil varieties that contain the lowest amount of eucalyptol or 1,8-cineole (the chemical that gives off a camphor-like scent), which can cause contact dermatitis or inflamed, itchy, and red skin. Never, ever ingest tea tree oil — it’s poisonous when consumed, and should be kept out of children’s reach. Do a patch test before using products with tea tree oil to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction.
7 Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil
Relieve Athlete’s Foot
See if you can ease the itching, burning, and stinging symptoms of this common fungal infection by trying pure tea tree oil. After cleansing affected skin, lightly apply a thin coat of 25 to 50 percent tea tree oil solution twice a day for up to four weeks or until the infection clears up. Dry your feet completely before putting on socks. If this doesn’t do the trick, see your doctor for a prescription.
Fight Nail Fungus
If you have a fungal infection that develops under your fingernails or toenails, tea tree oil might help to improve the appearance of your nails. Use a small nail brush to apply pure oil onto affected nails twice a day for a six-month period. As new nail growth occurs, your doctor can clip off the older areas of the nail that are affected by fungus. If the nail fungus doesn’t go away, talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
Decrease Dental Plaque
A mouthwash formulated with tea tree oil may help reduce plaque buildup on teeth and in the mouth. Certain dental conditions may require specific types of mouthwash, so check with your dentist before using tea tree oil as your go-to mouthwash. Additionally, tea tree oil can be poisonous when swallowed and isn’t recommended for children.
Treat Head Lice
Relieve itchiness from head lice with a shampoo or topical treatment that includes both tea tree oil and benzyl benzoate. Before using benzyl benzoate as a topical medicine, make sure affected skin is dry and clean before application. Tea tree oil combined with lavender oil may also be an effective way of combating head lice.
One study found that using a shampoo with five percent tea tree oil daily for four weeks might be effective against dandruff. Look for shampoos that are formulated with tea tree oil at natural food stores.
Tea tree oil may be used as a spot treatment for acne but since it can irritate delicate skin like the face, it should be used sparingly and tested first. People with sensitive skin or conditions like eczema might not be able to use tea tree oil as an effective remedy. Apply a five percent tea tree oil gel to affected skin once a day for up to three months or twice a day for 20 minutes each and wash off. The treatment period may last up to 45 days.
To treat plantar, flat, or common warts, try this natural, home remedy. Once a day, apply 2 to 4 drops of tea tree oil and then cover the wart with a thin slice of fresh garlic. Continue this for up to 12 days and the wart will turn black as the virus subsides.
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