WHAT IS TEA TREE OIL?
Tea tree traces its origin in the northeast shore of New South Wales, Australia and the southeast of Queensland. It is extracted from melaleuca alternifolia which is a tree rich in this product. It can be used as an important beauty product because of its powerful antimicrobial properties. In minimal concentrations, it can be used in various cosmetics like shampoos and skin lotions to treat pimples, herpes and acne. However, it has a specific use which is to make specific medicinal cosmetic goods and products that are used for treatment of lice and dandruff in hair. The camphor like odor and its antiseptic nature is derived from its part-terpinen-4-ol. When produced, the 1, 8-cineole compound, which is sensitive to the skin ad scalp is highly minimized. Most often, it is reduced to terpinen-4-ol chemotype. This particular component has numerous advantages for skin and hair. This oil is highly poisonous and should never be ingested at any given time.
TEA TREE OIL EXTRACTION
For us to be able to use tea tree Oil it has to be extracted from its original plant. It is produced by steam distillation of the leaves and terminal branches of M. alternifolia and taken through a process of condensation. Once condensed, the clear to pale yellow oil is separated from the aqueous distillate. The yield of oil is typically 1 to 2% of wet plant material weight. Alternative extraction methods such as the use of microwave technology have been considered, but none has been utilized on a commercial scale.
Tea Tree Oil is composed of terpene hydrocarbons, mainly monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and their associated alcohols. Terpenes are volatile, aromatic hydrocarbons and may be considered polymers of isoprene, which has the formula C5H8. Early reports on the composition of Tea Tree Oil described 12 (65), 21 (3), and 48 (142) components. The seminal paper by Brophy and colleagues (25) examined over 800 TTO samples by gas chromatography and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and reported approximately 100 components and their ranges of concentrations.
TEA TREE OIL FOR HAIR
Several questions are raised as to whether tea tree is effective for hair development. It turns out that this product is highly effective for development of hair, particularly when treating baldness as a result of clogged hair roots. This clogging in most times is caused scalp complications like dandruff. It treats the scalp by removing the dead skin in your scalp eliminating the bacteria and scalp fungi. This opens up room for growth of hair. Dandruff and scalp diseases like seborrheic, dermatitis causes dead skin to develop on the scalp. Tea tree oil helps eliminate the microorganisms on your scalp that is seen as dandruff. This is enabled by the strong antifungal and antibacterial properties that the product posses.
Use of commercial chemical products with high concentrations of chemicals and many other dangerous chemicals may be harmful to the scalp. This may cause the hair to stop growing. Tea tree oil has a counter effect to these chemical products as it does not allow the deposits, allowing the hair to be healthy and grow.
Baldness may not necessarily be caused by dry scalps but also greasy scalps. Tea tree oil helps control excessive amounts of oil in the scalp that may clog the hair roots. It also moisturizes the hair.
There is a particular way in which the use of tea tree oil will be beneficial in treating hair and allowing its growth. One needs to get 3-4 tablespoons carrier oil, preferably olive, coconut or almond oil and 2-4 drops of tea tree oil.
Massage the mixture into the scalp. This helps unclog the hair follicles giving room for thicker and longer hair to grow. If you wish to apply this mixture to your hair, you might want to add a little more of the carrier oil. The mixture nourishes your hair roots giving you amazing results to the hair.
If you have chronic baldness, do this more often. If your baldness is not as serious, you can massage the scalp 2-3 times a week for a start, and then reduce the treatment to once a week.
Promotes Hair Growth
It has been found that tea tree oil induces hair growth. It actually helps in unclogging hair follicles and nourishes your roots. Take few drops of tea tree oil, mix it with any carrier oil and simply massage it onto your scalp. You will feel a great refreshing and tingling effect on your scalp. However, you must remember to add carrier oil because tea tree oil for hair growth or otherwise by itself is extremely strong.
Fights Dandruff and Lice
Tea tree oil can also be used to treat dandruff and remove lice in human hair. For this to work, take a few drops of tea tree oil and mix it with your daily shampoo that you use to wash your hair. Use this shampoo daily and you will see how it helps you get rid of dandruff. This has been used as a great dandruff cure for ages.
Treats Dry Scalp
Tea tree oil is very good for dry scalp. Dry scalp makes the hair weak therefore reduced growth. Tea tree oil moisturizes by nourishing your scalp and your hair really well. It clears all blockages in the pores. Mix it with any carrier oil like jojoba oil and massage gently onto your scalp for about 10-15 minutes. Leave it on for some time and wash thoroughly. Your scalp will be soft before you know it.
Fights Bacterial and Viral Infections
The properties and natural ingredients found in tea tree oil can help keep all the viral and bacterial infections at bay. These infections are often the reason behind scalp irritations which in turn leads to poor hair growth. Tea tree oil is believed to cure this hence promoting hair growth.
Prevents Hair Fall
We all dread the very thought of thinning hair. Tea tree oil can help a great deal in preventing this nightmare called hair fall. All commercial products do more harm to the hair than good and the result is hair fall. Tea tree oil helps restore all the replenished nutrients from the hair making your hair grow looking beautiful and shinny.
Hot Oil Treatment
Tea tree oil can be used to treat your scalp in form of hot oil treatment which will help in moisturizing your scalp by treating dryness and itchy scalp. This can be done by using any carrier oil and mixing it with tea tree oil and then warming the oil by heating it in a bowl in plain water. Just as the water is about to boil remove it and put the oil mixture in a separate container. Test the oil to determine the suitable temperature using your wrist just to make sure it is not too hot. You can use your hands or applicator to apply on your hair and thoroughly massage through to the ends. You should then cover your hair for at least 30 minutes then shampoo and condition as usual.
Dandruff is one of the reasons why hair stagnates at one stage. Masking your hair with tea tree oil can help eliminate dandruff and hair dryness. This can be done by mixing yoghurt or avocado with tea tree oil. Ensure the mixture is creamy and smooth. Apply the mixture (using gloves if you prefer) to your scalp directly and leave it for 10 minutes before thoroughly rinsing it out. This will help in combating dry itchy scalp and promote hair growth free of dandruff.
OTHER GENERAL BENEFITS OF TEA TREE OIL
Tea tree oil has a number of other benefits to both the skin and the hair due to its microbial and antiseptic properties, depending on how you use it. They include but not limited the following:
- The oil moisturizes hair and keeps the scalp free from fungal and bacterial infections, preventing dry and itchy scalp and blocked hair follicles.
- Tea tree oil has many natural antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic infection properties which effectively deal with certain hair-related problems.
- Tea tree oil effectively treats cradle cap in children.
- The oil contains anti-androgenic effects which inhibit male hormones causing hair loss.
- Tea tree oil is recommended by many dermatologists and cosmetologists because of its effects on both hair and skin.
- Tea tree oil removes dead cells, unblocks hair follicles, and boosts the immune system which is then able to fight against infections that lead to hair loss, thus preventing head lice and dandruff.
EFFECTS OF TEA TREE OIL ON SKIN
Tea Tree Oil for Skin
To explore the effects of tea tree oil on skin it is important to know your skin type and the condition of your and also how tea tree oil can be used for healthy skin.
Tea tree Oil for Healthy Skin
If an individual’s skin is suffering from dark spots, blemishes, pimple outburst etc, tea tree oil can come in handy. To treat this, Dab a few drops of this essential oil on a cotton swab and apply it over the affected areas on the skin. You can also use facial wash and gels, which contain pure tea tree oil in them. This is a lot better and a natural alternative, rather than using harsh chemicals and alcohol. If this is done over a number of days you are looking forward to a smooth glowing skin.
Relief from Razor Burns
Once in a while after shaving using razor blades we tend to get razor burns,razor burns and ingrown hair can cause a lot of discomfort and pain if not well treated. To cure it, after shaving dab a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a piece of cotton and apply on the infected areas. This will provide a soothing sensation to your skin. For ingrown hair, dilute the oil in water, and then apply it on the affected areas.
Tea tree oil can be used as an effective anti-viral and anti-fungal home remedy and can be used to cure athlete’s foot and fungal nail infection. It also has antiseptic properties and is used to treat cuts, wounds, burns, boils and other skin disorders. You can either boil the tea tree leaves in water or dilute the essential oil in water and apply over the affected areas to get instant results. It soothes the skin and reduces the redness and itching.
It has become a norm to see various anti-acne skin creams and face washes which contain tea tree extracts. Recent Studies have shown that tea tree oil is just as effective as benzoly peroxide, to reduce acne. And the good thing is that it is a suitable natural alternative for curing acne, and it has minimal side effects like peeling and reddening of skin. It also reduces sebum production by the skin and fights off the acne producing bacteria on the skin. Tea tree oil is an excellent skin treatment especially for oily and acne prone skin.
Take 2-3 drops of tea tree oil and 1 tbsp. each of honey and yogurt. Apply this on your acne using fingers tips. Do not apply a thick layer. Leave it for 15-20 minutes and rinse off your face. This mask can relieve you from acne in a just few weeks’ time.
Tea Tree Oil for Corns, Warts, Wounds and Ringworm
Tea tree oil can be a good cure for corns. It can help cure chapped lips you can also apply undiluted tea tree oil onto warts. Apply it twice daily. But make sure you don’t have a sensitive skin, else dilute it before using. Warts will disappear themselves. It can also be used for healing wounds. Take special care in never using tea tree oil by itself. Always use a carrier oil to avoid any skin reactions. Tea tree oil benefits your skin in more ways than one. So look up to tea tree oil next time you face any skin problem.
Cures Dry Skin
Dry skin can be a very disturbing condition especially for women, but no need to worry. Tea tree oil is a good cure for dry skin. Simply add five spoons of tea tree oil to one spoon of almond oil and massage it gently onto your skin. Leave it on for some time and bath normally. Regular use will help you keep your skin hydrated for longer time. It also leaves your skin feeling soft, supple and glowing.
Tea Tree Oil for Cuts, Burns, Insect Bites, Skin Tags and Rashes
Not only does tea tree oil used cosmetically, it also has few medicinal uses. They help you deal with your cuts and burns better. It soothes the burns and heals cuts naturally. It also helps relieve you from the itchiness of rashes. You may also use it for removal of skin tags. Insect bites can also be soothed using tea tree oil. It works as an antiseptic when applied on cuts, burns and rashes etc. Add few drops of tea tree oil to the water you bath. This would help you get rid of all skin-related allergies by killing bacteria and fungus.
Fights Psoriasis and Infections
Tea tree oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Therefore, a bath in water mixed with tea tree oil can be helpful in reducing this skin condition. It can also be effective in curing infections of the nails, fingers, and legs.
Relieves Skin Itching
A number of skin conditions and infections lead to itching that can be quite annoying. The inflammation and itching caused by conditions like scabies can be quite tedious. The application of tea tree oil helps kill the bacteria since the oil penetrates the skin layers easily. It also thwarts the chance of re-infestation of the germs or bacteria beneath the skin.
Soothes Chicken Pox Symptoms
Chicken pox can be quite annoying and the desire to scratch the skin can be strong. This leads to scarring of the skin. To soothe the itching and tingling caused by chicken pox, you may take a warm water bath with tea tree oil. Mix 20 drops of tea tree oil in a bathtub filled with water, and then soak in it. Additionally, you may apply cotton balls soaked in this oil on the skin rashes caused by chickenpox.
Boils are caused mostly by infections affecting your hair follicles on the skin surface. They cause inflammation, pain and at times fever. When the blood cells try to combat the infection, the boils start turning bigger and swell. They also become tender. While treating them at a doctor’s office is possible, you can use tea tree oil. It has proven antibiotic and anti-fungal properties. It can get into the skin layers and fight the bacteria that lead to boil formation. Regular application of this oil can make boils vanish from the skin surface.
Controls Body Odor
Body odor is a condition that can affect someone’s confidence and self-esteem, body odor is caused by the growth of bacteria on the skin and clothes. Bathing with tea tree oil soap on a daily basis can cut down the growth of these bacteria to a large extent. The antimicrobial property of tea tree oil prevents the growth of bacteria and kills the existing ones. Tea tree soap can also be used as laundry soap to remove bacteria growing on sweat clothes.
Shaving Lather and After Wax Wash
It’s amazing on how tea tree oil is essential in our day to day life. Tea tree oil soap can be used to form lather when shaving. It acts as an antibacterial alternative. It also moisturizes the skin. Girls can use tea tree soap to wash the skin after waxing and threading to give a soothing effect to the skin. It can also be used to prevent any rash or irritation.
Having said all these, it is important to note that this product is not a remedy to all forms of baldness and hair loss. Some hair conditions like heredity baldness and autoimmune diseases will not be treated by this product. All these benefits of tea tree oil are a result of the excellent antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral and anti inflammatory properties the product posses.