Beauty

Tea Tree Oil

A simple all natural acne spot remover would be 5 parts tea tree oil to 95 parts water.

Tea tree oil is a natural alternative to harsh skin toners. It is produced from a shrub like tree by the name of melaleuca alternifolia, which is found along streams and in swampy areas in its native land of Australia. Tea tree oil uses are endless, with a long and rich history which continues to this day. Here are other 25 every day uses for tea tree oil.

1. Clear up A Sore Throat

Put 1 drop of tea tree oil into a glass of warm water, swish it around and gargle with it at least once a day. Don’t panic if you swallow a little bit, but try to spit out most of it. You can also add 2 teaspoons of salt which, thanks to osmosis, will draw excess water out of the mucous membranes that can create pressure and add to discomfort.

2. Fight that Head Cold

To clear up a sinus infection, add roughly 5-8 drops of tea tree oil (you can adjust the amount to suit your preferences, but it is powerful stuff) to a bowl of freshly boiled water. Lean over the bowl, being mindful of the steam, and cover your head and the bowl with a towel. Breathe the steam for a good ten minutes at least twice daily to wipe out that nasty bacteria. Keep tissues on hand.

3. Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Mix together 25-30 drops of tea tree oil, 9 drops of lavender oil, 9 drops of clove oil, 1 tablespoon of witch hazel (optional), 16 tablespoons (8 ounces) aloe vera gel in a small bowl. After mixing transfer to a small container.

4. Fight the Fungus

You can use tea tree oil mixed simply with water, or you can mix it with coconut oil. Coconut oil also has fungus fighting properties that complement the tea tree oil. Melt down a tablespoon of coconut oil and then mix in 4-5 drops of tea tree oil. Store in an airtight glass container out of direct sunlight, and apply faithfully to the affected area once in the morning and once at night every day. You don’t need to use much-you don’t want greasy toes after all-and be sure to wash your hands between applications to avoid spreading the fungus.

5. Clean Minor Cuts and Abrasions

Clean the area thoroughly with plain soap and water, and rinse any soap off, making sure there is no dirt or debris left over. Mix a drop of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil and apply a small dab directly to the cut. Rinse clean and reapply 1-2 times daily as needed. You can also smear a bit of the tea tree/coconut oil mixture on the inside of a regular adhesive bandage and place it over the cut.

6. Repel Pests

The smell of tea tree oil is often times enough to deter pests. In nature, the essential oil in the plant may play a role in warding off potential creatures that would otherwise enjoy it as a tasty snack, so why wouldn’t it work as a bottled essential oil? Add 20 drops or so to a spray bottle and fill with water. Shake and spray around cracks, doorways, and any other potential pest entrances.

7. Fight Bad Breath

Much like you’d do for a sore throat, mix a drop with a cup of warm water and swish around your mouth, through your teeth, and gargle. Gargling is important, as bacteria likes to reside at the back of the throat. Repeat 1-2 times daily.

8. DIY Deodorant

Dab a couple drops on and you’ll be good.

9. Deodorize Garbage/Diaper Pail

Add roughly ¼-1/2 teaspoon of tea tree oil to a half or one cup of baking soda and mix the lumps out with a fork. Simply re-cycle a shaker (such as one used for parmesan) and shake into the bottom of a fresh bag to help keep the odor down.

10. Banish Mildew

Mix 5-10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Shake well before each application. Spray directly onto the mildew and allow it to sit for 3-5 minutes before wiping it clean with a damp cloth. Wipe the spot dry when everything is spick and span. The tea tree oil should inhibit the growth of future bacteria, as long as the conditions are well managed.

11. Ease Itchy Bug Bites

Dabbing a bit of tea tree oil (diluted in coconut oil) onto a bug bite can reduce the severity of the initial reaction and soothe the burning itching sensation that is so torturous.

12. Ease Psoriasis

There is no cure for psoriasis, but there are things you can do to ease the discomfort and possibly speed the healing of the effective area. Thanks to tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, it is precisely what some people need to find relief. Mixed with coconut oil-which acts as a carrier for the oil and provides moisture to the skin-it can make a healing salve. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Apply just enough to cover the affected area. Repeat 2-3 times daily as needed.

13. All-Purpose Surface Cleaner

For a gentle and effective all-purpose cleaner, mix 20-25 drops of tea tree oil with ¼ cup of water and a ½ cup of distilled white vinegar in a spray bottle. Shake well, spray directly onto surfaces, and wipe down with a clean cloth. Remember the oil won’t mix with the water or vinegar, hence the shaking. Also be aware that it will not be diluted in water or vinegar, so avoid spraying directly onto your skin. While plenty of people are fine-and it has never personally bothered me- some people are irritated by the oil in its “neat” form.

Simply mix 3 drops of tea tree oil with 2 drops of peppermint and 2 drops of eucalyptus oil with 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil. Pour into a lip balm tin and allow it to cool. Apply sparingly under nose when needed.

15. Make Mouthwash

Mix 2 drops of tea tree oil with 1 drop of peppermint oil in 1 cup of fresh water. Swish, gargle, and make sure to spit it out!

16. More Ways to Freshen Up

Add 15 drops to 2 tablespoons of liquid oil. When the tub is halfway full, add the oil. As you bathe swish it around to break it up. While the oil won’t mix with the water, you want it as a carrier. Soak for 20 minutes and then dry off with a clean fluffy towel.

17. Cleanse the Washing Machine

If you want to freshen up your washing machine, add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to the empty drum and run it on the hot cycle to get rid of any bacteria and odor.

18. Fight Acne

Another way to combat acne besides above, Mix a drop or 2 with a smidge of coconut oil and use a cotton swab to apply. Avoid using your fingertips, which just introduces more dirt. Coconut oil may seem counterintuitive, but most people don’t have a problem with it on their skin.

19. Athletes Foot (anti-fungal) Powder

Rustle up a shaker (you can buy plain ones, or re-purpose one of those parmesan shaker containers) and add ¼ cup of arrowroot powder, and ¼ cup of baking soda. Add 20 drops of tea tree oil to the powder, spreading the droplets out as best you can. Use a fork to mash in the little lumps and then add it to your container. Rinse your feet and pat them dry, then apply powder afterwards. Repeat twice daily. It is easiest to do this in the bathtub or show because it can make a bit of a mess! Use (clean) hands to evenly spread the powder. Shake well before each use, and store in a cool dark place.

20. Sore Muscle Soak

 First dilute 10 drops of tea tree oil in any neutral oil, and mix into the Epsom salt. Fill the tub halfway with warm water, add the salt, and top off the tub. Relax, enjoy, and unwind.

21. Freshen Dryer Loads

If your clothes have a damp mildew smell to them, add several drops to wool dryer balls to freshen up the clothes if you don’t have time (or don’t want to) re-wash them. If you don’t have wool dryer balls, you can simply recycle a clean cotton t-shirt. Cut it into 5 inch squares, and add 5 drops of tea tree oil to it. Toss it in the dryer with your clothes as you would any other dryer sheet. When you find the scent starts to lose its potency, simply refresh with a few more drops. I like to wash these every few weeks before re-scenting them-it’s not necessary, but does ensure everything feels extra clean all the time.

22. Fight Foot Odor

Bring several cups of water to a boil and pour into a basin. Steep several sprigs of rosemary for 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, add 15 drops of tea tree oil to 2 1/2 tablespoons of liquid oil (grapeseed, almond, jojoba, olive, etc.) When the rosemary has finished steeping add the tea tree oil mixture to the water. Yes, it will separate-oil and water tend to do that. Simply swish the water around with your feet now and again. Soak for 15 minutes twice daily and pat your feet dry.

23. Draw Out A Splinter

To ward off bacteria and potential infection, add 3 drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon or so of liquid neutral oil. Add this plus 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt to a bowl of warm water. Soak your finger for 5-10 minutes to soften up the skin and loosen the splinter, and then work it out by applying pressure just below it. Use a tweezers to grab it when it protrudes, but be sure to get the whole thing and not just break off a piece of it!

24. Keep Your Garden Mildew-Free

 Use the same formula as above and spray lightly on plants with mildew. Reapply daily as needed, but test it on a few leaves first. Most plants are fine, but don’t go dousing them-there’s always too much of a good thing.

25. Toothbrush/Retainer Cleaner

Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil with 1 cup of water. Once a week for your toothbrush, or every other day for your retainer, swish it around in the water to kill bacteria, then rinse with plain water and allow it to dry before locking it back up.

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