Monday, August 5, 2013

Magical Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

In the spotlight this week - magical melaleuca, often call tea tree

Scientific name: Melaleuca alternifolia
(Not to be confused with Melaleuca quinquenervia.)

Common extraction method: steam distillation from its leaves

Properties: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, immune stimulant, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, insecticidal, stimulate and analgesic (pain management). 

Application: Can be applied topically, diluted. Can be used aromatically - diffusing in the air.

Uses: Wounds, warts, viral infections, thrush, Staph infection, sore throat, shingles, scabies, ringworm, pink eye, nail infection, MRSA, lice, jock itch, infected wounds, Herpes Simplex (cold sores), Hepatitis, gum disease, fungal infections, hives, flu (Influenza), earache, eczema, cuts, coughs, common colds, cavities, canker sores, bronchitis, boils, bacterial infections, athlete's foot, aneurysm, allergies, acne and more!

Safety Info: Contact sensitization may be the result of repeated use. 

Ways to use it in real life: There are so many ways to use this. Here's a few I've used - I would love to add yours, so please leave them in the comments:

  • Toe nail fungus: Saturate the area with a drop or two of melaleuca/tea tree oil, diluted in a carrier oil, once or twice a day until the nail clears up. I've tried this with some success - in a non-dedicated to doing it situation. 
  • Cleaning Spray: Use a vinegar/water solution for cleaning? Instead of the popular lemon, add melaleuca/tea tree. If you're switching from store bought cleaners, this smells like them.
  • Hand soap: This would be great in foaming hand soap {click here} for the recipe.
  • Bacteria Buster: Add to a small spray bottle filled with water and a splash of alcohol or with witch hazel. Spray everything sick people touch when the flu hits your house.  Also a great one to take if you're visiting the hospital. 
  • All-Purpose Salve: Check out my post for the recipe that included melaleuca/tea tree. {click  here}
  • Shampoo: Add several drops to your small bottle of shampoo for a tingling sensation - it's common in dandruff shampoos. 
  • Healing stick: I love this all-purpose healing stick by Camp Wander. I have several around the house. {click here}

Sources: Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, Third EditionPublished by Abundant Health; website
This post has been updated to reflect new information I have learned - you may find things omitted that were previously there. In recipes, I have crossed out the old amount and added the new. 10/2013
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