9 Unconventional Yet Amazing Ways To Use Tea Tree Oil

@dellasden

A lot of folks in the natural skincare space tout tea tree oil as one of the best acne treatments out there. But there are so many other uses for this potent essential oil that most of us don’t even consider in our daily lives.

Tea tree oil is sourced from (surprise!) the tea tree, which grows naturally in Queensland and New South Wales in Australia. It has been used by the native people there for centuries, and its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties are what make it such a powerful addition to any wellness routine.

Take a peek at the follow nine ideas for putting that bottle of tea tree oil in your medicine cabinet to good use when those annoying breakouts disappear.

1. Clear out those sinuses.

Move over, Vick’s Vapor Rub. If you’re struggling with sinus congestion due to a cold, the flu or just annoying allergies, rub a couple of drops into the hollow of your chest or put a drop or two on your pillow (not near your eyes!) before falling asleep. The smell is soothing and it naturally opens those nasal passages.

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2. Swish it around.

If you’re not a fan of chemical-laden mouthwash products, give one made with tea tree oil a try. Its antibacterial properties help to fend off unwanted germs in your mouth, keeping your breath fresh and teeth healthy without that horrible astringent burning that comes along with alcohol-based mouthwash.

3. Make your own hand sanitizer.

No need to leave your hands dry and cracked because you use Purell multiple times a day. You can easily concoct your own antibacterial, antimicrobial hand sanitizer with tea tree oil, lavender oil, witch hazel, vitamin E oil and aloe vera. The blend will leave your hands germ-free and perfectly soft and moisturized.

4. Protect your boo-boos.

Tea tree oil, to the rescue! The antiseptic properties of this essential oil make it a good option for disinfecting minor cuts and scrapes, and it can even help speed up the healing process (just like Neosporin). Just dilute it a bit with some coconut oil and you’re good to go.

5. Keep the bugs at bay.

Get this — one study found that tea tree oil was better at repelling mosquitoes than DEET. Yeah, it’s that good. So before you set out for those spring hikes or summer backyard barbeques, dab a little tea tree oil solution on exposed skin for protection. And even if you get bit, the oil will help those spots heal that much faster.

6. Clean your home.

DIY home cleaners are the way to go, but the vinegar ones always smell so… harsh. So try a tea tree oil-based one instead. It also contains some vinegar, but the refreshing herbal scent wins out in the end. And it’s just as effective in safely disinfecting your living spaces. Win-win.

7. Make your scalp happier.

Research suggests that tea tree oil could help out people who struggle with dandruff by naturally conditioning the scalp (and even taking good care of your hair while it’s at it). Just squeeze a few drops into your standard shampoo bottle, shake it up and let it work its magic. It might even make your scalp feel pleasantly tingly.

8. Give your nails some TLC.

No one likes to talk about nail fungus, but it’s real and something a surprising number of people struggle with. For those who don’t want to go the chemical treatment route, tea tree oil is worth a try. Just put a drop or two on the affected nail, avoiding the skin, twice a day and watch the affected area return to normal over the course of a couple months.

9. Say so long to that sore throat.

Nothing says soothing like a facial steam, and when you add some tea tree oil to your steaming water, inhaling those vapors can work wonders on a sore throat. So whether you’re getting over an illness or are just starting to feel a bug coming on, take some steamy deep breaths and let relief set in. (Bonus: it’s amazing for your pores, too.)