About forty years ago, an herbaceous yet pungent smelling oil found its way into America from the land down under. Today, tea tree oil, prized for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, has become an important ingredient for many over-the-counter skin care products, soaps, and lotions. But it can do more than protect and heal the skin from infection. Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial benefits make it perfect for anyone seeking a chemical-free cleaning solution. Here’s why everyone should have a bottle of tea tree oil in their home.
Used for centuries as traditional medicine
Contagious respiratory diseases like coronavirus affect the nose, throat, and lungs. Furthermore, respiratory infections may be hard to treat due to their altering nature. Today, studies have been conducted to find out just how much essential oils actually impact various flu viruses. A study published in the American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products found that several essential oils have potent anti-influenza virus activity. Antimicrobial oils like tea tree could provide therapeutic relief for people suffering from influenza and other respiratory viruses as well.
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is produced by steaming the leaves and branches of the Australian tea tree (M. alternifolia.) For centuries tea tree oil, a traditional medicine used by Aboriginal Australians, has been used to treat many ailments. Crushed leaves were inhaled to remedy coughs and colds or were sprinkled on wounds and covered with a dressing.
For health and home
At the moment, there may not be any specific treatment for the disease caused by the novel coronavirus; however, doctors can treat the symptoms based on a person’s clinical condition. Meanwhile, those with mild symptoms can certainly find relief through essential oils like tea tree oil. Moreover, the antimicrobial properties in tea tree oil make it highly beneficial for killing germs that live on surfaces.
And that’s great news for anyone looking for all-all-natural household disinfectants. With what we now know about the spread of coronavirus and the impact it can have on your health, it’s well worth keeping a bottle of tea tree oil on hand. Here’s how to use tea tree oil to maintain health and wellness, and keep your home germ-free.
With commercial hand sanitizers being in such high demand these days, it’s no surprise most stores can’t keep it on the shelves. However, with tea tree oil in your cupboard, you can make your own all-natural hand sanitizer at home. Studies show that tea tree’s antimicrobial and other medicinal properties kill numerous common bacteria and viruses, such as E. coli, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae.
- 30 drops tea tree essential oil
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 1/4 tsp vitamin E oil
- 3 ounces rubbing alcohol (99 percent alcohol volume)
- 1-ounce pure aloe vera gel. Alternatively, you can use 1 ounce of witch hazel for spray application.
- Mix together tea tree and lavender essential oils, and vitamin E oil in a glass measuring cup.
- Add alcohol to the oils and mix again.
- Add aloe vera gel (or witch hazel) and mix well.
- Pour hand sanitizer into a clean squirt bottle — or spray bottle, as per preference. Shake well before each use.
Antiseptic for minor skin abrasions
Abrasions allow germs to enter your bloodstream, which can then lead to infection. Tea tree oil is ideal for disinfecting and treating minor cuts and scrapes according to research. This homemade antiseptic cream uses the antibacterial power of tea tree oil to treat inflamed skin conditions while also preventing infection.
- 2 drops tea tree oil
- 2 tsp organic coconut oil
- Mix together tea tree oil and coconut oil in a small, open-mouthed glass container.
- To disinfect an abrasion, clean the cut or scrape thoroughly with soap and water. Apply a small amount of mixture and cover with a bandage. Repeat often until a scab develops over abrasion.
Steam therapy for the lungs
When a virus travels to your lungs, they become inflamed, and breathing becomes more difficult. In worst-case scenarios, pneumonia sets in. Research shows that tea tree oil can be used for the treatment of respiratory infections. Tea tree oil used in conjunction with steam inhalation is said to be helpful in easing chest and head congestion. In addition, it can ease a cough, clear congested nasal passages, and kill bacteria.
- Simply add a few drops of tea tree oil to a steaming bowl of purified, hot water.
- Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, and breathe in the vapors for five to 10 minutes.
- You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your bathwater to prevent a cold from developing.
Tea tree oil as a household disinfectant
We now know that coronavirus can live on surfaces for up to three days. To avoid spreading coronavirus, it’s important to clean and disinfect all the household surfaces your family touches daily. Tea tree oil is incredibly useful for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. You can even use it on your dirtiest kitchen sink.
- Just add a few drops of tea tree oil to baking soda on a sponge.
- Scrub the sink, drain area, and crevices — anywhere that mold, mildew, and bacteria thrive.
To use tea tree oil as an all-purpose cleaner:
Makes 3 1/2 cups
- 3 cups purified water
- 1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
- 10 drops tea tree oil
- Add water, vinegar, and tea tree oil to a clean spray bottle.
- Shake well to combine.
- You this all-purpose natural cleaner on all hard surfaces – even mirrors for a streak-free shine.
Please note: tea tree oil is not safe to ingest. In addition, do not use tea tree oil in the ears, as it may cause damage to the inner ear.
All in all, tea tree oil is considered safe and effective when used properly. So, if you’re looking for a product with antimicrobial properties that can be used for health and home, tea tree is your go-to essential oil.
Disclaimer: “None of this has been proven to prevent, treat or remedy COVID-19, these are just things to consider”
-The UpWellness Team