"Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table." -William Shakespeare

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Well, we missed Strewsday Tuesday yesterday. Sorry, but we were at the PARK!!!

Today is my last essential oil post, I think. If I were stranded on a desert island, I would pick lavender oil and tea tree oil as my 2 essential oils. Because if you cut you foot on the coral, you're gonna need some good disinfectant.

Tea tree oil may not be pull-the-rabbit-out-of the-hat magic, but like lavender, it comes awfully close. Dh is currently using it to get rid of a rash (it seems like I have many tales of skin woes, which is odd, but we have been married 10 years, with 3 kids who like to roll in the grass, and moderately sensitive skin... oh, and my husband works around industrial chemicals!) that has baffled his doctor. His doctor wanted to prescribe a particularly noxious pharmeceutical, but I begged for 2 weeks to try to heal it naturally.

First we tried a geranium oil spray, in case the rash was viral or bacterial, but I suspected the rash was actually fungal. He likes the geranium smell, and wanted that to be the solution, hehe. But I had him switch to tea tree oil, neat- NO you shouldn't use tea tree oil neat (neat means undiluted)- unless directed by a qualified healthcare professional, and NO, I'm not one of those, but I do what I want. Anyway, the rash is almost gone.

Thank you very much.

Tea tree works on all sorts of germs, but it is superior on fungus (think YEAST). You can find directions for using it in a douche for vaginal yeast infections. You can add a drop to an all natural diaper cream for yeasty diaper rash, or just add it to a spray bottle with witch hazel and spray it on baby's bum before giving him plenty of naked time. A drop added to baby's bath will work on yeasty diaper rash, too.

Just like lavender, it is great on pimples. I have one right now, actually, and it really disturbs John Paul. Hang ona sec while I go put some on....

OK, hope that helps. He was trying to brush it off my face all day yesterday.

Tea tree is wonderful for cleaning. Tea tree in white vinegar is pretty much the world's best all-purpose cleaner. Add some lavender if the antiseptic, hospital-ish smell is more than you can bear. Great on bathroom surfaces, floors (diluted), whatever (sorry, I don't clean very much!).

If you happen to be the type of family that gets those unnameable illnesses- you know, not a raging bacterial issue, and whatever virus it is has no name an cure but tincture of time, and meanwhile kids are really cranky and, well, so are you... add tea tree with any of the lavender oil suggestions, on the stove to clear the air is my favorite, and pack a double whammy on your strange cold-shivers-tired-headache-stuffed-up junk.

It's realy easy to get your hands on inferior quality tea tree oil, so beware. The Body Shop used to sell a travesty of a product labelled tea tree oil. But when you read the fine print, magnified 20x with a monacle, it was really a jumble of crap with about 2% added tea tree oil. Not very effective when my sister tried to use it on a crazy skin infection several years ago. You need 100% tea tree oil. Latin name Melaleuca alternifolia. Buy a reputable essential oil like Aura Cacia or NOW. Mountain Rose Herbs would be an even better source; their oils are amazingly concentrated, so theirs I would never use neat, even on a lazy day. NOW oils just aren't as strong in my experience and their tea tree is what have used neat when I get lazy. And NO I'm not suggesting that as a good idea, more as a confession, really.

So besides your diaper bag (or purse) first aid kit, these three essential oils are a good way to green up your medicine cabinet. You can toss (no! not in the garbage! Find a community hazardous waste facility!) your cortizone creams, your cold medicines, and your antibiotic ointments at least, by now, if you've been reading through March.

I guess we'll need a diarrhea remedy, a heartburn remedy, a sleeplessness remedy, a fever remedy, and an allergy remedy to round out Home Remedy Month. Because I've got some really great food and nature stuff brewing, so I'm sorta eager to wrap up Home Remedy Month... like before someone sues me or something. Heh-heh, just kidding, you can't sue me because

*DISCLAIMER* The author is neither a healthcare professional nor a certified herbalist. This information is for educational purposes only. Use all home remedies at your own risk.*****

"Man's heart away from nature becomes hard."
-Standing Bear


  1. I have really enjoyed these posts. Sorry I don't comment more- I read blogs on my phone now, in stolen moments of time, and I'm too lazy (and selfish with my time) to comment. But seriously, thank you!

  2. Thanks for warning folks about inferior quality oil. Lots of garbage is coming out of China, Indonesia, and India that is labelled as tea tree oil, but it's not pure Australian Melaleuca Alternifolia. It's usually a blend of various "tea trees" or chemicals, or both.

    To get the best, look for a tea tree oil that has at least 35% terpinen-4-ol, and less than 7% cineol 1,8.

    This will appear as something like T-35, C-7 on the label.

    If there's no rating on the oil, move on folks, there's nothing to see. you may be getting ripped off for an inferior oil.

    Also, the oil should say it's from Australia, and from the melaleuca alternifolia species.

    Thanks for a fun and informative article!

  3. Thanks for the comments, everyone!

    I was a little nervous to get a comment from someone with a name as authoritative as The Tea Tree Guy! But your info is very helpful. I meant to include the Australia-only caveat.

  4. Thanks for all the great information Mo. Do you buy most of your oils in the health food store? I might have missed a post where you mentioned this already.
    I had a friend once who sold Melaluca products and they used tea trea in everything. I never bought into but wondered if there was anything to all the hype.

  5. Hi, Erika!

    Don't get me started on Melaleuca, and don't buy their stuff!!! Some of it is ok, just ok, but it is all WAAAAAY overpriced. Just a typical pyramid-scheme-type home sales company.

    The best places to get eo's are Mountain Rose Herbs, and doterra, both online, but NOW and Aura Cacia, usually found in health food stores, are fine. BTW, in Wichita, Barney's Deep Discount sells NOW oils, several in organic, for crazy-cheap. Just read labels, because NOW has come out with a couple fragrance oils (synthetic) of the more expensive oils, I'm remembering Jasmine as one they do now both natural and synthetic versions.