The cosmetic benefits of Tea tree oil

Derived from an Australian tree, Melaleuca alternifolia, commonly called tea tree belongs to the family Myrtaceae. The essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant.

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The essential oil is used for internal as well as topical uses. The essential oil present in the tea tree oil basically contains various chemical constituents which are known as terpinene, gamma-terpinene, alpha terpinene and cineol. All of these chemicals are known to possess various medicinal properties.

What are the health benefits of tea tree oil?
There are numerous health benefits which are known to be associated with tea tree oil. Some of these are enumerated here;

It has antibacterial properties

It is antifungal in nature

It is used as an antiseptic.

It also acts against viral infections,

It boosts the immune system and comes under the category of immune stimulants.

It has also been used against insects as an insecticide.

There are many topical uses of tea tree oil which are effective against the treatment of acne, athlete’s foot, boils, burns, cold sores, corns, gingivitis, Herpes, insect bites, nail fungus, pain, radiation burns, respiratory infection, ringworm, sore throat, thrush, warts or yeast infection.


Tea tree oil and its cosmetic uses

Tea tree oil is widely used in skin care because they have been researched to show low toxicity. Their use in skin care extends to treat dryness, acne, anti-ageing and skin protection effects. It is also used to reduce scars and blemishes.

When used in Aroma therapy, tea tree oil promotes general well-being by improving the general circulation of blood, provide relief from muscular and joint pain and stimulate the normal functioning of the hormones in the body.

They also form an integral part of the hair care products because of their function as a hair growth stimulant. They find a widespread use in hair growth stimulants, hair colorants, and in hair and scalp complaints such as dandruff. Tea tree is a common ingredient in various toothpastes, shampoos, gargles and deodorants and medicated soaps. A household use of tea tree oil is to apply tea tree oil on hair combs or adding a few drops in water to act as lice repellant.

How is it used?
Please do not use any of the essential oil internally until and unless under the guidance of a qualified and competent health professional.

It is taken in the form of tea or lozenges in minute doses (generally one or two drops of essential oil in a glass of water) several times a day to treat fungal infections.

Lozenges are used for cold and throat infections. It is used as a mouth wash for different gum diseases, sore throat, and thrush.

It can be directly applied to acne, athlete’s foot, cold sores, boils, infected burns, insect bites, bee stings or warts etc. to treat the condition.

When inhaled, it prevents the spread of respiratory infections.

Using tea tree oil at home

It is of utmost importance that before using any of the essential oils at home, you consider your health care professional or a qualified aroma therapist as using essential oils without complete knowledge may harbor some harmful effects.

Before using the essential oils, it is important to dilute the oils properly which can be done by putting a few drops in your bath or adding them to steam for inhalation or using them in an incense burner or using them in an unperfumed cream, shower gel lotion or shampoo.

Do not indulge with essential oils before using the instructions provided along with it. Two other things which are extremely important while using essential oils are;

Storing them properly
Buying them from a reputable source.

References
Aromatherapy. (2013). Retrieved from Bupa.co.uk: http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/a/aromatherapy#textBlock193535

Aburjai, T., & Natsheh, F. M. (2003). Plants used in cosmetics. Phytotherapy research, 17(9), 987-1000.

Inc., H. S. (1997). THe HErbal Pharmacy. Boulder, Colorado.

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