I love learning about (new to me) alternative natural remedies, especially when it is something really simple, easy to find, relatively inexpensive, and nearly miraculous in all the benefits it provides.

The tea tree is native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, and for at least 100 years has been used by Aborigines to treat common ailments from coughs and colds to bacterial and fungal skin conditions.

Essential oil can be extracted from the leaves, and applied (in low doses because it is toxic in high quantities) to the skin. It is known to help reduce inflammation and to be a bacteria killer. It can be used to help treat acne, fungal nail infections, athlete’s foot, lice, and ringworm, and has many other beneficial uses.

Natural Deodorant

It isn’t your sweat that stinks, it’s the bacteria on your skin that gets broken down into acids. Your armpit has a lot of sweat glands, which is why it can get so smelly there. Tea tree, as mentioned, kills bacteria and can keep those smells at bay. Check out this nice natural deodorant recipe using tea tree oil.  

Fight Acne

Again with the bacteria killer. Tea tree oil comes also in the form of an acne gel and has been shown to be as effective as benzoylperoxide in treating acne. It is possible to make your own acne-fighting solution by combining one part tea tree oil with nine parts water and use a cotton swab to apply the mixture to problem areas one or two times daily.

Hand Sanitizer

There are many conveniences of hand sanitizer, but who wants to keep rubbing alcohol on their skin?! Studies of tea tree oil have shown it “has the ability to kill a wide range of medically important micro-organisms,” (source) which makes it a natural at sanitizing. Here is a great recipe to make your own tea tree oil hand sanitizer.  

Fight Toenail Fungus, Ringworm, and Athlete’s Foot

Again the bacteria killer strikes! Even abolishing smelly feet! Use a clean cotton swab and put 2-4 drops of undiluted tea tree oil on the affected area. Apply a few drops every day for a month and you’ll see the effects. Here is a tutorial on how to make it work.

Dental Plaque

The natural disinfectant strikes again. This time in the mouth. Tea tree oil can be used to prevent plaque, eradicate bad breath, and guards against gum disease. It can also help fight against mouth sores! You can make your own mouthwash by adding 4 drops of tea tree oil into a small glass of water and swish in your mouth once or twice a day. You can also apply a few drops onto your toothpaste before you brush your teeth. And here is an article that outlines how to banish toothaches for good!

This amazing stuff can also be used as insect repellent, antiseptic for minor cuts and scrapes, kill mold around the house, relieve cough, freshen laundry, improve hair health, treat stye, helps prevent bladder infections, strengthens nails, treats ear infections and vaginal odor, help remove make up , and more! This extensive article includes instructions on how to make tea tree oil at home.

If you decide to buy tea tree oil, be sure to look for 100% pure essential oil, and in addition to choosing an organic label, ensure that the bottle lists the correct species name – Melaleuca alternifolia. Keep creative and natural in keeping yourself healthy year round!