“ Brand: Holland and Barrett / Type: Skin Care / Dosage Form: Oil „
WHAT IS TEA TREE OIL?
It is an oil with many medicinal properties, as with many oils it is Yellow in colour though pale and not as thick as many other oils but that said it is very strong and has an intense 'cleanser'/anti-sceptic type scent. It's one of those oil that appeals to the general public because of its array of uses and mainly because it's commonly used as a headliner in many cosmetics from shampoo to deodorant. Its ph balance is nearly neutral and as it is non-toxic is safe for humans and animals.
I recently ran out of mine and went to Holland and Barrett to top up. The usual sizes and prices are:
10ml @ £3.99
30ml @ £10.75
60ml @ £19.25
H&B are currently doing a buy-one-get-one-half-price promotion (which applies to all products whether shelf or fridge in my local store at least) and so I was delighted that I could get more for my money. I bought 2 x 30ml (30ml being approx 600 drops) for just over £16. I would have made a much bigger saving buying two of the bigger bottles but as I mostly dilute mine I don't need that much. A 150ml bottle of diluted oil can last me up to 2 years. I blend 60 drops of essential oil to 150ml carrier oil which is as a general rule of thumb 2% (for small amounts 12 drops to 30ml). I'm no expert and there are different recommendations but 2% is what I'm ok with.
The H&B 100% Pure version comes in a dropper pipette dark glass bottle. Oils need to be kept out of bright light and heat e.g. sunlight and that is where the dark glass comes in as it acts as a filter and stops the oil from breaking down. To expound on that, oils only really need to be kept this way once ready for use/storage because they last a long time and people generally want the quality to be maintained as long as possible but for people who extract their own oils or use oil quickly sunlight is very enriching and purifying (e.g. UV light for purifying filtered water, or sundried fruit/veg) but after a while too much light/heat will go from building to breaking down and so oils are best kept in dark glass bottles (always handy to have some just in case you get an oil in a plastic container).
WHERE DOES IT COME FROM?
The Tea Tree plant or Melaleuca Alternifolia of the Malaleuca Tree is native to Australia and for thousands of years have been used by native Australians/Aboriginal people. They have a story about a wonderful lagoon full of tea tree leaves which cured many ills - perhaps it is an allegory for using the tea tree leaves, branches or oil in water for medicinal uses.
CAN IT BE USED UNDILUTED?
For many uses it is generally diluted in a carrier oil, a 'carrier' or 'base' oil is an all round oil that is mild/gentle (though not without their own excellent properties) in which a stronger oil can blend and sit with nicely to make it safer for use. I tend to use sweet almond oil as it is fairly easy to find and inexpensive as well soothing and moisturizing. I've read that grapeseed oil and fractionised coconut oil (fractionised meaning it will stay a liquid and won't constantly turn back to its more solid lard looking state) but I like to eat my grapeseed oil and I only use solid coconut oil (which I also like eat). They are also more expensive than sweet almond oil and as oils tend to last for years if kept in their containers and in cool, fairly dark places I don't worry about any of them going off/rancid. Other common and affordable carrier oils are jojoba and olive oil.
Tea Tree oil can be used undiluted in very small amounts on localised areas e.g a drop or two on cotton wool to apply to mild spots, shallow cuts and cold sores. It can also be applied directly via the dropper onto more aggressive versions of the former and onto things like blisters, verrucas and warts (I will go into more detail on its uses later).
WHY IS IT CALLED TEA TREE OIL WHEN IT'S NOT A TEA?
I found that confusing as well, at first I wondered if it was the oil from the tea plants we commonly use to get tea from (as seen in the tea fields of Asia often seen in adverts and on packaging) but it's not, there is a 'tea oil' that comes from the seeds of that plant, Camillia Sinensis, but this is not it.
Apparently the generic and confusing name is Captain Cook's fault. When he 'discovered' or travelled to Australia in 1770 he came across groves of these trees and natives making tea out of it and so he called them 'tea trees' - or maybe he just saw the steam (distillation) and thought they were making tea when really they were extracting the oil. Supposedly he and his group did make a spicy tea and learned to do so from the Aborigines though on our side of the world it is not recommended to take it internally, neither diluted or and especially not undiluted, but perhaps the Aborigines had/still have a tea making recipe for it.
Anti-bacteriaI, anti-fungal , anti-inflammation, anti-microbial, anti-sceptic, anti-viral and an insect repellent - you can see why it was such a hit in the hot and humid climate of Australia (Queensland and New South Wales) not only with the native peoples but the later settlers.
Balsamic: The Tea Tree plant and oil is balsamic as Capt Cook saw the thick sticky substance all over them, meaning that it heals and soothes/calms/cools. As a balsam it can be used as a base for medicines and perfumes.
Cicatrisant: This might not sound so appealing but sometimes it is necessary for speed. This property means that tea tree oil closes and heals shallow cuts/wounds/non-poisonous insect bites or simply broken skin by the encouraging the formation of scar tissue as a preventative layer against infection. That said it also works both ways as it can also be used for scar reduction.
Expectorant: Encourages your respiratory passages to expel liquids/mucus causing or perpetuating things like colds, flu and bronchitis.
Stimulant: It can stimulate hormone secretions, improve blood circulation and encourage it to move to the area where tea tree oil had been added.
Sudorific: Causes sweating which can be very helpful for expelling toxins, hydrating the skin and cooling it.
THINGS I USE IT FOR
SKIN & HAIR:
General Spots: A single drop either on a cotton bud or directly onto the spot should zap it in no time.
Breakouts: A couple of drops added to my cleanser and then a couple added to my moisturiser for good measure. OR regular cleaning and then applying diluted tea tree oil all over the affected area/face.
Acne: I was a bit more liberal with this one, approx 20-30 drops added to a bottle of face wash.
For spots and acne - remember that much of these conditions are caused by lifestyle habits such as diet, cleansing and how much we are out and about in polluted environments, even stress can cause them. Tea Tree oil can help topically by reducing or clearing the symptom but it can also help the skin by boosting your immunity and deeply moisturising. However its efficiency is decreased if the above issues aren't also changed or reduced.
Lip Balm: I've used 1 drop added to chapsticks and left to sink in. 2 drops to little pots of lip balm and mixed. I find this very helpful in cold weather.
Cold Sores: As with all cold sores it takes a bit of work. On new/not fully developed cold sores I've directly applied 1 drop to the affected area and repeated 3 times a day. I've found it reduced the usual cold sore period of from approx a week to 3ish days. Before I knew about this technique I used to apply salt to the area, leave and refresh it as necessary in an attempt to dry it out and that would usually stop it getting too visibly awful. However now if I have a developed cold sore that for some reason I couldn't treat early I add two drops of tea tree oil and repeat 3 times a day.
Moisturiser: Tea Tree oil isn't usually thought of for this property but when diluted it really does soften the skin nicely, and when I want a particularly refreshing and soothing feeling I mix it with diluted lavender oil (also diluted in sweet almond oil).
Sunburn: I don't often get sunburn but it has happened and I find mixing tea tree and lavender (like above) helps. For this case I tend to use jojoba oil or wheat germ as they are even more moisturising and add 1 drop of tea tree and 1 drop of lavender and dab onto the affected skin. On one occasion I mixed the diluted oil with aloe vera straight from a plant.
Hair: Stress and hair loss = not a good thing, when feeling particularly stressed a good head massage with diluted tea tree oil can help strengthen the follicles and increase blood flow/help it flow freely around the scalp. This has a double benefit for those with dandruff as it moisturises the skin making it less flaky.
MOUTH & THROAT
Toothbrush Cleaner: 1-2 drops onto the toothbrush, leave for 10min and then rinse; monthly or bi-monthly.
Toothpaste: I sometimes add 1 drop to my homemade toothpaste.
Troublesome gums: 1 drop of tea tree oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil in a cup of water, swish and spit, don't swallow.
Mouthwash: 2 drops and a pinch of salt (sea salt or rock salt) to a cup of warm water, swish and spit, never swallow. For sore throats the mouthwash can be made and repeated 2-3 times a day.
Colds/Sore Throat/Congestion: Steaming the face technique, I use 1.5 to 1.7l (1 kettle) worth of nearly boiled water, fill a pot/bowl with it and add 3-4 drops. Then I sit (stand at first until I get used to the heat!) over the bowl and cover my head and the bowl with a towel and breathe deeply for approx 10-15min. If necessary I do that twice a day; morning and night.
Replacement Vapour Rub: 2-3 drops rubbed/spread onto the chest and inhaled while sleeping, or 1 drop on the pillow. I suppose 1 drop could be put on the nose or above the top lip but I haven't tried that so don't know how/if it would work.
Muscle Strain/Soreness: You know the feeling, if you over exert yourself either through general exertion or exercise your muscles can stiffen up for 2-4 days and you feel like you can barely move for the pain. I add 15-20 drops to a full bath of warm-hot water and half a cup of epsom salt.
These are uses I've read/heard about but haven't tried.
Superficial Cuts and Blisters: Clean the area first and then depending on one's sensitivity, 2-3 drops of oil can be added to a small cup of water and used to soak the cut or be sprayed onto it if you have a spare bottle with a nozzle. OR upto 3 drops can be added directly. OR If a bandage is going to be add upto 3 drops to cotton wool/ball and lay it oil down on the cut and bandage over it.
Insect Bite: 1 drop directly onto the bite.
Bruise: If you don't have any arnica ice the bruise then gently massage in 2 drops.
Toe Nail Fungus: Up to 2 drops directly to the nail(s) and underneath the tip, allow to dry, apply once daily.
Finger Nail Fungus: Up to 2 drops directly to nail(s) and immediate skin, allow to dry, twice daily.
General House Cleanser: If you have a spray bottle or even just a regular bottle keeping a mix of approx 2 tsps of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water. Shake before using and wipe with a cloth to spread evenly. This can also help to remove mold and deter insects. As a better cleaner (not insect repellent) 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar can be added.
Air Freshener: Soak some cotton balls, tissues, sawdust (large flaky type used for small pet litter not the actual dust type) or clean shredded fabric strips (these are also sold as small pet litter) in tea tree oil. (Soak as in enough for them to retain the oil, not cover them in too much oil where they drip.) Leave some out in a bowl until the air feels/smells fresher and then dispose of them.
Depending on the person and what they use it for the results of tea tree oil may vary but I personally prefer it to using alternatives with long lists of ingredients and processing. At least this way I know what I'm getting and without worrying side effects.
Tea Tree oil has been used since ancient times, with all those people using it and hence providing free results to the doctors and chemists of bygone days or those still living in places out of reach or even modern aromatherapists and homeopaths, I'm happy with that and continue to use it as one of my staple oils.
Tea tree oil is extracted from Melaleuca alternifolia of the Myrtaceae family and is also known as ti-tree, ti-trol and melasol.
The oil is one of the most powerful immune system stimulants and sorts out most viral, bacterial and fungal infections in a snap, while it is great to clean wounds and also relieves muscle aches and pains.
It has a light spicy, rather pungent smell and is very pale in colour with a watery viscosity and is used in a number of ways including an ingredient of soaps, creams, lotions, deodorants, disinfectants and air fresheners.
Tea tree oil is considered a safe oil, as it is non-toxic and non-irritant, but some individuals so show sensitizing to this oil, and it should be used with this in mind. It should not be used on deep wounds or near the eyes, ears, nose or internally.
The oils therapeutic properties are antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, bactericide, cicatrisant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant and sudorific.
It can be used in a number of ways and is considered to be very important in the health of the immune system, as it acts as a immuno-stimulant and increases the body's ability to fight off any infections, while it also is used to revive the mind and body after shock.
It can help with influenza, cold sores, catarrh, glandular fever and gingivitis.
A course of massage with tea tree oil before an operation may help to fortify the body and reduce post-operative shock.
Apart from the superb anti-infectious properties of tea tree oil, it is also most effective to help clear bronchial congestion, asthma, coughs, sinusitis, whooping cough and tuberculosis. My husband uses it to treat cold sores very effectively by dabbing a bit of the oil on with a cotton bud and I sometimes use it on the occasional spot in the same way and it works by drying up the spot and acting an a antiseptic. We have also had success using a few drops mixed with water to be gargled when we have a sore throat rather than use over the counter throats sweets. I do not tend to burn the oil in an oil burner, as I am not that keen on the smell overall, it is used in our house as a natural remedy.
Tea tree oil blends well with cinnamon, clary sage, clove, geranium, lavender, lemon, myrrh, nutmeg, rosewood, rosemary and thyme.
I remember that back in the 90's there was a sudden surge in the popularity of aromatherapy products. The general public were beginning to tap into the potential health benefits of these pure plant oils. While the range of different oils is huge, certain ones have hit the mainstream and are widely used for their beneficial properties. One such oil is Tea Tree oil, which for years has been used as a traditional remedy by the indigenous Australian people to cure colds and treat wounds. What makes the oil particularly useful is that it is antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal, and in lab test has even proved to be effective against MRSA! There is good reason then, that people like to keep a little bottle of this miracle product in the medicine cupboard.
The oil is available in Holland and Barrett, where they sell a standard sized 10ml bottle for £2.99 and a larger, 20ml bottle for £5.69. The first thing you notice about the oil is the strong medicinal smell. It is a very "clean" scent, and I personally like it, although it may not appeal to everyone. The oil is powerful, and should not be underestimated on the grounds that it is just a "plant product". This oil is toxic, and should not be taken internally, and in many cases should be diluted appropriately, although sometimes it can be applied neat. I will outline some of the uses of the oil below, and when appropriate, my experiences of them.
Skin infections: Tea tree oil is known to fight germs and infection, while protecting healthy tissue. It can be dabbed neat or diluted on spots, or diluted and used as a skin wash. It can help acne, and viral infections and prevent further infection spreading. The oil can cause reactions in sensitive skin, so you need to take care and if any adverse reaction occurs, stop using the product. I have eczema, and find that the dilute oil does not really irritate my skin. I have found it OK at treating spots, but not really a miracle cure. A few years ago, I suffered with a bad molluscum infection and dabbed tea tree onto the blisters, but it didn't really help at all, although I did think it prevented the infection from spreading. For skin infections, I have found Tea tree no better or worse than commercialy available antiseptic creams, and to be honest, I would rather use tea tree, as it is a natural product.
Mouthwash: Take care not to swallow! A couple of drops diluted in a cup of water makes an excellent gargle for sore throats and the first signs of a cold. It leaves the mouth feeling fresh, clean and relieved and really does work well, although I wouldn't use this on children who may swallow it.
Mould: Despite using a dehumidifier in the winter, my double glazed windows always get a thin layer of black mould along the seals due to condensation. I find it very useful to dab some tea tree oil onto a piece of cotton wool and run it along the window seals and mouldy areas. It leaves a lovely fresh smell and is excellent and combatting the mould, which is important for me as I suffer from asthma.
Bath: I love using Tea tree oil in the bath. It is best mixed with a gentle carrier oil such as grape or sweet almond oil. A few drops in the bath are very soothing for irritated skin conditions and a lifesaver when suffering with colds and flu as you inhale the gorgeous medicinal vapours. This is one of the best ways to relieve flu symptoms as it clears the nose, soothes aches and pains and relaxes the body.
Steam: Another method I have used for relieving a stuffed nose is to pop a few drops into a bowl of boiling water and then inhale it under a towel. This is great for people who find inhaling Olbas a bit overpowering. The Tea tree steam is very soothing and refreshing.
Hair:A few drops in your final hair rinse is supposed to help dandruff, although my personal use of tea tree as a haircare product is limited to the tea tree headlice shampoos, which to be honest, don't work in my opinion, and I have no idea why people think that tea tree oil will get rid of nits!
Stings and bites: Tea tree oil is a brilliant product at treating bites and stings, and you should always have a bottle on standby in the summer. Dab a bit of neat oil directly onto the bite to prevent infection and soothe the skin.
Thrush: Apparently, you can use diluted tea tree oil to treat thrush, though I have not tried it personally, and have no intention of trying!
Really, this is an excellent and very versatile product that had many uses medicinally as well as in the home. In my experience, the oil has worked better in some situations than others, although that is not reason not to award it 5 dooyoo stars as I feel it is a very useful product to have in the home and a more natural and gentle alternative to some of the products available today. In lab tests, the oil has proved as good as, if not better than many drugs used to treat infection. As it has a variety of uses, it could replace several products in your medicine cupboard, and at £2.99 a bottle, why don't you give it a try?
Tea Tree is a pure aromatherapy essential oil with a clean, fresh medicinal aroma. It is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves and twigs of the native Australian shrub Melaleuca Alternifolia. This oil has powerful anti-bacterial properties and is non-toxic and non-irritating to the skin. Extensive scientific studies over recent years have shown it to be effective against bacterial and other microbial organisms.
Tea Tree is a popular ingredient for many medicinal and cosmetic products due to it's effectiveness against bacteria. It can help to clear up spots and clean cuts along with many other uses. It is a really versatile product and something that is handy to have in your medicine cabinet as it has many household uses. Even if you are not into essential oils and have no interest in aromatherapy this can still be of great use for many everyday tasks and medicinal uses.
I bought this Pure essential oil from Holland and Barrett, it is available in two sizes: 10mls costs £3.89 and 20mls costs £7.39. I bought the larger size as I use it frequently and it works out as better value for money. Holland and Barrett are currently running a very good special offer whereby if you purchase any item in the store, you get any other item for half price (you get 50% taken off the cost of the cheapest item). This is a real bargain and well worth stocking up on essentials, you can save a lot of money this way. It comes in a glass bottle with an integrated dropper so you can dispense the correct amount of drops accurately and without causing spills. It has a very strong, fresh green smell and although it is pleasant it can be quite overpowering.
At the moment I am mainly using the oil to treat my toenails as I am suffering from a fungal nail infection. I add 3-4 drops of Tea Tree oil to a bowl of steaming hot water and when it's at a tolerable temperature I soak my feet in it until the water turns cold. This needs to be repeated twice a week until the problem clears up, which could take up to six months. I have been doing this for about 4 weeks now and I am noticing a positive change, I can see healthy nail growing through from the nail bed. Now it will just take time and repeated Tea Tree foot soaks until the infected nail has grown out. My toenails grow slowly so I'm anticipating it will take a few more moths to be fully clear but it's working well and I'm pleased with the progress so far.
I'm also the victim of a nasty summer cold, and Tea Tree oil is perfect for dealing with cold symptoms and clearing your head. One way is to add 2-3 drops to a bowl full of boiling water, and then place your face directly over the bowl, but at a fair distance so the steam does not heat the skin too much. Cover your head and the bowl with a towel to trap the steam and breathe in deeply for several minutes. The steam vapours and Tea Tree oil are a powerful combination and will leave you feeling refreshed and able to breathe more easily. You could also use 3-4 drops diluted in water and heated over a ceramic burner to diffuse the scent throughout a room. This will last for a few hours and will help as you are breathing it in, it will also refresh the air and remove odours.
You should not usually use essential oils directly on the skin without diluting, but Tea Tree is an exception to the rule. It can be used neat on the skin in small amounts by applying one or two drops directly to spots, cuts, insect bites, stings, blisters and problems such as warts, verrucas, cold sores, shingles and Chickenpox sores. You can use cotton wool pads or cotton buds to apply directly and ensure you rub it in to the affected area. Repeat daily if necessary.
Please note that Tea Tree oil should not be taken internally!
This is a really good, pure oil and I am using it frequently for lots of different purposes. It is a natural way to deal with health problems and is an essential part of my first aid kit.