Australia: Tea Tree Oil

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Australia: Tea Tree Oil

The tea tree is a bit of a misnomer. Although the Indigenous peoples of Australia may have made a tea from the leaves of this tree, its current use is as an oil with many healing properties. In fact, tea tree oil should not be consumed orally.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree native to Australia.

Tea tree oil is most often used topically for its anti-microbial properties. It has been used to treat skin conditions such as dandruff, acne, lice and minor skin infections. It can also be used to soothe the itch and irritation of bug bites. Take a small bottle of tea tree oil with you on your next camping trip and apply a drop of the oil directly to the bite for some relief.

Looking for ways to use tea tree oil at home? Try making your own natural reed diffuser or deodorizer.

In a small, clean glass vase, bottle or jar, mix 20 to 30 drops of pure tea tree oil for every 240 ml (8 fl. oz.) of hot water. Use scissors or garden clippers to cut reeds to an attractive length for your bottle. Insert reeds into the mixture, making sure they are thoroughly dry so they will absorb more of the fragrant liquid.

Tips: Try to use a vase, bottle or jar with a tapered neck so the fragrance doesn’t evaporate too quickly. Over time, you can refresh your simple diffuser by turning the stalks upside down to expose their saturated ends. Add more drops of essential oil to the water as needed.

Explore the aisles of your local CHFA Member health food store for a variety of products containing tea tree oil. Remember, it’s always best to consult with a health care practitioner before adding any new NHPs to your health care regimen. 

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