Tea tree oil is often known as the first-aid kit in a bottle. This amazing plant has many health benefits, including antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties. This makes tea tree oil a highly effective treatment for athlete's foot and other skin infections.
There are many tee tree species, but the one that produces tea tree oil is known as Melaleuca alternifolia. The leaves of the tea tree plant contain highly antiseptic volatile oils, which have a wide range of benefits.
As an antiseptic, it is very useful for treating cuts, burns, insect bites, and all types of wound, especially those that are dirty or pus-filled. It can also be used for general skincare, including spots, acne and blackheads. In fact, studies have revealed tea tree oil's ability to perform just as well as a common over-the-counter acne treatment, with far less side effects.
As an antifungal, it can be used to treat ringworm (a highly contagious fungal infection that causes a rash), athlete's foot and thrush (candida). It is particularly useful for small areas of fungal infection, such as an infected toenail, when a couple of drops can be applied neat twice a day.
Tea tree oil can also be used for viral complaints including cold sores, verrucas and warts. A drop of tea tree oil can help stop a cold sore from developing if applied as soon as the first prickling sensation starts, or it can help to soothe them once they appear.
How to Use tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil does not generally irritate the skin and the oil can be used undiluted, but only on individual spots rather than larger areas of skin.
Before using the oil for the first time, test your sensitivity first by applying a couple drops of tea tree oil to the inside of your forearm with a cotton swab. If there is no burning, rash or irritation after two hours you use it use it on your face and other parts of the body.
If there was some irritation you could still use the tea tree oil, but in a diluted form: five drops tea tree oil with five drops water, and retest until you find a dilution that works for you.
When using in larger quantities, tea tree should be diluted before use (one to two drops of tea tree essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil or water).