Melaleuca, more commonly known as "tea tree," is distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant found in Australia. The oil of this incredible plant is amazing and has more properties and uses than anyone could even know what to do with. Just the major properties of Melaleuca include: stimulating, antibacterial, analgesic, immune stimulating, insecticidal, decongestant, anti-inflammation, antiviral, digestive, and antioxidant. All of these things come from the oil of some random plant in the outback? No wonder itís often referred to as a, "medicine cabinet in a bottle."
Melaleuca oil can be used in a number of different ways to treat a number of different things. If you were going to own only one essential oil; this should be it. Take a look below at just a few of the many uses of Melaleuca.
Melaleuca is one of the few oils that can be applied "neat" or directly onto the skin without the need for a carrier oil. This makes Melaleuca even more convenient to keep with you at all times. Topical application can be used for a wide number of problems. Minor cuts can be treated with Melaleuca because it is antiseptic. Because the oil is completely pure with no added chemicals, it begins to heal right away and can also be used on children. Simply dab some of the oil onto the affected area every few hours, and find yourself skipping the medicated ointments all together.
Melaleuca can be used in this same way to treat skin conditions as well. Any area of the skin that is injured in any way can be helped by Melaleuca; cuts, infections, wounds, anything. Remember that the Melaleuca also has anti-inflammatory qualities, so it will help reduce swelling while cleaning the area at the same time.
Other issues that you can treat topically include acne, sun burn, vaginal thrush, athleteís foot, and several types of rashes. If you commonly use medicated treatments for your skin problems, it may take some time for the oil to manifest great results, but just be patient and enjoy the benefits of natural healing.
Among other things, using Melaleuca oil is great for cleansing. Since it is antibacterial and insecticidal, it actually cleanses the air and keeps insects away at the same time. The best way to use Melaleuca oil aromatically is to diffuse it using a diffuser that is specially made for essential oils. The oils have a tendency to clog the filters on regular diffusers, and they become way too diluted in all the water that diffusers hold. You also do not want to burn the oil to diffuse it since it changes its chemical makeup and you will not receive the full benefit of the oil.
Diffusing Melaleuca is excellent for congestion, colds, and coughs. It works much like a Vicks diffuser, but without the added chemicals. Again, diffusing Melaleuca is absolutely safe for children of all ages as well as adults.
Another way to get the aromatic benefits of Melaleuca is to add it to a warm bath. Breathing in the aroma along with the steam from your bath will clear nasal congestion, help relieve sinus pressure, and ease coughing.
Melaleuca has been approved by the FDA as a food additive and food flavor. It is safe to ingest, but is best when put inside of a gel pill capsule or mixed into foods or drinks. Taking Melaleuca internally can help with sore throat, diarrhea, gum disease, and tonsillitis. Of course, taking the oil internally will also have the same benefits as the topical or aromatic treatments since you are putting it directly into you blood stream. Your local health food stores will generally carry packages of empty gel pill capsules that you can add a drop of two of Melaleuca to.
If you donít have a vaporizer or just donít have the time to inhale the aroma, take a capsule to help with cold and flu symptoms, as well as to treat any of the other issues mentioned.
As an added benefit, Melaleuca makes an excellent cleaner for just about everything in your home. Create your own all-purpose cleaner by combining 2 teaspoons of Melaleuca with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. This mixture will also remove stuffy or musty smells and leave your home with a very clean fragrance. Spraying it onto surfaces such as high chairs that are bound to be covered in germs will help to kill bacteria and leave the surface safe for your little one to use.
For tough tub and tile stains, mix approximately ten drops of the oil with 12-14 ounces of water and an ounce of Murphyís oil soap. Add kosher salt and use as a scrub. Adding a few drops to your dishwater and each load of laundry will help get them cleaner, disinfect everything, and leave your clothes and dishes smelling wonderful too. Is there anything that Melaleuca cannot do?