Tea Tree essential oil is a staple in our home. We keep a bottle in the kitchen at all times by the back door. It is great when the stupid little fire ants decide you look like lunch. Just a dab straight works. You only need a bit. I have also been known to add a few drops to my steam mop for it’s medicinal properties. Makes the kitchen smell good as a bonus.
As with all essential oils it is good to know more about it. Essential oils have depth as well as history. They aren’t just smell good products.
Tea Tree Oil was discovered in Australia in the late 1700’s. I am going to use that word “discovered” very loosely. Natives had been using this essential oil for centuries. They used the leaves and made a tea. It is said that the botanist who traveled with Captain Cook observed the natives making tea with the tree leaves. They said it had many medicinal properties. The explores coined the name Tea Tree.
Latin name and location
The Latin name Melaleuca alternifolia. It is always important to know these as there can be other plants that are close but are not the same. Melaleuca is a genus of Australian shrubs and trees. It is grown mainly in New South Wales. The essential oils comes from the leaves and branches. While the trees are cut down to about 6 feet, they are not killed. It takes about 2 years for the tree to be ready to be harvested again.
What can you use Tea Tree essential oil for? We use it for fire ant bites but there is so much more. Tea Tree essential oil’s medicinal uses are antibacterial, antiviral and germicidal. Now you see why I add it to my steam mop as well. It can be used to soothe burns and sunburns as well. I have seen it flavor tooth paste and mouth wash. It is added to deodorant for medicinal properties and fragrance.
Before you add it to your skin neat (that means undiluted, straight to your skin) always do a skin patch test. All essential oils can cause sensitivity or allergic reaction.