13 Extraordinary Tea Tree Oil Benefits You Never Knew About

For years, people have used tea tree oil to help with skin ailments from acne to psoriasis. But its benefits don't end there; find out more reasons why tea tree oil deserves a permanent spot in your medicine cabinet.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Clear Acne

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One of tea tree oil's benefits is as a home remedy for acne. A 5 percent solution of tea tree oil works just as well as the top drugstore acne remedy, benzoyl peroxide, according to Australian researchers studying their native resource. Dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with 20 to 40 drops of witch hazel, and apply to the skin once or twice a day with a cotton swab. Be careful to not overuse it: while gentler than benzoyl peroxide, tea tree oil can dry out your skin, triggering your body to overproduce its own oils and make your acne worse. If you apply it to your face, stay out of the sun—tea tree oil can make you more sensitive to UV rays.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Remove Makeup

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For normal to dry skin, try mixing 1/4 cup canola oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a 4-ounce sterilized glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until blended. Store in a cool, dark place. To use, saturate a cotton ball with the oil and sweep over your face to remove makeup. Rinse well with warm water and follow with a toner. Here are some other natural makeup removers you probably have in your pantry.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Soften Dry Cuticles

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The essential oils in this rich, softening blend help to counter cracked and ragged cuticles. Tea tree oil is a proven fungus fighter, while lavender is anti-inflammatory and healing. You can find avocado and jojoba oil in health food stores, or you can substitute olive oil for either or both.

• 1 tablespoon jojoba oil
• 1 tablespoon avocado oil
• 10 drops tea tree essential oil
• 10 drops lavender essential oil

Pour the jojoba and avocado oils into a small, dark-colored glass bottle, which will help preserve the oil. Then, add tea tree and lavender essential oils, screw on cap, and shake to combine. Before using the cuticle oil, shake the bottle well, then massage a few drops into your nails and cuticles daily to soften your cuticles and prevent them from splitting. These other at-home nail care tips are worth a look, too.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Soothe Sores

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Using a cotton swab, dab a single drop of tea tree oil, which is an antiseptic, directly on the sore. Avoid areas near your eyes and mouth.

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Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Fight Foot Odor

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The herbs and essential oils in this aromatic blend help to reduce sweatiness, fight odor, and leave feet fresh and clean. Rosemary and ginger stimulate circulation, and sage discourages perspiration:

• 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
• 1 tablespoon dried sage
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, finely grated, or 1 teaspoon dried powdered ginger
• 4 cups water, plus extra as needed
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon Epsom salts
• 10 drops tea tree essential oil
• Small ice cubes or crushed ice

Place rosemary, sage, and ginger in a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. remove from heat, cover, and steep for 10 minutes then strain. Add baking soda, Epsom salts, and tea tree oil. Mix well. Pour into a foot spa or shallow basin big enough for both feet. Top with extra water and add ice. Soak feet for 15 minutes; pat dry. Follow with a dusting of fragrant foot powder.

Need some more ideas to combat smelly feet? These home remedies should do the trick.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Eliminate Toenail Fungus

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In a study, participants applying 100 percent pure tea tree oil to nail fungus for a minimum of three months did as well at killing it as did those using prescription antifungal cream; 60 percent of both groups completely or partially eradicated their symptoms. Once or twice a day—every day—apply a drop or two of 100 percent pure tea tree oil to the discolored nail. Be careful not to apply tea tree to the skin, because undiluted tea tree oil may be irritating.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Relieve Athlete's Foot

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One study found that tea tree oil was as effective as an over-the-counter remedy for athlete's foot for relieving burning, itching, inflammation, and scaling. Add a few drops to a tablespoon of witch hazel and apply to the affected area with a cotton swab three times a day. It can cause dermatitis (skin inflammation) in some people, so use sparingly the first time and don't use further if a rash develops. Here are some other ways to treat athlete's foot naturally.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Treat the Chicken Pox

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Blend a few drops of tea tree essential oil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and use a cotton swab to apply the oil to sores two or three times a day.

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Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Reduce Cold Sores

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Apply tea tree essential oil directly on the cold sore three or four times a day. However, tea tree oil is toxic, so avoid getting it in your mouth. Try these other homemade cold sore remedies, too.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Banish Jock Itch

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Rub a thin layer of the oil onto your skin twice a day—but dilute it first: Mix 10 drops into 2 tablespoons olive oil or witch hazel.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Relieve Psoriasis

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Rub a few drops of tea tree oil, diluted in a little olive oil, into your psoriasis patches several times a day. The Australian remedy is useful for relieving itch and softening plaques, especially if you have a mild case. Make sure you avoid these foods if you have psoriasis—they'll just make it worse.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Treat Yeast Infections

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Studies have found that tea tree oil disrupts the membranes of yeast cells, and lavender kills Candida in a test tube. Mix them together and yeast doesn't have a chance. Tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed, so don't use this to treat oral infections.

• 5 drops tea tree essential oil
• 5 drops lavender essential oil
• Distilled water

Mix the tea tree and lavender oils with a few drops of distilled water. Using a cotton swab, dab the blend on the affected parts of the body.

These simple tips will help prevent yeast infections from happening in the first place.

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Tea Tree Oil Benefits: Zap Boils

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Tea tree oil is highly effective against staph infections, even those that are antibiotic-resistant. Just dab a little on the boil several times a day.

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