You may have noticed that DIY concoctions are often highlighted as ideal toxin-free alternatives to a variety of pre-packaged solutions. Part of the reason for this is because a lot of our personal care and cleaning products come in plastic packaging, which we’re actively trying to avoid over here at Way of Being. Another reason is that it feels really good to know exactly what’s in the stuff that you’re spraying all over your home or slathering on your body and feel confident it’s safe for you and your family. It also tends to be pretty budget-friendly.
Some of us also just have fun making stuff from scratch. Others of us, maybe not so much, or maybe we like the idea in theory, but in reality, have other stuff we’d rather do than dig the blender out from the back of our cabinets.
Insert the one ingredient wonder! A single, natural ingredient that can be used for many purposes without having to whip out a single measuring spoon.
Today’s ingredient: Tea Tree Oil.
Remember in My Big Fat Greek Wedding how the parents would use Windex to cure all ills? That’s what Tea Tree Oil is about to be for you.
This wonder ingredient is made from the leaves of the Tea Tree, or Melaleuca alternifolia (no, not the one we make green or black tea out of), which typically grows in Australia. The Bundjalung Aborigines of northern New South Wales would crush the leaves and inhale the strong aroma to cure sore throats and as a topical treatment for various skin ailments. This potent essential oil has antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it awesome at zapping away all kinds of gross stuff, including E. coli, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae. (Has not been proven to be effective against COVID-19.)
The following is a list of annoying stuff that happens to the best of us at one point or another that tea tree oil helps with:
- Bug bites
- Cold sores
- Cuts and scrapes
- Athlete’s foot
- Nail fungus
- Ingrown hairs
- Vaginal infections
If the science doesn’t convince you, take our anecdotal word for it that it really does work well. We’ve tried it on a lot of the aforementioned issues (because being human is weird) with surprisingly great success!
It also works effectively as an all-purpose cleaner, mouthwash, deodorant, and insect repellent. Here are some ways to apply it:
- Directly: Use an extra concentrated solution of TTO. Mix 2 Tbsp liquid carrior oil (like olive oil or jojoba oil) with 30 drops TTO & dab directly on that problem spot.
- As an oil or salve: Mix it with a carrier oil like coconut, olive, or almond oil. Try one drop of tea tree oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
- Spray: Turn it into a spray with a few drops essential oil in 1 part water, 1 part rubbing alcohol (or witch hazel).
Keep it on your nightstand, in your purse, at your desk, or in your car for an on-the-go, one-ingredient, all-purpose solution! Don’t you love being able to feel like an all-natural, low waste superhero with almost no effort? We sure do! Check out our Aussie Organic Essential Oil, which contains a mix of tea tree, eucalyptus, and lime essential oils.
Let us know how you’ve used tea tree oil in the comments below!