Tea tree oil was first discovered in Australia by chemist Arthur Penfold during an exploration of native oils and their properties. While Penfold can be credited for helping to expose the beneficial properties of the tea tree oil, native aboriginals had been using it for its cure-all qualities for decades to treat a variety of ailments.

Extracted from the leaves of tea tree plant, melaleuca alternifolia, tea tree oil is distilled via steam, and maintains its potency for approximately a year from the date its been distilled. It’s one of the healthiest natural oils in existence and because of its antibacterial, antiviral antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties it makes a great all natural solution that is easy to find. Here’s a look at a few of the wealth of benefits tea tree oil has to offer.

FIGHT ACNE

Most people in their lifetime have probably suffered from a bout of acne whether as a young teen or as an adult with the occasional breakout. One of the most common topical treatments for acne is benzoyl peroxide, which is unfortunately made up of harsh chemicals. Good news though, research has proven that tea tree oil can be as effective and a great alternative. Even better, it can also help diminish scarring and dark spots caused by skin damage that sometimes can be associated with acne. The antifungal properties help prevent future breakouts, and provide balance to your skin by controlling oil production. Meanwhile, the antimicrobial properties help kill the bacteria and penetrate the skin, unblock glands, and disinfect the pore.

For spot treatments, dab a cotton ball or pad with tea tree oil and treat the effected area or blemish. Or you can use daily as an astringent by adding four drops of tea tree oil to a cup of water and then applying to your face either in the morning or at night. Just make sure if you use in the morning you apply sunscreen because it makes your skin sensitive to UV rays.

HAIR CARE

If you’ve ever had an issue with the undesirable white flaky stuff, aka dandruff, tea tree oil just might be the option for you. It not only helps fight the fungus that causes dandruff, but also moisturizes the skin. The great thing about tea tree is that you can use it on any type of hair regardless of texture or length making it a nice universal solution.

Tea tree oil is also a great cleanser for your hair because it won’t damage or dry it out in the process. Just like how tea tree oil can help to unblock pores it can also help unclog hair follicles and help to nourish your roots. It increases the blood flow in the scalp therefor strengthening the hair follicle, and promotes hair growth as a result.

Simply massage into your scalp for a few minutes and then rinse. Or add a few drops to your shampoo to enhance its properties and help prevent hair damage. You can also add a few drops to your conditioner to relieve an itchy scalp or help to treat dandruff. Just mix in with your conditioner, apply after your shampoo and rinse as you normally would.

And for you fellas out there who sometimes suffer from razor burns or ingrown hairs, tea tree oil is a great way to relieve and help treat the symptoms. Just dab it on the effected area with a cotton ball.

MUSCLE RELIEF

Maybe you had a tough workout at the gym or a long weekend of yard work, or maybe you just simply slept on your neck wrong? One of the other great benefits of tea tree oil is muscle relief. Because of its strong anti-inflammatory properties it encourage blood flow, which speeds up the healing process and increases the rate of new tissue and cellular growth.

Consider drawing a warm bath and adding 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to soak your muscles. The oil won’t dilute in the water, but mix it around to activate the properties. Don’t have time for a bath or simply just want to treat a certain area, add a few drops to a moisturizing lotion and massage it into the skin to help work out the muscle tension.

COLD & COUGH

If you’re suffering from a cold, cough, congestion or even a nasty sinus infection, tea tree oil can help to alleviate the symptoms and help you find reprieve when sickness lingers. Rub it on your chest or place a drop on your pillow to breathe in the benefits. Or to create a mini steam bath, just add 5 or 6 drops to a bowl of steaming hot water and drape a towel over your head to create a mini steam bath. Breathe in for 5 or 10 minutes to help clear your sinuses or ease a cough.

If you have a vaporizer or a diffuser you can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to help overnight when sometimes it can be the most difficult to comfortably sleep. Need a simple relief during the day, apply a drop of tea tree oil to your hands and cup over your face and breathe in.

And since tea tree oil offers antimicrobial benefits you can also then use it to clean up the house and prevent the spread of germs. Add a couple of teaspoons to a spray bottle with water, and treat things in the house that are hard to launder like decorative pillows, blankets, etc. An added perk is that it’ll smell good too!

If you haven’t discovered by now, the list of benefits for tea tree oil are endless with the powerful punch of its bacteria fighting and healing properties. Keep some on hand for everyday use or look for products with tea tree oil.