Tea tree oil: this is how I use it

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It occurred to me this week that I am tea tree oil dependent. I guess it's a relatively harmless oil dependency; I seriously don't know what I would do without it. Its antifungal and antiseptic properties make it perfect for a surprisingly wide array of applications where toxic or less healthy alternatives are usually employed. I'm partial to Desert Essence's organic variety. Though it can be pricey at about $11 for 0.5 ounces, it's much less expensive than buying all of the potentially toxic or synthetic products it replaces. Here are some ways tea tree oil has helped me in the last few weeks. These are just a few of its many uses. Let us know how it has helped you, too!

Sinus Infection

I was one of millions who had my style cramped by a sinus infection last week. Since I'm trying to wean myself of antibiotic reliance, I sought out an alternative. Steaming once in the morning and once at night for 20 minutes with about 4 drops of tea tree oil seems to have done the trick. I just relaxed on the couch with a steaming pot on my chest and a towel over my head. Then, before I went to bed, I dabbed some oil under my nostrils since my skin isn't sensitive to it (yours might be). Within a few days, the horrid head aches and exhaustion had passed. Of course, my advice is no substitute for your health care provider's.

Farewell, Mustiness

I just liberated a bunch of belongings from storage this week.They needed some help airing out. Since green dry cleaners can be hard to find, it's nice to have a safe way to freshen up fabrics. For things like decorative pillows and curtains that can't be laundered, a spray bottle with two cups of water and two tablespoons of tea tree oil works wonders. Spray the stale-smelling area and leave it. Within a few days, both the musty scent and the tea tree smell will be gone. I've also done this a few days before packing a suit case that's been out of use for months.

Heal, You Abrasion

When I was unloading a box from the storage unit, I scraped my hand. A direct application of the oil helps heal and disinfect.

Stay Fresh, Mouth
A drop of tea tree oil in a glass of water makes a good mouth wash. You can also gargle it to help fend off illness. Just be sure not to swallow.

Don't Offend, Feet

I like my shoes to last a long time, and I like to go sockless. To keep the shoes' insides fresh, I often rub some oil on my feet before subjecting them to a day of oxygenless urban traipsing. Definitely beats using scary aerosol sprays.

Though it's a wildly helpful substance, you want to keep tea tree oil away from the kids and, again, avoid swallowing it. Now, how do you use it?

Tags: Skin Care