Tea tree oil is a popular antiseptic essential oil that is used on the skin, hair and in cleaning products. While it is an oil that receives a general stamp of approval, the same precautions should be taken that are recommended for any other type of medication. The strength of tea tree oil is often underestimated by the general public. If the oil is dripped onto an inflated balloon, it is able to penetrate the latex in seconds and pop the balloon. Keep this in mind when applying the oil on different areas of the body. It is able to easily penetrate the skin and should be applied in the correct manner
Can you consume tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil should not be consumed orally as there have been deaths reported from this act. It can be toxic to the nervous system, decrease white blood cell count and cause discomfort in the stomach and intestines. If you have been instructed to take tea tree oil orally, it should only be one to two drops at a time. The oil can be safely added to toothpastes and mouthwashes as long as the items are not directly consumed and the mouth should be rinsed with water afterwards. It can also be added to water and gargled safely, usually as a treatment for sore throats. On occasion, reports of blisters have been documented when using the oil in mouthwashes and gargles. If this occurs, stop use immediately.
Can you inhale tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil can be safely inhaled and is often used as a treatment for sinus infections and chest congestion. To benefit from tea tree oil by inhalation, it should be added to hot or boiling water in a pot. The steam should then be inhaled directly, done easily by draping a towel over the head and standing over the pot. Only a couple drops of tea tree oil are needed per cup of water otherwise it may be too strong. The oil can also be added directly to a vaporizer. The oil should never be inhaled without being diluted.
Can you put tea tree oil on your skin?
Tea tree oil is usually safe to use on the skin. When using the oil for the first time, check for any signs of irritation or evidence of an allergy, such as inflammation, redness or blisters. Tea tree oil can react strongly with other oils, especially lavender oil. Extra precautions should be taken to avoid widespread rashes if mixing essential oils. People with the immune disease linear lgA disease should use tea tree oil sparingly as it can cause an outbreak of blisters. When applying tea tree oil, contact with the eyes should be avoided. If contact does occur, the eyes should be rinsed thoroughly immediately.
Can tea tree oil be used on children or infants?
Babies can benefit from the antiseptic properties of tea tree oil just as much as adults but it should always be diluted. It is a common treatment for diaper rash but can cause redness and inflammation so the areas where the oil has been applied should be monitored.
Tea tree oil should be avoided by boys who have not started puberty. The oil may alter hormone levels and can cause gynecomastia, or the growth of breast tissue in young boys.
Tea tree oil should always be kept out of reach of children to lessen the risk of accidental consumption.
Should pregnant women use tea tree oil?
There is not scientific evidence to suggest that tea tree oil is absolutely safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women and should therefore be avoided unless prescribed by a medical professional. It should absolutely be avoided during labor and childbirth as it my decrease the strength of contractions.
Should tea tree oil be diluted?
In most cases, yes it should be diluted. When being used as an acne or wart treatment, it can be applied undiluted. However, when being used as a mouthwash or skin treatment it should be and the process is different depending on how you are using the oil. When used as a mouthwash, the oil can simply be mixed with water. But if the oil is being used to treat dry skin or to help get rid of dandruff, it should be mixed with a carrier oil so that as many of the original characteristics of the oil remain and it can easily be applied and absorbed in the desired areas.
Can tea tree oil be used in household cleaners?
Tea tree oil is a very common ingredient in store bought and in homemade household cleaners thanks to its powerful antiseptic capabilities. While it is safe and effective, the same issues can occur as when the oil is applied to the skin. If the skin comes into contact with a surface cleaned with tea tree oil, irritation or a rash may occur. The solutions should also be kept out of the reach of children and pets to avoid accidental ingestion.
Precautions to take with tea tree oil
Tea tree oil has been reported to cause bad breath, altered taste, depression, diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea, fatigue and ear damage. It should be avoided if there is a known allergy to the oil or any other plants that are part of the Myrtaceae family. People with hormone-sensitive cancers should also avoid the use of tea tree oil.
Signs of an overdose of tea tree oil include confusion, excessive drowsiness, loss of consciousness and coma. If you notice any symptoms in yourself or others after any type of tea tree oil use, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
As with any essential oil, it is important to know that the oil you are using is of a high quality. Research the supplier to make sure that they are credible and that the product you are purchasing is made only of the best ingredients and has not been diluted or compromised in any way.