To overcome various health problems, much greater use of natural remedies than resorting to OTC medicines. This is where essential oils are particularly useful in nature. Made from various plants, extracts of leaves and flowers, these oils contain proven antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that make them potent remedies for treating different types of ailments. Tea tree oil is one of the most common and strong essential oil that is used worldwide to treat many human health conditions.
Basics of tea tree oil
This essential oil is derived from “Melaleuca alternifolia” or tea tree plant. This is native to Australia but now the crop has spread even to other parts of the world. This naturally occurring material contains 48 chemical compounds. This can not be replicated, so the only way to obtain it is by using natural extract. The soothing properties and antibacterial properties make it a must-have for every home.
The benefits of tea tree oil include:
- Good for battling skin infections- This oil can be used to battle a variety of skin disorders including acne and ringworm.
- Ideal to fight scalp and hair problems including dandruff and flaky scalp- The proven anti-fungal and antibacterial property eliminates the dandruff and scalp flakes effectively. This oil can also be combined with other natural oils to minimize scalp itching.
- Proven relief in insect bites- Its antibacterial property helps mitigate the sting and pain caused by poisonous insects.
- Good for treating throat problems- Mixing a few drops of this oil with warm water and honey is ideal to soothe sore throat.
- Nice for keeping pests out of household- It is a good idea to use tea tree oil to keep the home safe from rodents and insects. This oil can be mixed in water and sprayed in the rooms to ensure various crawling and flying insects stay away from your household.
- Bacterial infections
- Cold sores
- Congestion and respiratory tract infections
- Fungal infections (especially Candida, jock itch, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus)
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Head lice
- Dry cuticles
- Itchy insect bites, sores and sunburns
- Boils from staph infections
Making tea tree oil at home
Although tea tree oil can be found to be sold by different brands in chemist shops and other stores, you can also make this essential oil at home. This way you can be certain that the solution does not contain any chemical or preservative substance. Besides, preparing tea tree oil at home isn’t as hard as you would think. You don’t have to spend a hefty amount of money either or waste a long time planning it. There are essentially two ways of producing tea tree oil at home- standard boiling pot and using a crock pot.
- Preparing tea tree oil through using boiling in regular pot
Homemade tea tree oil is as simple as it can be. Start by collecting leaves from the tea tree that will be used and clean it well. This will remove the risk of mixing dirt or dust into the oil. Then, place the clean leaves in a normal pot (or place the leaves in a vegetable steamer) and pour in some water to mix them.
After this, you have to place a lid over the leaves of the tea tree. So, the leaves are covered above by a flat surface. Now, you have to hold the pot lid upside down at the bowl. It will mean that the handle faces downwards and is positioned over the measuring cup or mason jar.
Now, begin boiling the water on full heat. Soon, the tea tree leaves will get steamed well. Soon after, the water will start evaporating and get condensed on the lid kept in upside down position. Then, it will glide slowly and drips into the measuring cup or mason jar.
You can place a few ice cubes on top of the lip and this will help accelerate the process. You should turn the burner off after the ice on top of the cover has completely melted. Then, use cloth or pot holders to cover the lid. Drain the melted water into the bath and also place the lid in it.
Next, the glass measuring cup or mason jar needs to be separated from the pot using the pot holders.
Pour the collected liquid into a separate funnel in the measuring cup or mason jar, after removing the stopcock at the bottom of the funnel. Now, close the top of the funnel well and shake well for a few seconds. Then, turn the funnel upside down, and open the top. That will release any pressure built up.
You can see a layer of oil floating on top of the liquid after this. Now, hold a glass vial under the funnel and discharge the water by pressing the stopcock. Make sure you place the oil in another vial.
If you have no separate funnel, put the measuring cup or mason jar in the refrigerator for 24 hours after it has cooled down. You will be able to see a film of oil floating on top of the liquid until the liquids have cooled up.
After the water and oil have separated you need a syringe to extract the oil from the cup or jar. After extraction place the oil in a separate container or storage.
These steps can be repeated to obtain tea tree oil later as well. After you collect the oil, store it in an airtight jar. That way it can be stored and used for a long time. Ensure you store it in a dry and cool area, away from direct sunlight.
- Preparing tea tree oil through crock pot
You can also make tea tree essential oil with a crock pot at home. To do so, the steps are listed below.
You’ll need to take and wash the necessary quantities of chopped tea tree leaves well. Next, bring the washed leaves into a crock pot.
Fill the pot with water to merge the leaves. Place the cover on the bowl and make sure it’s upside down. This will ensure that the evaporating water inevitably drips back into the bowl. The inverted lid will sit above the water level.
Cook the leaves on high flame and start simmering once the water boils. Do this for a couple of hours and let the crock pot cool down.
Then, place the cooled crock pot in the fridge and let the essential oil collect on the surface of the water. Carefully scoop off the surface oil and put in a clean, dry glass jar.
Place the oil in cool, dry position.
Preparing tea tree oil at home as such isn’t boring. You must therefore exercise patience when planning and handling it. Make sure the raw tea tree oil doesn’t come into contact with your skin or it might cause burning feeling. It should be treated carefully.