There was a time I have been very interested in natural cures. I had one of those female health issues, one of those that doctors usually cure administering common antibiotics; but antibiotics themselves made the problem worst in the long time. So I ended up doing what is widely not recommended: looking for a cure on line!
Among the top search results, my friend Google offered me Tea Tree Oil, an essential oil I had never heard about.
I did not know at that time that it was just the beginning of my passion for natural remedies.
During those years I have been using the essential oil of Tea Tree on the face, on the body, on the hairs, diluted or pure. Sometimes I went wrong causing myself some troubles, because while Tea Tree Oil is useful for a thousand different things, it must be used sparingly otherwise it might cause irritations. It has a strong and aggressive smell that does not please everyone, but it is very subjective.
As I used it steadily I learnt how to use it correctly in modality and quantity, and finally I decided to bring it with me in all my travels, and it ended up being useful many times to cure some tiny annoyances. Moreover, I am a bit choosy and I always need to feel clean and tidy. This image perhaps does not go along with being a backpacker, but not all the she-travellers are identical, and each of them should enjoy the trip accordingly to their inclinations and attitudes.
What is the Tea Tree Oil?
It is an essential oil also known as Melaleuca Essential Oil, which is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca Alternifolia, a plant native to Australia. The leaves of the tree are collected and subsequently they undergo a gentle distillation process through the use of water steam. It has healing and disinfectant properties, that is the reason why it is often used in natural cosmetics or in household products.
There are thousands of brands producing it. Personally I prefer to buy those with organic certification, but I don’t have a favorite brand. After years of use, I realized that it causes me a kind of intolerance if used pure or as an ingredient in creams, so while travelling I use it mainly as a disinfectant, diluting it.
How do I use the Tea Tree Oil while travelling?
- Diluted in plenty of hot water, to rinse face, hands or for a foot bath
- Diluted in a glass of water with a spoon of shampoo, to wash hairs if they are very dirty or if I feel the scalp pricking.
- I drop just a bit on a towel, for cleaning toilet seats in public toilets
- Diluted in a glass of water with a spoon of shower gel, to wash the body
- I apply it with a cotton ball slightly diluted on insect bites to relieve itching or on small pimples
- A few drops in plenty of water, to disinfect and wash clothes (especially underwear).
- As oral antiseptic. A drop diluted in a glass of water, rinse mouth a few seconds without ingesting it.
- A glass of boiling water with two or three drops of essential oil diluted in. Left in the room is going to disinfect the air and unblock the nose in case of cold.
Tea Tree Oil should never be used undiluted as it may cause allergic reactions, irritate and give the opposite effect of what you want to achieve. There are bottles of different sizes, I prefer to take the medium size (20 ml in Italy): it takes up little space and lasts several months.
Let’s try this essential oil, and let us know how you did use it!