Like most people, I try to go green, recycle, save water & electricity and try my hand at using natural products made of essential oil as far as possible.
My favourite essential oil is definitely Tea Tree Oil, or Tree Tree oil as my mom and 6yo keep saying no matter how many times I correct them. You can use it for just about anything from treating minor cuts, cold sores, acne, dandruff & dry scalp, headlice (which I just discovered yesterday) to household uses for cleaning, deodorising and mold/mildew in the bathrooms or any room prone to dampness.
Since we’re experiencing a change of season and skin is prone to become quite dry during this time, I will be making a batch of Tea Tree oil and Coconut Oil lip balm which I use not only on my lips but also on my whole body for extra moisturising. For those who like to try your hand at DIY products, here is the simple recipe.
1 cup shaved beeswax (you can use either a grater or knife for this pupose)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vitamin E oil
2-3 drops tea tree oil
Melt beeswax on a medium heat until melted. I like to use a pot of boiling water with a small saucepan on top. Add the coconut oil and stir. Remove from heat and stir in the Vitamin E and Tea Tree oil. Once mixed, pour into lip balm containers or any container of your choice and Voila! You have your lip balm/just balm.
Here are a few suggestions of uses:
Warning: Before applying Tea Tree oil and using it undiluted, please note that it can be a bit harsh on skin therefore I would suggest that you do a patch test first whether you have sensitive skin or not.
Minor Cuts: After cleaning the area well, apply undiluted tea tree oil to area. This will sting quite a bit but works magic as an antiseptic. I prefer this to ointments that rubs off on clothes or bedding.
Blackheads and Acne: Add a few drops (3 drops works) of Tea Tree oil directly onto infected area twice a day. You may also add about 20 drops of tea tree oil into facial wash, wash face twice daily. I must advise that it’s not an overnight success but results can be seen in continuous use.
Massage oil: Add about 6 drops to a carrier oil (I use grapeseed oil) and massage 2-3 times daily. I actually gave my stiff neck a massage this morning and feel great.
Toenail fungus: Apply 2 drops to affected nail twice a day. Also not an overnight success story but it works.
Detox foot bath: Mix together 1 cup of sea salt, 1 cup of epsom salt, and 2 cups of baking soda. Add a few drops of Tea Tree oil in addition when you soak your feet. Use a quarter cup once weekly for about 20 minutes a few weeks then once monthly. This is the best detox I’ve done by far. Tea Tree oil with warm water in a small foot bath relieves aching feet at the end of a long day.
Cold Sores (run of the mill kind): Apply a few drops of tea tree oil directly to the infected area with cotton swab twice daily. It works so much faster when you apply upon onset.
Dry scalp and Dandruff: Either rub or add about 3 drops to shampoo (in your hand) and wash hair. This unblocks hair follicles.
Dry Skin: The recipe above works wonders especially on dry lips. Alternately you may add a few drops to unscented aqeous cream or Epizone-A cream (which also happens to be another of my favourite products).
Eczema: Fortunately no one Jonkersville has eczema so I’m not too sure how effective this is. Its said to work so it’s worth a try. Add 6 drops tea tree oil to quarter cup of grapeseed oil, massage in areas that have been exposed. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
Insect Bites: Apply 3 to 4 drops of tea tree oil directly to the bite. You can also make a paste of bicarbonate of soda with water and add a few drops. I find that it works so much better.
Headaches: Rub some on your forehead, temples and nose area. This also serves as memory and mood enhancer.
Head Lice: Add 10 drops of tea tree oil to 1 ounce shampoo. Massage into hair, leave on for 10 minutes, rinse; repeat once a day until eggs and lice are gone.
Another Warning: Under no circumstances should Tea Tree oil be ingested! Consult your doctor immediately if this happens.
All Purpose Cleaner: Add 5 drops of tea tree oil to 2 tbs of vinegar with 1 tsp of borax. Mix with 2 cups of warm distilled or purified water (boiled water should suffice) and pour into a spray bottle. Shake until borax dissolves. Now you’re ready to clean away.
Washing: It’s an effective germ killer so add about 10 drops to each load of laundry. It will leave laundry smelling clean and fresh.
Mold/Mildew Removal: Add 2 teaspoons to 2 cups of warm water in a spray bottle and give it a good shake. Spray affected areas and leave to ‘soak’ for an hour or so. After enough time has lapsed respray area and start rubbing or scrubbing with sponge or toothbrush. Once done, wipe the area with a clean damp cloth and spray one last time and leave to dry. Do not wipe or scrub again as you’re done and the last spray is a preventative measure for the future.
Deodoriser: Add 10 drops of tea tree oil to spray bottle. By spraying this in your rooms you will not only refresh the air but also disinfect.
Vaporiser: Add 8 drops of tea tree oil to a cup of boiling water, leave in room to help alleviate stuffiness, allergies, headaches and flu symptoms. You may also pour the mixture into a tea light burner so it will retain heat for longer.
Last Warning: Use all essential oils, including Tea Tree oil, with caution during pregnancy and breastfeeding!
One product with a myriad of uses. Is there any wonder that I’m obsessed? When it comes to deciding on a brand, I’m not too fussy about it. I’ve used both Thursday Plantation as well as the Clicks brand. Personally I use the Clicks one more frequently because I do most of my toiletry shopping there. Also because I always get it at a good price. Another reason I prefer Clicks is because their hair dye actually covers all my greys and the colour actually takes. It may be a strange reasoning but most importantly the products serve its purpose and very well too.
The uses above (except for the headlice and eczema treatments) are ones that I’ve tried and tested. If you have any more uses I have not listed above, please do share it with me. I’m always open to trying out new things.
I’m off to making some balm and will be posting a picture editorial of how to make it, just so you can see how easy it is, real soon.