For those who haven’t heard of tea tree oil yet, it has powerful antiviral, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. Among other benefits.

Its history of medicinal use goes way back to when Aboriginal communities (indigenous/ancient people of Australia) first utilized it as an antiseptic by crushing the leaves and applying them to burns, cuts, and infections.

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They would also use it for sore muscles and other health-related uses.

It later became so widespread that it made its way outside of Australia after chemist Arthur Penfold published a series of papers on its antiseptic properties during the 1920’s.

In modern times you’ll see it as a primary ingredient of many body cleansing and hair care products, because of its potent antimicrobial/antibacterial compounds.

However, there are many other uses for it that most people don’t know about…

4 Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil

1. Repel Insects, Including Ants and Cockroaches

Do you have household pests such as ants? When you find a line of ants, follow the line back to the point of entry. Place a few drops of Tea Tree oil where the ants are entering the house. This will deter the ants from returning through that same point of entry. Wiping down cupboards with a solution of Tea Tree oil and water will also deter roaches, should you ever find them.

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2. Disinfects Laundry and Dishes

Since Tea Tree oil does have antiseptic properties, it is a great addition to your warm mist vaporizer to help disinfect the air after someone has been ill in your family. Adding six to eight drops to the laundry when washing the linens following an illness is another good idea.

Adding a drop or two of Tea Tree oil to your soap dispenser in your dishwasher prior to adding soap will help to disinfect your dishes, as well as getting them clean.

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3. Cleans All Surfaces Even Better

You can make a homemade all-purpose cleaner that will rival any store-bought, chemical cleaner. One such recipe is to combine three or four drops of Tea Tree oil with two tablespoons of vinegar and one tablespoon of borax. Add this mixture to a 12-ounce spray bottle and fill it up with warm water.

4. Tea Tree Oil for Longer, Thicker Hair

While tea tree oil doesn’t necessarily speed up hair growth directly, it can actually encourage hair growth by helping to unclog hair follicles and nourish the roots. If you suffer from dandruff as well as hair loss, there’s a very good chance it will help, as dandruff can clog pores as well as incessant itching and inflammation that can cause hair to fall out.

A 2002 study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that when a group of male and female participants used a shampoo with a 5% concentration of tea tree oil over a four-week period, nearly half experienced a significant decline in dandruff.

Just 11% of participants in another group treated with a placebo, reported improvement. While the research doesn’t prove that tea tree oil directly causes the hair to grow, it does offer evidence as to how it can help.

Tea tree oil effectively moisturizes the hair so that the scalp is no longer dry and itchy, and it also helps to prevent dead skin cells from building up, as well as residues of other hair care products, leading the way to longer, more lustrous locks.

At the same time, the tea tree oil can also control excess oil produced in the scalp that can block hair follicles, preventing hair growth.

There are a number of ways you can use tea tree oil for longer, thicker hair. One of the best is to use it as a massage oil on your scalp, though you’ll need to dilute it first in a carrier oil.

Simply add a few drops to a carrier oil like almond, olive or coconut oil in its liquid form, and massage it into your scalp. Then wrap your hair up in a towel and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to soak up the full benefits of the oils before rinsing it out.

Start out by applying the treatment two to three times per week, and after experiencing desired results, continue it on a weekly basis.