I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Tea Tree Oil As Antibacterial (etc.)

From http://www.WebMD.com: "Tea tree oil comes from the Australian paperbark tree and has been used traditionally as a folk remedy by Australian aborigines. There are close to 300 varieties of Melaleuca alternifolia (the Latin name for the tea tree), but only one produces the medicinal oil...According to naturopathic and homeopathic doctor Asa Hershoff, DC, of Los Angeles and San Francisco, tea tree oil has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties..."

For months now, I have been using tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) exclusively to treat any number of skin issues. I use it on myself, my husband, and my children. I have watched tea tree quickly resolve minor infections. It helped to heal a boil that had been present for months and simply would not go away, but became irritated again and again. If the kids get scrapes or booboos that are dirty or have high infection possibilities, I apply tea tree as a preventative measure. And it works. It does not sting, like some EOs can (lavender, for example.) And a little goes a long way. Tea tree can be diluted if desired. Just add a couple of drops of tea tree to sweet almond oil, or any good carrier oil. 

I was told by a holistic practitioner that it is important not to overdo essential oil application. She suggested applying an oil once or twice a day for one or two days, then taking a day or two off for rest, repeating as needed. I have followed that advice with good results.

I buy Tea tree oil from Young Living, whose prices tend to high but their products are all therapeutic grade. You can find it online at a number of places. It is probably available at Whole Food Markets and others.