Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I Save Money with Tea Tree Oil: Anti-Lice, Anti-Acne Cures!

Tea Tree Oil is the wonder product in my house. It's natural. It's effective. It's cheap. We purchase small bottles of this essential oil at the health food store and a little drop goes a long way.

Of course, with this post, I am stepping into the land of TMI (too much information), but I'm offering a small glance into my personal biz to show how Tea Tree Oil really works, with some expert testimony from a few health care and beauty books.

1. Blemishes: I am almost 50, but I feel like I'm a teenager at times. The good news: In humid South Florida, the weather creates a natural anti-wrinkle shine on my skin. The bad news: Hello Zits! Fortunately, Tea Tree Oil --applied very sparingly with a Qtip -- zaps the zits. Test first to make sure that you can take the sting or dilute with a bit of olive oil.

2. Athlete's Foot: Someone in my family developed athlete's foot. But a bit of Tea Tree Oil (on a Qtip) halted the problem quickly and effectively.

3. Head lice: OMG! This is a biggie! A few years, ago when my kids were in pre-school and elementary school, head lice went through the classrooms. Horrors! And for a family of kinky, curly and wavy hair, the lice incident was a nightmare. Awful, awful. It's another warm weather hazard. Unfortunately, the commercially prepared head lice medicines scared me. The warnings and possible side effects were worse than the lice.

And later, I felt justified. After our head lice episode, a close, close friend told me that her sister developed seizures after exposure to professional anti-lice medicine.

A natural solution: Tea Tree Oil mixed with olive oil, mayonnaise and other essential oils. I know that it sounds sooo yucky. But if you leave that formula in all day or all night on a covered head (use a shower cap), the lice are smothered.*

Bottom line: Even if you use one of the professional chemical formulas, you still have to pick out all of those darn lit nits anyway. That's the source of the term nit-picking.

4. Dandruff/head treatments/scalp massages: Tea Tree Oil is amazing as a scalp treatment. I don't understand why consumers spend a fortune for expensive beauty products that include Tea Tree Oil. I saw one expensive product for $16-20. Why not just add a few drops of the natural concentrate to one of the frugal ($1-2) no-name conditioners or shampoos in the drugstore?

I'm not nuts or odd: Various formulas using Tea Tree Oil can be found in the Ageless Natural Beauty book by Sally Freeman. I love this book and refer to it frequently. The book has formulas for using Tea Tree Oil in deodorants, hair care, pedicures and skin care. I recently spotted the book on eBay for $2.99

Likewise, Nature's Pharmacy by Dr. Lynne Paige Walker and Ellen Hodgson Brown offers a great overview of the various medicinal and cosmetic uses for Tea Tree Oil:

"This remedy has a wealth of uses. It can be used as an anti fungal for athlete's foot, fungus in the mouth, fingernail or toe-nail fungus, a scalp cleanser for problems such as dandruff and lice; a gargle for sinus congestion, sore throat and sore gums; a topical remedy for canker sores, cold sores, acne, minor cuts, abrasions, insect bites, rashes, after shaving or waxing or minor burns."-Nature's Pharmacy
(Note: Tea Tree Oil and other essential oils should be used and handled carefully. Please follow package warnings and directions.)

I spotted the Nature's Pharmacy on Amazon for $5.29. I have a deal with Amazon, but I'm not making money for plugging/selling either of these books. I think I found the Beauty book at a remainder's table for $5 at Barnes & Nobles. And I'm not sure where we found the second book: maybe at a yard sale or used book store. I hope it's not a borrowed book that I forgot to return to a friend.

*Disclaimer: I'm not a health or beauty expert. I'm just a crazy tester, willing to experiment with my hair and skin. My solutions work for me. These tips might not work for you or your family.



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