While the use of essential oils might seem like a new and popular trend, people have been using them for thousands of years to achieve full body and mind wellness. The ancient Egyptians were some of the first to extract oils from different plants for aromatherapy and embalming, and the Greeks would later use these oils for healing, perfumication and offerings to the gods.
Since then, users have advocated for their healing powers—using methods like aromatherapy, pills or topical applications of the oils to supplement professional medical care.
Discovered by the indigenous Bundjalung people of eastern Australia, tea tree oil has been used for hundreds of years for healing. The leaves were used to treat skin wounds and bites. Now used as an alternative to acne medication, some studies have shown applying 5 percent tea tree oil daily to acne works to reduce inflammation, with fewer side effects than benzoyl peroxide. Because of tea tree oil’s antibacterial and antiviral properties, it’s often used topically on cold sores to reduce the swelling and the duration of the outbreak. A study by the Australian Dental Journal says a drop of tea tree oil applied to toothpaste could possibly ease chronic gingivitis by killing bacteria on the gums.
Excerpted from Newsweek