Do you have gashes that drag their heels in the healing process? Wounds and cuts are the badges we wear, representing an active life. However, skin tears make you vulnerable to infection. A red flag is a swollen, pus-filled lesion.
You’re familiar with the standard preventative, a topical antibiotic. If an outbreak becomes severe, you may be prescribed oral antibiotics or intravenous medication. As a result, the healing process becomes complex and even hazardous.
The good news is there’s a powerful ally against microorganisms! In my history of injuries, I’ve found a natural treatment. Now I use tea tree oil for wounds and cuts. I’m eager to tell you why.
A powerful Natural Antibiotic
Tea tree oil is extracted from the Melaleuca tree, native to the Australian coast. This golden oil speeds tissue healing in several ways. A whiff of its pungent scent is a tip-off to its antiseptic action (source). Credit goes to terpinen-4-ol, a compound with antimicrobial properties.
Tea tree oil kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It effectively combats infections that are resistant to antibiotics. Other active components alleviate inflammation.
History of Use
Australian natives were the first to discover tea tree oil’s ability to heal abrasions. The plant received the name “tea tree” in 1770 when British explorer Captain Cook saw the tribes using the leaves. He also brewed them as a tea to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency.
During World War II, Aussie soldiers used tea tree oil for wound healing. After the war, pharmaceutical antibiotics became popular. However, in 1960, the oil regained its foothold. Today, Melaleuca is cultivated stateside in California.
Scientific Efficacy of tea tree oil for wounds
In the early 1920s, Australian chemist Arthur Penfold cited the oil’s antimicrobial power in a series of research papers. In evaluating its components, he found that tea tree oil was 11 times more potent than phenol.
A 2013 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found the oil to be effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (source).
Known as the “hospital superbug,” MRSA is a dangerous post-operative infection. In this study, the oil proved faster than conventional treatment in promoting healing. MRSA is resistant to all antibiotics except vancomycin.
A 2002 East London University study compared vancomycin with tea tree oil, showing the oil to be an effective alternative in combating MRSA.
For non-healing cuts, please check this page to learn about the factors that can slow down the healing process.
How to use tea tree oil for cuts?
To avoid a skin reaction and a significant sting, it’s recommended that you dilute the oil. Tea tree oil can cause skin reactions in people with sensitive skin. Symptoms include redness, itching, blisters, and a rash. To avoid skin sensitivity, it’s best to dilute the oil.
According to Surging Life (source), here is how you can use tea tree oil for wounds and cuts:
- Place two drops of the oil in one cup of warm water
- Soak a cotton ball in the solution, and dab it on your gash.
- Apply the solution twice a day until your skin heals.
You can purchase tea tree extract from natural food stores or buy Tea Tree Essential Oil online.
If your cut or wound is minor, there’s usually no need for a bandage. Exposing the skin to air may help it seal. If the abrasion is deep, cover it with an adhesive strip. Most studies show that a covered wound heals faster than an uncovered wound.
CAUTION: If you develop a severe infection, contact your doctor. Breastfeeding women should not use the oil since it has hormonal properties. It’s contraindicated during pregnancy as it may decrease the strength of contractions.
Oral ingestion is toxic. Otherwise, tea tree oil is safe. According to MedMD, experts consider tea tree oil to be safe as a topical treatment, and you can apply it directly to the skin on a daily basis (source).
You can safely use tea tree oil for wound healing and cuts as a natural alternative to topical antibiotics. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial components expedite tissue regeneration.
Have you used tea tree oil to prevent infection? If so, please share your experience below!
I also included a video to remind you about the first aid guidelines for wounds and the importance of adhering to proper wound care: