Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Medicine Cabinet In A Bottle

Earlier in the summer I had a burning sensation between two of the toes on my right foot. I couldn't see anything, but it sure felt like athlete's foot. When I researched natural remedies, tea tree oil was on many of the lists.  I decided to give it a try; several years ago I used a shampoo that contained the ingredient, and liked its eucalyptus smell and the tingly sensation it left on my scalp.   The next time I was at Whole Foods I bought a tiny brown bottle of tea tree essential oil. I applied a drop on the painful places between my toes twice a day. It took about a week, but eventually the problem went away.

Tea tree oil is a nearly colorless essential oil that has antiviral and antibacterial properties. The aboriginal people of Australia have used the oil and leaves of tea trees for centuries. Now, it's touted as a remedy for all types of bacterial and fungal skin ailments.  After my foot healed I had most of the bottle left, so I started dabbing a little tea tree oil on cuts, scrapes, and the occasional pimple.  It seemed like it worked at least as well as other first aid products.

Last Saturday night I noticed the middle of my upper lip was puffy and tingling, and I suspected I was getting a cold sore. Sure enough, when I woke up Sunday morning I had a cluster of three tiny blisters right in the middle of my lip which were surrounded by a red swollen area.

I decided to try tea tree oil, applying it to the outbreak every few hours. When I woke up on Monday the blisters seemed to be drying up and my lip was less puffy. Encouraged, I took the bottle to work with me and continued to dab it on the area.   By bedtime the only evidence of blisters was a patch of dry skin.  Today my lip still felt a little strange, but it looked completely normal.  The only negative side effect was that the tea tree oil dried out my lips.  Applications of lip balm took care of that.

I think the last time I had a cold sore it took more than a week to heal.  This one took two days.  Tea tree oil is amazing!

Five years ago today: New Thing #46--Can You Reconcile That?


  1. that is really good to know! I love using natural remedies if I can!

  2. My daughter would agree with you. She likes tea tree oil, too. It's good to know that this works so well. I remember my mother using a similar product on cold sores when I was a child.

  3. good to know this natural remedy is effective Kathy. My son used to use it in his shampoo but we decided it was too expensive for shampoo.

  4. No kidding? Tea tree oil? Sounds wonderful! I shall have to look into this. I do like to try natural remedies.