by Gaye Levy, The Sleuth Journal:
Essential oils have been used for healing and medicinal purposes for centuries and most certainly long before we had pills, capsules and big pharma to take care of our medical woes. And while there is a place for manufactured pharmaceuticals in our survival medicine kit, there exists the possibility that none will be available or that they will be in such scarce supply that they should be reserved for only the most dire of circumstances.
For that reason, many preppers and individuals seeking self-reliance are learning to use essential oils to manage the both routine and not-so-routine maladies that occur in daily life. There are about a dozen or so essential oils that belong in every survival kit including tea tree, peppermint, lavender, clove, rosemary and lemon among others. All of these essential oils have healing properties but today I would like to focus on just one, tea tree oil.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF TEA TREE OIL
It is believed that the Aborigines of Australia have been using the leaves of the indigenous Malaleuca Tree (whose leaves are used to make tea tree oil) in their medications for centuries. They inhaled the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds, sprinkled crushed leaves on their wounds and used an infusion of soaked leaves to treat sore throats or skin ailments.
Use of the oil itself, as opposed to the un-extracted plant material, did not become common practice until researcher Arthur Penfold published the first reports of its antimicrobial activity in a series of papers in the 1920s and 1930s. In evaluating the antimicrobial activity, he found that tea tree oil was 11 times more active than phenol.
The commercial tea tree oil industry was born shortly thereafter although interest in tea tree oil ebbed after World War II, presumably due to the development of effective antibiotics and the waning image of natural products. Interest was rekindled in the 1970s as part of the general renaissance of interest in natural products.
80 USES OF TEA TREE OIL FOR SURVIVAL
For thousands of years, the derivatives of the Malaleuca Tree have been effective in treating a wide variety of ailments. Here are 80 reasons why you should use it, too!
Abrasions & Minor Cuts: After cleaning the area well, apply a few drops of the oil directly. If a bandage is needed, allow a few drops of the oil to penetrate a cotton ball, then lay it face down on the wound with a bandage on top.
Acne: Add a drop to your normal cleansing routine or dab a very small amount on acne breakouts. You can also add 20 – 40 drops of the oil to your regular face wash.
Air Freshener: Keep a supply of cotton balls soaked in tea tree oil packed away in a plastic bag or tin. When confronted with foul smells from cooking, musty orders from dampness or even the medicinal smell in a sick room, take a few out the freshen the air and remove the nasty smell
Allergies: Use topically by massaging into the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet.
Arthritis: To help reduce pain associated with the swelling of arthritis, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of grapeseed or other carrier oil. Massage into affected area 2-3 times a day.
Asthma: Add a few drops of oil to a pan of water and heat on stove. When cooling, drape a towel over head and breath in for a few minutes.
Athletes Foot: Clean feet thoroughly, especially between toes. Add oil directly to feet every two weeks, dusting with corn starch after. Or add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of grapeseed or other carrier oil and massage on feet and between toes daily.
Baby Care: Keep your diaper pail clean and fresh with a spray of tea tree oil mixed with water.
Bacterial Infections: Use topically, either massaging into the reflex points of the feet, adding several drops to a bath or cautiously applying over an infected site.
Bad Breath: Rinse with 1 ounce water and 1 drop oil. Do not swallow!
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