This Is As Close to Hugging a Tree As I Will Get

At the risk of sounding flaky, I'm going to tell y'all something:

I'm pretty sure I've made a tree happy somewhere.

My toddler has skin issues. She has eczema and this time of year is so hard on her. The prescription she uses doesn't help much during a bad flare up. Last week was really tough and her Mother's Day Out teacher actually called me, voicing her concern.

Feeling sorry for my girl (and fearing my Tuesdays might be in jeopardy), I knew I had to do something.

And so I Googled.

I read and read and kept seeing the words, "tea tree oil." I called GNC and bought my first bottle of essential oil.

Y'all. It's like a miracle potion. Her skin has improved by 90%. 

As many of you know, we also had another little problem at the same time. More than 100 of you confessed to your own experiences or lent some handy advice or unsubscribed to me. Whatever. But all of you convinced me that I wasn't dirty. (thankyou)

I was amazed to read so many suggest a few drops of "tea tree oil" in the shampoo bottle.

Again, it did the trick.

My kids smell like a giant melaleuca tree, but their skin and hair is healthy.  And I feel sorta bad for all my essential-oil mockery over the years, especially since at one point I kissed the bottle and praised God for it.

So, my tip? This stuff works. Here's where you can buy it and here' s what it helps cure.

Now, tell me, what other oils are out there and what do you use them for?

Not that I want to know or anything, I'm just asking for a friend. 


Check out Works for Me Wednesday for more great tips.


lovinsanta said...

Tea Tree Oil is one of God's great wonders. Natural and cures so many things. There is (was?) a company called Melaleuca where all their products had tea tree oil in them. This is how I was first introduced. It works great for fever blisters as well if you get them. Dab it on and keep putting it on and it helps.

Blue Castle said...

I'm trying to get ahold of you - I'd like to donate an item to your VM carnival. Saw you mention it on twitter. Thank you. :)

We swear by Tea Tree oil around here. It's awesome for sinus infections.

Muthering Heights said...

My husband uses it in his hair, and he has the sexiest hair ever. AND I've heard that it can hep with annoying problems like acne. I'm thinking I should give it a try!

Traci Best said...

Okay...seriously! I'm off to go buy some right away!

Thank you!!

Everychapter said...

It's good for acne and just generally cutting down on the oil on your face, just add a bit to your face wash. Who'd have thought- oil to get rid of oil? Hmmm. Great post, thanks for reminding me.

P.S.He loves you.. said...

After using Tea tree for a good while I started playing around with other oils..Young living Esst Oils..they are 100% the out there..ask your friend "eck life?"

Everychapter said...

It's good for acne and just generally cutting down on the oil on your face, just add a bit to your face wash. Who'd have thought- oil to get rid of oil? Hmmm. Great post, thanks for reminding me.

Sole said...

Hi, another great thing about tea tree oil is it's a natural lice deterent too! Whenever I hear lice is going around at school I mix it in with a little shampoo and wash my daughters hair with it. Jason brand sells an organic conditioner with tea tree oil in it and we use it almost daily to keep them little buggers away! Love your blog!

Stephanie said...

So this may sound crazy, but my friend swears by it. Her son (3yrs old) has had major skin issues that she has spent 100s of dollars on trying to sooth and cure. She has done the perscription creams, the expensive lotions at the mall, etc.. She swears that Extra Virgin Olive Oil was the thing that helped him the most. She bought the "better" brand and his rash is better. I personally don't get it, and have not tried it, but she says that it works the best.

Hillary @ The Dunham Diaries said...

Thanks for the great tip! I will have to try that and keep it in the "need to remember that" file. Which doesn't promise much!
I don't use any oils, but I use natural progesterone cream- absolute life saver for me. A whole different post/ salute to that will have to be made at some point soon on my blog!

JessW said...

Tea Tree is one of my favorites but I believe every kitchen should have a bottle of pure lavender oil in it. It is amazing on burns! I use a few drops, let it soak in, then rub on some aloe vera. It's like the burn never happened. :)

Anonymous said...

Guess what I'm buying tomorrow??? TEA TREE OIL! I'm having some skin flare up issues and nothing is working. I was contemplating going to the doctor, but not now! Thanks for the info!

Jessica said...

When I have drainage or congestion we use Eucalyptus Oil. Put a generous amount on a Q-Tip and swap the inside of your nostrils several times in a day. IT WORKS WONDERS!!!!! (and everything smells so fresh all day)

Missy said...

My comment has nothing to do with tea tree oil, although it sounds like amazing stuff. I have been reading your blog for about five or six months now(love it!) and I just have to tell you that you make me laugh everyday. Thank you!

Krisi and Adam said...

I will have to get this. Joy at 5 J's said she used Vit. E for her daughter (haven't bought that yet either) but I have both on my list of things to pick up when I am out and about as my 19 month old has had a flare up we have never been able to go COMPLETELY away -- since about 5 months old!

christine said...

just wanted to let you know WE have used tea tree oil for the SAME "issues" (both of them!) and had great results too!
how wonderful you found something that works...
can you maybe tell me about your daughters eczema? my daughters is HORRID bad right now and so is my oldest sons.

Leanne said...

I can't remember the last time I didn't have a bottle of tea tree somewhere in the house. When I worked in a nursing home it was used for everything. Its also the only thing which can help stop the transfer of some hospital "superbugs" like MRSA. We always added a few drops to those litte bottles of hand sanitiser and used it constantly.

Aloe is my other favourite for everything, chapped skin, sunburn, cuts, grazes, you name it and Aloe helps ease it.

Lisa said...


everyday mom said...

Eucalyptus oil will help with sinus/chest infections, colds and is a good antibacterial agent so I will sometimes mix it with water and clean with it.

I know you can get it online here I have a stock that my parents bring me from Australia when they come to visit.

D... said...

Thanks for this post! I have a severely dry patch on my elbow. I'm going to try this stuff on me.

Andrea said...

Thanks for the info on the oil. I will have to get some for my youngest son. His skin is so dry and we have been using a hypo-allergenic lotion, but it isn't helping much.

heather said...

We've been looking for new help with my son's eczema this winter too...
Question for you:
Did you use just the straight tea tree oil on your daughter's skin or did you mix it with the grapeseed oil as your link to the list suggested?

It's so nice to find things that really work for others!! Especially when it comes to making our kids happier and healthier! Thanks Kristen :)

Upstatemomof3 said...

Big Brother has eczema too. It is really bad this year and we cannot seem to get it under control. The prescription seems to be keeping it from getting worse, but certainly not making it better. I am going out ASAP and buying some of that oil.
And as for the other - great to know it works for that too. I hate those little buggers and just thinking about them makes me itch all over. :)

marky said...

It also works on mouth sores.. of course it needs diluted and you rinse with it..but it heals things beautifully!

Aunt Murry said...

I came by way of Shannon's blog. I have had eczema all my life. I can not say enough about tea tree oil. One thing to watch out for is that it will dry out the skin so...I use Eucerin or Aquafor and mix it with the tea tree oil.
I pray that your little one meets with understanding as she grows older. Face it kids are mean. I was teased - a lot when I was a kid.
I'm sure that you will guide her with lots of encouragement as she grows older and has to deal with the predjedice of skin issues!

coco said...

I will be looking for some tree tea oil...sounds like it should be a staple in every house!

bunchofbull-ers! said...

Tea tree oil is AMAZING! I always have it on hand. And yes, it does work wonders on lice!! My advice is shop around for better prices. I would look for a natural/whole foods co-op in your area. It is way cheaper that way!

And Grapeseed Oil is amazing as well.


Cheryl said...

I love Tea Tree Oil. Works wonders.

Patois said...

Lice has infested my youngest son's grade. His class had remained unscathed...until yesterday. So far, he's clear, but I think I'm getting me some tea tree oil just in case.

Kimm at Reinvented said...

I love tea tree oil. It works great for my daughter's dandruff (she's gonna love that I wrote that). I also put it in my mop water with the vinegar so it's not so stinky. Peppermint oil works great for this too.

Sandy Toes said...

LOL! We did fish oil when my daughter had skin problems..hope it continues to work!
-sandy toe

Valarie Lea said...

Did you know it also helps with break outs. Not that I would have a problem with that at all, but I have heard. ;)

Lucrecia said...

I am SO going to try this! Like I'm leaving work this instant to go find some!
My daughters skin gets so dry, which you know leads to the dreaded scratching. Well right before Christmas she scratched herself raw on her rump and got an MRSA (staph infection) and had to be hospitalized to remove it. Talk about feeling dirty!!

Holly said...

We always have a bottle of tea tree oil in the house. I got started years ago when my stepmom started selling Melaleuca...however I think they are too expensive and a little gimmicky. I just use the straight stuff that's about $5 at Walmart. You may have read this in your research, but it can cause serious trouble if ingested (as little as 1 tsp), especially by children or pets, so treat it like other medications and lock it up or whatever. Speaking of pets, works on ear mites too.

Alaina said...

Thanks so much for the tip! My 4yo daughter has eczema and hopefully this will help it subside.

Veggiemomof2 said...

I am fighting severe dry patches on my elbows & will be trying the Tea Tree Oil w/Elidel. So far the Elidel isn't working alone. I do LOVE Tea Tree oil for lice. My daughter's 1st grade class was infested, so I bought cheap detangler & added tea tree more lice for us!

Anonymous said...

i had eczema, i stopped using chemicals to clean with, i only use vinegar, baking soda, oxyclean & borax and i have not had a break out since, in like 6 months.

Veronica said...

My shampoo has tea tree oil. I love the stuff. I use some in the diaper pail too. But I have never tried it on my eczema. Thanks for the tip!

MommyAmy said...

When I was in college and couldn't afford medical care I used to get these HORRIBLE throat infections. I gargled with water & a few drops of tea tree oil and it would be gone in a few days.

Awesome stuff!

Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

I've twittered this before, but a few drops of lavender oil in olive oil, put it in the ear, and you can kill an ear infection naturally.

Lavender, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, they're all natural antiseptics and can be used as such. A teaspoon of lavender in 16 oz of water is a great disinfecting spray.

Tammy said...

Poster child for icky skin! I am gonna have to try the tea tree oil. I have some on hand from the great lice breakout of 2007!

Tales From the Eurovan said...

I had no idea tea tree oil would do so much! Thanks for the tip...I know it's only a matter of time before one of my 3 kids has (you know ) bugs in their hair.
Take care,

Heather said...

I LOVE tea tree oil!! I didn't read all the comments, but I know it's good for dandruff, too! I don't know it personally, but one of my children does. :)

Shoebee said...

Tea Tree Oil is a natural anitbacterial, antifungal, antiviral. It is a great product. You can do so much with it. I add a few drops onto my furnace filter to keep the colds down. As the air filters through the filter, it kills the viruses and keeps mold down. Not to mention, it stops that closed up smell that happens about mid-winter in the house. Also, a few drops of the oil in a humifier keeps it clean. I have applied it directly to bee stings (when my kids get them), and poof, no more pain. I apply it to all cuts, no infections. Over the last few years, you may have heard about the dreaded superinfection called MRSA (Methacillin Resistant Staph Aureous), nice thing about tea tree oil, it kills MRSA. Tea Tree oil is also a natural grease cutter, it will clean almost anything. I have had stains of nail polish, permenent marker, etc...and yes, it got rid of the stains.
Other essential oils...Lavender, great for sinus infections/ear infections. Clove oil, great for tooth pain...couple of drops on affected tooth, poof pain gone. Can also chew on a whole clove for the same effect.
The biggest thing that should be remembered about using any essential oil, you should use a carrier oil with it. Using directly can cause skin irritation.

Mom to 5...Daughter of the King said...

We deal with horrible eczema with my almost 5 year old. I've never tried this, I will so be trying it!!Thanks for the tip!

Susie said...

I am new to Works for Me Wednesday but I love it!

Tree oil, huh? I have got to try that!!

Anonymous said...

Years ago 20/20 did an informal test of several household cleaners. The part I saw was on glass cleaners. By far the testers picked PLAIN WATER as the winner!

So I use a squirt bottle of water for my glass cleaner. Just for smell - I add a few drops of essential oil. Anything citrus is my favorite right now ALONG WITH one drop of plain soap. I use Method Hand Soap unscented.

The drop of soap helps the oil mix into the water.

It is a great glass and surface cleaner. My 3 yr old loves to help and I can have her wash the tables with this cleaner!

This cleaner is great for most anything. However it is not great for a super dirty cooktop with lots of grease.

We are THAT Family said...

Okay. Y'all. Thanks for all the input. Please remember I am not a medical doctor (as if I needed to clarify that). Do not drink essential oils and the can irritate, so apply sparingly. That is all.

Wifeof1Momof4 said...

We use Tea Tree Oil for the many reasons listed today, mineral oil mixed w/ juice for constipation (Pedi recommended it, and olive oil for hair and dandruff.

A friend of mine uses essential oils in her laundry because she makes her own soap and uses vinegar in the wash.

Jae said...

Tea Tree oil (and Rosemary oil) are great for keeping away those icky creepy crawlies. :-D We use it at home on a daily basis ...

Lemon oil is a great mood lifter. Lavender oil is very relaxing and soothing. I'm sure I know others, just not right off the top of my head in this moment.

The Graves' House said...

i've used tt oil for years now. (great for those occasional blemishes) recently i've started using oregano oil... heard it is great for preventing winter colds. mixing a few drops in my juice each morn and shooting it down. the taste is to be desired, but if it works i'm all for it:)

Lisa said...

I knew there was a green girl inside you.

Lisa said...

I knew there was a green girl inside you.

Alaina said...

I just posted about you on my blog...thanks again!

Nicole said...

I have bad eczema on my hands and a essential-oil mocker as well. However, I am promptly getting up from this couch and going to find that little bottle I bought a while back for some other miracle cure reason and try it on my rough, dry, cracked and bleeding hands.

Thanks for the tip, you tree-hugger you. ;)

jennifer said...

I have terrible exzema on my hands and winter does an number on me. I have found that the Kiss My Face Olive & Aloe soap and lotion does much to keep me from drying out too much (all the hand washing). And Udder Balm from Tractor Supply or any Feed Store is great. They use it to keep cows' udders from getting frostbite. It's has a surprisingly pleasant aroma and is so soothing. One of my must-haves for this season.

Heather said...

I had the worst break-out of eczema when I was pregnant with my last baby, and what helped me the most was upping my intake of omega - 3 oils (tuna and flax), taking a probiotic (PB8 is the brand I love because it doesn't have to be refrigerated) and avoiding wheat and sugar. That took care of 80% of my itchies. The rest was taken care by Arbonne's products - RE9 body serum and lotion especially, but I think any of their stuff is great because of the essential oils and no mineral oil. Anything that is happening on your skin is related to your gut. Your skin is your largest organ, and when it's irritated it's trying to detox something. While you want to relieve the irritation, it's so much more important to look at the root of the problem!

Anonymous said...

Dear fellow new convert to tree hugging,

I got the tea tree oil today. And I need to vocalize something to you that your daughter could not due to her age, despite her obvious genius. Just putting the oil on the eczema made it feel good. Like it was regenerating or something. I couldn't believe it. So not only did your daughter look better, I guarantee she felt better. And she knew it was coming from her mom :-)

MCC said...

*Peppermint oil - drop a bit in your bottled water to soothe an upset tummy. Especially great during pregnancy for that nausea.

*A mix of castor oil & olive oil is a great skin cleanser. BigMama started using it & loved it too.

The Southern Family said...

My skin care co. is all about the oils...we have all kinds in all kinds of stuff- and they smell SO good. MY 4 yo has the sensitive skin- and I add them to her bath all the time (we have a bath salt with ess oil and lavender that is heavenly). I can't even tell you how that helps her!

Anonymous said...

We love essential oils around here:
ylang ylang (or whatever oil is your favorite) mixed with 1:2 vinegar to water for an all-purpose cleaner.

a few drops of tea tree oil in the toilet bowl to keep it smelling fresh and to kill germs in between cleaning (with 4 boys its a must!).

your favorite oil added to a hot steamy bath at the end of an interesting day - YUMMY.

patchouli oil (or your favorite oil) added to unscented lotion in place of perfume.

The possibilities are absolutely endless!


Alexia said...

Tea Tree Oil is the bomb! If you keep the oil in your shampoo on a permanent basis is should keep future lice away too.

Rachel said...

Hi! Melaleuca is an awesome company that sells natural home products including cleaning, kids shampoos, makeup, first aid you name it. It's a non toxic which is huge at our house. But I wanted to tell you about their laundry soap. It's amazing. Anyone who is sensative to detergent should try it. It's all natural and only takes a tiny to bit to wash a whole load. It may seem expensive but the 64 oz does 64 it's worth it.

Laury said...

Tea Tree oil can also keep you humidifier from molding and harboring bacteria. Martha Stewart reccoments 3 - 5 drops in you tank pedending on your tanks size. We started this over the summer and LOVE it now. It works in so many ways!
Lavender oil is awesome too. I keep some in the medicine cabinet. A bit on a burn is awesome! In the summer I put a few drops in a water bottle and keep in the fridge when someone has a sunburn I'll sprtiz the burn to help cool the skin and also add pure aloe after. It really takes the burn sensation out and feel so good. My sister inlaw got me on the when she treated one of my burns while we were camping. I could not beleive the results and have been a fan since. Great on bug bites too by the way.

Laury said...

Oh, AND Tea Tree oil treats foot fungus too. I forgot.
I buy mine at Trader Joes and/ or Whole food for much les. Dessert Essence brand is affordable. They make a blemish stick that I have used for YEARS now. My hubby love it too. It is primarily tea tree oil with a blend of others and works wonders. Smells good too!

Jerri - Simply Sweet Home said...

I use Paul Mitchell's Tea Tree Shampoo. It's a little expensive, but it's a really good shampoo!

Chappyswife said...

I cannot believe the wealth of information here! I took a lot of notes and made a shopping list.

What I want to know from all of these smart ladies is if their households are a lot healthier because of these efforts. These oils sound wonderful, and I can't wait to try them, but as a whole, do their families actually stay sick LESS?

I have battled bronchitis for three weeks now, and we all have very dry skin and some eczema, so I can't get to the store fast enough!

Thank you! :0)

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Have always heard good things about this - I need to get some just to have on hand.

Marj said...

If you like essential oils, you should try this Pain Go Essential oil blend. Someone gave me some as a gift, and I use it for EVERYTHING. It takes the pain out of smashed thumbs, bonks, bruises, ingrown toenails, carpal tunnel. These are a things I have tried it for. Get it here

Anonymous said...



Tammy said...

Lavendar essential oil does a lot of what the tea tree oil does, but smells WAY better! I like the brand "Now Foods" and I can get them super reasonable through "" (along with many other great natural products and vitamins/suppliments)

Also, plain old castor oil is very healing, too. I had a bad toe nail (fungus? I know, gross) for years, and even went to a doc and took oral meds; but nothing got rid of it until I starting rubbing castor oil in twice a day. It just peeled away one day and hasn't been back (over a year now)!

EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil) is an amazing product that you've probably heard of. (If not--google it!) Very soothing for problem skin, and softens mama's skin too.