With tea tree essential oil, you can take charge of finding natural support for all your horse's little bumps and bruises. When it comes to cleaning, disinfecting, addressing bacterial concerns or anti-just-about-anything-unwanted, tea tree tops the charts. Its incredible all-purpose cleansing action and safe, all-natural composition makes tea tree essential oil an ideal first aid solution for your horse (and for you too).
Read on to hear the incredible story of how Harold the horse was saved by tea tree.
The Science of Tea Tree
Species: melaleuca alternifolia
Aromatic description: medicinal, clean, woody, herbaceous
The chemical constituents: consisting of over 92 different compounds tea tree has a vast chemical profile. One of the main constituents is a monoterpene alcohol called terpinen-4-ol, which has been shown to support skin and hair. The monoterpenes; gamma-terpinene and alpha-terpinene are also found in significant quantities and are known to be uplifting when diffused.
Where in the world: dōTERRA sources the tea tree plant in both its native habitat of Australia and parts of Kenya which have similar growing conditions.
How it is made: Steam distillation of the leaves.
The research: tea tree oil has 721 and melaleuca alternifolia has 563 published articles on PubMed. Even more exciting is the research dōTERRA is publishing about tea tree and its effects on human skin cells. Click here to read the full details.
Benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil
Physical: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti parasitic and anti-inflammatory. An all purpose physical aid for combating life's bumps and bruises.
Emotional: healthy boundaries (feeling of being taken for granted, low self worth)
Tea tree has been connected to giving confidence emotionally and is renowned for cleaning, protecting immune stimulant properties.
Amanda and Harold's Tea Tree Story
This is the first essential oil I have any memory of using. Back before dōTERRA existed, a dentist I knew became a firm believer in the benefits of tea tree oil and shared some of her supply with me, which she got directly from Australia.
I used it personally here and there as one would use polysporin or other such products. However, my 'Holy Wow' moment came when I was working in the Canadian Rockies with horses. Harold, a great little Appaloosa - Arab cross came in one day with a cut above his right eye. The cut was right on top of the bone (the zygomatic process of the frontal bone to be precise). I’m sure he got cleaned up, given a shot of some sort of antibiotic and left to basically heal on his own. The cut was not big and he did not seem bothered by it, so we just kept an eye on him.
Things did not progress well. It got inflamed, there was pus, and although nothing seemed to be in the wound, we couldn’t get it to settle and heal. Concern for the horse’s future was what spurred me into action (at this time I was still in my teens, quite shy and had nowhere near the experience of those I was around). I offered to take over the care of the horse. Harold would be my mount on days I was not driving a team of horses and he would have rest days on days I was driving. I would be solely responsible for his care. I was given one week to have substantial improvement in his condition.
I put all my faith in that little bottle of tea tree. I had no knowledge of how much to use, how exactly to use it or anything other than the understanding that it was great for wounds. I’ll admit, it was not a glamorous job. Twice a day I expressed (squished) pus from Harold's head. Sometimes the pressure was so great, the pus would shoot a distance from his head and… land on me. It reeked!
Did I mention I was camping, hours of riding into the rockies, with absolutely nothing with us that we did not bring ourselves… which equates to no showers! Anyways, I was undeterred if a little subdued. I kept at it and he was an exceptional patient. I would squish all I could out and then apply as much Tea Tree as I could and then repeat the process 12 hours later.
Within a couple days I had the biggest shock! Not only did pus come gushing out that morning (I can remember the exact spot in the mountains where I was when this happened) but 3 slivers of bone came out too!!! I was so thrilled that I ran to my boss with my little chunks of Harold’s skull held like prizes in my hand. We knew why it wouldn’t heal all that time now. I had only a few more days in the mountains before we headed back out again. By the time we hit the trail head, Harold’s wound was all sealed up, there was no more pus and he never had any trouble ever again with it. From start to finish was less than 7 days, the length of our trip!
I’ve never had any reason to question the efficacy of tea tree from that day forward. It has never failed me, no matter what I throw it at. Even the goldfish with fin rot was saved with a couple drops of tea tree added to the water over a couple weeks.
How to Use Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree is great for skin issues: apply topically and directly to the area of concern.
All your hoof concerns should have tea tree as the first essential oil you think of: after soaking the hoof in an epsom salt bath, spray or drip a couple drops onto the area of concern.
As a confidence booster: diffuse tea tree essential oil in barn areas or place 1-2 drops of tea tree oil into your palm and allow your horse to inhale the aroma.
Tea Tree essential oils is your 'Swiss Army knife' for fighting infection.
Recipe using Tea Tree Essential Oil
A bit of Fun! This blog recipe from dōTERRA also makes an incredible all-natural mane and tail detangler:
12 ounce (or larger) spray bottle
1 ½ cups distilled water
3 tablespoons marshmallow root (found at health food stores or order online)
½ cup unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons natural conditioner such as doTERRA Salon Essentials® Smoothing Conditioner
5 drops Rosemary oil
5 drops Patchouli oil
5 drops Geranium oil
5 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca) oil
- Boil water and marshmallow root in small pan.
- Reduce heat and let simmer 20–30 minutes.
- Let cool slightly and strain through cheesecloth or wire strainer.
- While warm, pour into bottle and add conditioner, apple cider vinegar, and essential oils.
- Shake until combined.
- To use, spray generous amount on wet/damp mane or tail and comb through.
Wasn't Harold's story an incredible testimony to tea tree? We would love to hear about your experiences with this powerful essential oil. Let us know how you use tea tree for yourself or your horse by commenting below.
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Amanda and Daniela