Tea Tree Oil Uses and Benefits

Tea Tree Oil Uses and Benefits

If the essential oils world had a superhero it would be tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is one of the most popular and effective essential oils used for so many different applications. It is widely known to boost the immune system and fight infections. In fact, tea tree oil’s healing properties are abundant because of its natural anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial “super powers.”

Tea tree oil comes from Australia’s Cypress-like Melaleuca alternifolia tree, which is why you may also hear it being called Melaleuca oil. It is extracted from the tree’s leaves and steam-distilled. Awareness and use of the essential oil as a catch-all medicine has been prevalent in Australia for almost 100 years. Its primary use was for antiseptic and anti-inflammatory purposes.

Because of the numerous studies conducted confirming the effectiveness of tea tree oil, it is now widely available over the counter in Europe, Canada and the United Sates. 


A review of the applications of tea tree oil in dermatology found that, “Tea tree oil exerts antioxidant activity and has been reported to have broad‐spectrum antimicrobial activity against bacterial, viral, fungal, and protozoal infections affecting skin and mucosa.”  Tea tree oil can do wonders to help repair and replenish healthy skin.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Acne

Tea tree oil’s effectiveness at controlling and treating acne is one of the reasons it’s so popular. When a 5% topical tea tree oil gel was compared to a placebo in one study, it was found to be three times more effective at reducing acne scars and six times more effective at controlling its severity.

There are many over-the-counter acne-fighting products that contain tea tree oil, but you can also easily make your own treatment for better, more effective acne control.  Mix 2-3 drops of 100% pure tea tree essential oil with 20 drops of witch hazel. Use a clean cotton ball and apply to your face twice daily. The oil will penetrate skin, unblock sebaceous glands, dry out whiteheads and blackheads and disinfect pores.

If you are dealing with acne on other parts of your body, such as your back or chest, try adding a few drops of tea tree oil diluted in a carrier oil to a bath.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Scars

If your skin is prone to scarring – whether it is from acne, minor burns, stretch marks or other skin issues.  Tea tree oil can help lighten or even eliminate those scars.  An effective way to repair scars naturally is to mix one tablespoon of raw honey (not the typical supermarket-bought honey) with two drops of pure tea tree oil. Massage the mixture onto clean skin and allow it to remain for 20-30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. If you repeat this process daily, you should start to see scars diminish and fade.  Be sure to read my article, How to Remove Scars naturally, for more home remedies to remove scars.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Wounds

The powerful antiseptic properties of tea tree oil make it an excellent natural medicine for treating wounds and preventing infections caused by minor cuts, scrapes and burns. According to a 2013 study, “Tea tree oil has been effective as an adjunctive therapy in treating osteomyelitis and infected chronic wounds in case studies and small clinical trials.” To use tea tree oil as an antiseptic for cuts, scrapes and minor wounds, add a drop of 100% pure oil to wound ointment cream and apply as needed.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Skin Conditions

  • Eczema and itchy, dry skin:

    Dry, itchy skin – especially in the wintertime – can be a nuisance. Tea tree oil is the perfect natural solution for soothing dry skin and reducing itching and irritation. It is also a highly effective treatment for eczema.

Eczema:  mix together 10 drops of tea tree oil, 10 drops of lavender oil and 1 tablespoon of coconut or rosehip oil. Apply to the affected area for immediate relief of symptoms. For soothing, all-over care for your eczema, blend 15-20 drops of tea tree oil with 6 teaspoons of almond or olive oil and add to your bath water.

Dry, itchy skin:  add a few drops of tea tree oil to your daily moisturizer or a carrier oil.

Itchy skin due to Chickenpox:  severe itching and scarring can be controlled with a mixture of 10 drops of tea tree oil and a tablespoon of coconut oil added to a warm bath.

Itchy, inflamed skin due to insect bites and minor allergic reactions:  tea tree oil has been shown to be an effective remedy for relieving the itching and inflammation caused by insect bites and allergies. Blend 1-2 drops of tea tree oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and rub onto affected area.

  • Oily skin:

    The Journal of Dermatology Research and Therapy conducted a study and developed a multi-faceted product for oily skin using tea tree oil. Naming it “F4” and combining with sunscreen, they discovered that, along with its already document ability to fight acne, it reduced oily skin. The study concluded by stating, “F4 seems to be a good candidate to be a multi-purpose dermatological product, comprising photoprotection, reduction in acne vulgaris and oiliness.”

  • Psoriasis:

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for people suffering from psoriasis – with their scaly skin, red itchy patches and painful discomfort – but the symptoms can be relieved greatly with the natural healing properties of tea tree oil. As stated before, it can control itching and redness, prevent inflammation and scarring and fend off infections.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Everyday Skincare

  • Cleansing moisturizer:Combine a pea-sized squeeze of moisturizer with 1 drop of tea tree oil. Massage on a clean, dry face. This will help to prevent blemishes and blackheads and hydrate your skin at the same time.
  • Makeup remover:In a small glass jar, add two tablespoons of olive oil. Add five drops of tea tree oil and shake well. Use with a clean cotton ball to clean makeup, then rinse with warm water.
  • Cuticle softener: Dry and cracked nail cuticles are annoying and can become painful. Try this softening blend of essential oils to help aid in healing:
    • 10 drops tea tree oil
    • 10 drops lavender oil
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or mixture of 1 T. avocado oil and 1 T. jojoba oil)
    • Mix well and store in a glass bottle. Massage daily on cuticles and nails.


If you have been struggling with growing out your hair, need to get rid of pesky dandruff or are looking for a more natural hair cleanser then look no further than tea tree oil. The essential oil is a great natural alternative to for hair care and it won’t damage follicles or your scalp.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Hair Growth

Its antimicrobial properties help to unclog hair follicles and provide essential nourishment to the roots, which naturally promotes hair growth.

  • Massage oil: Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a teaspoon of coconut oil or another compatible carrier oil and massage into the scalp. Wrap your hair with a towel and leave for at least 15 minutes before rinsing out. Repeat at least 2-3 times weekly for best results.
  • Tea tree oil shampoo: For longer, thicker hair you can use tea tree oil in your daily cleansing routine by adding it to your shampoo. Add 1/2 teaspoon of 100% pure tea tree oil to 8oz. (1 cup) of mild shampoo and shake well. Shampoo and rinse as usual.

Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff

With its antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is quite possibly the best remedy for dandruff. It fights the icky fungus that causes dandruff as well as conditioning the scalp and preventing itching and inflammation. A study conducted showed that the there was a 40% improvement in dandruff symptoms when using 5% tea tree oil as a remedy. It stated that its use was “effective and well tolerated in the treatment of dandruff.”

  • Hot oil treatment: For deep conditioning, warm (do not over-heat) four tablespoons of coconut oil, add 6-8 drops of tea tree oil and massage into the scalp. Wrap a towel around your head to keep the heat in. Leave on for at least 30-40 minutes before rinsing your hair. Repeat once every week.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Dry, Itchy Scalp

Your scalp can be itchy and irritated even of you don’t suffer from dandruff. You may have allergies, scalp folliculitis, eczema or psoriasis. An itchy scalp is not only annoying, but it can be painful and lead to hair loss.

  • Tea tree oil conditioner: After shampooing, follow up with a conditioner mixed with 2-3 drops of tea tree oil. Massage into scalp and leave in for at least five minutes.
  • Itchy scalp massage oil: Warm two tablespoons of coconut oil and add 4 drops of tea tree oil along with 4 drops of peppermint essential oil. The combination will soothe inflammation, heal itching and leave a clean, tingling sensation.

Tea Tree Oil for Lice

Head lice on either you or your children is a frightening thought. Tea tree oil can help with a natural remedy to the problem. In fact, one study showed that the essential oil can potentially kill lice in all stages of their life cycle.  Try this home recipe:

  • Anti-lice shampoo:Add 8 drops of tea tree oil, 8 drops of lavender oil and 1 teaspoon of neem oil to 2 tablespoons of shampoo. Mix well, shampoo, and cover hair with a shower cap for 10 minutes. Wash, rub dry, and comb hair with a nit comb.

*Note: Tea tree oil is very powerful, use caution when shampooing children, making sure not to get it into their eyes, nose or mouth.


Tea Tree Oil for Bacteria

As a powerful antibacterial, tea tree oil fights and destroys the bacteria that cause smelly body odors. Most commercial antiperspirants and deodorants contain toxic ingredients, including aluminum. By using an all-natural deodorant, you get better results and no harsh chemicals.  Here are a few home recipes:

  • Tea tree oil under-arm deodorant: 25-30 drops of tea tree oil, ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder, ¼ cup baking soda. Melt coconut oil, add the rest of the ingredients and store in a glass jar or clean, unused cosmetic tin.
  • Tea tree oil foot odor deodorant: Mix 3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder, 3 tablespoons baking soda, 8-10 drops of tea tree oil and 8-10 drops of lavender oil. Mix well. Liberally powder your feet and shoes from the inside to get rid of foot odor.

Tea Tree Oil for Fungi

Its strong antifungal properties, allows tea tree oil to be a perfect natural destroyer of many common fungal infections.

  • Tea tree oil for nail fungus: Use a clean cotton swab to apply 100% undiluted tea tree oil to infected nails. If infection continues, mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 2-3 drops of oregano oil (a potent antifungal) and apply twice daily.
  • Tea tree oil for Athlete’s Foot: A contagious fungal infection, Athlete’s foot can cause pain, redness and peeling skin. Place 5 drops of neem oil on a clean cotton ball followed by 3-5 drops of tea tree oil. Wipe directly on affected area.
  • Tea tree oil for ringworm: Ringworm is a highly contagious fungus. Treat with 3 drops of tea tree oil diluted with a strong carrier oil and apply to the infected area twice a day.

Tea Tree Oil for Viruses

Tea tree oil for cold sores:

Caused by the herpes simplex virus, cold sores are also called fever blisters. Tea tree oil can be used to alleviate pain and control inflammation. When you first feel one coming on, use a diluted solution of 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with 2-3 drops of water or jojoba oil. With a clean cotton swab, dab on affected area.

Tea tree oil for warts:

Caused by the human papilloma virus, warts occur most frequently on the hands, feet or genitals. Tea tree oil’s properties can heal redness and inflammation, as well as drying the wart so it falls off. Apply an undiluted drop of 100% pure teat tree oil to the wart, cover with a bandage and let sit overnight. Repeat for 1-4 weeks until it falls off.

Tea tree oil for colds, sore throats and sinus infections:
  • Medicinal Steam – This is where the aromatherapy benefit of tea tree oil comes into play the best. Add 3-4 drops of tea tree oil to a bowl of hot water. Cover your head with a towel to trap the steam and breathe in the medicinal vapors for at least 5-10 minutes. This will help loosen mucus, relieve throat pain and clear chest congestion.
  • Chest balm – Combine 2-3 drops of tea tree oil with a few drops of a carrier oil such as almond oil and rub it on the chest.
  • Breathing relief – Drop 2-3 drops of tea tree oil directly on your pillow so you can breathe in the healing vapors all night, or add to your diffuser just before going to bed.

Tea Tree Oil for Hand Sanitizing

Tea tree oil is an incredibly effective hand sanitizer. It is natural, won’t dry like chemical-based commercial sanitizers and will provide better viral and bacterial protection. In fact, according to a study that tested different types of hand washes, tea tree oil as effective in fighting the food-poisoning causing E. coli bacteria.  Here is a tea tree home recipe:

  • Tea tree hand sanitizer: Mix 25-30 drops of tea tree oil with 3 teaspoons of witch hazel. Add 1 cup of aloe vera gel and mix well. Fill into a squirt bottle, and throw into your purse. It’s perfect for cold and flu season.


  • Tea tree oil varies in quality, so it’s very important to buy an oil that is 100-percent natural, with no additives. Always buy organic tea tree oil if possible, and always buy from a reputable brand. The Latin name, Melaleuca alternifolia, and the country of origin should be printed on the bottle. Look for an oil that has a 10- to 40-percent concentration of terpinen, which is the main antiseptic component of tea tree oil.
  • It is important to take care when using tea tree oil and other essential oils. They should never be applied directly to the skin. Dilute the oil before use in a base oil to reduce the risk of side effects. Some people have reported allergic reactions, including severe rashes, redness, irritation, swelling, and burning. If these occur, the person should stop using the oil.
  • A person should never drink tea tree oil. Swallowing tea tree oil has been linked to several ailments including – but not limited to – upset stomach, rash, diarrhea and confusion. It is always advised to consult your doctor before using anything new.
  • A potent antibacterial and antifungal, tea tree oil also makes a wonderful cleaning agent and can be used around the house in multiple ways.

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If you enjoyed this article about Tea Tree Oil, you have to check out my article, The 7 Essential Oils Everyone Should Use.