36 Science-Backed Benefits and Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Today I’ll be telling you about this treasure trove of benefits that I have in my self-care cabinet.

It’s my bottle of tea tree essential oil, and I use it way more than I’d like to admit; but, in my defense, it does so much more than what you’ve seen in the commercials for face washes, etcetera.

It has various therapeutic properties that can explain why it’s a staple in my household.

If you’re like me and like to have homemade everything around the house, this is what you need.

I try to reduce my consumption of mass-manufactured products and go the organic, homemade route, and I’ll be explaining why tea tree oil plays such a crucial role in helping me do this.

 

What is Tea Tree Oil?

Before I move on to my list of benefits and uses of tea tree essential oil, I’ll give you a bit of an idea of what it is.

Tea tree oil is a volatile, essential oil that’s derived from Melaleuca Alternifolia, which is a plant native to Australia.

So it was probably used by ancient Aboriginal tribes, right?

Yes, the extracts from the tea tree have been used by the native people for over a hundred years.

Since they didn’t have the technology to extract it back then, members of the ancient Aboriginal tribes stuck to crushing the leaves and using it as a paste.

Although the name of the tree is tea tree, it’s not the same as where black and green tea comes from.

They used it to treat ailments because of its antiseptic properties that also helped them cure wounds, as well!

Their use for it was limited, but further research confirmed that it could do so much more.

The tea tree essential oil contains various compounds, and if you’re using a product that includes it, you’re looking at combinations of almost a hundred compounds, the composition of which is mainly terpinen-4-ol (1).

 

The Benefits and Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Now that I’ve explained what tea tree essential oil is, let’s dive into how you can use it, and the benefits with which it can provide you.

 

Prevents Bladder Infections

Tea tree oil can effectively prevent painful bladder infections because of its ability to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. E.coli is one of the bacterial strains that has been found to cause bladder infections, and tea tree essential oil can inhibit it from spreading.

Although inhaling the vapors is good enough to prevent a bladder infection, you can use tea tree oil as a treatment for an existing infection, as well, by adding a few drops of it in water and using it as a wash for your urethra.

Studies have found that this versatile essential oil is also useful in treating a urinary tract infection (2).

 

Treats STDs

Tea tree oil’s antibacterial properties are useful in relieving the symptoms of sexually transmitted diseases.

Conditions like chancroid and syphilis are associated with pain symptoms that can be eased via the use of tea tree oil.

By applying it to the affected area regularly with some cotton, you’ll see that it brings a lot of relief.

Another way to get pain relief is to add a few drops of the oil to the water before taking a bath.

Another study shows that tea tree essential oil can help in treating Chlamydia, a sexually-transmitted infection.

 

Relief for Dry Socket Pain

Alveolar osteitis is a condition associated with the pain experienced after your tooth is extracted.

It’s also commonly known as dry socket pain, and tea tree oil can help you with that.

It is because of its antiseptic property that tea tree essential oil is effective in the prevention of gum and tooth infection 6while providing relief for the pain, as well.

Use it for pain relief by applying tea tree oil on a piece of moist cotton, dabbing it against the area, and then rinsing after five minutes.

This isn’t just a household hack, as I’ve found that it’s also used in dentistry for the same purpose (3).

 

Treats Blisters on the Foot

Foot blisters can be caused by various factors such as fungus and insect bites, but the good news is that, whatever the reason, tea tree oil can treat them.

It’s mainly because of its antibacterial qualities that this essential oil can treat foot blisters and prevent them from coming back, too.

Treatment is simple; you don’t have to do anything extensive, just prepare a tub of warm water, and add some drops of the oil to the water while warm.

After that, you soak your feet, relax, and let the miracle oil work its magic (4).

 

Treats Vaginal Odor

You and many other women may have had the problem of vaginal odor, but waiting for it to treat itself isn’t the best solution.

You can use tea tree oil as an effective remedy to combat vaginal odor and boost your confidence.

Use it by diluting it with water and witch hazel first, to avoid any sensitivity.

You can apply it in its diluted form directly or use a cotton pad, but remember that this treatment doesn’t make up for seeking professional help from an expert gynecologist.

 

Helps in Treatment of Cellulitis

A study was conducted to research the effects of using essential oils to treat skin diseases, and it found that tea tree oil had the effect of speeding up the healing process of the body in response to cellulitis (5).

The same was found to be true for abscessed wounds, and the reason for this result was the essential oil’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

You can treat these kinds of wounds at home by applying diluted tea tree oil on a swab and dabbing it on the affected area.

Leave the oil for a couple of hours before washing it off with cold water.

 

Treats Blepharitis

Known as a condition in which the eyelid suffers from inflammation, blepharitis causes significant pain and discomfort.

Luckily, the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects of the oil can help in soothing the eye and giving it relief (6).

The condition is usually caused by dust mites that enter the eye and mate, which causes inflammation.

Since the eyes are sensitive and can’t be cleaned thoroughly like other parts of the body, there are few options to try, and tea tree oil is the most natural.

You can use diluted essential oil with a concentration of 50% to clean your eyelids.

 

Begone Body Odor

The antibacterial qualities of the oil can be a suitable way to reduce body odor, and it’ll serve as a natural and organic alternative to conventional deodorants which are made using harmful chemicals.

There are a lot of recipes to prepare your deodorant using tea tree oil, but my favorite is one that also uses shea butter and coconut oil that can moisturize the skin.

Aside from your moisturizing elements, you need around 20 drops of tea tree essential oil and one-fourth cup each of baking soda and cornstarch.

Melt the base ingredients before adding the essential oil, baking soda, and cornstarch, and then pouring it into a mold.

 

Solves Your Acne Problem

You’ll find that most of your acne-fighting beauty products contain tea tree oil.

That’s because it reduces the amount of sebum that’s produced by the skin (7).

Make your own acne-fighting face mask with tea tree oil using my favorite recipe.

All you need to do is mix a few drops of tea tree oil with a tablespoon of yogurt and honey each, and it’s ready to apply to your face!

Leave it on for about 20 minutes, after which you can wash it off.

You’ll feel your skin is less oily, and it’ll look refreshed too.

Try it for yourself!

 

Goodbye Dark Spots

Dark spots are part of the package when you get acne, and they can make it a chore to achieve an even skin tone.

Luckily, tea tree essential oil can help you get that youthful skin that you see in beauty commercials.

Applying some half-concentrated tea tree oil on some cotton and dabbing it on your dark spots is a simple way to kiss them goodbye.

Don’t forget to wash the affected area after 10 minutes, and remember that this remedy can work for dark spots on any part of the body.

 

Be the Fairest of Them All

There’s an obsession among young women these days to achieve a fairer look; to do that, many of them turn to harsh bleaching and whitening crèmes that can be harmful to the skin.

This obsession is extreme, and I highly advise you not to do so, but if you’re looking to get rid of a little suntan, then tea tree oil can help.

My homemade remedy to get rid of sun tan is a mixture that’s made using blended tomato, a teaspoon of jojoba oil, and a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil.

Use it as a mask and leave it on your face for 10 minutes before rinsing, and voila!

No more suntan, and it was bleach-free, too.

 

Relief from Psoriasis

Tea tree essential oil can serve as a natural way to provide some relief from psoriasis, a condition that is associated with itchy, dry patches forming on the skin.

The antifungal and antibacterial characteristics of tea tree oil can be an effective way to protect the skin from a further infection that results from constant scratching.

You can prepare a moisturizer mixing a few spoonfuls of coconut oil with a five or six drops of tea tree oil and rub on the affected area to get relief from that dreaded itching.

Another way to gain relief from psoriasis using this oil is by adding it to water before taking a bath.

 

Heals Wounds and Infections

It can be a hassle when you have to make a trip to the pharmacy to buy separate ointments for burns, rashes, insect bites, or other kinds of wounds.

My solution is that I simply keep a bottle of tea tree oil at home for all these problems, so I don’t have to keep track of the ointments in my medicine cabinet.

Its antibacterial properties allow it to heal these wounds naturally, and it works as an antiseptic, as well (8).

You can either use partly-concentrated essential oil and dab it onto the affected area or use it in your bath water if the affected area is more spread out over your body.

 

Treatment for Nail Fungus

Onychomycosis is typically referred to as nail fungus, and it’s a fairly common problem caused by moist and warm conditions that allow the fungus to thrive.

An effective remedy for this condition is tea tree oil because it’s just as effective as clotrimazole in treating toe or fingernail fungus.

By applying the oil to the infected nail regularly, symptoms like smell and discomfort are gradually reduced.

Use a cotton swab to dab it gently onto the affected nail, whether on your finger or toe and repeat the process twice every day.

Not to mention, tea tree oil also aids in improving the appearance of your nails by cleaning them thoroughly.

 

Natural Makeup Remover

My favorite way of using tea tree oil is this one because it rejuvenates my skin to give it a healthy glow.

This also means I don’t have to scrub my face using soap, which can also be harmful and dry it out.

Make your makeup remover by mixing thoroughly one-fourth cup of canola oil with 9 to 10 drops of tea tree oil.

Make sure that you store the mixture in a sterilized jar, and keep it in a cool, dark place.

 

Treats Warts

Warts can look pretty gross, and they’re also difficult to get rid of because they always manage to come back.

A natural solution is to use tea tree oil because of its antiviral properties, which can eliminate the pesky wart-causing virus (10).

All you have to do is wash and dry the skin before applying tea tree oil to the area and wrapping a bandage around it.

It’s preferable to leave it overnight, but remember to take it off and wash the area properly in the morning.

Afterward, you can choose to put on another bandage right away or wait a while before you do.

 

For Long and Thick Hair

Who would’ve thought that using tea tree oil for my hair would be so effective in making it long, thick, and strong?

There’s a variety of ways to incorporate this miracle essential oil into your hair care routine.

You can start off simply by adding a few drops of it to your shampoo, and then add a little more care by using it with a carrier oil to massage your scalp.

There are some carrier oils you can use such as coconut, almond, castor, or olive.

You can base your preference on which one you’re used to, or try them all to get their benefits!

 

Treats that Sty

Styes are painful swellings on the edge of an eyelid, and they come out of nowhere.

Not only are they painful, but they look terrible!

They’re usually a result of a bacterial infection, and tea tree oil’s superb antibacterial properties are the perfect cure for that uninvited sty.

Using tea tree oil for a sty won’t just clean up any build-up of bacteria, but it’ll reduce inflammation as well, so you don’t have to worry about having a swollen eye at a party or special occasion.

Remember to dilute the oil with filtered water before using it, and repeat the process at least three times a day until the swelling subsides.

 

Healthy and Strong Nails

The powerful antiseptic properties of tea tree oil can help fight any fungal infection that can cause your nails to become weak and brittle.

Having kids leaves no time for pampering oneself, so I rely on tea tree oil to give me that quick manicure before an event.

You can say bye-bye to discolored nails too because vitamin E oil mixed with tea tree oil is the best thing to get back that healthy, pink glow.

Simply apply and leave it for thirty minutes before washing it off, and you’re ready to show off your beautiful nails.

 

Treatment for Belly Button Infections

Belly button infections are fairly common because of the complex part of the body where they occur.

The belly button is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus because it’s warm and there’s also plenty of moisture.

You can clean up your belly button infection with the help of tea tree oil, which boasts powerful antibacterial and antifungal properties.

 

Relief for Root Canal Pain

Suffering from pain after getting root canal surgery can disrupt even the simplest of daily activities.

You can get relief from this sharp pain by using tea tree oil on the affected area, as using this oil for post-root canal discomfort has yielded positive results.

This is because tea tree oil has antiseptic properties which disinfect the area, which leads eventually to healing the pain.

 

Treats Ear Infections

Ear infections can occur as a result of doing the simplest activities like swimming, and they can cause immense pain and discomfort.

The sensitive nature of the ear requires that you clean it properly and, luckily, tea tree oil can do just that.

By now you already know that it’s because of the oil’s antibacterial and antifungal qualities.

Keeping a bottle of tea tree oil at home can be effective for when you want to treat an ear infection naturally.

Use it by diluting it with olive oil before applying it to the area of your ear that’s affected by the infection.

Pour a few drops of the diluted mixture of oils into your ear, and keep your head tilted so that it flows into the ear canal.

Wipe away any excess oil with a cotton swab to keep it from dripping out, and remember to continue this routine regularly to treat the ear infection.

 

A Cure for Oral Thrush

You may know oral thrush as associated with soreness, redness, and the burning feeling that accompanies irritation.

Denture pain can cause extreme discomfort and can leave you with feelings of reduced appetite because you don’t feel like swallowing anything.

Candida albicans yeast causes oral thrush, and tea tree oil can be an effective remedy to reduce these symptoms.

You can incorporate it into your routine by using it with your toothpaste and brushing with it daily.

It’s the antifungal properties of tea tree oil that help in eliminating the yeast which causes oral thrush.

 

Treats Receding Gums

Receding gums are a condition when the lining of gum tissue pulls back or gets worn away.

According to dental experts, using tea tree oil as a gel will be effective in treating receding gums, and other dental infections, as well.

In addition to using it tea tree oil to brush your teeth, you can also use it to make mouthwash, but remember to keep the concentration low.

By using the solution to rinse your mouth at least three times a day, you can expect your dental condition to improve.

 

Treats a Swollen Lymph Node

A swollen lymph node occurs as a result of a bacterial infection somewhere in the body.

Using tea tree oil on the affected area can have an immediate effect at first, after which it slows down until the swelling recedes.

Remember to dilute it using coconut oil before applying it, because its concentrated form may affect your sensitive and delicate skin.

If you don’t have a carrier oil such as coconut lying around, you can simply inhale the fumes of the volatile essential oil, instead.

If you’re looking for some relief through a compress, you can make it a two-way treatment by applying some tea tree essential oil to the compress before pressing it to the affected area.

Repeating this multiple times a day will bring pain relief, and reduce the swelling, as well.

 

Banishes Bad Breath

You guessed it!

The award-winning antibacterial attributes of tea tree essential oil are at it again.

By killing the harmful bacteria in your mouth, tea tree oil restores fresh breath and confidence.

However, remember not to use concentrated essential oil in your mouth, and stick to using it in diluted form with toothpaste or mouthwash, whichever you’re less likely to swallow.

 

Ringworm Remedy

This notorious skin infection is fungal, and it’s a nuisance to treat that requires various creams and ointments.

Luckily, you already have an antifungal treatment in your cabinet, and it’s organic too!

Tea tree essential oil will rid your skin of ringworm.

You can use either a cloth or sterile cotton swab or ball, to apply diluted tea tree essential oil to the affected area of your skin.

I’d recommend sticking to sterile cotton swabs or balls, because a piece of cloth may risk being contaminated if you leave it lying around.

 

Razor Burn Relief

Since I shave regularly, I’m no stranger to nicks and cuts, so I feel the pain when anyone asks me about relief from razor cuts.

Even if you’re extra careful, there’s still a chance that you suffer from the occasional burn, and tea tree oil is a savior because it treats them all.

You can apply tea tree oil to those nicks and cuts, and it will protect your skin from infection and speed up the healing process, as well.

As for the razor burn, you can simply dab diluted oil onto the affected area with sterilized cotton.

It acts as a soothing treatment while healing the skin at the same time.

 

Treats Athlete’s Foot

The scientific name of the pesky fungus-based infection is tinea pedis, and if you leave it untreated, it spreads to the toenails and hands, too.

If you can’t recall, the symptoms of the fungal infection include cracking, blisters, and distinct redness that’s hard to miss.

As I mentioned before, tea tree oil has antifungal characteristics that can help in treating those painful and unsightly symptoms. (12)

A convenient way to incorporate the magical essential oil into your treatment regime for athlete’s foot is to add around 25 drops of it to one-fourth cup each of baking soda and arrowroot powder.

Keep the mixture dry, and use it to clean your feet multiple times a day.

 

Soothes Boils

We all agree that boils look and feel gross.

It’s important to know that they occur as a result of infected hair follicles on the skin’s surface.

These painful boils become bigger as the infection continues, but what’s worse is that they become painful as well.

While it’s best to let a professional take care of a full-grown boil, you shouldn’t let it get that way in the first place.

When you can feel the boil emerging from under the surface of your skin, you have to take action.

Use tea tree essential oil as a treatment to soothe those painful boils by applying it to a cotton ball and dabbing it on the affected area gently.(13)

Soon you can say goodbye to those hideous and painful boils.

 

Soothes Symptoms of Chicken Pox

If you’ve ever seen someone suffering from chicken pox, or have had it yourself, then you know about the horrible symptoms.

Chickenpox induces feelings of itchiness, and they’ll make even the most self-controlled person scratch themselves.

While it may not sound bad on its own, the worst part is that the continuous scratching can lead to awful scars which may not go away if they’re too deep.

But you can set things right because tea tree oil will help to soothe and provide relief for the terrible symptoms of chicken pox.

While I usually recommend to dab the diluted oil on the affected areas of the body, it’s different for chickenpox, since the entire body is affected.

So, instead, you can add around 25 drops of the essential oil to your bath, and take a nice soak.

 

Helps with Dandruff (and an Itchy Scalp)

I’ve struggled with dandruff for quite a while, and recently, I tried using tea tree oil as part of my hair care routine and it worked!

I thought it was just an old hack, but turns out that there’s science behind it!(14)

According to a study, dandruff is related to a yeast called Pityrosporum ovale which makes it a fungal issue!

Tea tree oil’s antifungal attributes are thus at it again, and I’ll tell you just how to reap this benefit out of the essential oil.

You can add a couple of drops to a carrier oil that you like, and massage your scalp with the mixture.

Massage your scalp gently with your fingers for about 15 minutes, and then leave it in your hair for ten more before you wash it off.

The carrier oil will moisturize your scalp, while the tea tree essential oil will remove dandruff.

 

Treats Cold Sores

Cold sores are infections that develop near the lips, and they’re caused by HSV-1, which is an oral herpes simplex virus.

While there are many treatments available, they usually eventually stop working.

However, using tea tree oil can be beneficial in reducing the symptoms of pain and discomfort that occur with this condition.(15)

You can use concentrated tea tree oil, but since the infection is very close to your mouth, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Instead, you should partially dilute it by adding water, which will make it gentler on sensitive skin, as well.

Apply it to the affected area with a cotton swab multiple times a day, and remember to do so before going to bed, as well.

Regularly applying tea tree essential oil to your cold sores will help in decreasing their healing time.

 

No More Head Lice

Head lice are awful parasites.

But tea tree essential oil is a science-based remedy for head lice that are already present on a host, and it can also keep them from coming back.(16)

I’m talking about the fully grown adult lice, larvae, and eggs that are seemingly immune to any other treatment.

Compared to special anti-lice shampoos, tea tree oil is much more effective at eliminating lice from the scalp.

Mixing it with a carrier oil to massage into your scalp will serve as an effective remedy, but don’t forget to let it sit for a while before washing it off.

 

Say So Long to a Sore Throat

A sore throat is a common symptom that occurs as a result of the flu, which can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.

The same viruses cause inflammation of the special mucous membranes, and that’s how you get a sore throat.

Tea tree oil is an exceptional way to cure yourself, but this time you won’t be applying it topically.

Instead, it’s recommended that you add a few drops of the essential oil to boiling water and inhale the steam that rises.

This allows the fumes to enter your body, eliminate harmful viruses, and cure your throat as a result.

 

Organic Pest Control

Let’s move on to how you can use tea tree oil around the home.

I mentioned before that it’s effective in healing insect bites, but there’s more to its anti-parasitic attributes than this.

You can use this essential oil to keep those biting bugs away from your home, while repelling the others, as well.

A DIY method to keep them away is that you soak cotton in tea tree oil and place the little balls around your home.

Or, you can always add a couple of drops of it to water and make a bug spray that can be used outdoors to ward off pesky mosquitoes, as well.

 

How to Make Tea Tree Oil

This section is optional, because why make tea tree oil when you can simply buy it?

On the other hand, the occasional DIY is always fun, and this will help you get pure, concentrated tea tree oil as compared to that which you get at a store.

This gives you the benefit of diluting it only as much as you prefer, and keeping an adequate concentration, as well.

Gather what you’ll need, aside from tea tree leaves.

This includes a pot (with lid), vegetable steamer, measuring cup, and a separating funnel.

  1. Start by adding the leaves to a pot, and then add enough water so that it covers them.
  2. Make sure that the leaves stay put by placing the vegetable steamer on top of them.
  3. Place the measuring cup in the center of the steamer and place the lid inverted on it so that the middle of the lid lies right above the cup.
  4. Once preparation is complete, increase the flame intensity so that the water begins to boil rapidly. This causes it to evaporate, while the presence of the lid will cause it to cool and fall into the measuring cup that lies under it.
  5. You can speed up the condensation process by placing ice cubes on top of the inverted lid.
  6. Once the ice has completely melted, you should turn off the stove and remove the lid carefully.
  7. Next, you should carefully take out the measuring cup from the pot without burning yourself.
  8. After securing the stopcock at the bottom of the separating funnel, pour the liquid into the measuring cup into the separating funnel.
  9. Once you’ve closed the top, shake the funnel to mix the contents well.
  10. After that, open the top of the funnel so that any existing pressure is released.
  11. If you observe the mixture, it’ll be separated into oil and water, with the oil coming out on top.
  12. Press the stopcock to release the water, and pour the concentrated essential oil into a separate bottle.

There you have it.

The process is a little long, but if you do it right, you’re guaranteed to get pure, concentrated essential oil which you can use for all the above-listed benefits.

 

Precautions

This may seem odd, considering I spent most of this post praising the benefits of tea tree essential oil, but there are certain precautions that you should take when using this essential oil.

Tea tree essential oil is dangerous and extremely poisonous if ingested.

That’s why I haven’t suggested any treatments that call for taking tea tree essential oil orally.

Even when you have to apply it near the mouth, such as with cold sores, the oil should be diluted to avoid poisoning if it accidentally enters the mouth.

And, if you have young kids, it’s mandatory that you keep your bottle of tea tree essential oil out of their reach, because they may accidentally swallow it.

FDA Compliance

The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.

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