Tea tree oil (or melaleuca oil) is a volatile essential oil that has been derived from Australian native plant called Melaleuca Alternifolia. This oil is originated in Australia and became popular all over the world due to its versatile properties like antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
With all these properties, tea tree oil has many surprising topical uses that range from a variety of problems like from acne to lung congestion, psoriasis, hair or scalp problems. The oil is usually clear to very pale golden color that has a fresh camphor-like scent.
In general, it is referred as a medicine cabinet in a bottle that not only provides health or beauty benefits but also for home cleaning and garden purposes. The only drawback is that it should not be taken internally why because it causes many side effects if consumed.
In recent days, this oil is used as an effective ingredient in a variety of cosmetic, health and household products. In this article, we will learn some benefits of using tea tree oil to get rid of health and beauty problems and also to maintain your house clean.
Uses of Tea Tree Essential Oil:
Tea tree oil is one stop solution for many health and beauty ailments. Here are the best ways of using tea tree oil to grab health and beauty benefits along with keeping your home clean and disinfect. Let’s get started…
Tea tree oil acts as a powerful weapon against acne. The terpinen – 4 – ol compound in tea tree oil helps to destroy P.acne bacteria causing acne. It restricts your sebum production and thereby controls the oil production with its antiseptic properties.
It penetrates deep into the skin and disinfects the pores to clear acne pimples. Simply apply tea tree oil directly on the acne affected skin areas by using a cotton swab and rinse after few minutes with lukewarm water (OR) use a face wash prepared by mixing 5 drops of tea tree oil in 2 teaspoons of honey and rub it gently on the face, rinse with cool water after a couple of minutes.
Read More on How to Clear Acne using Tea Tree Oil
2. Wounds & Infections:
Tea tree oil has antiseptic properties that make it as a powerful wound healing ointment and also treats infections along with preventing its spread. In a study, it is proved that tea tree oil is effective in fighting MRSA (staph bacteria), which is resistant to many common antibiotics. So, apply tea tree oil as your natural remedy for healing small wounds, burns or blisters on the skin and to prevent infections.
Simply apply tea tree oil diluted in any carrier oil on the wound or blister affected skin areas and rinse off with water after few minutes. Dry the skin gently and apply moisturizer to prevent irritation.
3. Nail Fungus:
Nail fungus or onychomycosis occurs when the mold or fungus grows underneath the nails and thereby makes the nail weak, distorted and discolored. In general, people with weak immune system, diabetes athlete’s foot, spending a lot of time in water or warm environments and having injured nails will generally suffer from nail fungus (especially toenail fungus).
Tea tree oil exhibits antifungal and disinfectant properties that kill the fungus and it penetrates deep into the skin and clears infection from inside the body. It destabilizes the cell membranes of fungus and speed up the healing process and also restores its smoothness.
Simply apply undiluted tea tree oil on the affected areas like toenails or fingernails for twice daily till you get relief from this nail fungus. For treating stubborn fungus, mix tea tree oil with oil of oregano (or grapeseed oil) and apply it on the nail fungus.
Soaking is another best choice for treating nail fungus. All you need is to fill the large bowl with warm water and pour 6 drops of tea tree oil to it. Stir well and soak your fungus affected fingers in it for about 10 minutes and then dry it with a towel. Continue it for twice daily till you get relief from nail fungus.
You can also use tea tree oil in treating Athlete’s Foot and Ringworm by simply going through the below mentioned link.
4. Foot Odor:
Foot odor is mainly caused due to sweat that causes bacteria to thrive into the foot easily and causes bad foot odor. Tea tree oil clears fungus or bacterial causing foot problems and thereby prevents smelly feet along with the sweat.
The foot soak is the best way to get rid of this foot odor. Simply mix few drops of tea tree oil in a foot basin filled with lukewarm water. Then soak your feet in this water for about 15 – 20 minutes and dry your feet. Repeat this soaking process for twice daily till you get rid of the foot odor.
Tea tree oil is also used to treat body odor by apply tea tree oil mixed water on the underarms and other areas where you sweat more by using a cotton ball. Let it dry and repeat it regularly.
5. Cold Sores:
Cold sores are painful blisters that generally caused by herpes simplex virus which is developed in and around the mouth and lips. The antiviral, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that make the tea tree oil as the best medicine for treating cold sore.
The astringent property of tea tree oil will remove the excess moisture from the sores and makes it shrink quickly and thereby clears the infection effectively. Simply dip a cotton swab in water and then pour few drops of tea tree oil in a bowl. Dip the wet cotton swab in this tea oil and place it directly on the cold sores. Wait for few minutes and rinse off with water. Repeat it regularly to get relief from cold sores.
Check out more on How to use Tea Tree Oil for Cold Sores.
6. Sore Throat:
A sore throat is caused due to bacterial, viral or fungal infections, smoking, cold or flu, dry air, excessive usage of the throat, etc. that causes pain in the mucus membrane lining the pharynx. Tea tree oil is very effective in treating sore throat. Tea tree oil gargle (with salt mixed warm water) is enough to soothe the irritated throat and relieves your pain but the thing is that this gargle is effective when used at the first sign of the pain or cold to prevent it from becoming worse.
Inhaling the steam emitted from tea tree oil mixed water will help to treat your cold, flu, sinus infection and sore throat. Add few drops of tea tree oil in a large bowl filled with boiling water and cover your head with a towel and inhale the steam vapor. Continue it for few minutes to get relief from a sore throat.
7. Cold & Flu:
Cold and flu are common viral infections caused in the upper respiratory tract and if not treated on time then it may turn into a sinus infection. Tea tree oil with its antiviral and antimicrobial properties clears the infection. It has natural expectorant property that helps to loosen the chest congestion which is associated with cold, cough, flu, sore throat, bronchitis and other respiratory issues.
Pour few drops of this essential oil onto your handkerchief and inhale this smell slowly for every few hours to get relief from congestion. Or inhale the steam vapors for few minutes for every 2 – 3 times daily till you get relief from congestion clears and relieve your cold & flu.
Dandruff is a common scalp problem that caused due to a variety of reasons like too dry or oily scalp, the growth of fungus on the scalp, unhygienic hair care and other scalp problems. It sheds all the dead skin cells from the scalp and causes irritation, itching, and inflammation.
Tea tree oil penetrates deep into the hair follicles to unclog them and it has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that clear fungal infection and conditions your scalp by clearing impurities and excess oiliness on the scalp.
Pour few drops of tea tree oil in 1 ounce of your regular shampoo and stir well. Use this mix to rinse your hair thoroughly for once or twice a week on the regular basis till you get relief from dandruff.
Know more on How to clear Dandruff using Tea Tree Oil.
9. Hair and Scalp Care:
Tea tree oil is effective in maintaining proper health of both scalp and hair. It has the ability to soothe the dry flaking skin, treats lice, conditions your hair and promotes healthy hair growth with its antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.
Mix few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and use this oil mix to massage your scalp gently for few minutes. After massaging, let it sit for about 30 minutes and rinse off with shampoo and lukewarm water. Repeat the same process regularly until you get complete relief from the hair and scalp problems.
Check out more on How Tea Tree Oil is used for clearing Scalp Problems.
10. Head Lice:
Tea tree oil when mixed with peppermint oil will exhibit amazing repellent property against head lice (mostly in young children, who suffers most). However, it is useful for treating parasites on people but it is not recommended for treating on pets why because the toxins in this oil may raise the risk of getting negative side effects in pets.
In a study, it is discovered that usage of tea tree oil may kill lice in the nymph and adult stages of the life and also reduces the number of lice eggs that are going to hatch. Tea tree oil has 2 essential elements called 1, 8 – cineole and terpinen – 4 – ol that has insecticidal properties to remove the lice eggs or nits.
Mix 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil and few drops of eucalyptus oil in 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Then apply this mix thoroughly on the hair and scalp and cover with a towel or shower cap. Wait for 20 minutes and rinse off with mild regular shampoo. Comb your damp hair with a nit comb to remove dead lice. Repeat it twice a week on regular basis for a couple of months.
11. Insect Bites and Stings:
Tea tree oil works well in treating mosquito and other insect bites and stings with its disinfectant and skin soothing properties and thus bring down the swelling. All you need is to mix tea tree oil with any carrier oil and apply this oil mix on the affected areas of the skin.
Wait for few minutes to disinfect the wound, lessen pain and prevent itching. Also, make sure to cover the wound with a bandage and repeat it once daily until the sting healed completely.
Psoriasis is an autoimmune and chronic skin disorder that mostly affects skin, nails, and joints. Always remember that psoriasis cannot be cured completely but we can control its symptoms to a maximum extent.
Tea tree oil exfoliates the skin to reduce the dry or flaky skin cells. It contains antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce redness, itching, and burning. It controls the excess production of skin cells and reduces the appearance of scars on the skin.
Mix equal quantities of tea tree oil and olive oil (or any other carrier oil) thoroughly and warm the mix slightly to apply it on psoriasis affected skin areas. Massage gently for few minutes and leave for few hours to overnight. Rinse the area with water and dry the scalp to get rid of itching, irritation, and dryness.
13. Kills Mold:
Mold infestation is a common problem faced by most of the people and at oftentimes, it occurs without even being aware of it. So, prefer to buy a diffuser and fill it with tea tree oil diluted water. Turn on the light to start diffusing tea tree oil in the air around the home.
This process will kill mold and other bad bacteria in your home and surrounding. You can also spray tea tree oil cleaner on your laundry machine, shower curtains, dishwasher or toilet to clear the mold and other harmful microbes.
Skin abscess or boils is a bacterial skin infection that occurs when the skin pores are blocked due to bacteria, white blood cells, and proteins that form as pus. These are large pimples with pus in the center and they form as groups called carbuncle.
Tea tree oil exhibits antibacterial, antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help to clear bacteria (staph) and other impurities causing boils. It has an anti-inflammatory property that reduces the pain and soothes your skin irritation.
Clean the boils affected skin area and dry it gently. Take a clean cotton swab and pour few drops of tea tree oil on it and dab it gently on the boil affected area. Wait for few minutes and wipe it off with a damp clean cloth. Repeat it regularly till you get complete relief from boils.
Warts are small bumps that are caused by the viral infection (human papillomavirus HPV) in the skin’s top layer and tea tree oil with its antiviral, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that fight off the virus and thus eliminate warts.
Add 4 – 6 drops of tea tree oil in 1 tablespoon of any carrier oil and mix well to apply it to the affected skin areas. Wait for a couple of hours and rinse with warm water. Do it once or twice daily till you get rid of warts (including genital warts).
Click here to know more on How to use Tea Tree Oil for Warts.
16. Vaginal Infection:
For treating vaginal infections (like vaginitis, yeast infections, and bacterial vaginosis), tea tree essential oil works best with its antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It also helps you to get rid of the unpleasant vaginal odor.
Mix 2 – 4 drops of tea tree oil in a small bowl filled with warm water and stir well. Now use this water to rinse your vagina for once daily till you get complete relief from the infection (or) mix 3 – 5 drops of tea tree oil and 3 cups of white vinegar in your bathtub filled with lukewarm water. Stir and soak the lower part of your body in this water for about 20 – 30 minutes. Repeat it once daily.
Always remember that pregnant or nursing women should not use this tea tree oil for treating their vaginal infection. Make sure to consult your doctor and take proper medications.
17. Oral Health:
Tea tree oil has the ability to kill the bad bacteria and soothes the inflamed skin at the same time with its antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. So, it is the best ingredient used in homemade toothpaste or mouthwash. It is the best remedy for those who are suffering from bad breath, gingivitis, inflamed gums or plaque.
It also helps to reduce gum bleeding and tooth decay. So, use tea tree oil as your natural mouth rinse to clear fungal or bacterial oral infections. Make sure that not to swallow tea tree oil, as it contains toxic compounds that can result in side effects like nausea, disorientation and even coma.
Add a drop of undiluted tea tree oil to the toothpaste right before brushing your teeth to enhance your oral health or simply prepare DIY toothpaste by mixing 10 drops of tea tree oil with 2 tablespoons of baking soda and 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil and use it as your toothpaste. Or mix 2 – 3 drops of tea tree oil in 1 glass of warm water and use it to rinse your mouth for once daily.
18. Remove Makeup:
Tea tree oil is also used to clear makeup easily. For dry to normal skin, mix 10 drops of tea tree oil and 1/4 cup of canola oil in 4 ounces of a sterilized glass jar that has a tight-fitting lid. Shake well to mix the ingredients and store it in a cool, dry dark place.
For usage, saturate a cotton ball in this oil mix and use it to sweep over the face to remove makeup. Finally, rinse your face with warm water followed by cold water. Apply toner for additional benefits.
You can also use tea tree oil to treat other health problems like…
- Sinus Infection
- Ear Infection
- Skin Tags
- Yeast Infection
- Healthy Hair Growth
- Chicken Pox and its scars
- Jock Itch
19. Pest Control:
Tea tree oil helps to keep the insects away either by destroying or suppressing the growth of parasites (like fleas, ticks, leeches, lice) with its anti-parasitic properties. It also repels mosquitoes, spider, ants and many more.
Douse cotton balls which are dipped in oil and place it all over the house to keep the biting critters out of the home. Spray tea tree oil diluted water evenly all over the body to prevent mosquitoes and other bugs coming near you. Also, repel flies using tea tree oil by simply sponge the sides of the upper portions of the garbage cans.
20. Garden Uses:
Tea tree oil helps to control problems like leather rot in strawberries, fruit rots, Alternaria solani on potatoes, Cercospora beticola on sugar beets and other fungus or bacterial growth on your plant that inhibits its growth.
Mixing 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spray this on your plants in every 3 – 7 days. This oil also helps to repel whiteflies which cause sooty mold fungi to grow on foliage and the best time to spray this oil mixed water in the morning and then during any hot, dry spells to avoid burning leaves that are treated with oil.
Recipes using Tea Tree Oil:
Here are some recipes that are prepared by using tea tree oil for your skin and hair care products. Have a look at these recipes and prepare these DIY’s.
Recipe – 1: (Deodorant)
We already came to know that tea tree oil is used to eliminate the body odor with its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties that help a lot in killing the bacteria causing bad odor and also helps to keep your skin dry and fresh all the time.
- Add few drops of tea tree oil and baking soda in 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil.
- Stir well to make a smooth paste and store it in an empty deodorant stick.
- Let it cool for few hours and then start using it as your deodorant on daily basis to get rid of sweat and body odor.
- For treating shoe odor, simply add few drops of tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to the shoes and sports gear to make it smell fresh all the time.
Recipe – 2: (Aromatically)
- Pour some tea tree oil in an oil diffuser and start diffusing it throughout the home
- Or you can inhale the oil directly by sniffing it right out of the bottle
- Or else apply some of the oil on your skin or clothes and start smelling it like you do to a perfume.
- This aromatherapy helps to relax your mind and clears nasal problems but make sure that not to inhale too much.
Recipe – 3: (Topical Application)
Topical application of tea tree oil is one best way to use it for treating many health and skin problems.
- Simply dilute tea tree oil with any carrier oil (like coconut oil) in 1:1 ratio.
- Stir well and apply it directly on the skin where you’re suffering from the problem.
- Let it sit for few minutes and rinse off with water.
- Dry the area and repeat the same for 1 – 2 times daily until you get relief from the problem.
- The combination of tea tree oil and coconut oil is very effective in treating various skin and health-related problems, as they boost up the immunity and enhance proper health.
Recipe – 4: (Homemade Tea Tree Oil Lemon Household Cleaner)
In general, most of the commercial cleaners available at the market will have synthetic fragrances and harsh chemicals but this homemade tea tree oil cleaner will clean the household items with its natural antibacterial, antimicrobial and insecticidal properties.
- Add 15 drops each of tea tree oil and lemon oil and 4 oz of distilled white vinegar in 8 oz of water.
- Stir well and pour this mix into an empty spray glass bottle and close it.
- Shake it well and spray it on the area where you want to clean in your home.
- Make sure to shake the bottle before each spray.
- Regular usage will not only clean the area but also leaves the place with a naturally refreshing aroma.
Recipe – 5: (Cuticle Soften Gel)
Tea tree oil helps to soften the cracked and ragged cuticles. Here is the gel that helps you in maintain soft cuticles.
- Pour 1 tablespoon each of jojoba oil and avocado oil in a small dark colored glass bottle.
- The mix 10 drops each of tea tree oil and lavender oil in this bottle and screw on cap.
- Shake it well before every usage.
- Apply it on the cuticles and massage the nails and cuticles daily to soften the cuticles and prevent it from splitting.
- Regular usage of this oil will soften the nails and cuticles and prevent it from splitting.
Tips and Precautions:
- Tea tree oil is one of the safe essential oil for undiluted usage on the skin. But for people with sensitive skin, they should apply it by diluting with any carrier oil (like coconut, olive or almond oil).
- For those who are using first time make sure to do some skin patch test to whether it causing any skin irritation when applied undiluted.
- Make sure to use 100% pure tea tree essential oil and buy the one that labeled as therapeutic grade and organic that ensures it is tested and free from chemical fillers, toxins or solvents.
- Never ever take tea tree oil internally, as it results in some toxic or side effects like diarrhea, mental confusion, inability to walk, skin rashes, hormonal imbalance, memory loss or even leads to coma.
- Over or excessive usage of tea tree oil will cause skin irritation, dryness, stinging, skin redness, itching and swelling of the applied skin areas.
- Pregnant or nursing women should not apply this tea tree oil without consulting their doctor and even if applied then it should be advised to use diluted tea tree oil on their skin.
- Avoid applying this oil on the babies younger than 6 months, as it causes burning sensation and irritation on their sensitive skin.
- Tea tree oil when mixed with frankincense oil will exhibit anti-cancer benefits and you can treat abnormal skin lesions, just simply mix frankincense oil, tea tree oil, and raspberry seed oil and place it on the affected area for thrice daily until you get relief from the problem.
- Tea tree oil can also be used for cleaning household things. All you need is to mix water, vinegar and lemon essential oil with tea tree oil and use it to spray on the countertops, shower, toilets, kitchen appliances and sinks.
- Remember that light, moisture, heat, and exposure to air will affect the oil stability of essential oils. So, keep your oil stored in cool, dark and dry conditions, prefer to store it in a glass container.
- Consult your doctor or healthcare provider if you see any symptoms persists after using tea tree oil, as the same treatment may not help for everyone’s problem.
Include tea tree oil in your daily regimen to stay away from many health and beauty problems. Do you know any other successful tea tree oil uses for health, beauty, household or garden? Then share your experience with us in the below comments box.