Did you know that Tea Tree is one of the most preferred essential oils in spas? With countless beauty and wellness benefits, it’s no wonder. Just a couple drops can help beautify the appearance of skin, refresh tired feet, invigorate the scalp, and so much more. Oh, and did we mention it smells like a summer rainstorm in the Garden of Eden? Find out more about this essential oil classic below.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits
While records show that tea tree has been used for thousands of years by some indigenous people, thankfully today science is finally catching up and describing why tea tree oil is so effective. To date, over 327 scientific studiesrefer to tea tree oil’s antimicrobial prowess alone.
Some of the many traditional uses for tea tree include healing:
- Bacterial infections
- Cold sores
- Congestion and respiratory tract infections
- Fungal infections (especially Candida, jock itch, athlete’s foot and toenail fungus)
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Head lice
- Dry cuticles
- Itchy insect bites, sores and sunburns
- Boils from staph infections
And this list doesn’t even include the many household uses of tea tree oil that can replace store-bought products in your cabinets:
- Anti-microbial laundry freshener
- Insect repellant
- Natural deodorant
- Acne face wash
- Removes foot order
- Removes mold
- Household cleaner
In many cases, doctors of functional medicine will prescribe essential oils like tea tree oil and oregano oil in replacement of conventional medications because they’re just as effective and without the adverse side effects. An article published in the Journal of Phytomedicine evaluated the relationship between various essential oils and found that none (including tea tree) caused adverse reactions when taken with several different antibiotics. In fact, they discovered that some essential oils even had a positive synergistic effect, meaning they could help prevent antibiotic resistance from developing!
Top 10 Tea Tree Oil Uses
1. Tea Tree Oil for Acne
One of the most common uses for tea tree oil today is in skin care products, as it’s considered one of the most effective home remedies for acne. One study found tea tree oil to be just as effective as benzoyl peroxide, but without the associated negative side effects that many people experience including red, dried and peeling skin.
You can make a homemade gentle tea tree oil acne face wash by mixing five drops of pure tea tree essential oil with two teaspoons of raw honey. Simply rub on your face, leave on for one minute, then rinse off.
2. Tea Tree Oil for Hair
Tea tree oil has proven very beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp. Like coconut oil for hair, tea tree oil has the ability to soothe dry flaking skin, remove dandruff and even can be used for the treatment of lice. To make homemade tea tree oil shampoo, mix several drops of tea tree essential oil with aloe vera gel, coconut milk and other essential oils like lavender oil.
3. Tea Tree Oil for Cleaning
Another fantastic way to use tea tree oil is as a household cleaner. Tea tree oil have powerful antimicrobial properties and can kill off bad bacteria in your home. To make homemade a tea tree oil cleanser, mix with water, vinegar and lemon essential oil then use it on your counter tops, kitchen appliances, shower, toilet and sinks.
4. Tea Tree Oil for Psoriasis and Eczema
Tea tree oil can help relieve any type of skin inflammation, including being used as a natural eczema treatment and for reducing psoriasis. Simply mix one teaspoon coconut oil, five drops of tea tree oil and five drops of lavender oil to make homemade tea tree oil eczema lotion or body soap. In addition, if you have eczema or psoriasis, you should consider going on the GAPS diet and supplementing with vitamin D3.
5. Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus and Ringworm
Because of its ability to kill parasites and fungal infections, tea tree oil is a great choice to use on toenail fungus, athlete’s foot and ringworm. Put tea tree oil undiluted on the affected area using a clean cotton swab. And for stubborn fungi, consider mixing it with natural anti-fungal oil of oregano. Tea tree oil has also been proven beneficial for treating and removing warts, so simply put tea tree oil directly on the area for 30 days once or twice daily.
6. Tea Tree Oil Kills Mold
A common problem many people experience in their homes is mold infestation, oftentimes without even being aware of it. Consider buying a diffuser and diffusing tea tree oil in the air around your home to kill mold and other bad bacteria. Also, you can spray tea tree oil cleaner onto shower curtains,your laundry machine, dishwasher or toilet to kill off mold.
7. Tea Tree Oil Deodorant
Another great reason to use tea tree oil is to eliminate body odor. Tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that destroy the bacteria on your skin that causes body odor. You can make homemade tea tree oil deodorant by mixing it with coconut oil and baking soda. (Yes, you can see that coconut oil uses and baking soda uses are many as well!) Also, if your kids play sports or if you’re a runner, you can add tea tree oil and lemon essential oil to your shoes and sports gear to keep them smelling fresh!
8. Tea Tree Oil for Infections and Cuts
Tea tree oil mixed with lavender essential oil is the perfect ingredient in a homemade wound ointment. Make sure to clean a cut first with water and hydrogen peroxide if necessary, then put on tea tree oil and cover with a bandage to help fight off infections. A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology even found tea tree oil helps kills MRSA and staph infections.
9. Tea Tree Oil Toothpaste for Oral Health
Because of tea tree oil’s ability to kill off bad bacteria and at the same time soothe inflamed skin, it’s a perfect ingredient in homemade toothpaste and mouthwash. It’s been shown to reduce the bleeding of gums and tooth decay. Simply mix tea tree oil with coconut oil and baking soda for an amazing homemade toothpaste.
10. Tea Tree Oil For Cancer
both tea tree oil and frankincense oil have been proven to have anti-cancer benefits. For abnormal skin lesions, you can mix frankincense oil, raspberry seed oil and tea tree oil, then place on the area three times daily.
Tea Tree Oil Research and Studies
Historically tea tree plants’ volatile essential oils (Melaleuca alternifolia) have been capitalized on most for their antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions. The Melaleuca genus belongs to the Myrtaceae family and contains approximately 230 plant species, almost all of which are native to Australia. A 2006 report published by The School of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences at The University of Western Australia stated that tea tree’s primary active ingredients responsible for its ability to reduce harmful bacteria include terpene hydrocarbons, monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes.
After examining over 800 tea tree samples by gas chromatography, the researches observed more than 100 different chemical components and various ranges of concentrations. These volatile hydrocarbons are considered aromatic and capable of traveling through air, pores of the skin and mucus membranes.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that tree tree essential oil is “a powerful disinfectant and is non-poisonous and gentle” to the body. Amazingly in 1923, Dr. A.R. Penfold found that tea tree oil was twelve times more effective at healing infections than the conventional antiseptic (carbolic acid) at that time. Therefore during the 1930s and 1940s, tea tree oil became widely known as the go-to antiseptic for Australian World War II soldiers who were given tea tree oil in their first aid kits.
One of the most incredible studies done recently done on tea tree oil investigated its ability to fight skin cancer. In a study published in the Journal of Dermatological Sciences, tea tree oil was found to have a rapid effect on reducing cancerous tumors and boosting immunity.