Tea tree oil is an essential oil that derived from the Australian plant called Melaleuca Alternifoli and has many topical application to the skin.
It has powerful antiseptic and antibacterial properties which is why it's widely known for it's ability to treat wounds.
There are many tea tree oil benefits and topical applications that will be discussed in this article, but it's important to note that it should not be used internally. Meaning, you can put it on your skin, but don't eat the stuff.
I believe tea tree oil is one of the most important and cost effective essential oils you can have around and it's a must for anyones medicine cabinet!
10 Tea Tree Oil Benefits and Uses
1. Treats Bites and Stings
Very few people know about this incredible application of tea tree oil which is why I put it at the top of the list.
If you are ever bitten or stung by a bee, wasp, fire ant, hornet, scorpion, spider, etc. and you apply tea tree oil topically to the area you were stung within 60 seconds, it will eliminate all the pain, swelling, and problematic symptoms caused by that bite or sting!
Tea tree oil has an incredible ability to neutralize the poisons that are injected in us when we are bitten or strung by those creatures.
It's truly miraculous! I have used this trick multiple times when strung by a bee and it's amazing how well it works!
Now, I know what your thinking... 60 seconds? C'mon that's hardly any time at all!
If you have some with you and your prepared it's plenty of time!
I always take a small bottle of tea tree oil with me when I'm mountain biking, hiking, or camping and if I'm stung by a bee or bitten by an ant, I take the tea tree oil out of my back pack right away and apply it to the area in less than 20 seconds! Then, a few minutes later I put on some more, and 10-15 minutes later I forget I was even stung!
Sure if you don't have any with you that's not an option, but that's why I always keep some in my backpack, girlfriends purse, and glove box in my car.
2. Treats Acne
If you've ever suffered from acne you know how brutal it can be. I remember when my face would break out in middle school I wouldn't want to go to school since I felt embarrassed and insecure.
Tea tree oil can be an amazing natural anti-acne treatment! It's anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a great choice to calm the redness, swelling, and puffiness.
It's been proven in studies to be more effective than face wash in reducing facial acne lesions. (1)
To spot treat acne, use 5-15 drops of tea tree essential oil and mix it with 1 teaspoon of raw honey. Apply the mixture to any problem areas and allow it to sit on your face for 15-60 minutes before rinsing off.
3. Helps with Wound Healing and Preventing Infections
Tea tree oil can be helpful for cuts and wounds on your skin due to it's antiseptic and antibacterial properties. (2)
After cleaning your wound with hydrogen peroxide and water, you can apply 2-3 drops of tea tree oil onto the bandaid you will be using to cover the cut. This is a great way to ward off any potential infections.
You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to any wound ointment or carrier oil and apply it to your cut directly.
4. Fight Fungal Infections
As an athlete who sweats profusely, I have always struggled with athletes foot. Other topical fungal issues like jock itch, ring worm, and toe nail fungus are all very common for people today.
Over the counter products can be effective but often times contain harmful chemical ingredients and can potentially cause unwanted side effects.
Tea tree oil has powerful anti-fungal properties and is an excellent choice to use when treating a topical fungal infection. (3)
Simply add tea tree oil to carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil) and apply to areas needed. You can also include a few drops of oregano essential oil which is also a strong anti-fungal agent.
Some people can tolerate a stronger concentration of tea tree oil, others with more sensitive skin need to dilute it since it can cause mild burning when used directly on some folks. Modify the amount based on your body.
5. Improve Dry Scalp and Dandruff
Tea tree oil can help to remove chemicals and dead skin from your scalp which can lead to less dandruff and promote better hair growth.
A study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology tested the effectiveness of a 5% tea tree oil shampoo in test subjects with dandruff. 41% of the study participants experienced an improvement in their dandruff! They also experienced an improvement in itchiness and greasiness. (4)
You can buy tea tree oil shampoos, or even just add some tea tree essential oil to your current shampoo.
6. Treat Eczema and Dry Skin
It can also help to soothe dry skin by reducing itchiness and irritation.
Simply add some tea tree essential oil to your favorite skin lotion or carrier oil and apply daily.
7. Fight Bacterial and Viral Infections
Tea tree oil can be used to treat many topical infections due to it's anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
It can even inhibit the growth of bacteria that can lead to serious conditions like pneumonia and strep throat. (6)
8. Help Reduce Body Odor
Do you have sticky feet? No need to be embarrassed your not alone! I mean c'mon, there usually trapped by socks/shoes and when you sweat it's only reasonable they would smell after a long day.
Applying a some tea tree oil diluted in a carrier oil can be a very effective treatment for reducing that foot odor.
You can also make your own natural deodorant using tea tree oil as a great alternative to conventional deodorant that can often have harmful chemicals (especially anti-perspirant deodorant!)
9. Natural Cleaner For Your Home
Many conventional cleaning products contain toxic chemicals and can leave harmful residues in your home.
Many natural cleaner options have come to market for this reason and many use tea tree oil for it's antimicrobial and anti bacterial properties.
You make your own natural cleaning product for your house by combining tea tree oil with water and vinegar. This can even be mixed with a good Castile oil soap.
It can also be sprayed on any mold around your shower area or window sills.
10. Aromatic Applications
Most essential oils are used in a diffuser for the pleasant aromatherapy benefits, and tea tree oil is no exception.
Tea tree oil benefits can even help to clean the air especially when someone is under the weather and you are trying to avoid spreading the sickness.
How to Use Tea Tree Oil
It's important to take caution whenever using any essential oil since they are very strong concentrations of the plant compounds found in nature.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when using tea tree oil:
- Never ingest it or take internally
- Keep away from children and pets
- Avoid contact with eyes
- Discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse reactions
- Concentrations of topical applications varying based on the individual
You should dilute tea tree oil in a carrier oil (like fractionated coconut oil or olive oil) initially. It can cause a mild burning to the skin when used directly on some people.
Other folks, like myself, can use tea tree oil without diluting it without any burning or issues. It does vary so do what is best for your body.
Always try to buy and use high-quality, organic tea tree oil since many companies are selling poor quality essential oils.
Keep in mind some people are allergic to tea tree oil so I always suggest applying it topically to a small area of your skin and waiting 10-15 minutes before applying to a larger surface area to make sure you don't get a negative reaction.
Tea tree oil is a very affordable, effective, and amazing natural substance with many uses and benefits everyone should have around.