16 Amazing Uses of Tea Tree Oil

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

The health benefits of tea tree or melaleuca essential oil can be attributed to its properties as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrizant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant, and a sudorific substance.

What is Tea Tree Oil?

The essential oil of the tea tree is extracted through steam distillation of twigs and leaves of tea tree, which has the botanical name Melaleuca alternifolia. [1]The tea tree is native to Southeast Queensland and New South Wales, in Australia, which is why it is such a popular essential oil in that country. However, its impressive qualities have spread to other parts of the world, so it can now be found internationally.

Tea Tree Oil Nutrition Facts

The main constituents of tea tree essential oil are alpha pinene, beta pinene, sabinene, myrcene, alpha phellandrene, alpha-terpinene, limonene, cineole, gamma terpinene, para-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, terpineol, and alpha-terpineol. This tree is native to Australia and its oil has been used by the original inhabitants of that continent as a cure-all medicine since ancient times. [2]

The reputation as a cure-all given to this oil is not an exaggeration. Tea tree oil can be used as a cure for almost all tropical infections and diseases. You name it and it has some sort of positive effect or treatment for that disease. It is invariably found in all households in Australia, particularly those with children. The magical healing and disinfectant properties make it a wonder drug that also boosts your immunity. However, it is not meant to be ingested and is poisonous. It is meant for topical application only!

Tea Tree Oil Uses & Benefits

Let us look at the most important health benefits & uses of tea tree oil.

Skin Care

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry  [3]has published a study highlighting the antioxidant activity of tea tree essential oil. Tea tree oil uses for skin are abundant. These powerful antioxidant properties can significantly improve the appearance of blemishes and scars. Many people struggle to eliminate age spots and other beauty marks, and the powerful antioxidants found in melaleuca oil can quickly cure those issues, leaving the skin looking young and smooth. In fact, tea tree oil for skin oil can even help reduce the appearance of wrinkles as we age.

Acne Control

Many people suffer from severe skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Acne results from oil glands remaining unregulated and marring the surface of the skin, often becoming inflamed when the sebum glands get infected or blocked by toxins and dirt.

A comparative study on the effectiveness of the tea-tree oil for face versus benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne concluded saying that tea tree oil has antimicrobial properties that reduce acne breakouts. Also, it has lesser side effects as compared to benzoyl peroxide lotion. Melaleuca oil can quickly clear up the sebum glands and eliminate the bacteria, resulting in smoother, healthier-looking skin in a surprisingly short amount of time. [4]

Containers of tea tree oil with leaves and a bowl of sea salt on a yellow background

Tea tree oil makes an ideal natural hand sanitizer. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Hair Care

The stimulant property of tea tree essential oil can be very beneficial for taking care of certain hair conditions. Dr. Hammer from the Discipline of Microbiology, School of Biomedical and Chemical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, in a study on the antifungal properties of tea tree oil, have found that tea tree oil helps maintain hair health. [5]

If you suffer from dandruff or hair loss, here is how to use tea tree oil. Simply apply a diluted amount of tea tree essential oil to your scalp. The increased blood flow that you experience will help your follicles stay healthy and strengthen the hold on your hair, so you won’t suffer from premature hair loss. Also, since the skin will become healthier, it will be easier to keep moisturized, reducing the amount of dandruff and dry skin!

Ear Infection Treatment

Melaleuca oil is safe to use topically on almost every part of the body, including the ear canal. For people suffering from ear infections, particularly children, it can be very painful. Dropping a few drops of melaleuca oil into the ear can clear out the infection thanks to the natural antibacterial nature of the oil, and it can even reduce pain and speed the healing process. [6]

Antibacterial Properties

The activity of microbes, bacteria, virus, and fungi are at their peak in the tropics, so most of the medicinal plants to treat these dangerous infections are found there too. Tea tree is one such plant and it can cure some of the most horrible and dangerous bacterial infections found in the tropics.

Wounds, which are prone to contracting bacterial infections in this region, can be effectively cured and protected using this oil. This oil is seldom taken orally, but if you do, it should be in mild concentrations. It can cure internal bacterial infections such as those in the colon, stomach, intestines, excretory system and urinary system. According to a few studies, the use of tea tree oil may be beneficial against tuberculosis however more research is required to confirm the same. [7] [8]

Uptake of Nutrients

The essential oil of the tea tree has balsamic properties that generally boost health. It promotes the absorption of nutrients from food and provides protection from diseases as well, meaning that overall it is a positive addition to our lives. [9]

Speeds up Healing

The cicatrizant property of this essential oil aids in the faster healing of wounds and protects them from infections. Furthermore, it can help neutralize or diminish the scar marks and after spots left by eruptions, boils, pox, and acne. [10]

Antimicrobial Properties

Microbes don’t stand a chance against this oil since it is a highly effective antimicrobial substance. It can kill and keep away certain microbes (protozoa), which are responsible for causing severe tropical fevers and malaria. [11]

Antiviral Properties

The tea tree oil helps to rupture the cyst in some viruses and gives protection against them. It also helps cure viral infections like the common cold, influenza, mumps, measles, and pox. Viral infections are very hazardous and are frequently recurring since viruses can survive under very harsh conditions too. They can bear the unimaginable heat, cold, and even poison because they develop a protective shell called a “cyst” around them. [12]

They never die naturally and can live dormant (neither alive nor dead) for hundreds or even thousands of years. They can be killed only if their cyst is ruptured using a particular compound or if they are subjected to extreme heat which is beyond tolerance.


People suffering from a cough and cold, congestion, bronchitis, and other associated troubles, are sure to get relief by using tea tree essential oil. It provides relief from cold, cough, bronchitis, and congestion. It can be rubbed on the chest and inhaled while sleeping or a drop can be placed on the pillow so it can do its magic at night and you can wake up feeling much better in the morning. [13]


It is obvious that an essential oil that is so deadly for bacteria and viruses will be effective against insects as well. Tea tree oil is an effective insect deterrent and insect killer. It does not let parasites and other insects like mosquitoes, fleas, lice or flies come near someone who has rubbed some of this oil on their body. It kills internal insects and intestinal worms like roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms because it can be absorbed by the skin. [14]


Open wounds are the most susceptible place to infection by bacteria and fungi and may result in sepsis or tetanus. Thus, they must be protected well in advance. Tea tree oil can be a wise preventative choice as it is an excellent antiseptic. It can be applied directly to the wounds, boils, sores, cuts or certain eruptions, including insect bites and stings, to protect them from infections. It is as good as any antibiotic but without any of their adverse side effects. [15]


This essential oil has a stimulating effect on hormone secretions, blood circulation, and most importantly, on the immune system. It boosts immunity and acts as a shield against many types of infections. That is why it is quite popular in aromatherapy, because not only does it blend well with many other oils, it can also provide you with internal benefits that would otherwise be impossible since you are not allowed to ingest tea tree essential oil. [16]

An infographic on the health benefits of tea tree essential oil

Tea tree oil has been used as a natural remedy for a long time. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


Tea tree essential oil, being a sudorific substance, increases sweating and promotes the removal of toxins like uric acid. It also helps remove excess water and salts from the body, while cleaning the pores. This further prevents the occurrence of acne, for which tea tree essential oil is often recommended.

Increased Hygiene

Melaleuca oil is frequently included in the composition of deodorants as it can eliminate not only the bad odor but also the bacteria and toxins. [17]


The tea tree essential oil is as effective against fungal infections as it is against any bacterial or microbial infections. It inhibits fungal growth and cures diseases like dermatitis and athlete’s foot. Although internal fungal infections can be very dangerous and even deadly, one should never ingest tea tree oil, even in extremely diluted forms, as it is toxic. Other herbal remedies for fungal infections can be used that are far safer for internal infections. [18]

Other Benefits

Tea tree essential oil can provide relief from muscular pain, aches, and sprains because its strong chemical properties can work as an anti-inflammatory agent and also encourage blood flow to a specific area (being a stimulant), which speeds up the healing process and increases the rate of new tissue and cellular growth.

Side Effects

The side effects of consuming tea tree essential oil in higher quantities can be quite serious. They include: [19]

  • Skin irritation
  • Severe rashes
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • General weakness
  • Stomach upset
  • Blood cell abnormalities


Although there are no inherent risks of topically applying tea tree oil, in some rare cases,

Allergy: Some people may be overly sensitive to the oil, as a form of a minor allergenic.

Toxicity: It should always be kept away from pets and children as there are toxic effects.

Hormone disruptor: Tea tree oil can act as a hormone disruptor in certain cases. It can actually lead to abnormal breast growth in young boys, known as prepubertal gynecomastia. [20]

As with any new herbal remedy being added to your health regimen, speak to a trained medical professional before making any major changes.

Blending: This essential oil blends well with cinnamon, clary sage, clove, geranium, lavender, lemon, myrrh, nutmeg, rosewood, rosemary, and thyme essential oil.


What is tea tree oil good for?

Tea tree oil is good for treating bacterial, fungal, viral and microbial infections. It also has a stimulating effect on blood circulation, the immune system, and hormonal secretion. Additionally, it is used as a component in some deodorants to eliminate bad body odor. It is also used to provide relief from muscular pain, aches, and sprains, courtesy of its anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil is also used as a hand sanitizer and is also used to boost wound healing and fight acne.

Where to buy tea tree oil?

You can buy tea tree oil at any online e-commerce portals like Amazon or from popular and verified local brands. You can also find it at a herbal store or a supermarket.

How to dilute tea tree oil?

It is essential to dilute the oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, or almond oil. For every 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil, add 12 drops of a carrier oil.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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