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Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) leaves.

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The Incredible (Science-Backed) Benefits of Tea Tree Oil (& 38 Ways to Use it!)

benefits of tea tree oil

It took quite lot of time for modern scientists to prove what the Australian Aboriginies have already known for centuries about Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia) leaves.

The aborigines of Australia used to inhale the oils from the crushed leaves to treat coughs and colds. They sprinkled crushed leaves on their wounds and used an infusion of soaked leaves to treat sore throats or skin problems.

When you’ll learn the proven benefits of tea tree oil, you’ll understand why it’s often called “medicine cabinet in a bottle”, and why it’s one the most effective (yet cheap) natural treatment for all skin ailments.

The Proven Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree has such a diversity of usefulness that’s both practical and convenient that you’ll never want to live without it again.

1. Antimicrobial – Arthur Penfold, a hard-working researcher in the 1920s, was the first to prove Tea Tree antimicrobial activity. He found that TTO was 11 times more active than phenol.

This means that Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi don’t stand a chance against the powerful Tea Tree essential oil (a great natural antibiotic.)

Any skin problem that involves microbes can be greatly helped with TTO: Skin infections, minor cuts and burns, eczema, psoriasis, warts, toenail fungus, athlete’s foot, acne, rosacea, yeast infections, cold sores, herpes simplex and more.

The same way, Tea tree oil can be used for coughs, sore throats, the flu, any bacterial or viral disease – Through inhalation.

Plus, Tea Tree oil strong antibacterial activity makes it a cheap and toxin free household disinfectant, mold fighter and bed-bugs, fleas and ticks killer.

2. Cicatrisant – The Cicatrisant property of TTO makes it heal wounds quickly and protects them from infections. Also, it can help neutralize or diminish the scar marks and after spots left by eruptions, boils, pox, and acne.

3. Expectorant – People who are suffering from cough and cold, congestion, bronchitis and other troubles associated with colds, can find great relief by using TTO.

For example, this study has found that the major active component in TTO – terpinen-4-ol – prevents influenza virus from entering the host cells, which means preventing the flu.

(Related: How I get rid of the flu in about 24 hours – Every time).

4. Anti-Inflammatory – terpinen-4-ol, the major TTO constituent, has been found to have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
And by being a stimulant, speeds up blood circulation and increases the rate of new tissue and cellular growth.

This means that TTO can be very effective for any type of inflammation – Aching muscles, nerve inflammations, arthritis etc.

5. Insecticide – 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 efficient insect deterrent and insect killer. It repels (or kills) mosquitoes, fleas, lice, or flies.

How to Use Tea Tree Oil (SAFELY)

The first and most important thing about using Tea Tree oil is to know that it can not be ingested. TTO can be inhaled or used as a topical remedy only and should always be diluted with a carrier oil (coconut, olive, sweet almond etc).

Also, TTO can not be used by pregnant woman and babies under 6 months old.

Topical Placements

You can apply TTO on the back of the neck (great because it’s close to the blood supply to the brain), on the feet (allows for quick absorption), over the heart (soothing and calming) or localized(directly on a painful/aching area).


A diffuser is one of my favorite ways to use Tea Tree essential oil.An essential oil diffuser disperses the TTp into the air, allowing for you and your family to easily inhale the oil, while disinfecting the air.

It’s nature’s best and most inexpensive air purifier!

Note about safety and possible side effects: TTO is likely safe for most people when applied on the skin but for some people it can cause skin irritation or swelling (allergic response).

It may not be safe for young boys who have not reached puberty (may disrupt hormonal balance). And again, do not ever swallow and ingest TTO.

And now, drum rolls please, here are 55 benefits and uses of Tea Tree oil:

38 Great Uses for Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil for Skin

tea tree oil for skin

Science has proven that in most cases, skin issues + tea tree oil = Healing.

1. Herpes Simplex/Cold Sores – This study has found that TTO is capable to exert a direct antiviral effect on HSV, and in my experience TTO also works great for cold sores.

Apply a drop or two of oil directly to the sore with a cotton swab. Re-apply 2 – 3 times daily.

2. Cuts, burns – TTO can be safely use to disinfect small cuts, wounds and minor burns.

In my experience, one of the best uses for Tea Tree oil is in healing burns. If you get burned, immediately apply tea tree oil on the burned area, and it will actually keep your skin from blistering!

After cleaning the area, apply a few drops of the diluted oil directly. If a bandage is needed, allow a few drops of the oil to penetrate a cotton ball, then lay it face down on the wound with a bandage on top.

3. Acne – This study has proven that TTO (5%) is just as effective as Benzoyle Peroxide for reducing the number of inflamed and non-inflamed lesions – But without the side effects.

Just add a drop of TTO to your normal cleansing routine or dab a very small amount on acne breakouts. You can also add 20 – 40 drops of the oil to your regular face wash.

If you’d like to know more about getting rid of acne naturally – You should check out the amazing benefits of blue & red light therapy for acne, and about the 4 scientifically proven remedies for acne scars.

4. Athlete’s foot – Clean feet thoroughly, especially between toes. Add TTO directly to feet every two weeks, dusting with corn starch after.
Alternatively, add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of carrier oil and massage on feet and between toes daily.

5. Dermatitis – Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of grapeseed or other oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily.

6. Hives – Add 10 drops of oil to 4 tbsp of witch hazel. Apply with cotton ball. Or, mix with coconut oil.

7. Eczema – Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil or coconut oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Can be applied undiluted.

8. Mosquito Bites – Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.

9. Plantar Warts – Apply oil undiluted to affected area 2-3 times daily.

10. Psoriasis – Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.

11. Rashes – Mix with coconut oil and massage over the affected areas.

12. Seborrhea –  For skin: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of carrier oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily.

For scalp: Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair, leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat 3 – 4 times daily.

Bath: Add 10-15 drops of oil to bath.

13. Stye – Add 5 drops oil to a pan of steaming water. Drape towel overhead and steam 5 minutes. Apply warm compresses directly to stye.

14. Ingrown Hairs – Add 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to area. Repeat every 2 hours or until signs of infection disappear.

(Related: The Ultimate Ingrown Hair Removal Mask)

15. Nail Fungus – Add 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to nail and the surrounding tissue. Allow to dry completely on hands before touching anything. Repeat morning and night for a week.

(More than a few studies have proven the amazing ability of TTO to eradicate nail diseases)

16. Remove ticks – Just add to skin, and the little stinker will usually unlatch.

17. Jock Itch – Rub a thin layer of the oil onto your skin twice a day—but dilute it first: Mix 10 drops into 2 tablespoons olive oil or witch hazel.

Tea Tree Oil For Hair

The stimulant property of tea tree essential oil can be very beneficial for taking care of certain hair conditions.

If you suffer from dandruff or hair loss, simply apply a diluted amount of tea tree essential oil to your scalp. The increased blood flow to the area will help your follicle stay healthy and strengthen the hold on your hair.

Research has proven that dandruff (plus dry itchy scalp) caused by Seborrheic dermatitis, scalp psoriasis, eczema and yeast-like fungus can be greatly helped by TTO.

1. Dandruff – Add 20 – 30 drops oil to any shampoo. Apply a few drops to scalp and massage after washing.

(Alternatively, you can try this great Tea Tree Shampoo by Avalon Organics.)

If you suffer from dry and itchy scalp, make sure to check out my post about the 6 unrivaled home remedies for it – HERE. )

2. Head Lice – TTO was proven to kill head lice very effectively.

Add 20 drops of oil to 2 tbsp shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair, leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat 3 – 4 times daily, until eggs are gone.

Medical Uses of Tea Tree Oil

The many health benefits of Tea Tree oil are in my opinion – Mind blowing. Check them out below:

1. Asthma – Add a few drops of oil to a pan of water and heat on stove. When cooling, drape a towel over head and breath in for a few minutes.

2. Bronchial Congestion – Use as directed for Asthma. Add 5 – 10 drops to 1 ounce of carrier oil, and massage into chest and throat 2 – 3 times daily.
3. Sinusitis – For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes. Also add 2 drops to a neti pot.

(Related: My 2-day Sinusitis-Busting protocol)

4. Bladder Infection – In a shallow bath, add 10 – 15 drops of oil. Sit and wash area carefully.

5. Bronchitis – Add 1-2 drops to a pan of hot water and breath in the steam, or massage the oil over the chest.

6. Coughs – For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes.

7. Earache and Infection – Add 2 – 3 drops of oil to 2 tbsp warm olive oil. With a dropper, drop a small amount into aching ear, tilting head to one side for a few seconds. Use cotton swab to absorb oil. Repeat 2 – 3 times daily.

8. Rheumatism – To help reduce pain, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of carrier oil. Massage into affected are 2-3 times a day.

9. Sore Throat – Add 2 drops of oil to 1 cup of warm water with pinch of sea salt, gargle 2-3 times a day. Do not swallow!

10. Staph Infection – Best used topically, rubbed into the soles of the feet to increase the immune response and fight infection.

11. Arthritis, joint pain – To help reduce pain associated with the swelling of arthritis, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of grapeseed or other carrier oil. Massage into affected area 2-3 times a day.

(Related: The scientifically proven remedies for Arthritis and joint pain).

12. Tonsillitis – Inhale from steaming water with tea tree, gargle (do not swallow!), and massage into neck and soles of feet.

13. Vaginal Infection – Add several drops to the bath water.

Tea Tree Oil Household Uses

tea tree oil household usesTea Tree Oil can be added to homemade cleaners to kill germs and prevent the spread of cold and flu in your home.

1. Household Cleaning – You can make a general tea tree cleaner by combining 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend and use for household cleaning tasks. This is especially good in the bathroom and in toilets.

2. Insect Repellant – Add 15 drops to a quart of water and use as an effective insect repellent.

3. Laundry Helper – Add 1/2 teaspoon tea tree oil to your laundry for towels and other fabric prone to getting moldy.

4. Mildew and Mold Remover – Spray an all-purpose cleaner made with 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil and 2 cups of water on growing mold and mildew. Shake well before using and do not rinse.

5. Pest Control – Household ants and other pests dislike Tea Tree Oil, so a few drops put at the point of entry will deter them. Wipe cupboards out with an oil and water solution to keep ants away.

6. Toothbrush Cleaner – Apply oil directly to toothbrush 1-2 times a week to kill bacteria.

Important Note about Tea Tree Oil

It’s highly important to buy Tea Tree Oil made in Australia.Australia is the only country that regulates it, and their standard is T30-C15.

The “T” has the healing properties and the higher the number, the greater the healing power. The “C” has the caustic properties and the lower the number, the lower the caustic properties.

I use this Tea Tree oil, which is made in Australia and I wouldn’t settle for anything less.

Also, it’s very important that TTO be stored in dark, cool, dry conditions, preferably in a dark glass bottle (with a dropper) that contains little air. Any light coming in the bottle will reduce the oil’s potency.

I love Tea Tree Oil and find myself using it daily. And I’ll bet once you try it, you’ll realize you don’t want to live without it ever again.

What about you? Do you have a TTO success story to share? I’d love to hear it!

To your health & happiness,



Will you share this post? (If you think it’s helpful…) Thank you!


About pfiddle

Fiddle teacher - mostly Irish trad. Fiddle, mandolin and concertina. Eco-warrior, won E.U. Green Flower Award for Eco Accommodation. Also Irish (Gold) GHA. Green Hospitality Award. Mad keen on self-build - especially straw-bale and cob. 55 with a full head of (slightly) graying hair. No tattoos or piercings. Fond of animals - but legally so. Fond of food - I eat nothing else. Vegetarian by choice, Irish by the grace of birth, Munster by force of (rugby) arms.

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