Tea Tree Oil Benefits and Uses

Discover tea tree oil benefits - how its antimicrobial properties can boost your immune system and prevent colds and flu, and how it benefits your skin and hair, especially if you are prone to acne, herpes, Athlete's foot, dandruff, etc.

Tea Tree Tea Tree is a small tree native to Australia (New South Wales). Tea Tree oil is extracted by steam distillation of the leaves and twiglets of the tree.

Even if you are just starting to use essential oils, chances are you may have already heard of or used Tea Tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia).

Indeed, Tea Tree oil is perhaps one of the most well known and also most extensively researched essential oils.

And here's what we have learned from the research (drum roll):

  • Tea Tree oil is extremely active against different strains of bacteria - including antibiotic-resistant bacteria (MRSA), especially when combined with Geranium.
  • Tea Tree oil is also active against fungi, including Candida.
  • Tea Tree oil has strong antiviral properties, and has been found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of HSV1 and HSV2 (herpes viruses). Also, the oil has an inhibitory effect on a subtype of H1N1, meaning Tea Tree oil may be effective in the treatment of influenza.
  • Tea Tree oil is a very powerful immuno-stimulant - when our body is under attack by pathogens, Tea Tree oil enhances and increases the body's ability to fight them off and to prevent recurrent infections.

Impressed yet?

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Any Safety Concerns Regarding Tea Tree Oil?

Tea Tree essential oil is generally safe - it is non-toxic and non-irritating, but may cause sensitization in people with sensitive skin. Also, the oil can cause sensitization when oxidized.

Note also that if you have pets (cats and/or dogs) in your house, you need to be more careful when using Tea Tree oil. See this page for more information.

The main therapeutic properties of Tea Tree essential oil are:

  • Antibacterial, antifugal, antiviral
  • Pain relieving
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Expectorant
  • Decongesting
  • Anti-acne

Based on the above therapeutic properties, let us look deeper into how we can benefit from the use of Tea Tree essential oil.

Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Physical Health

We can use Tea Tree oil to support our physical health in the following ways:

Skin Care

Tea Tree oil benefits our skin enormously.

Due to its antiseptic and antiviral properties, we can use the oil for cold sores, herpes, shingles, and warts.

| RELATED: Essential Oils for Herpes

| RELATED: Essential Oils for Warts

And because of its powerful antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, Tea Tree oil benefits people who are prone to acne. A drop of undiluted Tea Tree EO applied to a "budding pimple" may just be all you need to nib the pimple in the bud.

| RELATED: Essential Oils for Acne

As oily skin often results in pimples and acne, use Tea Tree oil to help unclog pores and clear your complexion. Do a facial sauna once a week: Add a drop of Tea Tree EO and a drop of Lemon EO (Citrus limon) to a bowl of hot water. Close your eyes, drape a towel over your head, and let the steam cleanse your pores!

Tea Tree oil is also antifungal, so we can use the oil to treat fungal issues such as Athlete's foot, nail fungus, fungal skin infections such as ringworm, thrush, etc. Use other strong antifungal oils, such as Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Sweet Marjoram (Origanum majorana), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), Patchouli (Pogostemom cablin), for synergy.

Supporting the Respiratory System

Tea Tree oil benefits the respiratory system due to its expectorant and decongesting properties. It is good to use to help relieve respiratory symptoms, such as coughs and sore throats, sinus infections, asthma, and bronchitis.

To relieve respiratory symptoms such as coughs, Eucalyptus can be used with other respiratory oils, such as Benzoin (Styrax benzoin), Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Cedarwood (Juniperus communis), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata), Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica), etc. for synergy.

Preventing Colds and Flu

The strong antimicrobial action of Tea Tree oil makes it an excellent oil to use when we are under the weather. Feel a sore throat and cold coming on? Add one drop of Tea Tree oil to a glass of warm water, mix well and gargle with it. Don't swallow the water though - spit it out. Repeat several times a day, for 3-4 days and usually you will be fine.

If the cold/flu has already set in, you can still use Tea Tree oil to help boost your immune system and fight off the pathogens. Tea Tree oil can also help reduce fever. Use the oil with other strong antimicrobial oils, such as Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia), Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct. 1,8 cineole), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata), and Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquenervia).

| RELATED: Essential Oils for Colds

Anti-Allergic

Tea Tree oil benefits people who suffer from allergy symptoms. The oil has a chemical component (terpinen-4-ol) that helps alleviate allergy by suppressing histamine release and cytokine production.

| RELATED: Click here for a great diffusion blend for allergies.

Mental Fatigue

Tea Tree oil promotes blood flow to the brain, so it is an oil to reach for if you suffer from mental fatigue.

Sometimes with mental fatigue, depressive feelings abound; and when someone is depressed, immunity weakens. Tea Tree oil is uplifting and immuno-stimulating - a perfect oil to use for someone with these conditions!

Tea Tree Oil Benefits - Conclusion

As we can see, Tea Tree oil seems to be "THE" oil to grab when we want to fight pathogens and infections.

But that's just one of the many benefits of Tea Tree oil.

Holistically and systemically, Tea Tree is a powerful oil for treating weak conditions, such as a weakened immune system or nervous system - Maybe someone who is always lethargic, a bit depressed, with chronic low-grade fever, or someone who has recurrent infection or inflammation.

According to Holmes (2016), Tea Tree oil benefits people most who are "run-down, exhausted, depressed and unable to shake off a chronic or recurrent infection."

References:
  1. Holmes, P. (2016). Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oils Therapeutics. Volume 1: Principles and Profiles. Kindle download.
  2. Lawless, J. (2013). The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils in Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being. Kindle download.
  3. Mojay, G. (1996). Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit. Gaia Books.
  4. Worwood, V.A. (2012). The Fragrant Mind: Aromatherapy for Personality, Mind, Mood, and Emotion. Kindle download.