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All You Need To Know About Tea Tree Oil: Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

Tea Tree Oil

(Photo from Isabella’s Clearly)

Tea tree oil or Melaleuca oil is a kind of essential oil that is yielded from steaming the leaves of the Australian tea tree named Melaleuca alternifolia and is a traditional medicine by Aborigines.

It also has antibacterial properties and helps in improving the health of skin hair and nails.

Benefits of Tea Tree oil

  1. Treating Acne:  treatment gel having tea tree oil can be effective at reducing acne. Acne treatment can be done by mixing one part tea tree oil with nine parts water and applying it to the affected areas, twice a day.

  2. Treating Athlete's foot:  Its cream form, applied for one month (twice a day, can be useful in relieving an athlete's foot. Or, combining 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 20 drops of tea tree oil and applying to clean the affected area twice daily is yet another easy process.  

  3. Treating Nail fungus: If this oil is used in its pure form or along with other antifungal therapies, can be helpful in treating nail fungus. Few drops of the oil alone and an equal amount of coconut oil can be applied to the affected area to see the results.

  4. Reducing Dandruff:  A tea tree oil shampoo used for a month is proved to be beneficial in treating dandruff. A few drops of the oil mixed with shampoo when washing your hair can help in treating dandruff issues, itchiness, and greasiness within a month.

  5. Treating head lice. When mixed with lavender oil, it helps killing lice eggs.

  6. Skin Inflammation: The oil may relieve inflamed skin, which happens when the skin comes in contact with an allergen. Mixing 10 drops of the oil with 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil and applying it twice daily to the affected area is extremely effective to curb down inflammation.

Skin Inflammation Reduction 

(Photo from Vedix)

  1. Protection against mold on vegetables and fruits: Add 8-10 drops of tea tree oil to the water before rinsing and drying it completely helps to banish molds.

  2. Relieve Psoriasis: It is the outbreak of red, itchy skin. Mixing 10–15 drops of the oil with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and applying this to the affected area twice a day, can be effective in treating Psoriasis. Although if it’s chronic then no known medication is available for cure.

 Melaleuca alternifolia plant

(Photo from NCCIH)

Tea tree oil is available in the form of oil originally and also as soaps and lotions.

It is also available in diluted forms varying from 5–50% strength in products for the skin.

It is widely used in treating acne, lice, dandruff, toenail fungus, athlete's foot, and insect bites and reduces skin allergy reactions by lowering swelling. It's can also be used for the treatment of bad breath and other related conditions.

Tea tree oil is commercially sold in many forms such as:

1.  Hand Sanitizer

2.  Antiseptic for Cuts and Scrapes

3.  Natural Deodorant

4. Insect Repellent

5. Chemical-Free Mouthwash


 Side Effects of using Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil can sometimes cause:

  • Skin irritation

  • Stinging

  • Allergic skin rash or dermatitis

  • Itchy or dry skin

  • Burning sensation

  • Scaling of the skin

  • Redness


It should not be used if one has eczema, during pregnancy, breastfeeding mothers, under other medications, or have an underlying health issue.

 It should not be taken orally since it can cause serious symptoms if swallowed such

·         Confusion

·         A lack of coordination of voluntary movements (ataxia) and muscles.

·         Reduced  consciousness

·         drowsiness

It can have side effects from inhalation such as headache, nausea, and vertigo.

Children should be kept away from it.


Tea Tree Oil

(Photo from Medical News Today)

Tea tree oil is a natural product that can be used provided it is used with precautions and can be an alternative to the medication for mild health conditions especially those concerned with skin.  It might show improvements at a slower pace but its consistent use is definitely proved to be beneficial.

It is recommended, just like other cosmetics, to do a patch test on the skin for its daily usage and should be stopped immediately it shows allergic reactions.

These days, tea tree oil is easily available on e-commerce websites at a reasonable price.

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