Health Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Use


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Tea TreeTea tree oil originates from Australia, and was discovered by the Aborigines centuries ago. The leaves from this tree were first used to treat various skin infections. Captain Cook’s sailors came on shore at New South Wales in 1770, and used the tea tree leaves to brew tea. This event was where the tree received its now well-known name, tea tree.

Now, the nutmeg-like aromatic oil is steam-distilled from the leaves. Some of the products made from tea tree leaves are known as “melaleuca oil”. Pure tea tree oil is clear or light yellow.


The best quality oil has 40% or more of terpinen-4-ol, which is essential in fending off or killing bacteria and fungi. This ingredient helps to prevent or treat infections.

Uses for Tea Tree Oil:

Minor Cuts-

The oil can be used for minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites/stings, etc. The oil helps create a barricade on your skin that helps deter the growth of fungi. It will decrease the chance of infection, lessen scarring, and speed up the healing process.

Fungal Infections-

Tea tree oil can help with fungal infections, such as jock itch, athletes foot, etc. It has been revealed to help fight off the fungus that causes many topical infections such as those mentioned above.


You can also find tea tree oil helpful with warts. Warts are caused by viruses, and sometimes the oil can be effective in healing.


When used in hair products, tea tree oil may help with dandruff and head lice. Studies have shown that the oil helps diminish dandruff, and even kill head lice.


Tea tree oil contains anti-bacterial and therapeutic skin elements that have proven to be helpful for healing acne. When locating acne medication, the ones containing 15% or more of tea tree oil are the most effective.

Other Treatments-

Tea tree oil can also be used to treat vaginal yeast infections. The oil when used as a vapor in a bath can also be beneficial with lung problems.

You can find tea tree oil in a variety of beauty products, including soaps, toothpastes, shampoos, skin creams and lotions, lip balms, and essential oils.


The oil may irritate sensitive skin, and may even cause an allergic reaction in some people. The best way to avoid this is to test the product on a small area of your skin before use. If your skin becomes red and/or swollen, you may be allergic and should stop use of the product.

Remember that the oil from the tea tree leaves is for external use only. Do not ever consume the oil, and always avoid eye contact. If you do consume the oil, you need to contact your local poison control center immediately.

If you are considering substituting a prescription medication with tea tree oil, you must discuss this first with your health care professional.

Other Notes:

The scientific name for the tea tree is Melaleuca alternifolia.

The oil with the best quality originates only from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. Oil from other species of trees (which some products do use) will be far less effective and may exasperate your skin.

By: Nicole Allard

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