It has gained popularity in recent decades as a complementary and alternative treatment. Today, tea tree oil is usually found in topical medicines, cosmetics, and household products.
The essential oil is commonly used for many purposes, including skin, hair, and nails health. Aside from its science-based benefits, tea tree oil is cheap and safe when used as directed.
This article explains the daily uses of tea tree oil and guides how to use it safely and effectively.
What Is Tea Tree Oil Good for?
Overview: A tea tree oil is obtained by steaming tea tree leaves. Tea tree oil is considered antibacterial when applied topically. This oil is commonly used to treat athlete’s foot, acne, nail fungus, lice, and insect bites.
How Does Tea Tree Oil Work?
- It is now widely used as 100% undiluted or “pure” oil. Diluted forms are also available, ranging from 5 to 50% strength (in skin products).
- Tea tree oil contains several compounds, including terpinen-4-ol, which have been shown to kill some viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
- It is also believed that terpinen-4-ol activate white blood cells, which helps fight germs and other foreign invaders.
- These bactericidal properties make tea tree oil a valuable natural remedy for treating fungal and bacterial skin conditions, preventing infection, and promoting healing.
Read on to learn about the several uses and benefits of this versatile oil.
What Are the Properties of Tea Tree Oil?
- Tea tree oil is a robust antimicrobial agent. It has been utilized for centuries to clean wounds and prevent infection.
- Tea tree oil is most likely known for its antibacterial activity.
- According to research, the oil’s antimicrobial properties are due to its ability to destroy microorganisms’ cell walls.
- Tea tree oil can reduce inflammation due to its high concentration of terpinen-4-ol, a substance with anti-inflammatory properties.
- Terpinen-4-ol has been shown to inhibit inflammatory activity in case of oral infections in animal tests.
- In humans, topically applied tea tree oil was more effective than paraffin oil in reducing swelling in histamine-induced skin inflammation.
- Tea Tree oil has strong antifungal properties.
- A review of the efficacy of tea tree oil highlights its ability to kill yeasts and fungi effectively.
- Tea tree oil is most effective against yeast Candida albicans, which affects the mouth, skin, throat, and genital area.
- Tea tree oil has potent antiviral properties that are effective against common pathogens.
- Studies suggest that tea tree oil helps prevent or treat certain viruses, but research on this area is limited.
Benefits & Everyday Uses of TEA TREE OIL
Evidence indicates that tea tree oil has multiple benefits. These are given below:
1. Tea Tree Oil Is Used as A Hand Sanitizer
As a natural hand sanitizer, tea tree oil can help kill various germs that cause colds, flu, and other illnesses.
- In addition to clove, thyme, oregano, and rosemary, tea tree oil is an ideal natural hand sanitizer.
- It kills several common viruses and bacteria responsible for causing diseases, such as H. influenza, E. coli, S. pneumonia.
- Additionally, a study evaluating different types of hand wash showed that adding tea tree oil to cleansers increased its effectiveness against E. coli.
How to make natural hand sanitizer at home with tea tree oil?
Use three to five drops of tea tree oil or another essential oil such as rosemary or thyme. These oils also have antibacterial properties and make your hand sanitizer smell good. Pour your mixture into a BPA-free bottle suitable for dispensing gels
2. Tea Tree Oil Has Insect Repellent Properties
Tea tree oil has been proven to kill or repel insects. In some cases, it is more effective than standard insecticides or repellants.
- Field testing displays that repellants containing tea tree oil effectively work against mosquitoes, midges, and bush flies.
- Study found that treating cows with tea tree oil for 24 hours reduced fly numbers by 61% compared to untreated cows.
- Researchers found that tea tree oil is more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET – the most common active ingredient in commercial insecticides.
How to make all-natural, chemical-free insect repellent with tea tree oil?
Add 30ml of coconut oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil to a spray bottle with distilled water and make a homemade insect repellent spray that works best. Try this easy-to-make insect repellent with tea tree oil and other natural ingredients.
3. Tea Tree Oil Reduces Skin Inflammation
Applying tea tree oil mixture can help reduce skin inflammation caused by insect bites or contact dermatitis.
- Research in animals and humans suggests that using tea tree oil can help reduce the severity of contact dermatitis symptoms.
- Researchers found that tea tree oil significantly reduced the symptoms of contact dermatitis by 40%, compared to standard medications.
- Additionally, tea tree oil can relieve insect bite reactions by reducing the redness, itching, and swelling that occurs when the body releases histamine to defend itself against insect saliva.
Use this recipe to soothe inflamed skin:
- Mix 10 tea tree oil drops with one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of melted coconut oil.
- Stir well and store in a closed container.
- Apply the cream up to twice a day until the symptoms disappear.
4. Tea Tree Oil Is an Antiseptic for Minor Cuts & Scrapes
Injuries that cause skin lesions make it easier for germs to get into your bloodstream, leading to infection.
- This oil can disinfect and treat minor cuts and wounds by killing bacteria that can cause infection.
How to sterilize a wound or scratch by using tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil is mixed with coconut oil and applied to the wound after cleaning.
5. Tea Tree Oil Boosts Wound Healing
Tea tree oil not only prevents infections in cuts and scrapes but can also promote wound healing.
- Tea tree oil reduces inflammation and activates white blood cells, essential for healing.
- The addition of tea tree oil to wound treatment will result in a shorter healing time for almost all individuals as proven by research.
How to apply tea tree oil for wound healing?
A few drops of this oil can be added to a wound dressing every time you apply it.
6. Makes Chemical-Free Mouthwash for Your Teeth
You can make a mouthwash from tea tree oil and water that removes bad breath and plaque from your teeth.
- Research suggests that tea tree oil can fight the germs that cause tooth decay and bad breath.
- According to a study, tea tree oil was more effective at killing plaque-causing bacteria than chlorhexidine, commonly used as an antiseptic and mouthwash.
How to make a chemical-free mouthwash with tea tree oil?
Mix a warm water cup with a drop of tea tree oil and stir in your mouth for about 30 seconds. Tee tree oil shouldn’t be swallowed like other mouthwashes. It can be toxic if ingested.
- Desert essence tea tree oil mouthwash: Freshen your breath and smile with the Desert Essence Tea Tree mouthwash refill.
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7. It Is Best Used as A Natural Deodorant
It is an effective remedy to fight against bacteria responsible for body odor. Tea tree oil can be used to make safe and effective deodorants.
- The armpits contain a large concentration of sweat glands, primarily responsible for what is known as “body odor.”
- Its antibacterial properties make this oil an ideal alternative to commercial deodorants and antiperspirants.
- It can be used to make a natural deodorant that is safe and effective.
How can you make tea tree oil deodorant?
Homemade Tea Tree Deodorant Recipe:
- Mix the baking soda and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Heat the coconut oil for 15 to 30 seconds until it is liquefied, add the tea tree oil, and mix.
- Combine oils with powders and store in an airtight 1 cup container.
8. It Is Used as Homemade, All-Purpose Cleaner
Tea tree oil can be mixed with vinegar and water to create a chemical-free all-purpose cleaner for your home.
The following is a recipe for a natural all-purpose cleaner:
- Combine 20 drops of tea tree oil, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 3/4 cup of water in a spray bottle.
- Shake well, spray directly on surfaces and wipe with a dry cloth.
9. This Essential Oil Helps Treat Athlete’s Foot
The antifungal properties of tea tree oil can help relieve athlete’s foot symptoms.
- Antifungal medications are considered the standard treatment for athlete’s foot. However, studies suggest that tea tree oil can be an effective alternative for symptom relief.
- In a study, 72% of the tea tree oil group showed improvement in athlete’s foot compared to 39% of the placebo group.
How can you use tea tree oil to treat athlete’s foot at home?
Here’s a natural remedy for athlete’s foot:
- Combine 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup arrowroot powder, and 20-25 drops of tea tree oil.
- Stir and place it in a covered bowl.
- Apply to clean, dry feet twice a day.
10. Tea Tree Oil Can Also Help Relieve Psoriasis
Combining tea tree oil with coconut oil may relieve psoriasis symptoms.
- Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition characterized by red, itchy, and scaly skin.
- Although medications can improve symptoms, the condition itself is chronic, and there is no known cure.
- Tea tree oil contains anti-inflammatory compounds that emerging evidence suggests may help relieve psoriasis symptoms.
How to use tea tree oil at home to relieve psoriasis?
Combine 10-15 drops of tea tree oil with two tablespoons of melted coconut oil to relieve psoriasis flare-ups. As needed, apply it to the affected area 2-3 times a day.
11. It Banish Mold on Vegetables & Fruits
Healthy and tasty, fresh produce is undoubtedly a great choice. Unfortunately, it is also susceptible to the growth of gray mold known as Botrytis cinerea, especially in hot and humid climates.
- Tea tree oil, terpinen-4-ol, and 1,8-cineole have been shown to inhibit mold growth on fruits and vegetables.
- To prevent mold, add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in the water before thoroughly rinsing and drying your products.
12. Tea Tree Oil Is a Safe & Effective Treatment for Nail Fungus
Treating nail fungus can be challenging because it may not resolve right away. If you are using tea tree oil frequently, you will see results over time. Just keep in mind that the results will not be immediate
- Tea tree oil effectively protects against nail fungus infection as antifungal medications are applied to the area.
- Using tea tree oil alone or in conjunction with other natural remedies appears to treat nail fungus effectively.
- According to research, tea tree oil effectively reduces the growth of Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections.
- T. rubrum is a fungus that causes infections like nail fungus and athlete’s foot. Improvements were seen after 14 days.
- During a controlled study, people with nail fungus used tea tree oil or antifungal medications for six months. At the end of the study, approximately 60% of the people in each group experienced a partial or complete fungus solution.
- Combining tea tree oil with standard medicinal creams is also an option. It was found that participants were able to successfully control toenail fungus using a cream containing butenafine hydrochloride and tea tree oil.
- The antifungal cream clotrimazole (Dicinex) is ineffective as pure tea tree oil in treating fungal toenail infections.
Note: Tea tree oil can be directly applied to the area or diluted with coconut oil and mixed with it. Avoid spreading the fungus by washing your hands promptly after using the product.
13. Tea Tree Oil Best Works for Warts
Viruses between people transmit warts. Anyone can be affected, but children and adolescents are most likely to suffer from it. Many people get warts on their hands, feet, or genitals.
Despite their danger, warts are typically uncomfortable, unpleasant, and unattractive. There are many ways to treat warts. Tea tree oil is a possible treatment.
Tea tree oil is effective for treating warts because:
- Antiviral: It has antiviral properties that make it effective against a wide range of common pathogens. The study finds out that eucalyptus oil, in combination with tea tree oil, is effective against the herpes simplex virus.
- Cleansing: Tea tree oil is a powerful antimicrobial agent. For centuries, it has been used to clean wounds and prevent infection. A homemade tea tree oil cleanser can prevent you from spreading your warts to other people.
- Immune system boosting: One possible treatment option for warts is to use your body’s immune system. A study of tea tree oil suggests that it activates the immune system’s white blood cells. It means when used on warts, tea tree oil can activate the white blood cells to fight them.
How You Can Use Tea Tree Oil for Treating Warts?
- Tea tree oil can be found in various concentrations, including 5, 10, and 100%.
- If you want to make your recipes, buy an extract of 100% tea tree oil.
- For highly concentrated tea tree oil use, apply 3 to 4 drops on a cotton ball. Apply the cotton ball to your wart for 5 to 10 minutes twice or three times a day.
- You can also stick the cotton ball on your wart and leave it on overnight.
14. Is Tea Tree Oil Effective Against Yeast Infections?
It is an essential oil with antifungal and antibacterial properties. It has been used to treat skin infections and wound healing for hundreds of years.
What the research says:
- Researchers looked at tea tree oil as a treatment for the common fungal infection strain Candida albicans. During laboratory tests, they found that the oil was effective against all stresses.
- A follow-up test confirmed it in rats. Three weeks of treatment with the oil cleared drug-resistant infections in rats. The rats that were not treated or those treated with common fungal infection drugs remained infected at the end of the study.
- Recent research has produced mixed results. Tea tree oil can be effective only against certain strains, in specific concentrations, or when combined with conventional medicines.
How to use tea tree oil suppositories?
You can make a suppository by combining a drop of pure tea tree oil, 3 drops of pure lavender oil, and 2 tablespoons of unrefined organic coconut oil.
15. Tea Tree Oil for Eczema: Benefits, Risks & More
Many people with Eczema are using tea tree oil to relieve their symptoms. Diluted tea tree oil can be a safe and effective substitute for traditional ointments and creams.
How does it work?
Tea tree oil contains healing components that can help relieve the symptoms and severity of eczema attacks. These can be:
- Anti-inflammatory properties that reduce irritation
- Antiseptic properties that can soothe the skin
- Antifungal properties that can help reduce itching
- Antimicrobial properties that help fight germs that cause infections
- Antibacterial properties that can reduce infections and prevent them from spreading
- Antioxidant properties that can protect the skin from free radicals
What does the research say?
- Tea tree oil is believed to be the best essential oil for treating Eczema. Its healing qualities have been studied over the years.
- According to the International-Journal-of-Dermatology, tea tree oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties and can heal wounds.
- In a study, researchers looked at the effects of a 10% tea tree oil cream on dogs with Eczema. Those treated with tea tree oil cream for 10 days experienced significantly less itching than dogs treated with commercial skincare cream. They also experienced a faster rest.
- Another study showed that using tea tree oil topically was significantly more effective than clobetasone butyrate and zinc oxide creams to reduce eczema symptoms.
16. What Can Tea Tree Oil Do for Piercing?
Tea tree oil is known to heal wounds. It is partly due to its natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It can also exhibit antiseptic properties, which can help prevent bacterial infections. Tea tree oil is helpful for:
- Preventing fungal infection
- Reducing redness and irritation around the piercing
- Shrinking papules, pustules, and other bumps
- Preventing keloids and other scar tissue from forming
17. Is Tea Tree Oil Effective Against Scabies?
What is scabies? Sarcoptes scabiei, a microscopic mite, causes scabies in humans.
- Scabies can be effectively treated with tea tree oil, as it contains powerful antimicrobial properties.
- Preliminary research studies indicate that tea tree oil effectively treats some typical human and animal infections, including whiteflies, head lice, and sheep lice.
- In several studies, tea tree oil was effective against lice and insects because it can kill eggs within 5 days and lice in one hour, depending on its concentration.
- Tea tree oil is effective against a variety of parasitic infections, including scabies, when used topically.
How to use it for treating scabies?
There are several ways to use tea tree oil for scabies:
- Purchase a commercial tea tree oil shampoo: Look for a shampoo that contains at least 5% tea tree oil.
- Make your solution: Dilute 3-5 drops of pure tea tree oil in 1/2 to 1 ounce of carrier oil.
18. Tea Tree Oil Is Used to Treat Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids (also known as piles) can be uncomfortable. They are swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum and can cause discomfort, itching, and rectal bleeding.
Hemorrhoids can benefit from tea tree oil:
The potent properties of tea tree oil can help treat hemorrhoids in a variety of ways.
- It can reduce inflammation and therefore swelling because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Hemorrhoids are reduced as a result.
- Its antiseptic property can relieve symptoms of pain, discomfort, and itching.
- The oil can relieve hemorrhoids, especially when combined with soothing agents like aloe Vera or witch hazel.
- Tea tree oil contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that can soothe irritations, prevent bleeding, and treat minor lacerations.
19. Lice Treatment with Tea Tree Oil: Does It Work?
Some preliminary studies indicate that tea tree oil may effectively treat lice alone or with other plant ingredients, such as lavender oil.
Meanwhile, some studies suggested that tea tree oil may be beneficial in treating head lice. It can kill lice throughout the adult and nymph life stages. Tea tree oil treatments also reduce the number of lice eggs that hatched.
- It shows promising results: It was also found that all children treated with the tea tree and lavender product were lice-free.
- It might keep lice away: Another study showed that tea tree oil to be the most effective treatment tested. Tea tree oil and peppermint are the most useful in repelling lice.
20. Ingrown Hair and Tea Tree Oil
Ingrown hairs appear as a small bump or dot on your skin. They can be itchy or painful at times. Sometimes they become inflamed or infected and can contain pus. Shaved or waxed areas are more likely to develop ingrown hairs, including:
- Public areas
How to treat ingrown hairs with tea tree oil?
Tea tree oil can treat ingrown hair in three ways. It can help:
- Prevent ingrown hairs
- Heals ingrown hairs
- Prevent ingrown hair infection
21. Tea Tree Oil for Dry, Oily, Itchy & Inflamed Skin
The skin can benefit from tea tree oil in a variety of ways. It is an alternative to traditional treatments.
Eczema and Dry Skin
Dry skin can be soothed by tea tree oil by reducing itching and irritation. Additionally, it is more effective than zinc oxide creams and clobetazone butyrate creams in treating Eczema.
Tea tree oil’s antiseptic properties may explain its ability to combat oily skin. A study found that participants who used sunscreen containing tea tree oil for 30 days showed improved lipids.
Tea tree oil is useful when it comes to relieving itchy skin because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It relieves itching and can also help heal infections that cause itchiness.
A study showed that tea tree oil was effective in reducing itchy eyelids. An ointment containing 5 percent tea tree oil was massaged into the participants’ eyelids. 16 out of 24 participants completely cleared the itch. The other eight people showed some improvement.
With tea tree oil’s anti-inflammatory properties, you can calm and soothe irritated or painful skin. Additionally, it can reduce redness and swelling.
Tree oil reduces skin inflammation associated with nickel sensitivity, according to research. Generally, it is recommended to dilute tea tree oil with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin.
22. Can Tea Tree Oil Help Clear Acne or Acne Scars?
Acne is the most common skin condition. It affects almost 50 million Americans at any point in their lives.
How It Works:
Tea tree oil is typically found in over-the-counter cosmetics and other beauty products. This includes scar treatments.
- In numerous studies, tea tree oil gels have been shown to reduce the number and severity of lesions resulting from acne.
- The anti-acne properties of tea tree oil make it an effective remedy. In several studies, it was shown to help reduce the overall severity and amount of acne.
- It has been widely recognized that tea tree oil is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It can help prevent acne lesions while reducing the swelling associated with inflammatory acne.
- A study found that 5% tea tree oil gel was effective in treating mild to moderate cases of acne.
- In another study, tea tree oil was as effective against acne as compared to benzoyl peroxide – the most common acne-fighting agent.
- Researchers looked at the use of tea tree oil and resveratrol combination to protect skin from sun damage. The researchers found that most participants had less oil and bacteria on their skin and smaller pores. It can potentially improve acne.
- It is suggested that a mixture of propolis, aloe Vera, and tea tree oil can also improve acne.
How to apply tea tree oil on your face to treat acne & acne scars?
For safe dilution and application, follow these steps. Steps to dilute, test, and apply:
- Direct application of this oil is usually not recommended. You can dilute it with olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil.
- Mix tea tree oil few drops with witch hazel or aloe Vera gel and a tablespoon of castor oil.
- You need 12 drops of carrier oil for every 1.5 drops of tea tree oil.
- Before using, do a patch test to ensure that your skin does not react to tea tree oil.
- Gently apply diluted oil by dabbing it on your pimples with a cotton pad.
- Repeat as often as necessary.
23. Can Tea Tree Oil Help Remove Dark Spots?
Dark spots are best prevented with tea tree oil.
- Dark spots cannot be removed with creams, but tea tree oil can significantly reduce the risk of dark spots by fast healing and preventing blemishes or wounds.
- The oil is also said to have minor resurfacing properties over time, but scientific evidence has yet to confirm this claim.
- A dark spot on the skin occurs when some parts of the skin produce more melanin than normal.
- Spots affect people differently, and their color can vary from light to dark brown.
- The spots can result from sun exposure, hormonal changes, aging, acne scarring, and wounds caused by cuts or insect bites.
How to use tea tree oil for dark spots?
Although you can apply tea tree oil directly to dark spots, there is little evidence that it will fade them.
- Mix 1 drop tea tree oil with 12 drops carrier oil;
- To test for sensitivities, dab a small amount of the diluted oil onto a skin area and wait 24 hours.
- Dab diluted solution onto the affected area with a cotton ball or swab
- After 10 minutes, rinse off, or leave on overnight and rinse off in the morning.
Is it possible to apply tea tree oil directly to the skin?
According to medical experts, tea tree oil can be used as a topical treatment every day, and it’s safe to apply directly to the skin. Tea tree oil, when applied in pure form (100% oil) rarely causes skin irritation. Some people, however, develop an allergic rash (contact dermatitis).
24. How Does Tea Tree Oil Benefit Your Hair?
Tea tree oil is known to help cleanse hair, keep it strong, reduce hair loss and dandruff. With such valuable therapeutic properties, tea tree oil can be the solution to your hair problem. Fortunately, tea tree oil is nowadays found in everyday products such as shampoo.
- With all the harsh chemicals present in hair products today, you can strip your hair follicles of much-needed nutrients.
- By applying small amounts of diluted tea tree oil to the hair shaft, can help prevent chemical build-up and dead skin cells.
- It keeps your hair healthy and hydrated, helping it to grow normally and preventing hair loss.
- Tea tree oil is proven to be beneficial for hair. It focuses on helping your hair and scalp but also getting rid of unwanted hair.
Can You Use Tea Tree Oil for Dandruff?
Dandruff is a scalp condition characterized by dry, white flakes of dead skin. It is sometimes accompanied by itching. Dandruff has several causes. These includes:
- Dry skin and hair
- Oily, irritated skin
- Contact dermatitis
- A fungus called Malassezia
- Poor hygiene
Tea tree oil’s moisturizing and antifungal properties can help relieve some causes of dandruff.
Tea Tree Oil Benefits for Healthy Hair & Dandruff
- Reduces yeast overgrowth on the scalp: Research indicates that a shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil effectively reduces dandruff caused by the yeast Pityrosporum ovale (Malassezia). Tea tree oil shampoo reduced dandruff by 41% in participants.
- Reduces itchiness and other dandruff symptoms: Tea tree oil can help reduce itchiness, sebum, and lesions sometimes associated with dandruff. A study found that a shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil has shown positive results. A current study found that tea tree oil shampoo resulted in a 78% reduction in microbial growth.
How to apply tea tree oil to your hair?
There are several ways that you can try using tea tree oil to treat dandruff. These includes:
- To help treat dandruff, apply a shampoo containing 5% tea tree oil to your scalp—lather for 3 minutes a day for almost 4 weeks.
- Dilute 1-10 tea tree oil with almond oil or similar oil for healthy hair. To get the best results, use this mixture daily.
- Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to your current shampoo bottle and shake vigorously. Massage your scalp gently and rinse well.
- You can also make tea tree oil shampoo from scratch. This recipe uses vitamin E oil, olive oil, coconut milk, baking soda, and filtered water, along with tea tree oil.
Hair Product Selection
Check the label carefully when choosing a commercially available tea tree oil shampoo. Many products contain a small amount of tea tree oil as a fragrance. It is not enough to be curative. Look for products that contain 5% tea tree oil.
When buying pure tea tree oil, look for an oil that:
- mentions Latin Name Melaleuca alternifolia
- contains 100% tea tree oil
- is from Australia
- is steam distillated
Can tea tree oil be used every day?
Although tea tree oil is generally safe when applied to the skin of adults, allergic reactions may occur in some cases. Tea tree oil may pose a health risk to young children and animals.
Is it possible to use 100% tea tree oil?
Experts agree that this oil is safe for topical use, and you can apply it directly to your skin daily. Tea tree oil, when applied in pure form (100% oil) rarely causes skin irritation. Some people, however, develop an allergic rash (contact dermatitis).
TYPES OF TEA TREE OIL
Because the quality of tea tree oil varies, it is crucial to buy an oil that is 100% natural and contains no additives. When possible, purchase organic tea tree oil from a reputable brand.
On the bottle, the Latin name Melaleuca alternifolia must be printed and the country of origin. Look for an oil with a concentration of 10 to 40% terpin, the main antiseptic ingredient in tea tree oil.
What Are the Risks?
Most adults can safely apply diluted tea tree oil to their skin, according to the National Center-for-Complementary-and-Inclusive-Health. However, there is some risk of side effects.
Risks and Warnings
Ingestion or topical application of tea tree oil carries several risks. United-States-Food-and-Drug-Administration does not monitor the safety or purity of tea tree oil. Hence, it must be obtained from a reliable source.
a. Risks associated with ingestion
If swallowed, tea tree oil may cause:
- severe skin rash
- blood cell abnormalities
- stomach ache
b. Risks associated with topical applications
Some of the risks associated with the current use of tea tree oil include:
- Skin irritation: People with sensitive skin can become irritated when using undiluted tea tree oil. Tea tree oil should be mixed with olive, coconut, or almond oil if sensitive skin.
- Allergic contact dermatitis: If this happens after using tea tree oil, discontinue use. Some research shows that this is more likely after applying the pure oil than after cosmetics or shampoo.
- Male prepubescent gynecomastia: Enlarged breast tissue in prepubescent boys is associated with topical use of products containing tea tree oil or lavender oil. However, the evidence is limited.
- Bacterial resistance: Consistent use of antibiotics, including low doses of tea tree oil, can contribute to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, a significant concern in the medical community.
- Tremors and nervous system problems in pets: In addition, tea tree oil may not be safe for use in pets. The researchers reported that more than 400 dogs and cats developed tremors and other nervous system problems after receiving between 0.1 and 85 ml of tea tree oil on their skin or orally.
The benefits of tea tree oil can be seen from the reasons mentioned above.
It is a natural alternative to chemical-based treatments, personal care products, and disinfectants.
Overall, tea tree oil is a versatile oil that can be used for a variety of purposes.