Tea tree essential oil was one of the first essential oils I started using. When I began researching ways to save money, I soon found that I could cut costs by making my own cleaners at home. Almost every recipe I found called for tea tree essential oil because it’s a great disinfectant.
Now, I use it for much more than cleaning. Because essential oils are so complex, they can be used for a number of different purposes and tea tree essential oil is no exception.
How to Use Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil can be applied to the skin either neat (undiluted) or diluted. If you have sensitive skin, I recommend diluting tea tree oil in a carrier oil like coconut oil. If you’re using it with kids, I also recommend diluting the oil and using it on the bottoms of their feet.
When using essential oils topically, it’s a great idea to:
Use a carrier oil: I’ve learned that just by adding a tiny amount of a carrier oil, you increase the absorption rate of essential oils because of how the carrier oil can penetrate the skin.
Heat up the area: When I apply an essential oil to my skin, I make sure to also rub it in to create a heat exchange. This increases blood flow to the area, which helps the essential oils go through your body faster.
Tea tree oil is a great essential oil to diffuse aromatically (unless you have cats – keep them away from tea tree oil). This is a great way to purify the air because of its antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Always do a spot test to make sure you aren’t sensitive to tea tree essential oil. If you are, dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil . Also, make sure you’re using 100% pure essential oils, avoiding additives/chemicals/carrier oils found in some brands which can cause irritation.
Do not use with cats as most brands can be harmful. Dilute with children and make sure they do not consume tea tree essential oil.
For more information on using essential oils, check out our frequently asked questions on essential oils.
12 Uses for Tea Tree Essential Oil
1. Ear Infections
Tea tree essential oil is my favorite way to treat ear infections naturally. We have few ear infections in our home now, but when they occur, I rub 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil all around the base of the ear every 2-3 hours.
2. Fungal Skin Infections
Tea tree essential oil is a powerful antifungal and can be used as a natural remedy for fungal skin infections, like ringworm and Candida. Dilute 5-6 drops in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil for added antifungal power and rub onto the infection a few times per day. (However, I would not use this in the genital area for yeast infections as it can burn quite badly.)
Rub a drop of the tea tree essential oil onto problem areas 2-3 times per day to make acne clear up faster.
Tea tree essential oil is antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral and antiseptic, making it a great addition to homemade cleaner recipes.
Tea tree oil is also analgesic, meaning it reduces pain. For a toothache, try mixing 1 drop of tea tree essential oil in 4 oz of warm water and swish in the mouth a few times per day. (For added pain killing power, add 1 drop of clove essential oil.) Do not to swallow.
6. Athlete’s Foot
Use tea tree essential oil by itself or make an athlete’s foot blend. You can apply the essential oil undiluted to the feet but I think that mixing 5-6 drops in 1 tablespoon of antifungal coconut oil would be better. Massage into clean feet when you wake up and before you go to bed.
7. Canker Sores/Cold Sores
Mix 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil and dab onto the sore several times a day.
To soothe the skin, try diluting 1-2 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and massage onto the affected area a couple times a day.
9. Nail Fungus
I recommend a mix of dietary changes (avoiding chemical-laden processed food and eating limited amounts of natural sweeteners) and essential oils for getting rid of nail fungus.
Tea tree essential oil is a great antifungal that can be applied topically to combat nail fungus. Apply one drop on the affected nail(s) and rub in the essential oil. It may be easiest to do this when you wake up and before you go to bed.
Because warts can be so tough to get rid of, I recommend applying a drop of tea tree essential oil to the wart (undiluted if possible) several times a day until the wart is gone.
Having dealt with a strange rash most of my life (which I eventually found out was caused by my food allergies) I have plenty of experience with using tea tree oil for rashes.
Before I found the cause of my rash and began healing my body with diet, I used a lot of topical creams to get it under control. Nothing helped. That is, until I started using tea tree oil.
Dabbing a drop of tea tree essential oil on said rash would soothe the itching and after a few applications, make it fade quite a bit. I recommend applying a drop (dilute in coconut oil if you have sensitive skin) every 3-4 hours.
Tea tree essential oil is also an expectorant, making it great for coughs and congestion. Use it to make this DIY vapor rub.
Where can you get high quality tea tree oil?
Tea tree essential oil is becoming more widely available due to its versatility and consumer demand for natural remedies. You can find it at most health food stores or online. (Beware of the tea tree oil available in drug stores – it’s likely to be cut with additives, chemicals, or carrier oils.) Get 100% pure organic tea tree oil online here.
What uses do you have for melaleuca essential oil?