10 Health Benefits of Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is one of the most popular essential oils today and with good reason!
It has been used for centuries to treat infections and the list of uses continues to grow, making it one of the most versatile oils available on the market today.
Keep reading to learn about the 10 health benefits of tea tree essential oil, so you can start adding this oil to your beauty routine, first aid kit, and more!
1) Tea tree oil can treat acne
Tea tree oil is a natural remedy that can be used to help treat acne in both women and men. Applying tea tree oil directly to affected areas may reduce redness, and inflammation, and kill bacteria associated with acne.
Studies have found that an acne cream containing 5% tea tree oil can reduce skin inflammation as effectively as benzoyl peroxide 10%, while also being less irritating.
This is important because benzoyl peroxide can dry out your skin over time and makes your skin more susceptible to sun damage.
2) Relieves toothaches
One study in animals found that tea tree oil prevents bacteria from sticking to teeth and gums, which means it may help relieve toothaches caused by bacterial buildup.
Be sure to speak with your dentist before using tea tree oil on a child. This oil can cause side effects such as stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting when taken by mouth or inhaled.
It should never be used neat (undiluted) on skin or eyes because it could cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
If you’re pregnant, consider talking to your doctor before using any essential oils on yourself or your baby.
3) Soothes skin rashes
Tea tree oil’s soothing properties can treat skin rashes and itchiness from other substances, making it a great ingredient in lotions and creams.
For example, if you have poison ivy or other types of rashes, tea tree oil can help relieve those symptoms.
If you want to try it out yourself, add 10 drops (about a third of a teaspoon) to your favorite body lotion and apply it after your bath or shower.
You should see relief within days. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid tea tree oil – some research has shown that it could be harmful to developing babies.
Other research suggests that there is no harm at all, so talk with your doctor before trying any new supplement or remedy.
4) Soothes sunburns
Did you know that tea tree oil can be used to soothe and cool sunburns? Simply massage a few drops onto your skin after you’ve come in from a day out in the sun.
The calming properties of tea tree oil can help reduce swelling and redness while reducing pain. It’s perfect for treating children’s minor burns as well!
5) Prevents hair loss
You might have heard that rubbing tea tree oil into your scalp can promote hair growth, and there’s some research to support it.
A study published in 2005 in Phytotherapy Research found that applying one percent tea tree oil (three drops per day) reduced hair loss by an average of 58 percent after three months.
What’s more, a 2008 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine showed that tea tree oil stimulates growth in human cells when applied topically.
Just apply a few drops daily to your scalp, being careful not to get it too close to your eyes (it stings). For best results, combine it with other natural remedies for hair loss such as saw palmetto extract and biotin supplements.
6) Helps with weight loss
One of tea tree essential oils' most-talked-about benefits is weight loss. Studies have shown that people who inhaled tea tree oil lost more weight than those who used a placebo.
The reason? Because it contains antibacterial properties, tea tree oil can be helpful for overall skin health.
In addition to killing certain bacteria, it also has antifungal and antimicrobial properties that can help prevent acne and other skin issues from developing.
Since excessive body fat is associated with so many different conditions (such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure), losing weight by using tea tree essential oil may reduce your risk for developing these conditions—and could even save your life!
7) Fights dandruff
If you struggle with dandruff, tea tree oil is a great home remedy. It is known to prevent yeast infections that lead to dandruff, so it can make your scalp healthier while also making your hair shinier and less oily.
When applied directly to your scalp, tea tree oil will kill off any fungus and bacteria, allowing your skin to return to its normal balance.
Try diluting 1 part tea tree oil with 2 parts water for daily use, or mix up a more concentrated batch if you are feeling particularly itchy.
8) Treats lice and scabies
The most popular use for tea tree oil is as a natural treatment for lice and scabies. The potent nature of tea tree oil makes it extremely effective against both parasites, though you should be cautious when using it on your children to make sure they don’t ingest any undiluted oils.
Although tea tree essential oil has been proven effective against lice and scabies, some people report skin irritation after use.
Test on a small patch of skin first before applying liberally over larger areas, or consider diluting in a carrier oil such as jojoba or olive oil to reduce irritation.
9) Helps relieve respiratory issues
Not only does tea tree oil have anti-bacterial properties, but it has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties as well.
The antimicrobial effects of tea tree oil are most strongly felt in respiratory infections such as colds and cases of flu, which is why it's commonly used to help relieve coughs and sore throats.
However, people often use tea tree oil for skin conditions including fungal infections (such as athlete's foot), acne, insect bites, warts, and even chickenpox!
Use a few drops in a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil before applying topically to affected areas. It can be effective when added to shampoo as well—just make sure you don’t get any into your eyes!
10) Supports healthy blood circulation
If you have any sort of circulation issues, or if you suffer from varicose veins, tea tree oil may be a good option.
It’s thought to help improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels and boosting circulation; it could also help lower high blood pressure.
To get started, try diffusing tea tree oil in your home or directly applying a few drops to your skin—but do so only in combination with other essential oils.
Always consult an expert before trying any natural remedies on yourself or your loved ones.
While there are plenty of health benefits that tea tree oil offers for both humans and pets, you need to use it sparingly on your dog because some dogs find its scent too intense.