The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Health Products
Last Updated Jul 17, 2020
Health Products

Hold the disinfectant!  Next time you need to clean anything, whether it’s a wound, a benchtop or your tinea laden toenails, try using tea tree, the great Australian essential oil. It has proven properties, is safe and multi-purpose. 

Only use aromatherapy grade essential oils when you want healing or anti-bacterial properties. There are many grades of tea tree oil on the market, and while they’re good for non-specific cleaning, you won’t get the serious benefits. The label on the bottle should  include the botanical name of the plant.

Tea Tree Has a History

Melaleuca alternifolia, the common Australian native paperbark tree, is the source of tea tree essential oil. It’s a very common and useful essential oil which is showing enormous possibilities as an effective anti-bacterial agent.  

It’s not new; the aborigines used tea tree (though not the essential oil since they didn’t know about distillation) for thousands of years, using teas, poultices and even swimming in water that was overhung by the trees.  They treated everything from coughs and colds to wounds and headache. And so can we.

What are the Benefits of Tea Tree?

The great divide between mainstream medicine and natural healing is never clearer than in the discussion about tea tree oil. It has been shown to be effective against the dreaded hospital-induced MRSA infection. Lots of small studies have shown positive results, but as yet, there’s been none of the large scale interest that’s needed to give credibility. So still it fails to show up in hospitals and clinics despite being cheap and freely available.

But there are lots of ways that we can benefit from this wonderful oil, with just a few of them here:

  • Antiseptic: wash small open wounds, infected or not with a solution of 5 drops in 100ml of water. For a hand wash, add 2 drops into your hand, add a squirt of soap, and wash as normal
  • Anti-fungal: for tinea – 5 drops in 10mls;  mix into a cream or carrier oil. For ingworm – 1 drop neat, 3 times a day
  • Headache (especially sinus): inhale direct from bottle or tissue
  • Flu: add 3 drops to a bath;  use 2-3 drops in a vaporiser
  • Toothbrush hygiene: put one drop onto your toothbrush and leave in the air to dry.  It will disinfect it and provide a built-in mouthwash next day. Treat nailbrush in the same way
  • Pimples: as soon as a spot appears, dab with tea tree oil
  • Disinfectant: add a few drops when washing sinks, benches, baths and basins

Tea tree is one of the very safe essential oils when used as directed. Like many oils, it shouldn’t be used in pregnancy, and shouldn’t be taken by mouth.  It can be used neat on skin, but because people occasionly get skin reactions, you should do a skin test first.

Anti-bacterial Hand Spray


  • 300 ml water
  • 5 ml witch hazel (or you could use vodka instead)
  • 1 ml wheatgerm oil (open a couple of Vit E capsules instead)
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil


  1. Mix all the ingredients together and keep in a closed bottle out of the light.
  2. Fill a small spray bottle as needed.  It will need to be shaken before EACH use.
  3. Keep in your handbag, so it’s available whenever you need it during the day. It’s an effective and cheap alternative to commercial hand sprays.

Tea tree is such a versatile oil that it really should be in every medicine cabinet and first aid kit. To find out more about essential oils or for a professional treatment, you can find an aromatherapist in your area.

Do you love Aromatherapy? Would you like to turn this love for Aromatherapy into a rewarding career?

Then maybe you want to check out the these Aromatherapy courses available all over Australia. Or maybe other Natural Therapy Courses that may be of interest to you. Why not let us help you find the right course for you today!

Originally published on Oct 05, 2011

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Wellness inspiration of the week

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills… There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind… So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself. — MARCUS AURELIUS