History and Uses of Tea Tree Oil



Tea tree oil is an extract from a plant native to Australia and is one of the most well-known essential oils. Tea tree oil was used as a topical treatment for respiratory problems and headaches by the Aboriginal people for centuries. It was later “discovered” by Captain Cook’s crew in the 18th century. They brewed a tea with its leaves to fight scurvy, hence the plant’s name.

It has a fresh, pungent and medicinal aroma. As it evaporates, it becomes a woody and sweet scent.

Why do people take tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment. One study found that tea tree oil worked as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide in controlling the symptoms of acne. It appears to be effective with toenail fungus and possibly athlete’s foot. Studies of tea tree oil for other conditions such as gum disease, vaginal infections, and dandruff have been inconclusive.

Tea tree oil has been proposed as a topical treatment for herpes labalis (the common cold sore), but it does not appear to be effective. Laboratory studies have shown that tea tree oil was effective against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a type of staph infection that’s resistant to many antibiotics. Although these studies are promising, more research needs to be done.

Tea tree oil can be used for the following:

  • Acne
  • Arthritis
  • Athlete’s Foot
  • Blisters
  • Minor Burns
  • Colds/flu
  • Cold Sores
  • Coughs
  • Cuts
  • Dandruff
  • Ringworm
  • Tonsillitis
  • Varicose Veins
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Parasites
  • Insect Bites
  • Ringworm
  • Warts
  • Abrasions
  • Air purifier
  • Herpes
  • Chicken Pox
  • Boils
  • Nail Infections
  • Jock Itch
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis

How do you use tea tree oil?


How much tea tree oil should you take?

Tea tree oil should never be taken by mouth.

The concentrations of tea tree oil used in studies have varied depending on the medical condition. For instance, a 5% tea tree oil gel might be used for acne, while a 10% or higher tea tree oil cream might be used for athlete’s foot. 100% tea tree oil solution has been used with toenail fungus. If you use tea tree oil, follow the instructions on the label or get advice from your doctor.

Can you get tea tree oil naturally from foods?

There are no natural food sources of tea tree oil. Because of its toxicity, tea tree oil should never be swallowed.

Tea tree oil is not recommended for children under the age of 2 or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Get your tea tree oil here.

*** You must not rely on this information as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.


Aromatherapy: A Lifetime Guide to Healing with Essential Oils by Valerie Gennari Cooksley

The Essential Oils Handbook: All the Oils You Will Ever Need for Health, Vitality and Well-Being by Jennie Harding


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