60 Healing Uses For Tea Tree Oil
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on April 7, 2010 by Paulina Nelega, RH
From the Malaleuca Tree, native to Australia, comes the versatile Tea Tree Oil.
Already well-known as an effective, all-purpose healing oil, this natural remedy is a staple in most people’s at-home pharmacies. But do you know just how many uses this powerful oil has?
Tea Tree Oil
Related to the Myrtle family, the Malaleuca Tree grows native in Australia, as well as other parts of South East Asia. In North America, it can be found in Hawaii and the Florida everglades. It grows to almost 20 feet high in forested areas, near rivers or lakes and swamps, with needle-like leaves and heads of yellow or purplish flowers.
While there are over hundreds of varieties, it’s the melaleuca alternifolia variety that has everyone excited.
It’s medicinal history begins with the Australian aboriginals. For centuries, they made poultices of the leaves and applied them to open wounds and burns, which helped combat infections. Chewing the leaves also reportedly helped ease headaches.
Gradually, the aboriginal use of the leaves spread to more metropolitan areas, where 19th century doctors began incorporating the oil into their treatments. By the 20th century, the essential oil of the Malaleuca Tree was being researched for its potent healing properties. Studied by the now famous Dr. Arthur de Ramon Penfold , Tea Tree Oil was found to have the following properties: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic, bactericide, cicatrisant, expectorant, fungicide, insecticide, stimulant and sudorific.
According to the Tea Tree Oil Research Group at The University of Western Australia, Tea Tree Oil contains “over 100 components, mostly monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and their alcohols. The component terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant (minimum 30%) and is said to be responsible for most of the antimicrobial activity. “. In fact, this component is what makes Tea Tree Oil one of Nature’s most popular remedies!
55 Medicinal Uses
For thousands of years, the derivatives of the Malaleuca Tree have been effective in treating a wide variety of ailments. Here are 55 reasons why you should use it, too!
1. Abrasions & Minor Cuts: After cleaning the area well, apply a few drops of the oil directly. If a bandage is needed, allow a few drops of the oil to penetrate a cotton ball, then lay face down on the wound. Bandage on top.
2. Acne: Add 20 – 40 drops of the oil to your regular face wash. After cleansing, dab each affected area with neat (undiluted) oil and let dry.
3. After Waxing: Make a gel of 5 drops oil to 1 TBS aloe vera gel. Smooth onto area after waxing or shaving.
4. Arthritis: To help reduce pain associated with swelling of arthritis, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of grapeseed oil. Massage into affected are 2-3 times a day.
5. Asthma: Add a few drops of oil to a pan of water and heat on stove. When cooling, drape a towel over head and breath in for a few minutes.
6. Athletes Foot: Clean feet thoroughly, especially between toes. Add oil directly to feet every two weeks, dusting with corn starch after. Or add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp of grapeseed oil. Massage on feet and between toes.
7. Bad Breath: Rinse with 1 ounce water and 1 drop oil. Do not swallow!
8. Bath For Colds and Aches: Add 10-15 drops of oil to half cup epsom salts, and dissolve in bath.
9. Bladder Infection: In a shallow bath, add 10 – 15 drops of oil. Sit and wash area carefully.
10. Blisters: Wash area carefully, then apply as for cuts and wounds.
11. Boils: Apply a warm washcloth for a few minutes. Then apply a drop or two of oil to the area – the infection should rise to surface and eventually be released.
12. Bronchial Congestion: Use as directed for Asthma. Add 5 – 10 drops to 1 ounce grapeseed oil, and massage into chest and throat 2 – 3 times daily.
13. Bruises: After icing, apply oil as directed for Arthritis.
14. Bunions: Massage area with 5 drops oil to 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil.
15. Burns: Run icy cold water on area. After a few minutes, add a mix of 5 drops oil with 1 tsp. raw honey. Repeat 3 – 5 times daily.
16. Calluses & Corns: Massage area with 5 drops oil to 1 tbsp. grapeseed oil. Repeat 2 times daily. Once the corn or calluses have become soft use tweezers to remove, and apply a few drops of tea tree oil and cover with bandage.
17. Canker Sores: Apply a drop or two of oil directly to infected area with a cotton swab, 2 times daily. Also, rinse as directed for bad breath.
18. Carbuncles: Add a drop or two of oil to cotton swab and apply directly to carbuncle. Repeat twice daily.
19. Chapped Lips: Add 1 or 2 drops of oil to lip balm. Apply to lips as necessary.
20. Chicken Pox: Apply a drop of oil directly to blisters. Allow to dry, then dust with corn starch. Repeat every few hours or until blisters disappear.
21. Chigger Bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.
22. Cold Sores (Herpes Simplex 1): Apply a drop or two of oil directly to the sore with a cotton swab. Re-apply 2 – 3 times daily.
23. Coughs: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add
10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes.
24. Dandruff: Add 20 – 30 drops oil to any shampoo. Apply a few drops to scalp and massage after washing.
25. Dermatitis: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily.
26. Dry Skin: Add 5 drops oil to 1 tbsp sweet almond oil. Massage into skin.
27. Earache and Infection: Add 2 – 3 drops of oil to 2 tbsp warm olive oil. With a dropper, drop a small amount into aching ear, tilting head to one side for a moment. Use cotton swab to absorb oil. Repeat 2 – 3 times daily.
28. Eczema: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.
29. Emphysema: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes.
30. Flea Bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.
31. Gout: Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp grapeseed oil; massage into affected area 2-3 times a day.
32. Head Lice: Add 20 drops of oil to 2 tbsp shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair, leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat 3 – 4 times daily, until eggs are gone.
33. Hives: Add 10 drops of oil to 4 tbsp of witch hazel. Apply with cotton ball.
34. Ingrown Hairs: Add 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to area. Repeat every 2 hours or until signs of infection disappear.
35. Jock Itch: Apply 10 – 15 drops of oil to 2 tbsp grapeseed oil. Apply 2 times daily. Dust with corn starch, to reduce chapping.
36. Laryngitis: Add 5 – 10 drops of oil and pinch of sea salt to 1 cup of warm water, gargle 2-3 times a day. Do not swallow!
37. Mosquito Bites: Apply a drop of oil directly to bites.
38. Mouth Ulcers: Dab ulcer with undiluted oil on cotton swab, every two hours.
39. Muscle Aches and Pains: Add 10-15 drops of oil to half cup epsom salts, and dissolve in bath. Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil. Massage well.
40. Nail Fungus: Add 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to nail and tissue surroundings. Allow to dry completely on hands before touching anything. Repeat morning and night for a week.
41. Plantar Warts: Apply oil undiluted to affected area 2-3 times daily.
42. Psoriasis: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.
43. Rheumatism: To help reduce pain associated with rheumatism, add 20 drops of tea tree oil to 2 ounces of grapeseed oil. Massage into affected are 2-3 times a day.
44. Ringworm: Apply a drop or two of oil undiluted, repeat 2 times daily.
45. Scabies: Apply 1 – 2 drops of oil directly to area in the morning and at night.
46. Sciatica: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Also can be applied undiluted.
47. Seborrhea: For skin: Add 10 drops oil to 1 tbsp grapeseed oil and massage into affected areas. Repeat 2-3 times daily. For scalp: Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp shampoo. Massage into scalp and hair, leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse. Repeat 3 – 4 times daily. Bath: Add 10-15 drops of oil to bath.
48. Shingles: Add 10-15 drops of oil to half cup epsom salts, and dissolve in bath. Add 10 drops of oil to 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil. Massage well.
49. Sinusitis: Use as directed for bronchial infections. For a vaporizer, add 10 drops to steamer and leave on 5 – 10 minutes. Also add 2 drops to neti pot.
50. Sore Throat: Add 2 drops of oil to 1 cup of warm water with pinch of sea salt, gargle 2-3 times a day. Do Not Swallow!
51. Stye: Add 5 drops oil to a pan of steaming water. Drape towel overhead and steam 5 minutes. Apply warm compresses directly to stye.
52. Sunburn: Add 10 drops oil to 2 tbsp rosehip seed oil, repeat as often as necessary.
53. Ticks: Apply a drop or two directly to tick and area.
54. Toothbrush Cleaner: Apply oil directly to toothbrush 1-2 times a week to kill bacteria.
55. Warts: Apply undiluted directly to wart. Use morning and night, until wart begins to disappear.
Conventional household cleaners can be toxic on their own, and exposure to their fumes can lead to headaches, dizziness, nausea, and poisoning. In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group – a consumer watchdog advisory group – indoor air can be as much as 100 times more polluted than outdoor air! The culprit: you guessed it, household cleaning supplies.
Tea Tree Oil can combat mold, bacteria, and bad odors – naturally. And it’s so easy to use!
To make your own household cleaner, you’ll need:
– Spray bottle
– Tea Tree Oil
– Lavender Oil (optional)
In spray bottle, combine 2 tsp of Tea Tree oil with 2 cups water. Add 10 drops lavender oil for extra scent, if you like.
Shake before use, and do not rinse. Can be used to treat moldy areas, stains, and areas that need to be disinfected.
Tea Tree In The House
You can use your all-natural cleaner for the following:
1. Grout Cleaner
Sprinkling baking soda onto grout first, then spray with All-Purpose Cleaner. Rub in and rinse.
2. Mildew and Mold Remover
Spray All-Purpose Cleaner on areas growing mold and mildew, such as around windows. Leave to penetrate.
Once per week, spray all door-knobs, handles, telephones and remote controls.
For towels and linens, try adding 1 tsp oil to wash cycle. Mildew, begone!
The solution can also be used as a general kitchen and bathroom cleaner.
With Tea Tree Oil in your medicine cabinet, you have one of Nature’s most potent, powerful solutions!
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan