Tea Tree Oil - Very Essential

Tea Tree Oil (INCI: Melaleuca alternifolia) is so multifunctional and beneficial that it is a must for 'essential oil beginners'.

Native to Australia, tea tree oil is one of very few essential oils that can boast of being antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. It's very close to being a complete drugstore in a bottle! It is definitely among my favorites – I always have it in stock.

Tea tree oil is among the more scientifically scrutinized oils, having been in production for several different medicinal purposes since the 1920's. The essential oil is made from the leaves of the plant. 

Like all essential oils, tea tree oil is highly concentrated and therefore always dispensed by the drop.

I have worked with tea tree oil successfully for the following functions
- anti-acne (in face masks and neat: see below under cold sores)
- anti-dandruff (in shampoos)
- anti-bacterial skin gel (for small scrapes and cuts)
- against itching of the scalp (in shampoos)
- deep cleansing (in masks)
- anti-fungal foot cream

It is also recommended for the following

  • fighting head lice (add a few drops to a bottle of baby shampoo, lather and leave the shampoo in for a few minutes before rinsing) 
  • as an antifungal cuticle oil (add a drop to approx 1 teaspoon or 15ml vegetable/carrier oil and apply)
  • used neat for cold sores (moisten a cotton bud with 2 drops tea tree oil. Then carefully apply to the spot)
  • as a muscle relaxant in massage lotions and oil blends 
  • as a skin-soothing ingredient in gels for sunburn
  • a few drops in a steam inhalator for chest colds

Other Household Uses

  • as an antibacterial toilet cleanser (a few drops directly into the bowl, brush, then flush. This really works, and it is an environmentally friendly alternative to commercial products)
  • as a final rinse in the washing machine (acts as an antibacterial agent and freshens bedding and towels)

Recommended Dosage

1-2% is the recommended dose for leave-on products (cream, lotion), where a slightly higher dosage (3-4%) can be used with such products as masks and shampoos as these are rinsed out/off after a short period of time.

Are You Ready to Give it a Go? 

Be sure to check the production date of the oil you buy. As a general rule, any essential oil shouldn't be used past a year of production. Also, be sure and keep it well out of the reach of children!


Anonymous said…
Hi Lise,
There's a lot of controversy around using tea tree oil in pregnancy.
Most of the articles I read are recommending against its use.
However there's some that say it's OK in pregnancy but not in labour as it can reduce contractions.
There's also a number of acne treatments, labeled as safe in pregnancy, that contain tea tree oil.
I am going crazy as this seems the last resort against acne in pregnancy, could you please shed some light on this?

Many thanks!
LisaLise said…
Hey there Anon -My first place to look for info on this is with Robert Tisserand who has done extensive research on essential oil safety. From what I can find, tea tree oil is NOT on his list of oils to avoid during pregnancy. Check here

and here: http://roberttisserand.com