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31 Incredible Uses of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil

With antibiotic-resistant bacteria becoming a bigger problem every day, along with the possible side effects of many medications, I want to use natural remedies as much as possible. Tea Tree oil has been used successfully for centuries and belongs in every modern-day medicine cabinet.

It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it extremely useful. Tea tree oil, or TTO for short, comes from the Melaleuca alternifolia tree which grows in Australia. You can use the essential oil from this tree just like the ancient Aboriginal people have for thousands of years.

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1. Relieve Dry Scalp and Eliminate Dandruff

Get relief from dandruff or dry, itchy scalp, eczema or psoriasis with a cider vinegar/TTO rinse. Mix 5 drops of tea tree oil into 1 cup of cider vinegar. Keep the mixture in a small bottle. Add 1 tablespoon of the mixture to 1 cup of warm water and rinse your scalp and hair with it after shampooing. Controlled clinical research has proven its efficacy.

​According to the Mayo Clinic, “For dandruff, 5% tea tree oil shampoo has been applied to the scalp for three minutes daily, prior to a rinse, for four weeks.”

2. Improve Hair Health

Improve your hair health and hair thickness with a tea tree oil treatment. Add 3 to 5 drops of TTO to 1 to 2 tablespoons (depending on how long your hair is) of olive oil. Apply the oil mixture to your hair, leave it there for 30 minutes then wash your hair. When you do this daily for 3 to 4 weeks, there will be a noticeable difference. After the first month, do the treatment 3 times a week.

3. Treat Acne

Use tea tree oil in honey to help clear up acne and brighten your skin. Mix 2 to 4 drops into a teaspoon of honey. Make sure you are using real honey. Apply the mixture to your face, leave it on for 5 minutes then rinse it off with warm water.

4. Sooth Allergic dermatitis

The Mayo Clinic recommends using tea tree oil for skin allergies, too. They say, “For allergic skin reactions, 25-120 microliters of 20-100% tea tree oil has been applied to the affected areas of the skin.” Be cautious, though, as TTO does occasionally cause an allergic reaction. You should test it on a small patch of skin to make sure you aren’t allergic to it before you use it.

**Do not use tea tree oil if you are pregnant or use it on babies or small children**

5. Get Relief from Shingles Pain

Use a mixture of tea tree oil, peppermint oil and helichrysum oil to relieve pain, improve immunity and reduce the possibility of secondary infection if you are suffering from shingles. Dr. Josh Axe (Bonus Remedies at the bottom of the page) suggests that you, “Take 2 drops of each essential oil, mix the oils with 1/4 tsp of coconut oil and rub it on area of shingles pain.” A few drops of lavender essential oil can be added, too. It smells wonderful and brings its own nerve-pain relieving properties to the mixture.

6. Relieve Chicken Pox Skin Irritations

Skin irritation from chicken pox can be relieved with the same essential oil mixture recommended by Dr. Josh Axe for shingles. You can also mix a few drops of just tea tree oil with honey, shea butter or coconut oil and dab that on the sores.

8. Treat Athlete’s Foot

TTO is great for the relief of athlete’s foot. WebMD says, “A stronger tea tree oil solution (25% or 50%) is needed for that. Application of 25% or 50% tea tree oil solution appears to both relieve symptoms and clear up the infection in about half of people who try it for 4 weeks.”

9. Treat Ringworm

Tea tree oil is one of the best essential oils for the treatment of ringworm infections. Put a few drops into an aromatherapy oil diffuser to kill airborne fungal spores. Put 3 or 4 drops of TTO into Jojoba shampoo for scalp ringworm. Apply it full strength to the red, raised areas on your body with a cotton swab.

10. Treat Thrush

Oral thrush (oropharyngeal candidiasis) is a yeast infection. It appears as small white lesions in your mouth. Mix 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil, lavender oil and chamomile oil in a cup of tepid water for a soothing, yeast-eradicating mouthwash. You can add peppermint oil, too, for fresh breath. Swish and spit 4 times a day for 2 to 4 weeks.

** Do Not Swallow – tea tree oil should never be ingested! **

11. Treat Vaginal Infections

Vaginal candidiasis, trichomoniasis and bacterial vaginosis can be controlled with TTO. The Mayo Clinic says, “For vaginal infections, a 20% solution of tea tree oil has been applied by using a tea tree soaked tampon for 24 hours. A dose of 200 milligrams of tea tree oil vaginal pessaries in a vegetable oil base has been used daily for five days.”

12. Get Relief from Genital Herpes

You can use a 6% tea tree oil gel for relief of genital herpes. Apply it 5 times a day until the flair-up subsides.

13. Treat Oral Herpes/Cold Sores

You can apply pure tea tree oil directly on the cold sore with a cotton swab 2 to 3 times a day. The anti-viral properties of TTO start fighting the virus and healing the cold sore immediately. For best results, begin application as soon as you notice the cold sore coming on.

14. Fight MRSA

Tea tree oil has been proven to be effective against MRSA and other bacteria that cause serious infections. WebMD says this about including tea tree oil in the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), “…, an early study suggests that using a 4% tea tree oil nasal ointment plus a 5% tea tree oil body wash along with other standard treatment might have a small benefit.” TTO vapor kills bacteria that causes serious diseases like E. coli, Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae, commonly known as Pneumococcal disease.

15. Clear up Eye Infections

You can use TTO for eye infections. The Mayo Clinic says, “For eye infections, 50% tea tree oil has been used as a weekly eyelid scrub or tea tree shampoo has been used as a daily eyelid scrub for six weeks.”

16. Erase Eczema Scars and Dark Facial Spots

You can apply tea tree oil directly to eczema scars and dark spots on your face and body to make them fade. Apply the TTO with your finger or a cotton swab once or twice a day.

17. Treat Cuts and Wounds

Use tea tree oil to kill bacteria and prevent infections in cuts and wounds. Add a few drops to a tablespoon of honey and apply it to the wound or cut.

18. Kill Mildew, Mold and Eliminate Musty Smells

There are a couple ways to use tea tree oil to combat mold, mildew and musty smells. You can mix a few drops of tea tree oil into a cup of vinegar, put it into a spray bottle and spray problem areas to prevent mildew. Use it in the basement, bathroom or any damp area. Do not rinse it off. Just let it dry on the surface. If you don’t want to use vinegar, mix 2 tsp tea tree oil to 2 cups of water and use that. The tea tree oil actually kills the mold. This formula is especially good for wood. The oil will naturally find its way into the cracks and crevices.

19. Clean and Shine Stainless Steel Appliances

You can clean your stainless steel appliances with a mixture of a 1 tsp. of tea tree oil and a few drops of lemon oil per cup of water. Put the mixture into a spray bottle, spray a fine mist over your appliances and wipe them down with a damp cloth or sponge. They will be sparkly clean and disinfected and your kitchen will smell wonderfully clean.

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20. Clean Smelly Garbage Cans

Use your tea tree/lemon oil mixture to clean and disinfect your stinky garbage cans. The tea tree oil will disinfect them and the combination will make them smell great.

21. Clean Your Dirty Kitchen Sink and Drain

You can clean and disinfect your kitchen sink and drain with the tea tree/lemon oil mixture. Spray it all over the sink, faucet and down into the drain and wipe them clean. You can spray the mixture into the drain and leave it sit, if you like, for an extra-thorough cleaning.

22. Clean and Disinfect Floors

Put a few drops of TTO into your mop water to disinfect and deodorize your floors. That wonderful “clean” smell will waft throughout your entire house.

23. Disinfect and Add Fresh Fragrance to Your Laundry

Add 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil to your laundry when you add your soap. The essential oil will boost your detergent’s cleaning power, disinfect dirty towels and socks and give everything a nice, fresh fragrance.

24. Disinfect and Clean Athletic Equipment

Mix 1 to 2 drops of tea tree oil and 1 drop of lavender oil into 1 cup of water. Put the mixture into a spray bottle and spray down your athletic or workout equipment. Yoga mats, gym bags and tennis shoes should be disinfected after every use.

25. Sanitize Your Hands

Make your own hand sanitizer with 25 to 30 drops of tea tree oil, 9 drops of lavender oil, 9 drops of clove oil, 8 ounces of aloe vera gel and 1 tablespoon of witch hazel (optional). Keep a small container of this great antibacterial, antiseptic, antifungal hand sanitizer in your purse for when you need clean hands but can’t use soap and water.

26. Eliminate Head Lice

Tea tree oil has been proven effective at killing head lice and their eggs. Mix 10 drops of tea tree oil into 60 milliliters of a light vegetable or olive oil. Coat your hair from root to tip, leave for 3 hours, wash and rinse. Comb out the lice with a nit comb. Repeat the treatment after 1 week. Be sure to soak your combs and brushes in the solution, too.

27. Sooth Your Sore Throat

You can swish and gargle with tea tree oil to help alleviate a sore throat. Its anti-inflammatory properties calm and sooth while its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antifungal properties help heal. Put 1 drop of TTO (or 1 1/2 tbs. 10% tea tree oil solution) into an 8-ounce glass of tepid water. Swish it around in your mouth, gargle then spit. Do not swallow. You can also add a teaspoon or two of salt to adjust the pH inside your mouth for faster healing.

28. Improve Your Cough, Sinus Congestion and Chest Congestion

Add a few drops of tea tree oil to a pan of water, bring the water to a low boil, turn down the heat so the water produces steam then inhale the steam. This can also help with your sore throat.

29. Eradicate Warts

Tea tree oil has been proven to help clear up warts. You can use a cotton swab to apply the TTO directly to the wart once a day. It should clear up in 2 weeks.

30. Eliminate Ear Ache and Infection

Tea tree oil’s antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties will make short work of an ear ache or infection. Mix 3 drops of TTO into 1/4 cup of olive oil, mineral oil or vegetable oil. Warm it slightly (in a pan or a bowl of hot water), put a few drops in your ear, let it sit for a few minutes then turn over and let the oil drain out onto a towel. Do this several times a day for a few days for best results.

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31. Sooth and Relax Sore Muscles

Mix a few drops of tea tree oil thoroughly into some coconut oil or olive oil and massage it into your skin and muscles. You want a combination that contains 5% to 10% TTO and 95% to 90% coconut or olive oil.

Did you find this list as helpful as I did? When I first found out about all the wonderful applications for tea tree oil, I wanted to buy a case of the stuff. Fortunately, it is not expensive. I hope you will utilize this oil, and the list of uses, to improve your life.

Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped and tell me about your own personal experiences with this essential oil. We can just keep adding to the list of great uses for TTO. Be sure to share so that others can become aware of all the benefits of TTO.

About the author

Reannan Raine

Reannan worked in the non-profit sector for 30 years. Now she devotes her time to freelance writing and sharing knowledge about alternative ways to stay healthy. She believes we could all benefit from the use of fresh herbs and spices in our cooking, essential oils in our medicine cabinets and daily meditation.

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