Tea tree oil: what it is for, properties and contraindications


Melaleuca oil is an essential oil popularly known as tea tree oil, since it is extracted from the bark of the tree from which it takes its name ( Melaleuca alternifolia ). It is used in many cosmetics and is known by the vast majority for its power to reduce acne, but this essential oil is not only effective in combating acne problems. This essential oil, originally from Australia, has been used by Aborigines for hundreds of years due to its antibacterial, fungicidal and healing properties.

Tea tree oil what it is for, properties and contraindications

Tea tree oil properties

Tea tree oil has many properties beyond healing and its benefits for acne. These are some of the most important properties that you can find in this oil.

  • Antiseptic: tea tree oil is a great natural antiseptic that, in contact with the skin, reduces the possibility of infection since it is a powerful antimicrobial. For use on the skin it is recommended to use it diluted, not directly on it. You can prepare its solution in vegetable oils such as almond oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil or avocado oil.
  • Fungicide: this property of the oil prevents the growth of fungi and eliminates the parasites caused by some fungus or mold, thus eliminating the damage they may cause. It is very useful, for example, to treat nail fungus and athlete's foot. If you have this problem in any of your nails, apply a drop of oil to the infected nail and massage gently so that the product penetrates. Repeat this process twice a day.
  • Antibacterial and antviral: to treat various infections, such as candidiasis (because these properties are very successful as gynecological properties to treat vaginal conditions), herpes or cystitis, you can use washes by diluting 10 drops of oil in warm water, apply it diluted in water with a stick or swab on the affected skin, etc.
  • Circulatory stimulant: thanks to this property, for example, you can use this essential oil as a preventive method against hair loss or to stimulate hair growth. The oil acts on the scalp by stimulating blood flow and reducing the inflammation of the follicular cells, which are responsible for the renewal and growth of hair. Likewise, for this reason, it also serves to activate the circulation in the legs with a scrub, it is ideal for tired legs.
  • Skin oil regulator: tea tree oil helps control excessive oil production, thus preventing blockages that may occur in the hair follicles. In this way, both your face and your scalp and your hair will have a healthier appearance.
  • Healing: did you know that tea tree oil is also a magnificent healing agent? If you have a wound, it is important that you wash the area well before applying it. Next, dilute 3 drops of oil and apply on the wound. You can repeat the operation up to 3 times a day.

What is tea tree oil for – benefits and uses

If you are wondering what tea tree essential oil is for, pay attention, because below, we explain some of the uses of tea tree essential oil that not everyone knows and that will surely surprise you.

Effective lice repellant

More and more mothers are using tea tree oil for lice as it is the best known remedy and one of the most effective. You only have to apply about 5 drops of this oil in your children's shampoo and wash their hair normally. Another option is to dilute a few drops in the detangling spray that you usually use and spray the hair before combing.

Here you can learn more about How to use tea tree essential oil for lice .

Tea tree oil for face

It is known for all the capacity of tea tree oil for acne , but you can also use this oil on your face to heal the scars of that granite that you have not been able to avoid touching and that has left a mark on you. You can also use it if you have dry skin, you only need tea tree oil and almond oil. Mix 5 tablespoons of tea tree for every tablespoon of almond oil and apply to the skin as a cream. You will immediately notice the change, your skin will look more hydrated and luminous.

We tell you How to use tea tree oil on the face and How to use tea tree oil for acne in these other articles.

Against herpes

Mix a tablespoon of olive oil with two drops of this oil and apply with a cotton swab or a makeup remover disc in the area where you have herpes. You can also do it directly with your fingertip, before and after washing the finger with hot water and soap, because if there is already a scab on the herpes, cotton fibers may remain attached. You will get it to dry faster and heal due to the effective antiviral action against various types of herpes of this essential oil and, at the same time, with olive oil you will help to better hydrate and regenerate the skin of the affected area.


The effect that tea tree oil achieves on rashes caused by diseases, such as chicken pox, is healing and soothing. If you can't help but scratch, soothe the area with this remedy, although it may be a little itchy at first and then you notice a big improvement. However, when using it for rashes, dilute a few drops in water.

Fight cough

Tea tree essential oil is also an excellent ally to calm a cough. To do this, you must make vapors of boiling water with a few drops of melaleuca oil and rub or massage the chest and back a couple of times a day.

Foot odor

If foot odor makes you feel self-conscious, at we encourage you to try this effective remedy. Fill a basin with warm water and add 15 drops of tea tree oil. Put your feet in the water and let them soak for 15 minutes. Then, dry your feet and put your shoes back on. If you repeat the operation 2 or 3 times a week, you will notice how the bad smell disappears, as it is produced by bacteria and fungi and this essential oil eliminates them.

Here we offer you more information on How to use tea tree oil for fungi .


If you suffer from scaling on the scalp, add 3 drops of melaleuca oil to your shampoo. When you wash your hair, leave it on for about 15 minutes. You will notice how the dandruff problem is improving little by little. Find out more about this benefit of this essential oil in these other articles on How to use tea tree oil for dandruff and Properties and benefits of tea tree oil for hair .

Disinfect clothes

If you want to eliminate the bad smell of clothes, which is usually caused by bacteria, add 4 drops of oil in the drawer of the washing machine where you pour the detergent, or in a basin with warm water to wash the clothes by hand, and you will see that your laundry comes out cleaner and with a good natural smell. This oil will thoroughly clean fabrics and eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms present in it. Here you can learn more about How to disinfect clothes with this product and with more methods.

Household disinfectant

It is one of the least known uses of this oil since we have always benefited from its cosmetic properties, but why not take advantage of its bactericidal and antifungal potential to keep our home free of bacteria? You just have to add about 20 drops of this oil in the mop bucket or add a teaspoon in a spray bottle with water to clean the rest of the surfaces.

Tea tree oil contraindications

It must be said that not everything is beneficial in the essential oil of the tea tree, because like everything it also has some contraindication and sometimes some side effect, although these few situations usually occur in people who have an allergy to the Melaleuca alternifolia plant or it is about skin extremely sensitive to irritation. Some of the contraindications of tea tree essential oil are:

  • People with allergies to its composition.
  • Atopic or hypersensitive skin (in this case it can only be applied with a very low base vegetable oil, such as olive oil).
  • Pregnant and lactating women, since the effects on fetuses and newborns are not fully proven.

However, here are some of the side effects of tea tree oil if used improperly:

  • Dryness.
  • May inhibit absorption of some medications.
  • Itching or irritation.
  • Allergic reactions.

How to make tea tree essential oil

Surely you have also wondered more than once how to make tea tree essential oil and we will tell you that it is not easy since to achieve it you have to carry out a distillation process. It is not entirely impossible, in fact, there are home distillation kits on the market that can make your job much easier. Therefore, it is easier to buy or make a tea tree vegetable oil, which is not essential, but a mixture of a base oil (olive, sunflower, sweet almond, etc.) and the leaves, flowers and stems of the tree. of tea However, if you have a pot still or a simple distillation kit and want to make tea tree essential oil, take note:

Ingredients and materials

  • Alembic or distillation kit.
  • Stove.
  • Water.
  • Fresh tea tree leaves, flowers and stems.

Steps to make tea tree essential oil

  1. Cut the branches, stems and fresh leaves into small pieces and put them in a still with water. Bring the mixture below the boiling point.
  2. The essential oils will begin to rise and recondense at the end of the still tube as tea tree essential oil.
  3. Store the oil in a dark glass container so that the light does not affect it.


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