Tea tree essential oil, also known as melaleuca, is found in a diversity of products. It is common to see tea tree oil appear in skin cream, toothpaste, handsoap, and many household cleaners. While it may be hard to believe that one essential oil is effective in such a wide array of products, the many uses of it have been scientifically studied and successfully proven.
The medicinal benefits of tea tree essential oil date back hundreds of years and have been told in stories passed down in Australian Aboriginal communities. Native Australians would crush the leaves to extract the oil and inhale the scent to treat coughs or colds. They would also apply it topically for wound healing. Tea tree essential oil has only recently become widely revered across the planet for its medicinal properties.
My first bottle
The first experience I had with tea tree essential oil was 6 years ago in Australia in a small town on the Golden Coast. I met a woman who was always glowing, had long beautiful and shiny hair, and always smelled clean. At the time, I was suffering from many hair and skin conditions including cystic acne.
She told me her secret was a pond nearby her home. It was a small pond tucked away behind melaleuca alternifolia trees, so the water had naturally occurring tea tree oil in it. She bathed in it every day.
I could not bathe in this miraculous pond every single day (though I wanted to), so instead I bought my first bottle of tea tree essential oil. To this day, I still see the amazing benefits of using it daily and am grateful for how it has played a major role in my skin and hair healing journey.
Properties of tea tree essential oil
Tea tree essential oil is well known for its many, many medicinal properties. The reason for this is due to the fact that it contains over 100 different chemical compounds that give tea tree oil these amazing properties. The most active compounds are called terpinen-4-ol and alpha-terpineol.
Tea tree oil is an antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antiviral – thanks to these 100 compounds.
These properties are the reason you find tea tree oil in so many different products nowadays.
Medicinal benefits of tea tree essential oil
Fights acne and other skin conditions
Due to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree oil is a powerful acne-fighting tool to have in your medicine cabinet. One study showed that when participants with mild to severe facial acne applied tea tree oil to their faces twice per day for 12 weeks, they experienced significant improvements in their skin health and fewer acne lesions.
Reduces dry scalp
Tea tree oil is well known for the treatment of seborrheic dermatitis, a common skin condition that causes patches of dry skin on the scalp and dandruff. In one 4 week study, participants with dry scalp saw a 40% improvement in dandruff, greasiness, and itchiness when washing their hair with a shampoo that contained tea tree.
Helps prevent resistance to antibiotics
Antibiotic resistance is an issue facing the medical field today. Promising research has shown that essential oils like tea tree and oregano oil in place of or alongside conventional medications have a positive synergistic effect and may prevent antibiotic resistance.
Relieves respiratory tract infections and congestion
Tea tree essential oil is one of the top oils for the treatment of respiratory issues. Its antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral properties help fight congestion, sore throats, coughs, the common cold, and other respiratory tract infections.
Fights bad breath
Bacteria that live on the back of your tongue, throat, and tonsils can contribute to bad breath. Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial properties kill this bacteria and can help your mouth smell cleaner and fresh. However, if using tea tree oil as a mouthwash, make sure to rinse your mouth out completely after using it because it should not be used internally.