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Uses for tea tree oil - How to use tea tree oil to cure infections and fungi

Updated on November 18, 2014
The uses for tea tree oil are abundant!
The uses for tea tree oil are abundant! | Source

The first time I stumbled upon tea tree oil was when my cousin got bit by an insect. My aunt, who is a health-freak, applied it to his tiny wound and everything in the world was better. I was curious; What is this cure-all oil? What else can I do with it?

These questions took me on a google search that led me to the many benefits and uses of tea tree oil, and since this knowledge is too good to keep it all to myself, I decided to share it with you.

What is tea tree oil?

Tea tree oil comes from the Melaleuca Alternifolia tree. It was called "tea
tree oil" because it was later discovered that the leaves of this tree could
replace the traditional leaves used in teas.

Tea tree oil is known for its antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic
properties. In other words, it keeps bacteria, virus, fungi and pain away. It
also helps wounds heal faster and leave less scar tissue, in addition to
boosting your immune system just by smelling it.

So now that you have the general picture, let's move on to the good stuff...

Before you use it, you need to know...

  • Tea tree oil should never be ingested. It could be highly toxic and cause diarrhea, vomit, dizziness or even death.
  • Tea tree oil should always be used diluted, except when treating nail fungus.
  • It can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. Therefore, before using tea tree oil, test a small area of your skin to see how your body will react.

Uses for tea tree oil

Because it has so many properties, tea tree oil can be used pretty much for
anything, AS LONG AS IT IS DILUTED. I will mention this several times over the
course of this hub because it is superimportant that tea tree oil is always
diluted to prevent any kind of harsh reactions. The only time that TTO does not
need to be diluted is when you're treating nail fungi.

So, keep in mind that in all the tea tree oil uses that are about to be listed,
it always has to be diluted...

Tea tree oil is typically used to treat problems caused by bacteria, viruses or
fungi, such as:

  • Acne
  • Oily skin
  • Athlete's foot
  • Boils
  • Herpes (simple and zoster)
  • Insect bites
  • Dandruff
  • Minor burns, including sunburn
  • Warts and skin tags
  • Gingivitis
  • Tooth pain
  • Swollen gums
  • Oral candidiasis (thrush)
  • Nail fungi
  • Yeast infections and vaginitis

Let's see how this versatile oil can be used.


Precautions with tea tree oil

Some studies have shown that tea tree oil can alter hormone levels and increase certain hormones, leading some men to develop gynocomastia (enlargement of breast tissue in males).

Because this oil can alter hormonal levels, people with hormone-sensitive cancers and pregnant or nursing women should not use tea tree oil, unless it is under expert supervision.

Risks vs. benefits

Do you think the benefits of using tea tree oil outweigh the risks?

See results

Tea tree oil for acne

Probably one of the worst things about being a teenager is having to put up
with an oily face and acne. Sometimes, even if you're not a teenager, you still
have to put up with these annyoying little bumps sprouting on your face or
other parts of your body.

How to use it

There are several ways you can use tea tree to treat those annoying bumps.

Dilute tea trea oil (1 part TTO and 9 parts of water)
Dab a cotton ball in this mixture
Apply to clean face at night

Aloe vera gel
3 drops of tea tree oil
Apply to whole face or to problem area (your choice)
Ideally, this mask should be left on overnight, but if you're running short on
time, choose the express treatment and leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
This mask can be used once or twice per week.
*For this mask, you can choose to dilute the tea tree oil with aloe vera gel or
with other carrier oils such as almond, jojoba or wheat germ oil. But always

Add it to your night cream
You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil to your night cream and let it
work its magic overnight. The tea tree oil's antiseptic and antibacterial
properties will fight acne bacteria while you sleep.

Tea tree oil for oral health

Tea tree oil can be an effective treatment for oral problems such as
gingivitis, oral candidiasis, plaque, swollen gums, bad breath, tooth pain and
cavities. However, keep in mind that even though tea tree oil can be used to
treat mouth and throat problems, it should never, ever be swallowed.

Here's how it can be used:

  1. Mix 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in 1/2 cup of warm water
  2. Gargle with the mixture twice a day, morning and night.

*This can also cure a sore throat.

If gargling is not your thing, add 1 drop of TTO to your toothpaste before brushing your teeth.


Congestion and respiratory infections

If you have a cold and your boogers don't let you breathe, or if you're having
a respiratory infection, try this:

  1. Boil water in a pot
  2. Once water has boiled, remove from heat and add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  3. Place you face on top of the water so that you can inhale the sweet, minty
  4. smell. (Don't get too close to the water or you could burn yourself. Stay at a
  5. distance that feels confortable.)
  6. Place a towel on top of you face as to create a little cave and to avoid any
  7. vapor from escaping.
  8. Inhale the vapor for 5-10 minutes
  9. Repeat every night before going to bed until symptoms have cleared.

Another quick trick is to add a few drops of tea tree oil to you pillow or handkerchief. This will decongest your nose almost immediately.

Tea tree plant
Tea tree plant | Source

Tea tree oil for dandruff and hair lice

When even head 'n shoulders isn't doing the trick, use tea tree oil to get rid
of dandruff.

For dandruff:
Add a few drops of tea tree oil to your shampoo or conditioner. I prefer to add
the oil to my shampoo, since conditioner can sometimes be the cause of your

The method that has worked for me is to add 10 drops of tea tree oil to my
shampoo and don't use conditioner at all. Once out of the shower, I apply a few
drops of argan oil or jojoba oil (or a mix of both) to my hair. I have noticed
that with this method I don't need hair conditioner at all and my hair has
never felt softer and I don't have dandruff or dry scalp anymore. Yoo-hoo!

Hair lice:
The same method can be used for hair lice. Just add a few drops of tea tree oil
to your shampoo and let it work its magic while it evicts those annoying
creatures from your head.

You can also dilute 5-10 drops of tea tree oil in 1 cup of water and apply
directly to scalp.

Tea tree oil for feet

One of the most common ailments that affects feet is Athlete's foot.

Here's what you can do:

  1. add 10-20 drops to a bucket or warm water (or as hot as you can stand it) and soak the affected foot in it.
  2. Let the foot relax in the warm water for as long as the water is warm.

Repeat every day or until fungus is gone.

Nail fungus:
This is the only time when you can apply tea tree oil directly without having to dilute.

With a swab, apply 1-2 drops of TTO on top and under the affected nail. Do this every day, once a day. You will start seeing results in 4 weeks.

Yeast infections

Yeast infections can be embarrassing and smelly. Here's a simple remedy:

  • Add 1-2 drops of tea tree oil to your underwear or liner

It will immediately get rid of the smell and it will eventually get rid of the infection.

Other uses for tea tree oil
Add a few drops to your bath - helps with muscular pain
Add a few drops to your laundry load - antibacterial and wonderful smell
Overall disinfectant for house cleaning.

Where can I buy it?

Tea tree oil can be bought at any health food store and the price is not too high. My favorite place to buy it is Trader Joe's because it is always reasonably priced.

There are tons of cures in nature. We just gotta keep looking and experimenting. Happy living!


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    • bhattuc profile image

      Umesh Chandra Bhatt 

      2 years ago from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India

      Great! Very elaborate article full of information on usage of TTO. Specially for dandruff. I will be trying that.

      It was a nice reading. Keep up writing such good articles.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Tea tree oil from Trader joes has been sitting on my night stand for weeks. I know it's "the bomb" but haven't been clear about how to use it - until now. What super information you've provided! Sharing and pinning.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 

      4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Silver Q, this was a real interesting hub to know about tea tree oil and how it's to be used and diluted. I never thought of it. I might keep it in mind for future use.

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      5 years ago

      Hi CeCe,

      I'm glad you found the answer you were looking for!

      Thanks for reading!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Thanks so much for taking time out to share this info. I was confused on whether or not to mix the TTO when applying it on fungus toes and you've clarified. Thank you!

    • Health Card profile image

      Evie Dawson 

      5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing...

    • monia saad profile image

      monia ben saad 

      5 years ago from In my Dream

      natural methode great to find it

    • lyns profile image


      6 years ago from USA

      Wow great natural remedies thanks for sharing. Voted up/plus 816214247p lyns

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi AOkay12:

      Yes, a very tiny bit goes a very, very long way. That's one of the many reasons I love tea tree oil, a little bottle can last you a very long time. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • AOkay12 profile image


      6 years ago from Florida

      I was unaware of the other uses for tea tree oil, like head lice and dandruff relief. I used it back in the day for acne problems, which helped. It is very strong, so a tiny bit goes a very long way.

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi spiritwood:

      Tea tree oil is also one of my favorite oils, especially knowing that it has so many uses. Thank you for commenting!

    • spiritwood profile image


      6 years ago from Wales, UK

      yep- one of my favourite oils!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi janderson99:

      Thank you for commenting and reading!

    • janderson99 profile image

      Dr. John Anderson 

      6 years ago from Australia on Planet Water

      Great tips, Thanks

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi toytasting:

      Yes, tea tree oil has many uses and I'm sure there are even more ways in which it can be used. We just need to find them all. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi Tricia ward:

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Tricia Ward profile image


      6 years ago from Scotland

      very informative hubs thanks

    • Toytasting profile image

      Toy Tasting 

      6 years ago from Mumbai

      I did not know know so much about the benefits of Tea tree oil. Thanks so much for sharing the information. :)

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi Tirelesstraveler:

      I also had used it, but was very pleasantly surprised that it can be used for so many other things. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi rls8994:

      Tea tree oil is apparently full of surprises and I'm sure we will find even more uses for it as time goes by.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi Tim Sandle:

      Thank you for that useful information! It makes a great addition to this hub!

    • Tim Sandle profile image

      Tim Sandle 

      6 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Tea tree oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment. One study found that tea tree oil worked as well as 5% benzoyl peroxide in controlling the symptoms of acne. It appears to be effective with toenail fungus and possibly athlete's foot. Studies of tea tree oil for other conditions such as gum disease, vaginal infections, and dandruff have been inconclusive.

      Tea tree oil has been proposed as a topical treatment for herpes labalis (the common cold sore), but it does not appear to be effective. Laboratory studies have shown that tea tree oil was effective against MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), a type of staph infection that's resistant to many antibiotics. Although these studies are promising, more research needs to be done.

    • rls8994 profile image


      6 years ago from Mississippi

      I never realized tree oil could treat all these conditions. Great informative hub! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Tim Sandle profile image

      Tim Sandle 

      6 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Interesting post.

    • connieow profile image

      Connie S Owens 

      6 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Thank you for providing more information about tea tree oil and other uses. If I may add, it is great for removing labels from objects. Takes a few secs and they roll off.

      Voted useful and up. Shared on FB and Tweet

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      6 years ago from California

      Wow! I have used tea tree oil , but never thought of some of these. This ia an excellent, informative hub.

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi itoldyouiwassick:

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • itoldyouiwassick profile image

      Jaime A. Heidel 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Informative article. I love tea tree oil!

    • connieow profile image

      Connie S Owens 

      6 years ago from El Cajon, CA

      Tea Tree oil is my primary go to for all things. Mixed with Lavender Augustofolia oil it makes a great healing oil. Coconut oil will enhance it for wounds.

      Great information to have. Thank you.

    • Silver Q profile imageAUTHOR

      Silver Q 

      6 years ago

      Hi MysticMoonlight:

      I love tea tree oil too, so I'm always on the lookout for new ways of using it. I'm really glad you found some new suggestions here. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I love tea tree oil and use it regularly from household disinfecting to beauty treatments. I love your suggestions of adding it to your shampoo bottle and for helping with respiratory illnesses. I will be adding these suggestions to my list of handy things to do and try with this wonderful oil. Voted up and over and shared!


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