Melaleuca oil or tea tree oil, (TTO) as it is often referred, was named by Captain Cook who often used it as a tea. An Australian chemist, A.R. Penfold, studied tea tree leaves and discovered their antiseptic properties. Tea tree oil subsequently became a standard treatment in Australia for the prevention and treatment of wound infections. During World War II, the Australian government classified tea tree oil as an essential commodity and exempted producers from military service. Melaleuca has been documented to kill many bacteria, viruses, and fungi on contact so it is excellent for cuts, wounds, burns, and anywhere that bacteria might be found. It has a historical use as an antiseptic for the face, skin disorders including acne, and dandruff. It is effective to use at the onset of flu and cold symptoms. Will reduce gum inflation and is used for periodontal disease. DōTerra Melaleuca Essential Oil is from the botanical family Myrtaceae, with the oil being processed by steam distillation from the leaf of the tree.
Typical Applications of Melaleuca Essential Oil:
Apply topically and neat (undiluted) to wounds, cuts, bites, fungus, athletes foot, skin disorders, and less severe burns. Also apply neat to address fungal issues. Use a carrier when applying to more sensitive areas, especially the genitals for herpes or thrush. It can be applied neat or with a carrier to the face and neck for skin disorders. Add a 5% dilution to shampoo to address dandruff problems. Gargle or oil-push a 5% dilution of Melaleuca to effectively address mouth and gum problems. Melaleuca is an excellent anti-bacterial, effective against virus and supports the immune system when diffused. Use with care during pregnancy
Common Health and Wellness Concerns Melaleuca is great for:
54 Uses for Melaleuca Essential Oil
- Acne ; One of the more common tea tree oil uses, add a drop to your normal cleansing route, or dab a very small amount on acne breakouts.
- Allergies; Use topically by massaging into the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet.
- Aneurysm; According to Modern Essentials, you can use this oil aromatically or topically to support your health.
- Athlete’s Foot ; Add a drop to your shoes, massage into the feet, or soak in a foot bath of sea salt and 2-3 drops of melaleuca.
- Bacterial Infections ; Use topically, either massaging into the reflex points of the feet, adding several drops to a bath or cautiously applying over an infected site.
- Boils; Apply a small amount of melaleuca oil directly over the site.
- Bronchitis ; Add 1-2 drops to a pan of hot water and breath in the steam, or massage the oil over the chest and into the feet.
- Candida ; Apply to the area of concern, diluting if necessary. (I would not use this for a vaginal yeast infection, although taking the oil internally (such as in capsules) may be beneficial.
- Canker Sores; Dab a small amount directly over the sore, diluting with coconut oil if needed.
- Cavities ; Melaleuca oil is great to add to homemade toothpaste, or you can add a drop to your toothbrush before brushing (and after to disinfect). A simple homemade mouthwash with purified water, melaleuca and peppermint is also recommended.
- Chicken Pox ; Diffuse in the air (with a diffuser or a pan of hot water) or massage a mixture of melaleuca and coconut oil gently over the pox (dilute more for younger children).
- Cleansing ; Can be used aromatically or added to homemade cleaners to kill germs and prevent the spread of colds, flus, etc.
- Cold Sores ; Dab a small amount (diluted or not depending on your sensitivity) over the sore, or mix with coconut oil and use preventatively.
- Colds; Treat the common cold by inhaling steam infused with the oil, or massage into the feet and over the chest or other areas of concern, or mix 2-3 drops in a capsule with lemon, oregano, and an immune blend.
- Coughs; Tea tree oil uses for coughs are the same as Colds, above.
- Cuts; Use a very small amount, possibly diluted, over the area of concern.
- Dermatitis; Any sort of skin inflammation can benefit from this oil being gently massaged into the area.
- Dry/Itchy Eyes ; Although no essential oil should ever be put IN the eye, you can still benefit from the oil by diffusing it or placing your head over a steaming pot of water with a drop of melaleuca in it.
- Ear Infection/Ache; Dilute 1 drop of oil in 1-2 TB of water and use a dropper to drop the mixture into the ear for 30-60 seconds each. (This can also be done with hydrogen peroxide, although tea tree oil will do the same naturally.)
- Eczema ; Dilute in coconut oil and apply a small coating over the area.
- Flu; Diffuse through the air, add a drop to the pillow, or gently massage into the feet to absorb the properties into the blood stream quickly.
- Fungal Infections; Tea tree oil uses include topical application according to the type of infection.
- Gum Disease ; Create a mouthwash with purified water, 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of tea tree oil.
- Hepatitis ; Diffuse through the home daily, or massage into the soles of the feet.
- Herpes Simplex ; Apply a small amount to the outbreak, or massage into the feet daily to prevent future outbreaks.
- Hives ; Mix with coconut oil (which is naturally healing and soothing itself) and gently apply to the infected areas.
- Immune System; (Stimulates) Diffuse through the air on a regular basis, massage into the soles of the feet to increase your immune response.
- Infected Wounds ; Adding the oil to steaming water, you may be able to hold the infected area over the steam. Or dilute 1 drop of melaleuca with 1 cup of water and rinse the infected area 1-2 times a day, as needed.
- Infections (General) ; Topical tea tree oil uses are indicated for infections. Use your best judgment and the uses described throughout this article to choose which method is best for you.
- Inflammation ; Massage over the inflamed areas, gently and always toward the heart, or diffuse and inhale the melaleuca oil directly or indirectly.
- Jock Itch; Apply topical to the affected area, diluted based on your needs or NEAT (undiluted)
- Lice ; Add several drops to purified water and soak hair and scalp in the solution. Use on combs, brushes and massage into the hair and scalp. Treat the home with it as well.
- MRSA ; Melaleuca’s antibacterial properties can be utilized by massaging it directly into the skin for fast absorption to the blood stream.
- Mumps ; Massage over the body and into the feet, and diffuse through the home.
- Nail Infection; Mix 1 TB coconut oil and 1-2 drops of melaleuca oil into the nails and cuticles as indicated.
- Piercings; Apply after piercings to avoid infection. Use undiluted, diluted with coconut oil or as a spray with purified water.
- Pink Eye; Although essential oils shouldn’t have direct contact with the eye, I would recommend adding several drop to hot, steaming water and hold your head over the steam.
- Rashes ; Mix with coconut oil and massage over the affected areas.
- Ringworm; Apply one drop directly to the area, or mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 drop of lavender oil for added benefit.
- Rubella ; Dilute as needed and massage into the affected areas, as well as onto the soles of the feet.
- Scabies ; Melaleuca oil can both fight off the mites that cause scabies, as well as treat the rash and prevent the infection. Massage over the area in a small amount of coconut oil.
- Shingles; Add to a small amount of coconut oil and massage over the body. Massage into the soles of the feet for immune stimulation to prevent future outbreaks.
- Shock; Massage melaleuca oil into the soles of the feet as needed.
- Sore Throat ; Rub over the throat, inhale diffused oil or gargle with warm salt water and 1 drop of melaleuca.
- Staph Infection; It’s best used topically, rubbed into the soles of the feet to increase the immune response and fight infection.
- Sunburn ; Mix 1 TB coconut oil with 1 drop of melaleuca and 1 drop of lavender and gently apply to to sunburned areas.
- Tattoos; Apply after tattoos to avoid infection. Use undiluted, diluted with coconut oil or as a spray with purified water.
- Thrush; Gargle with sea salt, warm water and 1 drop of melaleuca.
- Tonsillitis; Inhale from steaming water with tea tree, gargle, and massage into neck and soles of feet.
- Vaginal Infection; It’s recommended to use topically. I would add several drops to a sitz bath and massage into the soles of feet.
- Varicose Ulcer ; Apply to soles of feet and massage over the area of the ulcer.
- Viral Infections ; Diffuse melaleuca oil throughout the home or inhale from steaming water. Apply topically over the areas of concerns and to the soles of the feet.
- Warts ; Apply melaleuca essential oil directly to the wart, diluting if necessary for sensitive skin.
- Wounds; Soak wounded area in water with melaleuca oil, or spritz from a bottle of water with several drops of oil. Depending on the wound and your own sensitivity you may be able to apply directly.
Health Benefits of Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil)
Antibacterial: It is said that when Mother Nature creates a diseases, she also creates the cure. The activity of microbes, bacteria, viruses and fungi are at their peak in the Tropics, so most of the medicinal plants to treat those dangerous things are found there too. Tea tree is one such plant. It can cure some of the most horrible and dangerous bacterial infections found in the tropics. Wounds, which are prone to contracting bacterial infections in this region, can be effectively cured and protected using this oil. This oil is seldom taken orally, but if you do, it should be in mild concentrations. It can cure internal bacterial infections such as those in the colon, stomach, intestines, excretory system and urinary system. It can also be used in treatment of tuberculosis.
Balsamic: The essential oil of Tea tree has balsamic properties that generally boost health. It promotes the absorption of nutrients from food and gives protection from diseases as well, meaning that overall it is a positive addition to our lives.
Cicatrisant: The Cicatrisant property of this essential oil makes it heal wounds quickly and protects them from infections. Furthermore, it can help neutralize or diminish the scar marks and after spots left by eruptions, boils, pox, and acne.
Antimicrobial: Microbes don’t stand a chance against this oil, since it is a highly effective antimicrobial substance. It can kill and keep away certain microbes (protozoa) which are responsible for causing severe tropical fevers and malaria.
Antiviral: Viral infections are very hazardous and are frequently recurring, since viruses can survive under very harsh conditions. They can bear unimaginable heat, cold and even poison, because they develop a protective shell called a “Cyst” around them. Some viruses are intelligent enough to develop a new cyst each time they are activated, like the Common Cold Virus, in order to trick our immune system. They never die naturally and can live dormant (neither alive or dead) for hundreds or even thousands of years. They can be killed only if their cyst is ruptured using a particular compound or if they are subjected to extreme heat which is beyond their tolerance. The Tea Tree Oil helps rupture this cyst in some viruses and can give protection against them. It also helps cure viral infections like the common cold, influenza, mumps, measles, and pox.
Expectorant: People who are suffering from cough and cold, congestion, bronchitis and other troubles associated with colds, are sure to get relief using tea tree essential oil. It provides relief from cough, cold, bronchitis and congestion. It can be rubbed on the chest and inhaled while sleeping, or a drop can be placed on the pillow so it can do its magical work at night, and you can wake up feeling much better in the morning.
Hair Care: The stimulant property of tea tree essential oil can be very beneficial for taking care of certain hair conditions. If you suffer from dandruff or hair loss, simply apply a diluted amount of tea tree essential oil to your scalp. The increased blood flow that you experience will help your follicle stay healthy and strengthen the hold on your hair, so you won’t suffer from premature hair loss. Also, since the skin will become healthier, it will be easier to keep moisturized,reducing the amount of dandruff and dry skin!
Insecticide: It is obvious that an essential oil that is so deadly for bacteria and viruses will be effective against insects as well. Tea tree oil is an efficient insect deterrent and insect killer. It does not let parasites and other insects like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, or flies come near someone who has rubbed some of this oil on their body. It kills internal insects and worms too, such as intestinal worms like round worms, tape worms, and hook worms, because it can be absorbed by your body and skin.
Antiseptic: Open wounds are the most susceptible place to infection by bacteria and fungi and may result in sepsis or tetanus. Thus they must be protected well in advance.Tea tree oil can be a wise preventative choice as it is an excellent antiseptic. It can be applied directly on the wounds, boils, sores, cuts or certain eruptions, including insect bites and stings, to protect them from infections. It is as good as any antibiotic, but without any of their adverse side effects.
Stimulant: This essential oil has a stimulating effect on hormone secretions, blood circulation, and most importantly, on the immune system. It boosts immunity and acts as a shield against many different types of infections. That is why it is quite popular in aromatherapy, because not only does it blend well with many other oils, it can also provide you with internal benefits that would otherwise be impossible, since you are not allowed to ingest tea tree essential oil.
Sudorific: Besides infections, another cause of disease is an accumulation of toxins in the body. These toxins are generated by the body itself, formed as a by-product of various reactions, or they get inside the body in some way. Our body has certain mechanisms to eliminate these toxins. One of them is perspiration or sweating, which has the its advantages, including removing toxins, moistening the skin, opening pores on the skin and keeping the body cool. Tea tree essential oil, being a sudorific substance, increases sweating and promotes the removal of toxins like uric acid. It also helps remove excess water and salts from the body, while cleaning the pores. This further prevents the occurrence of acne, for which tea tree essential oil is often recommended.
Fungicide: The Tea Tree Essential Oil is as effective against fungal infections as it is against any bacterial or microbial infections. It inhibits fungal growth and cures diseases like dermatitis and Athlete’s Foot. Although internal fungal infections can be very dangerous, and even deadly, never ingest tea tree oil, even in extremely diluted forms, as it is toxic. Other herbal remedies for fungal infections can be used that are far safer for internal infections.