Tea Tree Essential Oil made by Scent Sense 2 oz
Tea tree oil is an essential oil obtained by steam distillation of
the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia.
Tea Tree is 100% pure, therapeudic grade essential oil.
Historically, the leaves were used as a substitute for tea, which is
how tea tree oil got its name. The part used medicinally is the oil
from the leaves.
What is Tea Tree Oil For?
Tea tree has a long history of traditional use. Australian
aboriginals used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and
infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected
Tea tree oil contains consituents called terpenoids, which have been
found to have antiseptic and antifungal activity. The compound
terpinen-4-ol is the most abundant and is thought to be responsible for
most of tea tree oil's antimicrobial activity.
People use tea tree oil for the following conditions:
- Athlete's foot
- Periodontal disease
- As an antiseptic
- Yeast infection
Where to Find Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is most commonly found as a pure essential oil. It is
also an ingredient in creams, ointments, lotions, soaps, and shampoos.
Tea tree oil should not be confused with Chinese tea oil, cajeput
oil, kanuka oil, manuka oil, ti tree oil, and niauouli oil.
What is the Evidence for Tea Tree Oil?
There have only been a few, older clinical trials looking at the
effectiveness of tea tree oil in humans.
1) Athlete's Foot
A randomized controlled trial examined the use of 25% tea tree oil
solution, 50% tea tree oil solution, or placebo in 158 people with
athlete's foot. After twice daily applications for 4 weeks, the two tea
tree oil solutions were found to be significantly more effective than
In the 50% tea tree oil group, 64% were cured, compared to 31% in
the placebo group. Four people using the tea tree oil withdrew from the
study because they developed dermatitis (which improved after
discontinuing tea tree oil use). Otherwise, there were no significant
2) Fungal Infection of the Toenails
A randomized, controlled trial published in the Journal of
Family Practice looked at the twice-daily application of 100% tea
tree oil or 1% clotrimazole solution (a topical antifungal medication)
in 177 people with toenail fungal infection. After 6 months, the tea
tree oil was found to be as effective as the topical antifungal, based
on clinical assessment and toenail cultures.
Another randomized, controlled trial examined the effectiveness and
safety of a cream containing 5% tea tree oil and 2% butenafine
hydrochloride in 60 people with toenail fungal infection. After 16
weeks, 80% of people using the cream had significant improvement
compared to none in the placebo group. Side effects included mild
A third double-blind study looked at 100% tea tree oil compared with
a topical antifungal, clotrimazole, in 112 people with fungal
infections of the toenails. The tea tree oil was as effective as the
A single-blind randomized trial by the Department of Dermatology at
the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia compared the
effectiveness and tolerance of 5% tea tree oil gel with 5% benzoyl
peroxide lotion in 124 people with mild to moderate acne. People in
both groups had a significant reduction in inflamed and non-inflammed
acne lesions (open and closed comedones) over the three month period,
although tea tree oil was less effective than benzoyl peroxide.
Although the tea tree oil took longer to work initially, there were
fewer side effects with tea tree oil. In the benzoyl peroxide group, 79
percent of people had side effects including itching, stinging,
burning, and dryness. Researchers noted that there were far less side
effects in the tea tree oil group.
A single-blind study examined the use of 5% tea tree oil shampoo or
placebo in 126 people with mild to moderate dandruff. After 4 weeks,
the tea tree oil shampoo significantly reduced symptoms of dandruff.
One study shows that tea tree oil may alter hormone levels. There
have been three case reports of topical tea tree oil products causing
unexplained breast enlargement in boys. People with hormone-sensitive
cancers or pregnant or nursing women should avoid tea tree oil. For
more information, read Lavender and Tea Tree Oils Linked to Breast
Enlargement in Boys.
Occasionally, people may have allergic reactions to tea tree oil,
ranging from mild contact dermatitis to severe blisters and rashes.
Undiluted tea tree oil may cause skin irritation, redness,
blistering, and itching.
Tea tree oil should not be taken internally, even in small
quantities. It can cause impaired immune function, diarrhea, and
potentially fatal central nervous system depression (excessive
drowsiness, sleepiness, confusion, coma).
The tea tree oil in commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes is
generally considered to be acceptable because it is not swallowed.
Avoid homemade tea tree oil mouthwashes.
Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms of overdose:
excessive drowsiness, sleepiness, poor coordination, diarrhea, vomiting.
Don't use tea tree oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Keep tea tree oil out of the reach of children and pets.