Tea tree: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


Tea tree: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects


Melaleuca alternifolia

The scientific name of the Tea tree is Melaleuca alternifolia. It is a perennial or evergreen multi-branched shrub. The fully grown aged tea tree looks like a bowl-shaped tree. The bark of the Tea tree, which has medicinal importance, is grey. The tea tree leaves are green, elliptical, oblong positioned alternate to each other on the stem. Tea tree is grown in outdoor gardens; it can also be grown indoor garden with minor efforts.

The tea tree is known for its unique aroma and medicinal benefits. The leaves of the tea tree are used for making an essential oil using the steam distillation process. Tea tree oil is very famous in Australia, and it has been used for treating different health issues, especially skin diseases over 100 years. Currently, the tea tree has been used in the preparation of topical medicines.

Tea tree oil is also used in cosmetics and household remedies. The tea tree should not be confused with the shrub that produces leaves used to prepare oolong tea, black, and green tea.

Sources of Tea tree

Tea tree is mainly found in Australia, New South Wales. In Australia, it is grown as a cash crop. It is also grown in Queensland and New Zealand.

Synonyms for Tea tree

    • Marathi-Cahace jhada.
    • Telugu- Tekayu cettu.
    • Tamil- Teyilai maram.
    • Kannada-Caha mara.
  • Malayalam-Teyila.
  • Gujarati-Canum jhada.

Chemical components of Tea tree

Many researchers are trying to investigate the chemistry of chemical compounds present in Tea tree oil. The oil is an essential component of the tea tree. There are more than 220 chemicals have been identified so far from Tea tree oil.

The vital chemical constituent identified from Tea tea oil that includes 64.1% of 1,8‐cineole, 53.7% of terpinene‐4‐ol, 45.6% of terpinolene, 35.3% of p‐cymene, 23.2% of γ‐terpinene, 12.9% of α‐terpinene,11.8% of α‐terpineol, 12.2% of α‐phellandrene and 7.9% of limonene.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is mainly extracted from Tea tree leaves using the steam distillation process. For decades, Tea tree oil has been used traditionally and medically for treating health-related problems. Tea tree oil is used only for external application; it is not be taken orally as it could be harmful to health. Use of concentrated form of Tea tree oil is not recommended; it is always diluted with oil before its application on the skin. Tea tree has numerous therapeutic benefits. Some of the benefits like antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Due to the presence of critical chemical constituents in Tea tree oil, it helps inhibit the growth of bacteria and fungus. Tea tree oil effectively treats skin pigmentation, onychomycosis, acne, tinea pedis, dandruff, contact dermatitis, hair loss, etc.

Traditional Uses of Tea tree

  • The formulations prepared using Tea tree help relieve cough and cold by breathing in tea oil fumes.
  • Tea tree is used to make different topical formulations. Its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory qualities play an essential role in healing wounds when applied to the skin externally.
  • For treating skin infections such as boils, scalp dandruff, head lice, scabies, and psoriasis, Tea tree oil is very effective.
  • Tea oil is used to prepare natural hand sanitizer as it helps to kill bacteria and viruses on the surfaces.
  • Due to the good antiseptic nature of Tea tree oil, it is applied on cuts or abrasions.
  • Tea tree oil or wax is used in the preparation of hair remover. It helps get rid of unwanted body hair (hirsutism).
  • Tea tree has a remarkable effect on the eradication of head lice.
  • The fortification of Tea tree oil in infants oil gives soothing effects on cradle cap on the scalp.

Tea tree as natural hand sanitizer

The chemical components present in Tea tree oil help kill germs on surfaces due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It also helps in preventing infection in the body and surfaces free from germs.

Tea tree as insect repellants

Due to its unique aroma and chemical compositions, Tea tree is very effective in killing insects and thus is used as insecticides.

Tea tree as deodorants

Tea tree oil comprises specific aromatic components that kill the bacteria in sweat gland secretions and prevent solid and foul odors.

Tea tree as an oral guard

Tea tree oil is used to make toothpaste, which helps kill germs in the oral cavity, treats gum problems, teeth, and bad breath.

Tea tree for skin

Tea tree components in topical formulations give a glow and whitening effect to the skin due to their antioxidant property. Usually, one part of Tea tree oil is mixed with nine parts of water and further applied on the skin as it promotes a soothing effect and acne-fighting ability. Tea tree oil effectively fights the Candida albicans, the primary fungus responsible for skin, mouth, and vagina health.

Tea tree for Hair

Tea tree oil helps to keep healthy Hair by hydrating skin and reducing dandruff problems. It helps to increase average growth and prevents hair fall.

Tea tree for dandruff

There are several products in the markets, which make hair shampoo using Tea tree oil as it helps to fight dry, scaly skin on the scalp, which are responsible for retarding the growth of Hair. Tea tree oil shampoo can help with dead skin problems and nourish the development of new hairs.

The recommended dosage of tea tree

1: Acne: The use of 5% of Tea tree oil daily use is helpful to treat acne.

2: Athlete’s foot or Tinea pedis: The use of 25% Tea tree oil on foot two times a day for about 30 days can resolve the problem.

3: Ocular demodicosis: Use 50 % Tea tree oil scrub on eyelids daily.

4: Dandruff: Five drops of Tea tree oil diluted using coconut oil can be applied to the scalp about three times per week. 

5: Eczema or psoriasis fungal infection: Take two drops of Tea tree oil and mix it with another two drops of olive oil and apply it to the infected area three times a week. 

Precautions while taking Tea tree supplements and products

  • Tea tree oil is safe in its external use, but it is not taken orally. The oral consumption of Tea tree supplements can be dangerous.
  • Use of Tea tree oil directly on the skin can lead to redness, swelling, burning of the skin. Therefore, it is always recommended to conduct a skin patch test before its use.
  • The use of excess Tea tree oil can lead to hormonal imbalance in boys. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult the physician before its use.
  • The intake of the undiluted form of Tea tree oil orally can lead to dangerous effects on the body like coma, dizziness, and disturbed mental health.


Is Tea tree oil helpful in treating Hair?

Yes, Tea tree oil is used for treating hair problems. Tea tree oil contains a bioactive component that has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Tea tree oil also provides nourishment, and this helps to reduce hair problems.

Can Tea tree oil products help in removing acne scars?

Yes, the practical use of Tea tree oil has shown positive results in removing acne scars. But there is not much scientific evidence that is available to support this. The topical formulations which are effective for treating acne problems contain Tea tree oil as one component. Due to the antibacterial property of Tea tree oil component, it helps to fight against acne-causing bacteria.


Tea tree oil is used in making a topical formulation that is used for treating skin problems. It is an inexpensive natural substitute for chemical-based skin and nail treatments. Tea tree oil is used in the formulation of personal care products such as surface disinfectants and toothpaste.

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Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.