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7 Tea Tree Oil Benefits That Can Change Your Life

  • 5 min read

by Matt Weik, BS, CSCS, CPT, CSN

Tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, is a valuable essential oil derived from the leaves of the native Australian plant Melaleuca alternifolia. Renowned for its numerous benefits, this natural extract has gained significant popularity as a complementary treatment in various parts of the world. Its impressive antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties make it a sought-after ingredient in a wide range of products, including cosmetics, topical medications, and household items.

The versatility and effectiveness of tea tree oil have contributed to its widespread use and recognition in the modern health and wellness industry.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the exciting health benefits of tea tree oil and how it may help you.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to treat any condition. It is recommended that you speak with your doctor before making any changes to your supplement regimen.

What is Tea Tree Oil & Where Does it Originate From?

Tea tree oil originates from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a small tree from Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. Tea tree oil has been used as a traditional medication by the Aboriginal people of Australia for decades. These native Aussies used to crush the leaves to extract the oil out of them and then inhale it to cure cough and colds or apply it to wounds to heal.

The Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Below are some health benefits and studies that show some potential health benefits of tea tree oil.

1.      Antibacterial properties

For nearly a century, tea tree oil has been a revered healing treatment in Australia, especially for various skin conditions. Over time, its applications have expanded, and nowadays, it is utilized to address numerous health concerns.

One of the most prominent and well-known attributes of tea tree oil is its powerful antibacterial properties. Research indicates that the oil’s broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity is attributed to its capability to damage bacteria’s cell walls.

2.      Improve acne

Tea tree essential oil possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, effectively preventing and treating pimples and even assisting in acne management. Its ability to reduce inflammation and swelling provides relief to irritated skin.

For topical use, it is recommended to apply an appropriate amount of tea tree essential oil directly to the affected skin areas. In one study, tea tree oil was reported to be as useful against acne as benzoyl peroxide, which is the most standard anti-acne medication.

3.      Minimize athlete’s foot

In a study conducted on athlete’s feet, also known as tinea pedis, the application of a topical tea tree oil cream resulted in a reduction of symptoms.

The study compared the effectiveness of a 10% tea tree oil cream to 1% tolnaftate, which is an antifungal medication. Surprisingly, the 10% tea tree oil cream demonstrated similar symptom reduction capabilities as tolnaftate.

Another piece of research explored the effects of higher concentrations of tea tree oil on athlete’s feet compared to a placebo. The results showed significant improvement in symptoms for 68% of individuals who applied a 50% tea tree oil application, with 64% achieving a total cure. This marked improvement was more than double the improvement observed in the placebo group.

4.      Great for wound healing

Research has demonstrated that tea tree oil plays a significant role in reducing inflammation and stimulates the activity of white blood cells, which are important for the healing process.

Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant properties, tea tree oil is highly beneficial in reducing inflammation and promoting enhanced healing.

In a small-scale study involving 10 individuals with wounds, the use of tea tree oil in their wound treatment resulted in reduced healing time for all participants except for one individual. This study highlights the potential of tea tree oil as a valuable supplement to aid in effectively healing wounds.

5.      Oral Health

A tea tree oil gel may help those with chronic gingivitis, an inflammatory gum disorder. A study was conducted where participants used the tea tree oil gel and experienced a major reduction in bleeding and inflammation compared to a chlorhexidine antiseptic gel or placebo.

Another study showed that a type of bacteria linked with bad breath might be treated with tea tree oil along with alpha-bisabolol, which is the active component in chamomile.

6.      Reduces dandruff

Tea tree essential oil helps cleanse the scalp by removing excess oil, dead skin, and residue. It acts as a protector against dandruff buildup by reducing the yeast on the scalp, which is a common cause of dandruff.

7.      It acts as a natural deodorant

Tea tree oil’s antibacterial effects can control underarm odor caused by sweat and bacteria.

The underarm area, with its high concentration of sweat glands, is a major source of body odor when combined with bacteria on the skin. Using tea tree oil as a natural alternative to commercial deodorants and antiperspirants is effective due to its bacteria-fighting properties.