Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Benefits of tea tree essential oil include being an antiseptic to boost healing of cuts and acne, is a natural mouthwash, fights mold and fungus such as nail fungus and athlete’s foot, repels insects and is a natural deodorant.

tea tree photo
Photo by John Tann

Tea tree oil, sometimes called melaleuca oil, comes from the leaves of the tea tree. Originally, the oil came from the Melaleuca alternifolia species that grows in the swampy Australian coast. Now, several species from the genus Melaleuca are now used to produce the oil. These species include:

  • Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Melaleuca armillaris
  • Melaleuca styphelioides
  • Melaleuca leucadendra
  • Melaleuca acuminata
  • Melaleuca ericifolia
  • Melaleuca quinquenervia

Tea tree oil is typically colorless or pale yellow with a nutmeg or camphoraceous odor. The oil is made from steam distillation of the narrow, oil-rich, leaves of the tea tree.

The benefits of tea tree oil come about from the various organic compounds that make up the oil. These natural compounds help protect and nurture the tea tree and they also help you.

The International Standard Organization has set standards for the composition of tea tree essential oil. These standards give the minimum and maximum percent composition of major natural compounds found in the oil.

And, the article (Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties) that appears in the journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews reports on the typical percent composition of compounds found in tea tree oil.

These composition ranges and typical compositions are as follows:

  • Terpinen-4-ol (35-48%, typical 40.1%)
  • γ-Terpinene (14–28%, typical 23.0%)
  • α-Terpinene (6–11%, typical 10.4%)
  • 1,8-Cineole / Eucalyptol (Trace-10%, typical 5.1%)
  • Terpinolene (1.5–5%, typical 3.1%)
  • ρ-Cymene (0.5–8%, typical 2.9%)
  • α-Pinene (1–4%, typical 2.6%)
  • α-Terpineol (2-5%, typical 2.4%)
  • Aromadendrene (0.2–3%, typical 1.5%)
  • δ-Cadinene (0.2-3%, typical 1.3%)
  • Limonene (0.5-1.5%, typical 1.0%)
  • Sabinene (Trace–3.5%, typical 0.2%)
  • Globulol (Trace–1%, typical 0.2%)
  • Ledene / Viridiflorene (0.1-3%)
  • Viridiflorol (Trace-1%, typical 0.1%)

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil and its components have been widely investigated. Here are are sample of the types of investigations and the results than can be found on Google Scholar.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Against Cancer

An article (Terpinen-4-ol, The Main Component of Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil Inhibits the In Vitro Growth of Human Melanoma Cells) in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology described experiments using tea tree oil and its major component, Terpinen-4-ol, on cancer cells.

The researchers used human melanoma M14 WT cells and a variant that were drug resistant (M14 ADR cells). They exposed these cells to varying concentrations of tea tree oil and Terpinen-4-ol. The results showed that concentrations of 0.02% and 0.03% strongly inhibited growth of the cancer cells. In fact, growth in the drug resistant cells were more strongly inhibited.

Concentrations of tea tree oil starting at 0.01% also showed strong apoptosis (cell death) of the cancer cells. The authors conclude that, “Our results clearly demonstrated that TTO [tea tree oil] and terpinen-4-ol are able to interfere with the growth of human melanoma cells stimulating programmed cell death…”

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil Against Fungus

An article (Antifungal activity of the components of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil) in the Journal of Applied Microbiology described experiments involving the effects of tea tree oil and its compounds on 14 fungal isolates.

The researchers used varying concentrations of tea tree oil and major components of tea tree oil against the 14 fungal strains. They found the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) which stops fungal growth, and the minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) at which the fungus is killed.

The results showed that tea tree oil and components terpinen‐4‐ol, α‐terpineol, 1,8‐cineole and linalool had strong effects on the fungal colonies.

The authors conclude that the synergistic effect of all the components of tea tree oil, working together, make tea tree oil very effective in controlling fungus colonies. They state, “Although some of the components tested in this study are present at only very low levels in whole oil, each may contribute to total activity and attempts to eliminate components considered inactive may, therefore, be counter‐productive.”


Tea tree oil should not be ingested because it may be toxic if swallowed. It should be used externally.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Here is a short video describing how a the benefits of tea tree oil from the perspective of a naturopathic doctor.

Hi I’m Dr. Lin.

I’m a naturopathic doctor and I’m here today to talk about alternative medicine. As a naturopath I have two primary points of view when it comes to health, prevention over cure:

  • Always try to live a healthy lifestyle.
  • And second balance.

When the body and the mind are in balance we have perfect health. Today’s topic is the benefits and dangers of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil has some very important benefits and dangers associated with it.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil. And it’s probably the most widely researched and used oil in the world.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

The reason I like tea tree oil is because it is an antiseptic and it’s also an antifungal oil. Now, the benefits of tea tree oil is tea tree oil, like all essential oils, is living. It’s organic. It’s made up of the same molecules as you and me. So when we apply natural living organisms to our body it is much more effective for healing. It and also preventing any scarring.

Now the dangers with tea tree oil is it’s, like any essential oil, it’s very highly concentrated. And because it’s so highly concentrated, directly on the skin it can have the counter effect and actually create burning and a bit of a rash. So you want to make sure when you use tea tree oil that you mix it with what we call a carrier oil. That would be any kind of a vegetable oil. I like grape seed oil because it tends to be very light and mixes very well with the essential oil and is a great carrier.

So take about two tablespoons of grape seed oil or any vegetable oil. Add about four drops of you of the tea tree oil. Mix it together and just rub it over the area that is that you need to heal. Keep it dry and do that a couple times a day. And you probably will find that it’s very effective in healing your body.

I hope that was a great tip and I hope you guys have a great day. And I will see you soon. Bye.

Read more: