Tea Tree

Tea tree was discovered during the expedition of Captain Cook in 1770. The crew members enjoyed drinking a tea brewed from the leaves...

Tea Tree is a purifying, uplifting oil with a warm, fresh, spicy-camphoraceous odor.

Nature: uplifting, purifying

Its strong antiseptic, antiviral and antifungal properties are widely used in its ability to ward off a variety of infections.

Ideal to use in a skin lotion for acne, cold sores, insect bites and infected wounds.

Principal Actions:  Stimulates the immune system; used to treat skin ailments; stimulating and clearing as an inhalant.

Practical Uses

Methods of Use: skin oil/lotion, aroma lamp, bath, diffuser, inhalation, massage, mist spray, steam inhalation, steam room and sauna

Skin Care with Tea Tree

Tea tree is used as an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral for skin conditions including abscess, acne, athletes’ foot, blisters, burns, cold sores, dandruff, herpes, insect bites, oily skin, rashes (nappy rash), spots and warts, and in the treatment of infected wounds.

For Acne: Tea tree can be applied undiluted (neat) directly on to blemishes.

To loosen blackheads: Create a facial steam to loosen blackheads. Mix 2 drops of lavender and 1 drop of tea tree into 500ml hot water. Cover your head with a towel and lean over the steam for a couple of minutes. Note: Do not use steam treatments on skin that is badly inflamed as it may worsen the condition.   

To create a powerful antiseptic blend: Mix 4 drops of lavender, 4 drops of tea tree and 2 drops of cajeput into 20ml/4tsp grapeseed carrier oil and apply to the affected areas.

For Dandruff: Mix 5 drops rosemary, 5 drops lavender and 3 drops tea tree into 7fl oz of distilled water and add two teaspoons of cider vinegar. Pour into a dark bottle and shake well. Gently massage this blend into the scalp every few days.

For Athletes Foot: Mix 2 drops tea tree and 1 drop lavender.  Dip a cotton-wool bud into it and smear it between the toes and around the nails.  Foot Lotion: Mix 5 drops tea tree and 1 drop lemon into 5ml/1tsp carrier oil. Rub it over the feet, paying special attention to the toes.  Foot Soak: Mix 10 drops tea tree and 10 drops geranium and add to a foot bath. Soak feet for 15 minutes 3 times a day.

First Aid with Tea Tree

Abscess (external) or Boil: Apply a hot compress to the area. Add 2 drops lavender, 2 drops tea tree and 2 drops bergamot oil to a bowl of water as hot as you can bear, and soak a piece of absorbent material in the water.  Fold the material a couple of times and place it on the abscess. Cover this with a bandage or a piece of plastic wrap to hold the compress in place.  Renew when the compress cools to body temperature, and keep it on for at least 30 minutes.

Abrasions, Cuts and Scrapes:  Add 5 drops lavender, 2 drops of tea tree to 500 ml warm water and gently bathe the area making sure it is clean. Use 2 or 3 drops of lavender oil on the dressing or apply one neat (undiluted) drop of lavender on the affected area and leave to heal.

Blisters, Insect Bites and Splinters: Apply one drop of lavender or tea tree neat (undiluted) on a blister, insect bite or the site where a splinter has been removed.

For infected skin and wounds:  Mix 4 drops tea tree, 4 drops lavender, 2 drops palmarosa and 2 drops manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) into 20ml/4 tsp aloe vera or jojoba carrier oil and apply to the affected areas.

Respiratory System

Tea tree is used for its expectorant (promotes the discharge of mucous from the lungs and bronchial tubes) properties to help relieve bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, tuberculosis and whooping cough.

Bronchitis Essential Oils for children over five:  

  • Inhalation: Mix 8 drops tea tree, 10 drops red thyme, 7 drops Roman chamomile into a small dark glass bottle. Use 3 drops of this blend in a diffusor or in the water- bowl method three times a day. Alternate oils that can be used: eucalyptus, hyssop, lavender, rosemary
  • Massage: Mix 10 drops tea tree and 10 drops red thyme into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil. Massage three times a day over the chest and back, concentrating on the back and lung area.

Bronchitis Essential Oils for Adults:

  • For Chronic Bronchitis: Mix 5 drops tea tree, 4 drops black pepper, 3 drops ginger, 3 drops rosemary into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil. Massage three times a day over the chest and back, concentrating on the back and lung area. Alternate oils that can be used:  elecampane (Inula graveolens), sandalwood.
  • Inhalation: Mix 5 drops tea tree, 5 drops cajeput, 5 drops eucalyptus and 5 drops Canada balsam (Abies balsamea) into a small dark glass bottle. Use 3 drops of this blend in a diffusor or in the water-bowl method 3 times a day.
  • Massage: Mix 10 drops tea tree, 5 drops cedarwood and 3 drops frankincense 2 drops rosemary, into 20ml/4tsp carrier oil. Massage three times a day over the chest and back, concentrating on the back and lung area.

For Catarrh: Mix 1 drop tea tree, 1 drop rosemary and 2 drops peppermint into 500ml hot water and use as a steam inhalation. Alternately put 2 – 3 drops of the neat blend on a tissue and inhale.

For Coughs: Mix 3 drops tea tree, 3 drops eucalyptus, 2 drops oregano and 2 drops ginger in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage this into the chest and back.

For Sinusitis: Mix 3 drops tea tree, 3 drops rosemary, 2 drops thyme, 2 drops peppermint into 500ml hot water and use as a steam inhalation. Alternate oils that could be used: basil, geranium, juniper berry.

Genito-Urinary System

The antibacterial and antiviral actions of tea tree make it especially useful in cases of Candida albicans, thrush and vaginitis.

For Candida/Thrush:  Mix 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops  lavender, 2 drops rosemary, 1 drop geranium in 3tbs vinegar and 3 cups warm water. Use daily as a douche. Alternately, use 6 drops of the blend and use in a bath.

For Vaginitis: Mix 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops palmarosa, 2 drops rosemary, 1 drop sweet thyme in 3tbs vinegar and 3 cups warm water. Use daily as a douche. Alternately, use 6 drops of the blend and use in a bath.

Immune System

Tea tree has a powerful effect on the immune system and is used for colds, fever, influenza and infectious illnesses such as chickenpox.

At the onset of the flu, mix 5 drops tea tree, 2 drops lavender and 2 drops thyme to 5ml/1tsp of carrier oil, or use them in a bath.

At the onset of a cold:

  • Bath: Mix 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops oregano, 2 drops eucalyptus and 3 drops lemon into a hot bath. Lie back, inhale deeply, and soak for 15 minutes.  
  • Inhalation: On a tissue, place 1 drop tea tree, 1 drop red thyme, 1 drop peppermint, 1 drop eucalyptus and 1 drop clove. Inhale deeply when possible.
  • Steam Inhalation: Mix 1 drop thyme, 1 drop tea tree, 1 drop lavender and 1 drop clove into 500ml hot water and inhale the vapors.
  • Massage: Mix 1 drop tea tree, 1 drop lemon, 2 drops eucalyptus and 3 drops rosemary in 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage around the chest, neck and sinus area (forehead, nose and cheekbones)

Oral Care with Tea Tree

For bad breath:  Mix 1 drop tea tree, 3 drops peppermint, 2 drops Roman chamomile in 20ml/4tsp brandy and water. Use as a mouthwash. Gargle, do not swallow. Alternate oils are bergamot or eucalyptus.

For gingivitis: Mix 1 drop tea tree, 3 drops peppermint, 2 drops Roman chamomile in 1 glass warm water. Use as a mouthwash. Gargle, do not swallow. Alternate oils are bergamot or myrrh.

Other Uses:

Household disinfectant: Mix 10 drops tea tree, 7 drops eucalyptus, 10 drops lavender, 4 drops lemon,  4 drops basil. For a wipe, use 4 – 5 drops neat on a sponge. For a spray, add the mixture to 4 cups of water. Shake bottle well before using. Alternate oils that could be used/added: thyme or rose

For a Bug Repellant: Mix 4 drops tea tree, 8 drops lavender, 4 drops thyme, 4 drops peppermint. Drop 4 – 5 drops of the neat blend into a diffusor, or add to 20ml/4tsp carrier oil and massage into exposed skin. Alternate oils that can be used in a burner are lemongrass or citronella.

For foot odor: Mix 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops sage, 2 drops sandalwood in 2 litres of warm water and use in a footbath.

To freshen shoes: Mix 1 drop tea tree, 1 drop lemon or lemongrass, 1 drop eucalyptus and 2 drops lavender on to blotting paper. Place inside the shoes and leave overnight.

Tea Tree in Aromatherapy

Botanical Name: Melaleuca alternifolia    

Note: Top - 5    

Parts Used: leaves and stems of shrub

Source: distilled from the leaves of the tree in Australia    

Description and Odor Effect: a pale yellowy-green or water-white liquid with a warm, fresh, spicy-camphoraceous odor. The odor effect is stimulating and clearing.

Blends well with: spice oils, especially clove and nutmeg, clary sage, eucalyptus, geranium, lavandin, lavender, lemon, marjoram, oakmoss, pine, and rosemary. Tea tree may be used undiluted or neat.

Methods of Use: skin oil/lotion, aroma lamp, bath, bath oil, compress, diffuser, inhalation, local wash, massage, mist spray, mouthwash, steam inhalation, steam room and sauna. Use as a household disinfectant by adding to wash, cleansers, etc    

Therapeutic Properties: analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antipruritic, antiseptic (strong), antiviral, balsamic, cicatrizant, cordial, decongestant, diaphoretic, expectorant, insecticide, parasiticide, refreshing, revitalizing, stimulant, sudorific, vulnerary

Safety Data: Non-toxic, non-irritant, possible sensitization in some individuals. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a healthcare practitioner prior to use. Caution: Irritates sensitive skin - dilute    

Tea tree is considered the king of healing oils. Ranked as the #2 antiseptic oil (thyme being #1), it is reputed to be 100 times stronger than carbolic acid* and has the advantage of being safer to use than thyme.
*Carbolic acid is made from coal-tar and used as a strong disinfectant.

Chemical Composition

Chemical Composition:

Melaleuca Alternifolia Fol. [tea tree] Myrtaceae
Representative constituents
Hydrocarbons
monoterpenes (25–40%) a-pinene 0.8–3.6%, ß-pinene 0.1–1.6%, a-terpinene 4.6–12.8%, ?-terpinene 9.5–28.3%, limonene 0.4–2.77%, a-terpinolene 1.6–5.4%, a-thujene 0.1–2.1%, sabinene 0–3.2%, ß-myrcene 0.1–1.8%, a-phellandrene 0.1–1.9%, ß-phellandrene 0.4–1.6%
sesquiterpenes ß-caryophyllene 1%, aromadendrene 0.1–6.6%, viridiflorene 0.3–6.1%, d-cadinene 0.1–7.5%, alloaromadendrene 0.3%, a-muurolene 0.1%, a-gurjunene 0.2%, calamenene 0.1%
aromatic p-cymene 0.4–12.4%
Alcohols
monoterpenols terpenen-4-ol 28.6–57.9%, a-terpineol 1.5–7.6%
sesquiterpenols globulol 0.1–3.0%, viridiflorol 0.1–1.4%, cubenol 0.1%
Oxides
monoterpenoid 1,8-cineole 0.5–17.7%, 1,4-cineole trace

Tea Tree – Quick Reference

Skin: abscess, acne, athletes’ foot, blisters, burns, cold sores, dandruff, herpes, insect bites, oily skin, rashes (nappy rash), spots, warts, wounds (infected)

Respiratory: asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, tuberculosis, whooping cough    

Genito-Urinary: thrush, vaginitis, cystitis, pruritis

Immune: colds, fever, influenza, infectious illnesses such as chickenpox

Keyword: Antiseptic

Tea Tree Magic: Use tea tree to protect or cleanse your aura.

Tea Tree Harmony

Add these essential oils to 20 ml / 4 teaspoons carrier oil

To clear acne, oily or combination skin:

  • 4 drops Tea Tree
  • 4 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Geranium
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Home Essentials

  • One drop of lemon essential oil on a soft cloth will polish copper with gentle buffing.
  • When washing out the fridge, freezer or oven, add 1 drop of bergamont, grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange or mandarin essential oil to the final rinse water.
  • Essential oils of Atlas cedarwood, cypress, frankincense, myrrh and vetiver all make wonderful firewood oils. Drop approximately 2-3 drops of oil or blend of your choice on a dried log and allow time for the oil to soak in before putting the log on the fire.
  • Flies and moths dislike lavender oil. Sprinkle it on the outside of your window frames.

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Body Essentials

  • Overindulge last night? Essential oils of carrot seed, cedarwood, fennel, grapefruit, juniper berry, lavender and lemon help soften the effects of a hangover. Make your own blend from these oils and use a total of 6-8 drops in a bath.
  • 6 – 8 drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath cools the body in summer and protects it in winter.
  • Add 1 drop geranium oil to your facial moisturizer to bring out a radiant glow in your skin.
  • Place 1 or 2 drops of rosemary on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.

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Creating a Balanced Blend

For a balanced massage blend, combine the essential oil drops in these proportions of essential oil "notes":

  • 3 drops Base Note
  • 7 drops Middle Note
  • 5 drops Top Note

For a total of 15 drops of essential oils per 30ml (1 oz) of carrier oil.


Top notes are the first impression of the blend; short-lived, yet brilliant. Top notes are sharp, penetrating, first to evaporate, extreme, and either hot or cold. Top notes provide the "ahhhh" in a blend.


Middle notes give body to blends - the developing phase with breadth and variety. Middle notes are warm, round, soft and mellow. Middle notes often provide the bulk, 50% to 80%, of the blend.


Base Notes are the final, lasting message of the blend; they deepen your blend and draw it into the skin, giving it roots and permanence. Base notes are deep, intense, rich and sensual. Base notes should be used sparingly, about 5%, so as not to overpower the blend.


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