54+ Uses of Melaleuca Oil (Tea Tree Oil)

Melaleuca oil (generally known as tea tree) has been used for centuries by cultures around the world to heal wounds. The oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of certain myrtle shrubs and trees, and said to be 12x the antiseptic strength of phenol.

54+ Uses for Melaleuca Essential Oil (from acne to warts)
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According to Modern Essentials, the properties within a quality brand of melaleuca include:

  • Analgesic
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Anti-infectious
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Antiparasitic
  • Antiseptic
  • Antiviral
  • Decongestant
  • Digestive
  • Expectorant
  • Immune stimulant
  • Insecticidal
  • Neurotonic
  • Stimulant
  • Tissue regenerative

Energetically, melaleuca is said to promote healthy boundaries, specifically in unhealthy or toxic relationships. It not only helps us to step out of codependency (stepping into our own strength and individuality), but also release those connections that have become unbalanced, draining, or stop us from growing.

Of course, it can't do so without helping us to do our own inner work around the patterns we create, encourage, or accept in our relationships and why. In this way it helps us to love ourselves, trust our own abilities, enjoy our own presence, say no when we need to, and honor our needs for respect or love from the right people in our lives.


The information provided here on the properties and uses of this oil do NOT apply to all essential oil brands.

Because of lenient industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is not a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may actually make you sick. In fact, only about 50% of it needs to be actual essential oils to be called "pure"!

A LOT goes into creating a therapeutic grade essential oil. The best essential oil brands follow these guidelines:

  • Proper plant varieties
  • Grown in their indigenous region around the world
  • Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
  • Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
  • Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
  • Third-party testing of each and every batch
  • Stand behind the internal use of their oils

Learn how to find safe, effective essential oils here.

How to Use Melaleuca Oil

Traditionally, this essential oil uses these application guidelines. Use these suggestions unless otherwise noted or click the banner for more inspiration:

How to use essential oils!

aromatic applicationAromatically - Can be diffused or inhaled directly.
topical applicationTopically - Can be applied directly to the skin or within a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, for young or sensitive skin. Start with 1 drop to 1-3 tsp of carrier and increase the EO as needed.
internal applicationInternally - NOT RECOMMENDED FOR MOST BRANDS. High quality brands may be "generally recognized as safe" by the FDA (21CFR182.20) to be used in cooking, adding a drop to purified water or taken as a dietary supplement, diluting 1 drop in 1 tsp. honey or 4 oz of non-acidic, non-dairy beverage (not for children under 6 years old and in greater dilution for older children).
topical applicationNEAT - Can usually apply the oil without dilution, directly to the skin. However, it's always a good idea to test your own skin first, as sensitive skin types may react.

Click this link or the banner above for more application guidance.

Precautions: Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use. Sensitization may become possible with frequent use. Use with caution and dilute for children. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose.


None of these health benefits, nor the ideas below, have been evaluated or approved by the FDA, should be used in place of personal judgment or medical treatment when needed, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. (Only your doctor can diagnose and treat disease. Only your body can prevent or cure it.) Read our full disclaimer.

Suggested and Possible Tea Tree Oil Uses

The following are uses described in a book I highly recommend, Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Uses of Essential Oils, as well as from personal experience and other resources. Use them to inspire your own ideas, experiment, and see what works for you.

One of the more common tea tree oil uses, add a drop to your normal cleansing route, or dab a very small amount on acne breakouts.

Use topically by massaging into the chest, abdomen or the reflex points of the feet.

According to Modern Essentials, you can use this oil aromatically or topically to support your health.

Athlete's Foot
Add a drop to your shoes, massage into the feet, or soak in a foot bath of sea salt and 2-3 drops of melaleuca.

Bacterial Infections
Use topically, either massaging into the reflex points of the feet, adding several drops to a bath or cautiously applying over an infected site.

Apply a small amount of melaleuca oil directly over the site.

Add 1-2 drops to a pan of hot water and breath in the steam, or massage the oil over the chest and into the feet.

Apply to the area of concern, diluting if necessary. (I would not use this for a vaginal yeast infection, although taking the oil internally (such as in capsules) may be beneficial.

Canker Sores
Dab a small amount directly over the sore, diluting with coconut oil if needed.

Melaleuca oil is great to add to homemade toothpaste, or you can add a drop to your toothbrush before brushing (and after to disinfect). A simple homemade mouthwash with purified water, melaleuca and peppermint is also recommended.

Chicken Pox
Diffuse in the air (with a diffuser or a pan of hot water) or massage a mixture of melaleuca and coconut oil gently over the pox (dilute more for younger children).

Can be used aromatically or added to homemade cleaners to kill germs and prevent the spread of colds, flus, etc.

Cold Sores
Dab a small amount (diluted or not depending on your sensitivity) over the sore, or mix with coconut oil and use preventatively.

Treat the common cold by inhaling steam infused with the oil, or massage into the feet and over the chest or other areas of concern, or mix 2-3 drops in a capsule with lemon, oregano, and an immune blend.

Tea tree oil uses for coughs are the same as Colds, above.

Use a very small amount, possibly diluted, over the area of concern.

Any sort of skin inflammation can benefit from this oil being gently massaged into the area.

Dry/Itchy Eyes
Although no essential oil should ever be put IN the eye, you can still benefit from the oil by diffusing it or placing your head over a steaming pot of water with a drop of melaleuca in it.

Ear Infection/Ache
Dilute 1 drop of oil in 1-2 TB of water and use a dropper to drop the mixture into the ear for 30-60 seconds each. (This can also be done with hydrogen peroxide, although tea tree oil will do the same naturally.)

Dilute in coconut oil and apply a small coating over the area.

Diffuse through the air, add a drop to the pillow, or gently massage into the feet to absorb the properties into the blood stream quickly.

Fungal Infections
Tea tree oil uses include topical application according to the type of infection.

Gum Disease
Create a mouthwash with purified water, 1 drop of peppermint and 1 drop of tea tree oil.

Diffuse through the home daily, or massage into the soles of the feet.

Herpes Simplex
Apply a small amount to the outbreak, or massage into the feet daily to prevent future outbreaks.

Mix with coconut oil (which is naturally healing and soothing itself) and gently apply to the infected areas.

Immune System (Stimulates)
Diffuse through the air on a regular basis, massage into the soles of the feet to increase your immune response.

Infected Wounds
Adding the oil to steaming water, you may be able to hold the infected area over the steam. Or dilute 1 drop of melaleuca with 1 cup of water and rinse the infected area 1-2 times a day, as needed.

Infections (General)
Topical tea tree oil uses are indicated for infections. Use your best judgment and the uses described throughout this article to choose which method is best for you.

Massage over the inflamed areas, gently and always toward the heart, or diffuse and inhale the melaleuca oil directly or indirectly.

Jock Itch
Apply topical to the affected area, diluted based on your needs or NEAT (undiluted).

Add several drops to purified water and soak hair and scalp in the solution. Use on combs, brushes and massage into the hair and scalp. Treat the home with it as well.

Melaleuca's antibacterial properties can be utilized by massaging it directly into the skin for fast absorption to the blood stream.

Massage over the body and into the feet, and diffuse through the home.

Nail Infection
Mix 1 TB coconut oil and 1-2 drops of melaleuca oil into the nails and cuticles as indicated.

Piercings Apply after piercings to avoid infection. Use undiluted, diluted with coconut oil or as a spray with purified water.

Pink Eye
Although essential oils shouldn't have direct contact with the eye, I would recommend adding several drop to hot, steaming water and hold your head over the steam.

Mix with coconut oil and massage over the affected areas.

Apply one drop directly to the area, or mix 1 drop of tea tree oil with 1 drop of lavender oil for added benefit.

Dilute as needed and massage into the affected areas, as well as onto the soles of the feet.

Melaleuca oil can both fight off the mites that cause scabies, as well as treat the rash and prevent the infection. Massage over the area in a small amount of coconut oil.

Add to a small amount of coconut oil and massage over the body. Massage into the soles of the feet for immune stimulation to prevent future outbreaks.

Massage melaleuca oil into the soles of the feet as needed.

Sore Throat
Rub over the throat, inhale diffused oil or gargle with warm salt water and 1 drop of melaleuca.

Staph Infection
It's best used topically, rubbed into the soles of the feet to increase the immune response and fight infection.

Mix 1 TB coconut oil with 1 drop of melaleuca and 1 drop of lavender and gently apply to to sunburned areas.

Tattoos Apply after tattoos to avoid infection. Use undiluted, diluted with coconut oil or as a spray with purified water.

Gargle with sea salt, warm water and 1 drop of melaleuca.

Inhale from steaming water with tea tree, gargle, and massage into neck and soles of feet.

Vaginal Infection
It's recommended to use topically. I would add several drops to a sitz bath and massage into the soles of feet.

Varicose Ulcer
Apply to soles of feet and massage over the area of the ulcer.

Viral Infections
Diffuse melaleuca oil throughout the home or inhale from steaming water. Apply topically over the areas of concerns and to the soles of the feet.

Apply melaleuca essential oil directly to the wart, diluting if necessary for sensitive skin.

Soak wounded area in water with melaleuca oil, or spritz from a bottle of water with several drops of oil. Depending on the wound and your own sensitivity you may be able to apply directly.

Other possible tea tree oil uses include treating mites and ticks, hysteria, digestion, skeletal and muscular systems, skin, immunity and the respiratory system.

In addition to melaleuca oil, also consider trying lemon, oregano, and an immune blend, or check out other essential oils here.


None of these health benefits, nor the ideas below, have been evaluated or approved by the FDA, should be used in place of personal judgment or medical treatment when needed, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. (Only your doctor can diagnose and treat disease. Only your body can prevent or cure it.) Read our full disclaimer.

Where to Buy Melaleuca/Tea Tree Oil

Click here for essential oil discounts.

Because quality is everything when it comes to essential oils, never buy your oils from the grocery store. Although they may be suitable for aroma, they aren't the quality you need for health purposes.

For the best results (and to avoid wasting your money), you need high-quality essential oils.

We recommend investigating our sister site, Organic Home Health, for more details on where to buy essential oils and their available discounts.

Interested in Essential Oils? Click here for free workshops, guides, and more, via OrganicHomeHealth.com

Or read more about this offer here.

Ready To Take More Sustainable Baby Steps?

Tea tree/melaleuca oil uses can replace many unhealthy, and unsustainable practices. But it doesn't stop there.

When you're ready for a few more steps check out the articles below.

Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!

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*Any health-related topics shared on this site are solely the opinion of the author or guest author. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any products or statements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Sustainable Baby Steps is not a replacement for your own best judgment or a medical professional where indicated. Always consult your own opinion and/or your health care provider when making important health care choices. Read our entire disclaimer here.