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Melaleuca Oil (Tea Tree): Uses, Benefits, and Precautions

Melaleuca oil (Melaleuca alternifolia, or more commonly known as tea tree) has been used for centuries by cultures around the world to soothe. The oil is steam-distilled from the leaves of certain myrtle shrubs and trees, and said to be 12x the purifying strength of phenol. The aroma is pretty distinct, kinda medicinal, and herbaceous. It's not my favorite aroma, to be honest, but I suffer through it because it's a really great oil for immune support and cleaning.

Primary Benefits

  • Renowned for its cleansing and rejuvenating effect on the skin
  • Promotes healthy immune function
  • Protects against environmental and seasonal threats

Emotional Benefits

Energetically, Melaleuca oil 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. (I know WAY too many people who could use that!)

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.

Complimentary Oils

Melaleuca essential oil blends well with all citrus oils, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, and Thyme.
 In addition to Melaleuca oil, also consider trying Lemon, Oregano, and Arborvitae.

How to Use Melaleuca Oil

Traditionally, this essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:

How to use essential oils!
Adults Children/Sensitive Pregnancy

Precautions of Melaleuca Oil

There is more "tea tree oil" on the market than there is plant material to have produced it. This means a large amount of what is called tea tree is either synthetic or adulterated to include synthetics. In addition to this issue, much of the "real stuff" is actually distilled with a chemical distillation process, making it much more precarious to use. Due to this, not all melaleuca oil can be used in the same way as mentioned here. Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.

Popular Uses of Melaleuca Essential Oil

  • For occasional skin irritations, apply 1–2 drops of Melaleuca essential oil onto affected area.
  • Add 1 drop to a veggie cap to enhance immunity.
  • Combine 1–2 drops with your facial cleanser or moisturizer for added cleansing properties, or apply to skin after shaving to prevent razor burn.
  • Apply to fingernails and toenails after showering to purify and strengthen nails.
  • Add a few drops to a spray bottle with water and use on surfaces to protect against environmental concerns.
  • Can be used to manage oily skin when applied directly or sprayed on with water.

Inspiration for Using Melaleuca Essential Oil

Natural Deodorant: Combine 1/4 cup of coconut oil, shea butter, and baking soda. Heat until combined. While hot mix in 20 drops Melaleuca and 15 drops Lavender.

Shampoo for Oily Hair: Combine 1/4 cup of coconut oil and liquid castile soap and vegetable glycerin. Once combined stir in 10 drops Melaleuca essential oil.

Foaming Face Wash: Combine the castile soap, Argan oil, and Melaleuca Essential Oil, then place in foamer bottle. To use, wet face and scrub with foaming face wash.


Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of 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 lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).

A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:

  • Proper plant varieties
  • Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
  • 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 every batch
  • Stand behind the internal use of their oils

Beginner's Guide to Application and Precautions, from SustainableBabySteps.com

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