The Multiple Uses of Tea Tree Oil: Hair and Skin

Tea tree oil is one of my favorite essential oils. Essential oils are concentrated liquids which contain highly volatile aroma plant compounds.  Tea tree oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves of Melaleuca alternifolia, a plant native to Australia.  It is colorless with a very strong odor that is somewhat earthy and minty.  It has been used by the indigenous peoples of Australia as traditional medicine to treat colds and skin ailments for centuries. Today, it is most commonly used as an essential oil in aromatherapy, alternative medicine and cosmetics.

Some benefits of tea tree oil:

  • naturally anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral
  • can be used as adjunctive therapy for respiratory problems such as sore throats and bronchitis
  • strengthens the body's immunity
  • natural insecticide
Suggested uses:
  • Scalp Massage: This is my favorite way to use tea tree oil.  I get a small application bottle, fill it up 3/4 full with jojoba oil, and add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to the mix.  It is important to use a carrier oil (a widely available vegetable oil) like jojoba, coconut, or olive oil when using an essential oil like tea tree oil because it is very strong.  I apply the mixture to my scalp and massage it in for a few minutes. Your scalp will tingle and feel refreshed in minutes! Alternatively, you can place a few drops of tea tree oil in your favorite shampoo.
  • Preservative: Adding a few drops of any essential oil will help preserve cosmetic and health products. Although I personally prefer more floral and musky scents for preservatives, tea tree oil is a great option.
  • Skin Toner: Mix a small spritz bottle with distilled water, green tea, and tea tree oil as a skin toner. Apply to skin after cleansing to restore the skin's pH balance and keep the skin tone even.
  • Steam inhalation: To combat a stuffy nose or active sinuses during allergy season, you can do a steam pot inhalation. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil. Add a few drops of tea tree oil, hover your head over the pot, and cover your head with a towel. Take deep breaths for a few minutes and soon you'll experience sinus relief.

In health,
Dr. Naika