Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the tea tree.1 It has been used for centuries by aboriginal people in Australia, where the plant originates from.2 One of the most prevalent tea tree oil benefits is that it kills bacteria and fungi, which makes it a good natural topical solution for certain skin conditions.3 Tea tree oil is available as an essential oil and is used as a component in body care products like soap, shampoo, lip balm, and topical creams.3
Since tea tree oil benefits include bacterial- and fungal-killing properties, the oil can be used in a variety of conditions. Tea tree oil uses include:
These are just a few tea tree oil benefits. Other common tea tree oil uses include applying tea tree oil for acne and using a tea tree oil lice solution.2
Though tea tree oil is generally considered safe, high concentrations can cause skin irritation and even allergic reactions in some people.1 When applying the oil topically on the skin, such as using tea tree oil for acne, it’s best to dilute the solution if it is not already diluted.1 You can dilute it with vegetable, olive, or almond oil.3 Most cosmetic products, such as tea tree oil lice shampoo, is already diluted enough that it’s safe to use.Tea tree oil should not be used in the ears.3 It is also dangerous when swallowed. If swallowed, side effects may include:
For this reason, it is best to keep tea tree oil out of reach of children. If you have never used tea tree oil before, apply a small amount topically to see how your skin reacts. It’s also best to talk with your healthcare provider about any complementary treatment approaches you are currently using.
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