Got an infection or a cold? How about dandruff or a UTI? Melaleuca essential oil uses include treating these ailments and several others. But is there research to prove it works?
Call it melaleuca or tea tree oil (TTO). This herbal medicine has been most likely used for tens of thousands of years.
Archaeological evidence suggests Aboriginal people starting colonizing Australia 65,000 years ago.
Considering their mastery of herbal medicine, it’s probable that the original inhabitants Down Under were using the native plant, Melaleuca alternifolia, for many ailments.
Commercially, melaleuca essential oil uses date back about a century in Australia.
These days, TTO is now widely available. It’s in many products from toothpaste, shampoo to laundry detergent and more.
For therapeutic uses, TTO’s most popular asset is its ability to fight bacteria, viruses and other harmful germs. In addition, it’s also widely believed to fight inflammation.
We’ll take a look shortly at some research on TTO and see if its reputation as a germ fighter is well deserved.
But first, let’s take a look at what kinds of products you can find TTO.
If you do a web search for melaleuca products, you’ll likely come across listings for the multi-level marketing company, Melaleuca.
According to this business website, the company has played a big part in the herbal renaissance of the late 20th century. The company manufactures and sells over 100 nutritional, personal care, and home cleaning products.
Nonetheless, you can find plenty of products sold by other companies containing TTO.
One of the main melaleuca essential oil uses is treating skin infections. As such, it’s the main ingredient in many topical ointments.
What do you use melaleuca oil for?
According to the Updated & Revised Essential Oils guide, TTO uses include treating bacterial, fungal and viral infections. This includes athletes foot, bronchitis, candida, vaginitis, herpes, UTIs, coughs and colds, and the flu.
In addition, TTO can help with diaper rash, acne, insect bites, eczema, ear aches and allergies.
The guide also says melaleuca essential oil uses include treating scabies, sinusitis, swollen lymph glands, and pink eye.
Moreover, TTO may help with boils, cradle cap, lice, psoriasis, shingles, and mold.
Healthy Hair and Scalp
Tea tree benefits the hair and scalp. Not only can it help eliminate dandruff, it may also eradicate head lice.
TTO is included in many shampoos. But if you have dandruff, all you need is up to 10 drops of oil in your scalp.
Many conventional, brand-name shampoos contain synthetic ingredients that dry out your hair.
Unless the shampoo is all-natural, don’t buy a ‘poo that contains TTO if the other ingredients are artificial.
Along with lavender essential oil, coconut oil and Aloe Vera, TTO is one of the best all-natural remedies for dry scalp and dandruff.
Melaleuca Essential Oil Uses for Skin
Here’s a few ways you can use TTO to benefit your skin.
You can mix 1-2 drops of TTO with 3-4 drops of jojoba oil to moisturize your skin.
In addition, you can also place a couple drops of it on a cotton swab and apply directly to the affected area. If you have a cut on small, hard to reach areas, this method is ideal.
You can also make your own skin healing oil blend. To do this, you’ll need a roller bottle.
Place eight drops TTO with 6 drops lavender oil. Fill the rest of the 10ml bottle with a carrier oil.
Roll the blend on the affected area. This blend will help reduce the irritation as well as redness.
Moreover, TTO can treat blemishes. Combine a few drops of it with a few teaspoons of honey (manuka honey is best) and rub on your face.
Leave on for five minutes or so.
For a homemade body lotion, mix TTO, lavender and coconut oils for a body wash.
Melaleuca Essential Oil Uses for Immunity
Advocates of essential oil believe TTO can boost immunity.
If you have a diffuser, add a few drops of TTO.
You can also place it directly on your body. Specifically, on the soles of your feet.
You can buy a roller bottle of tea tree oil and rub it back and forth on the soles a few times.
For those with very sensitive skin, dilute the TTO with a carrier oil. To dilute, mix 1-2 drops of tea tree oil with 3-4 drops of a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or grapeseed oil.
Does Research Support Using TTO?
As you can see, there are many melaleuca essential oil uses. But is there any scientific proof it works?
In fact, there’s plenty. Although there aren’t any studies that involve tens of thousands of people, there are smaller studies which support some of its therapeutic uses.
However, before looking at some of the research, keep a couple things in mind before you start using it.
According to this research, there are about 100 active components in TTO.
There’s a prospective problem with purchasing the oil. And that’s that there may be variation from batch to batch in terms of the active components.
Therefore, do some research before buying a particular brand.
Also, the composition of TTO may change considerably during storage. That’s why it’s important you store TTO in a dark glass bottle.
As for the research, this study examines the concern that TTO in medical settings such as hospitals won’t be effective against bad germs.
However, researchers suggest harmful bacteria do not become resistant to TTO.
Is there research to support melaleuca essential oil uses by the Aborigines?
After all, in Australia, crushed leaves of “tea trees” were inhaled to treat coughs and colds. They were also sprinkled on wounds, after which a poultice was applied.
In addition, tea tree leaves were soaked to make an infusion to treat sore throats or skin ailments.
It turns out recent research does prove TTO’s ability to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses.
And going back a little further, to the early 20th century, TTO’s germ-fighting activity were compared with leading disinfectants of the time.
The results? TTO was rated as 11 times more active.
Melaleuca Essential Oil Uses for Oral Care
In fact, research also offers some proof TTO is good for your teeth and gums.
One study says looks at a 0.2% TTO mouthwash and two other active agents. The mouthwash’s effects on oral bacteria was analyzed.
Although the study is small (40 volunteers), it suggests that using TTO once daily for 7 days reduces the number of a specific type of harmful bacteria. As well as the overall bacteria.
The data also indicates these reductions in oral bacteria last two weeks after stopping rinsing with the mouthwash.
In light of this, TTO may have a role in the treatment of gum inflammation disease. Moreover, it can also treat halitosis.
MRSA is an infection. It kills 20,000 people in the U.S. each year. Many of the deadly cases are children.
A recent trial suggests TTO can help lower the risk of contracting MRSA.
The study involves 236 patients. The patients either received standard treatment or TTO. The standard regimen consisted of 2% mupirocin nasal ointment applied three times a day, 4% chlorhexidine gluconate soap applied at least once a day, and 1% silver sulfadiazine cream applied to skin lesions, wounds, and leg ulcers once a day, all for 5 days.
The TTO regimen in the MRSA study consists of 10% TTO nasal cream three times a day.
In addition, the TTO regimen also includes a 5% TTO body wash applies once daily and a 10% TTO cream applied to skin lesions, wounds, and leg ulcers once a day, all for 5 days.
Melaleuca essential oil uses, according to research, aren’t all hype, it seems. Although, to be totally transparent, treating MRSA with TTO wasn’t quite as effective as the normal treatment.
Melaleuca Oil Reviews
As of this writing, out of nearly 100 product reviews for a one-ounce bottle of TTO by the multi-level marketing company, Melaleuca, 84% of the reviews are 5-star on Amazon.
Here are a couple of them, with edits for brevity:
“This is the best stuff … This oil is probably the best antiseptic I’ve found. Recently I had been dealing with a case of toenail fungus that nothing seemed to work at getting rid of it. I googled home remedies and low-and-behold I read that this worked. Since I already had it in my house I started applying it. IT WORKED!”
“This is the standard strength quality (there is one even more concentrated version T40-C3) that is suitable suitable for a wide range of cosmetic, hygiene and medicinal purposes. Among the many uses, it is a fungicide, an inhaler for colds and breathing, and it soothes sunburn and almost any kind of skin disruption. It treats everything from hemorrhoids to shingles to athletes feet. In addition, a drop can be used in unique cleaning situations, even to freshen laundry. The applications are many, and if you study its many uses and you will get better use of the product. You will not regret having this in your medicine kit, and will really enjoy experimenting with its many, many uses.”