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Tea Tree Oil

What are other common names?

  • Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Australian Tea Tree Oil
  • Melaleuca Oil
  • Oil of Melaleuca
  • Tea Tree
  • Tea Tree Essential Oil

What is this product used for?

Tea tree oil may be applied to the skin to help with skin infections. It may help with a specific germ called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). It may also help with very bad acne, athlete's foot, dandruff, or fungal infections of the nails.

What are the precautions when taking this product?

  • Always check with your doctor before you use a natural product. Some products may not mix well with drugs or other natural products.

  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breastfeeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks of using this natural product.

  • Tea tree oil should ONLY be put on the skin. Do not swallow tea tree oil. It can be very dangerous.

What should I watch for?

  • Red or irritated skin

When do I need to call the doctor?

  • Signs of a very bad reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; seizures; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat. Go to the ER right away.

  • Signs of a nervous system reaction. These include uncoordinated muscle movements, problems speaking, unusual eye movements, passing out, or problems staying alert.

  • Very bad rash or skin irritation

Where can I learn more?

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Last Reviewed Date


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Further information

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