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Melaleuca, or Tea Tree oil, is best known for its purifying qualities, which make it useful for cleansing the skin and home surfaces, purifying the air, or promoting healthy immune function.

Tea Tree (or Melaleuca) essential oil possesses over 92 different compounds and, as such, possesses almost endless ways it can be used for wellness. But what is Tea Tree oil? It comes from the Melaleuca plant which hails from Australia, where it was a daily necessity for the ancient peoples there. The Bundjalung Aboriginal people from the coast of New South Wales would apply the leaves directly to the skin for a cooling effect. Over time, the knowledge of Melaleuca’s numerous benefits spread worldwide, leading up to it's popular use today.

Tea Tree Oil Uses and Benefits

  1. One common use of Tea Tree oil is for haircare. Many people use Tea Tree oil for hair because of its topical cleansing, rejuvenating, and purifying properties. Unlike chemical-ridden haircare products, Melaleuca essential oil offers a soft, gentle element to any haircare routine. If you are looking for ways to use Tea Tree oil for hair, check out our DIY Hair Detangler

  2. Are your makeup brushes in need of some deep cleaning? Tea Tree oil’s benefits for skin and cleansing properties come together in this Makeup Brush Cleanser. Over time, your makeup brushes get covered in old makeup and dead skin cells. If you don’t want to be spreading that all over your face, you’ll need to give your brushes a good cleaning every once in a while. With just three simple ingredients, including Tea Tree oil, you can concoct a purifying makeup brush cleanser that will get rid of built-up gunk—restoring your makeup brushes to their former glory.

  3. Diffusing Tea Tree oil benefits the air in your home as it has the ability to purify and freshen as it disperses. When diffusing Melaleuca oil on its own, use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice. Looking for a revitalizing diffuser blend that will freshen and purify any room? Add two drops of Lemon, two drops of Eucalyptus, one drop of Melaleuca, and one drop of Peppermint to your diffuser for a rejuvenating diffuser bend that will cleanse the air and awaken your senses. 

  4. One of the best Tea Tree oil uses as a skin cleanser and toner was first discovered by the ancient Aboriginal peoples of Australia. Today many people continue to use Tea Tree oil for skin because of these purifying and toning properties. Consider adding one to two drops of Tea Tree oil to your facial cleanser or moisturizer for added cleansing properties. Making Tea Tree oil a part of your daily skin routine will help keep your skin clean, toned, with a healthy appearance.

  5. Tea Tree oil can also be used to help soothe occasional skin irritations. When you experience occasional skin irritations, apply one to two drops of Tea Tree oil onto the affected area, using doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to dilute the oil if necessary. The skin cleansing properties of Tea Tree oil reach further than just helping with the occasional skin irritation, however.

  6. The same purifying properties in Tea Tree oil can also be very helpful for cleaning purposes—especially throughout the home. Melaleuca oil is a good choice for homemade cleaners due to its ability to protect against environmental and seasonal threats. If you want an effective homemade cleaner, add a few drops of Tea Tree oil to a spray bottle with water and use on surfaces throughout the house. This mixture will help protect you and your family against environmental threats, and purify all your surfaces with an herbaceous, green scent.

  7. The purifying properties of Tea Tree oil aren’t just good for hair and skin, you can also use Melaleuca oil to keep your fingernails and toenails looking and feeling healthy. Reap the benefits of Tea Tree oil for nails by applying some oil to your fingernails and toenails after you get out of the shower. When using Tea Tree oil topically, first dilute with doTERRA Fractionated Coconut Oil to prevent against any skin sensitivity, and then apply a few drops to your skin.  

Looking for additional Tea Tree oil uses? Take a look at some of our favorite Melaleuca DIYs:

Yoga Mat Spray

Diaper Cream

Clay Facial Mask

After Sun Soothing Spray

Razor Relief Spray

Shaving Cream

Whipped Peppermint Foot Lotion

Plant Description With roughly 250 species, Melaleuca is most typically found in Australia. Melaleuca oil, or Tea Tree oil, is extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca shrubs or trees, which have a strong aroma when rubbed. Melaleuca essential oil is produced through the process of steam distillation where steam and pressure are used to release chemical components from the plant—pulling out the essential oil. Fun Fact:

Bungwalbin Creek in Australia is surrounded by Australian tea trees and is held sacred by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. As the sticky tea tree oil leaves fell into the creek, they created waters that natives still consider “magical waters” today. 

Chemistry of Tea Tree Oil Main Chemical Components: Terpinen-4-ol, y-terpinene The chemical makeup of Tea Tree oil proves why the oil is so useful topically for cleansing and aromatically for uplifting purposes. The main chemical constituents of Melaleuca are terpinen-4-ol, gamma-terpinene, and alpha-terpinene. Terpinen-4-ol is a monoterpenoid alcohol, and gives Tea Tree oil its toning or harmonizing aromatic characteristics. Gamma-terpinene and alpha-terpinene are monoterpenes, which are known to be uplifting when diffused.

Where to Buy Tea Tree Oil

If you are looking for Tea Tree oil, visit our Melaleuca page to see how to order. When shopping for Tea Tree oil, you’ll want to ensure that the oil you choose is pure and high quality, in order to obtain the best benefits. Each doTERRA essential oil, including Melalueca, is responsibly sourced, tested, and produced in a way that guarantees a high quality grade. 

Cautions Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.