21 Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil on Your Homestead
Tea Tree Oil is one of the most useful essential oils to keep on hand for home and farm use. It is one of the few essential oils that can be used directly on the skin, but diluting it in a carrier oil will extend your oil and offer you even more ways to use it. This essential oil should be in everyone’s first aid kit and livestock emergency kit.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is one of the best essential oils for skin boils, wounds that don’t seem to heal, and fungal infections. It is inexpensive. It is widely available. Here in Canada, the drug stores and grocery stores carry it. You can even buy it at Costco.
Tea Tree is steam distilled from the leaves of Melaleuca aquifolia, a tropical tree from the myrtle family that is native to Australia. It is highly prized for its antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic qualities. Tea Tree has over 100 different phytochemicals that protect the plant from insect damage, fungal infections, and bacterial damage. And we get the benefits in every drop of tea tree essential oil.
Benefits of Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is pain-relieving, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral making it a great remedy for athlete’s foot, warts, boils, and wounds. In the barn, it’s the first thing we try when one of our Saanen milk goats is getting lumpy teats or other signs of mastitis. Diluted with olive oil to a 5% dilution and then massaged into the udder, Tea Tree oil permeates the mammary glands, bringing relief in just a few days, without the shock or risk of infection that comes with inserting cow teat antibiotics into a goat’s much smaller teat.
Tea tree also reduces inflammation and encourages wound healing.
It can be used to repel pests like mosquitoes, biting flies, lice, and ticks from farm animals. Use it at 50% dilution and apply it along the top line from tail head to head to repel flies and biting insects. Clean bedding and apply lime to further repel pests in the barn.
Tea Tree can safely be used diluted on serious skin issues like warts, but it’s more effective to dilute it to 2 to 5%. Dilute it by adding the correct number of drops of tea tree to an applicator bottle, then add extra virgin olive oil or sweet almond oil to the bottle to the fill line. Shake to evenly distribute the tea tree essential oil in the bottle.
How many drops of Tea Tree Oil do I need for proper dilution?
- 2 % dilution — 6 drops to 2 teaspoons of olive oil or 1 1/2 teaspoons of tea tree oil per cup of carrier oil
- 3 % dilution — 9 drops to 2 teaspoons of carrier oil or 2 teaspoons of tea tree per cup of carrier oil
- 5% dilution — 15 drops to 2 teaspoons of carrier oil or 3 1/2 teaspoons of tea tree per cup of carrier oil
- 10% dilution — 30 drops to 2 teaspoons of carrier oil or 7 teaspoons of tea tree oil per cup of carrier oil
- 50% dilution — 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil (useful for warts)
At Joybilee Farm, tea tree is the first essential oil I grab for disinfecting cuts, scratches, or bites. I use it at 5% dilution on a scabby cut, after the bleeding has stopped, to prevent infection.
I add it to disinfectant cleaning sprays to increase their anti-microbial power. I diffuse it when there is sickness is in the house to cleanse the air. I also use it to discourage ticks and biting insects, by spraying it on both humans and animals. But don’t use it on cats or rabbits, as tea tree oil is toxic to them. Their livers lack the enzymes to break it down. Also, use caution with small dogs. My large working farm dogs tolerate it well, when properly diluted.
Tea Tree has a camphor smell. I find it pleasant. Some people don’t like it.
Tea Tree should not be swallowed. It can be toxic and lead to confusion, staggering gait, and loss of muscle coordination. Keep out of reach of children and pets.
Some people have contact dermatitis with Tea Tree and should avoid using it.
Here are 21 ways to use Tea Tree oil at home
- Add 10 drops plus 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to a warm foot bath and fight athletes’ foot
- Add 25 drops to your homemade deodorant
- Put it in homemade mosquito repellent
- Put 1 tsp into your bottle of laundry detergent to keep your washing machine smelling fresh
- Apply a drop of diluted tea tree to your gum when you have a toothache. It will alleviate the pain and infection. Rinse and do not swallow.
- Put a drop of tea tree essential oil on your toothbrush to disinfect it after you’ve had a cold or virus.
- Add it to homemade disinfectant wipes
- Add 1 drop of tea tree and 1/2 tsp of salt to a glass of warm water for a sore throat gargle
- Make a warm compress using tea tree oil and hot water to relieve sore breasts or mastitis. Tea Tree penetrates the mammary tissue.
- Make a teet dip with 1/2 tsp salt and 10 drops of tea tree in a 5% dilution, in a cup of warm water to prevent mastitis in dairy animals.
- Treat acne with 1 drop of tea tree essential oil in one teaspoon of aloe vera gel, and dab on zits to speed healing.
- Relieve the itch of mosquito bites by dabbing the swelling with 1 drop of 5% dilution tea tree essential oil on a cotton ball
- Relieve ear mites in dogs by putting 3 drops of tea tree essential oil in 1 tsp of warmed olive oil. Saturate a soft cloth and wipe the inside of the ear.
- Get rid of warts by applying 1 drop of 50% dilution tea tree essential oil to the wart. Bandage and keep dry for 2 hours. Repeat morning and evening until the wart is gone.
- Make antibacterial soap by adding 2 tablespoons of tea tree oil to a 3 pound batch of cold processed soap, before pouring the soap into molds. Allow soap to fully cure before using it.
- Apply 1 drop of 5% dilution tea tree to the gauze portion of a bandage to keep the wound free of infection. Change the bandage daily.
- Add 25 drops of tea tree essential oil plus 1/2 teaspoon of Dr. Bonner’s Liquid Castile soap to a sink of hot, soapy water to soak hairbrushes and combs to clean and disinfect them.
- Rinse hair in cider vinegar plus 5 drops of tea tree to prevent dandruff.
- Prevent ticks from climbing on you, by spraying your shoes and pant legs or the legs of your livestock with 1 cup of Witchhazel plus 2 tsp of tea tree.
- Clean taps, light plates, switches, doorknobs, and handles with 1 cup of vinegar plus 1 tsp. of tea tree essential oil, to prevent reinfection when a family member has a cold or virus.
- Deodorize shoes by powdering them with 1/4 cup of baking soda mixed with 1/2 tsp of tea tree. Put the mixture in a shaker bottle and powder your shoes as needed. This will also help prevent athletes’ foot fungus and nail fungus.
I buy my essential oils from Rocky Mountain Oils and Plant Therapy. Both of these online sources offer a batch by batch analysis done by an independent laboratory, to ensure that your essential oils are pure, natural, and unadulterated.
This is not an exhaustive list. What other ways do you use tea tree essential oil in your home?
Learn more about using essential oils safely and effectively:
Learn more ways to use essential oils in your home and on your homestead, safely and effectively, from my book, “The Beginner’s Book of Essential Oils“. This short book helps you learn to use your first 10 essential oils with confidence. Find out what’s inside here.