Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil is a powerful natural essential oil that can be used successfully to treat a vaginal yeast infection; and, other types of Candida problems. Be cautious with this oil though; it is powerful. Ingesting just a little bit of this oil can prove to be fatal. Make sure you keep your tea tree oil in a safe place—away from the curious reach of children. It is a good idea to keep all essential oils in a location children cannot access; as essential oils contain powerful phytochemicals.
The renowned botanist Dr. James A. Duke, in his book The Green Pharmacy, states that although tea tree oil is an effective treatment for a yeast infection, it should be used as a “last resort.” In his book, Dr. Duke relates the following advice for those considering to use this plant oil:
...tea tree oil is such a potent antiseptic that I would recommend using it on the vaginal area only as a last resort, and always in a diluted form. Try other, gentler herbal approaches first. Then, if you want to use this oil, discuss it with your doctor. And one final warning: Don’t ingest the oil. Like so many other essential plant oils, small amounts of tea tree oil, on the order of a few teaspoons, can be fatal.The Green Pharmacy (page 248)
If you are experiencing an extremely severe yeast infection; or, your yeast infections keep coming back, you can certainly safely use essential tea tree oil for yeast infections. There is a lot of research proving the efficacy of this oil as an effective Candida killer. It might be a good idea to learn some of the evidence scientific studies have been able to divulge, if your worried it just won’t work. There is an entire article discussing several studies that prove tea tree oil can effectively treat Candida yeast (if you didn’t already know, Candida is the genus of fungi that is responsible for yeast infections in humans; typically Candida albicans). The article is located here: Tea Tree Oil for Yeast Infections
Douching: Using Tea Tree Oil Directly in the Vagina
You can safely use a small amount of tea tree oil in the vagina via a douche. According to Julia Lawless, in her book The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, you can make an effective douche by adding about 5 to 10 drops of tea tree oil to a liter of water. However, instead of using plain water, try using apple cider vinegar—as vinegar is a capable yeast killer. Simply shake the mixture after you add the oil and you are ready to go! Douche normally as you would with any other douche. You may wish to try doing this once in the morning and once before you go to bed. Also, consider adding some other essential oils to the vinegar as well. Each oil may have a different way it combats Candida; and, attacking the yeast invading your body from multiple angles can increase the healing power of the douche. If you’d like to learn about more essential oils that kill yeast infections, you can always check out this section of Candida Hub: Essential Oils for Yeast Infection.
Tea Tree Oil Bath
Tea tree oil can feel invigorating in shampoos or also when using it in a sitz bath. A sitz bath is a shallow bath that is designed to allow water to come in contact with the area around the rectum and genitals. If you feel any discomfort from the tea tree oil in the sitz bath, discontinue the treatment immediately.
You can also use this oil, albeit not as capable of killing Candida due to greater dilution, in a regular bath. Simply add some tea tree oil to your bath water and take a long, relaxing soak. This may be a great way to aid the treatment of skin yeast infections. If you have a rash caused by Candida, soaking in a warm bath treated with tea tree oil can have some therapeutic effect. Add some lemon grass essential oil to the bath to help unclog pores and revitalize your skin!
Cynthia Olsen, in her 1999 book Australian Tea Tree Oil, suggests making a sitz bath with 25 drops of tea tree oil plus 1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel. For using this oil in a regular bath, Cynthia suggest adding 10 drops of tea tree oil to a full bath along with the following salts and oil: ½ cup borax, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup sea salt, ½ teaspoon of rosemary oil, and 1 cup epsom salt. A sitz bath, with its higher concentration of essential oil, will be more therapeutic; however, a regular bath with the aforementioned salts and oils can be very soothing and relaxing.
Using Tea Tree Oil Topically on the Vagina
When using tea tree oil topically in or around the vagina, make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil first. One great oil to consider using as a medium is coconut oil; as this oil has been proven to be able to kill yeasts—mostly due to the antifungal fatty acids that comprise the oil. It would be wise to start out with a weak concentration of tea tree oil in carrier oil and apply it to a small area of the vagina. You can keep increasing the amount of tea tree oil as long as your body doesn’t react negatively to it. However, do not use more than a few drops of this essential oil inside the vagina—no matter how much carrier oil or substance you use in conjunction with it. In addition to using tea tree oil topical or in the vagina, you may want to douche on a daily basis with an apple cider vinegar infused with herbs. You can also just add some other essential oils to the apple cider vinegar (for more on ACV, you can check out apple cider vinegar for yeast infections).
Honey is a great way to stop a vaginal yeast infection, and can adequately carry essential oils as well. Adding tea tree oil to honey is a great way to boost the effectiveness of these remedies beyond their ability alone. You may want to try out a few drops of tea tree oil in honey and then insert the mixture into your vagina. You can also soak a tampon in the carrier honey (or carrier oil, if you're using oil) and then insert the tampon before you go to bed. A few nights of this treatment should really bring a powerful attack to the yeast overgrowing in this area!
The book, Australian Tea Tree Oil Guide: First Aid Kit in a Bottle, recommends using a medicinal douche and following that up with a tampon that has some tea tree oil on it. This treatment process is recommended to be done every day until the infection clears up. For the tea tree oil tampon, the author suggests putting several drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and then inserting it directly into the vagina. The tampon should be left in for 24 hours. The book states you may feel a cooling sensation when using the tampon; and, this can help relieve painful burning sensations you may be having.
Just remember, if you experience discomfort when using one of these tea tree oil remedies, discontinue your use immediately. You can always lower the amount of tea tree oil and try again with a lower concentration. And make sure, as mentioned, you don’t swallow any of this essential oil; it is highly toxic when ingested! If you have any questions or concerns about using this natural plant oil, contact a medical professional who understands how to correctly utilize essential oils.
So How Much Tea Tree Oil Should I Use?
One study, published in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy [(2003) 51 (5): 1223-1229], addresses this issue quite well. The experiment conducted by the study was done on female rats that were inoculated with fluconazole and itraconazole resistant Candida albicans; and, fluconazole susceptible Candida albicans. The study found that a solution comprised of 5% tea tree oil would effectively kill all of the tested Candida albicans strains in about two weeks. So, you may wish to try using 1% tea tree oil in your topical vaginal treatment to start out with; then, increase the amount of essential oil if you don’t react negatively to it. But do not exceed a 1% concentration if you are planning on using it intravaginally or orally. You may have to repeat the application of tea tree oil on a daily basis to start clearing up a fungal infection. Again, this rate of healing could be expedited by the addition of other essential oils, or by using honey as a carrier for the essential oil.
An interesting study was done on various tea tree oil products to see how well they were able to mitigate various pathogens; among these pathogens was Candida albicans. The research was published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine [17.9 (2011): 835-841]. In all, the study analyzed 11 different products containing tea tree oil. The concentrations of the tea tree oil in these various products ranged from 0.1% to 15%. The study found that 8 of the products used in the study were very good at inhibiting Candida and other bacterial pathogens. Regular 5% to 15% pure tea tree oil (not in a product) also was very effective at stopping yeast. Thursday Plantation Antiseptic Mouthwash, a product containing 0.1% tea tree oil, was unable to inhibit the growth of any bacteria or the Candida it was tested on. Martin & Pleasance Tea tree herbal cream, containing 5% tea tree oil, also was unable to inhibit any bacteria or yeast. Treemenda Tea tree Antiseptic Cream, containing 5% tea tree oil, also was unable to inhibit Candida. Therefore, we can conclude a likely reason some products that claim to have tea tree oil won’t work is due to a poor quality oil used in producing them; or, the manufacturer lied about the concentration of the oil in the product. Some manufacturers may be dishonest and use garbage for ingredients in their items.
Another study also discussed how various concentrations of tea tree oil worked at stopping fungal infections. The study was published in the International Journal of Dermatology [52.7 (2013): 784-790]. The research stated that tea tree oil is able to kill Candida on contact. A study was cited showing that 25% and 50% tea tree oil was able to produce a powerful clinical response when used on patients with athlete's foot (tinea pedis). This natural oil was used to treat people with nail fungus (onychomycosis) by applying 100% concentrations directly for 6 months.
Thus, given the research, elevated concentrations of tea tree oil can be used externally with a good degree of safety. However, to be safe, try starting out with lower concentrations of this natural oil. If you find that you do not have adverse reactions to the tested concentration, you can try using even more. 15% tea tree oil seems to be a high amount used in various products; but, the stronger the concentration you use, the more yeast killing effect it will have.
Attacking Fungal Infections
According to National Geographic Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies (2014), tea tree oil can also be used to treat other types of fungal infections besides those due to Candida. The following treatments were inspired by those recommended by this publication.
- For Nail Fungus: simply use undiluted, 100% tea tree oil directly on the hard nail surface that has the infection. You may need to continue doing this treatment for several months before your nail gets fully cured.
- For Athlete’s Foot: you can use 2 drops of tea tree oil, 2 drops lemongrass oil, and 1 teaspoon of grapefruit seed extract. Take a bit of cotton, soak it in the oil mixture, and apply it to the area with the fungus. Apply this mixture two times a day.
- For Jock Itch: you can try using pau d’arco cream and mixing it with 10 drops of tea tree oil. You can also use calendula cream instead of pau d’arco. When you’ve mixed the cream and oil, apply a slight amount on the affected areas of the groin twice a day.
- For Skin Fungal Infections: you can mix equal parts tea tree oil with aloe vera gel. Although, you may want to start off using a little less tea tree oil at first.
Remember, never drink tea tree oil; this can prove lethal, or at least hurt you quite badly. Concerning allergic reactions, the cineole in tea tree oil may cause such a reaction in some individuals. Allergic reactions to this oil may also be due to alcoholic preparations of the oil. Some research showed that, out of 219 people exposed to this oil in a study, only 3 of them had some type of allergic reaction. It may be best to avoid tea tree oil for use on young children, pregnant women, and small animals. All tea tree oil you use should be certified with the Australian Standard No. AS 2782-1985. This number mandates the tea tree oil contain a minimum amount of 30% terpinen-4-ol, and a maximum cineole content of 15%. The cineole in tea tree oil, is the key chemical that can cause skin irritation; and, this chemical also reduces the medicinal effectiveness of terpinen-4-ol. Also, note that tea tree oil made from other species of Melaleuca can contain high amounts of cineole and should generally be avoided. And, again, high doses of tea tree oil may provoke allergic reactions and irritate the skin (Crawford, Odel; 2009) (Boon, Smith; 2004).
A Safe, Natural, 12 Hour Yeast Infection Cure
If this isn’t your first yeast infection; or, you’ve tried several treatments already with no amelioration of your condition, you might like to know about Sarah Summer. Sarah Summer was an ordinary woman trying to live her life, but suddenly developed persistent recurrent yeast infections. She tried over the counter treatments, prescription treatments, but nothing seemed to keep her infections away. After using the treatments, she would get some relief for a short while; however, her yeast infection always came back—this greatly interfered with her life.
Eventually, her recurrent yeast infection came back with “a vengeance;” as Summer puts it. She decided to visit her doctor with her severe problem; and found that the yeast had sent tendrils into her skin and developed into a mold in her vagina. Her doctor told her that her situation, a mold in her vagina, was impossible to cure. Candida had effectively created a very serious health situation in Summer’s life.
Summer eventually began to do extensive research along with her husband robert. She learned that most treatments are not designed to address the root causes of yeast infections. This “band-aid” therapy for symptoms, keeps women buying products and never really finding a solution. There is simply a lot of money to be made by repeatedly selling products to desperate women.
With this knowledge, Summer and her husband eventually got to the bottom of her Candida problem via the intense research they undertook. Summer began to address the root causes of her infection, and learned how to use natural medicine to totally destroy her severe Candidiasis in her vagina; and, also she learned how to keep it from coming back. Sarah Summer related her findings to other women who were troubled and she found that they reported rapid relief of their infections. Typically, 12 hours was all that was needed to totally cure a yeast infection.
Sarah Summer eventually wrote an entire book detailing how to naturally get rid of a yeast infection in 12 hours; and, how to keep it gone for good. You can find out more at Sarah Summer’s website. Sarah wants to help, so she offers a generous 100% money back guarantee within 8 weeks of purchase. So, if you're not satisfied with her book, you can get a full refund of all your money—just make the refund request if you're not happy. Her book is published by a subsidiary of the large U.S. based Keynetics Incorporated. You can pay with PayPal for even more protection if you want; this book may be a great resource for you and anyone you choose to share it with! You’re not alone in your struggle with Candida!
Mixing Multiple Essential Oils
The addition of different phytochemicals from various essential oils will help increase the potency of your natural remedy. Each oil may have a different mechanism for killing yeast. If you’re going to use tea tree oil, you may want to add some additional oils to your cure; thereby bolstering its strength. You can find out about several Candicidal essential oils at Candida Hub here: Essential Oil for Yeast Infections.
- Google Books — Duke, J. A. (1997). The green pharmacy: New discoveries in herbal remedies for common diseases and conditions from the world's foremost authority on healing herbs. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press.
- Google Books — Olsen, Cynthia B. Australian Tea Tree Oil: First Aid Handbook: 101 plus Ways to Use Tea Tree Oil. Pagosa Springs, CO: Kali, 1999.
- Google Books — Olsen, Cynthia B. Australian Tea Tree Oil Guide: First Aid Kit in a Bottle. Pagosa Springs, CO: Kali, 1997.
- Google Books — Tea tree: 14 WAYS TO INHIBIT INFECTION. (2014). In National Geographic, National Geographic complete guide to natural home remedies: 1,025 easy ways to live longer, feel better, and enrich your life. Washington, District of Columbia: National Geographic Society.
- Google Books — Crawford, Sharon, and Teresa G. Odle. "Tea Tree Oil." The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Ed. Laurie J. Fundukian. 3rd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale, 2009. 2197-2199.
- Google Books — Boon, Heather, Michael Smith, and Heather Boon. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to the 50 Most Common Medicinal Herbs. Toronto: R. Rose, 2004
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/acm.2010.0508 — Thomsen, Per S., et al. "Survey of the antimicrobial activity of commercially available Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil products in vitro." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 17.9 (2011): 835-841. PubMed, PDF Available Here
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-4632.2012.05654.x — Pazyar, Nader, et al. "A review of applications of tea tree oil in dermatology." International journal of dermatology 52.7 (2013): 784-790. PubMed, PDF Available Here
- Google Books — Lawless, Julia. (2013). The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Aromatic Oils In Aromatherapy, Herbalism, Health, and Well Being. Conari Press
- http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dkg202 - Mondello, Francesca, et al. "In vitro and in vivo activity of tea tree oil against azole-susceptible and-resistant human pathogenic yeasts." Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy 51.5 (2003): 1223-1229. PubMed, PDF Available Here