Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)


Tea Tree may also be referred to as narrow-leaved paperbark, narrow-leaved tea-tree, narrow-leaved ti-tree, or snow-in-summer. It is typically processed using steam distilled as a method for extracting oil from the leaves.


Tea Tree oil comes from the roots of the Melaleuca alternifolia tree. It has a fresh, medicinal scent. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal effects.

Essential Facts

  • Aroma Description:

    Earthy Fresh Herbaceous Medicinal Woody

  • Common Name(s): narrow-leaved paperbark, narrow-leaved tea-tree, narrow-leaved ti-tree, or snow-in-summer
  • Synonyms(s) for Melaleuca alternifolia: Melaleuca linariifolia var. alternifolia

  • Botanical Family: Myrtaceae
  • Botanical Genus: Melaleuca
  • Chemical Family: Monoterpenes, Monoterpenols
  • Major Compounds: Terpinene-4-ol, Gamma-Terpinene, a-Terpinene, Terpinolene, 1,8-Cineole, a-Terpineol, p-Cymeme, a-Pinene
  • Perfumery Note: Middle
  • Consistency: Thin
  • Strength of Initial Aroma: Medium
  • Color: Clear with a Yellow Tinge
  • Indigenous Country: Australia
  • Cultivation: Wild Harvested
  • Processing Methods: Steam Distilled
  • Part Typically Used: Leaves
  • Shelf Life: 3 years
  • Wild Harvested Wild Harvested
  • Vegan Vegan

Essential Details

Benefits & Uses

Cautions & Safety

Cautions when using Tea Tree:

Tisserand and Young indicate that there is a low risk of skin sensitization when using Tea Tree topically. They recommend a dermal maximum of 15% and precaution to avoid use of the oil if it has oxidized. Reading Tisserand and Young's full profile is recommended. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 440-445.]

Safety Precautions for Tea Tree:

Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children and be sure to first read the recommended dilution ratios for children. Consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children, the elderly, if you have medical issues or are taking medications. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.

Energetic, Spiritual, and Emotional Qualities


Tea Tree Articles or Publications: