Tea tree oil is a very strong essential oil useful in natural home remedies because of its potent antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

So potent that it comes with VERY bad side effects if not used with care and caution.  This potency may have sent you searching or information on how safe tea tree oil is to use for adults and children.

While you’re browsing for a natural remedy to bug bites, insect repellent, hair care, infections, etc., most writers will put a small disclaimer in their articles about the TOXIC side effects of tea tree oil if not used correctly.  This small disclaimer is often missed and the rise of tea tree oil poisoning is growing.

This leads me to dedicate an entire article on tea tree toxicity

The importance of tea tree oil education is so essential due to its ability to cause toxicity at small doses.  Just a half a cup of tea tree oil consumed by a young boy caused coma.  Only a few drops consumed can cause central nervous system depression.

Babies and children experience more serious side effects at smaller dosages.

The truth is, tea tree oil is extremely toxic if consumed or too much is absorbed through the skin.

There can be allergic reactions causing anaphylaxis as well.

I recommend reading detailed case studies and further toxicology caused by tea tree oil on TOXNET.

Because I’m a lab tech and need to test things out on my own, I decided to find out for myself how toxic tea tree oil can be and what kind of reaction it can cause.

I put 2 drops in a cup of water and swished it in my mouth and spit it out to see the nervous system side effects on myself.

I didn’t swallow this mixture with ONLY 2 drops but 10 minutes after swishing tea tree oil and water in my mouth, I started to feel dizzy.  Real dizzy!  I had to lay down for about 8 hours before I felt normal again.  It felt like I was poisoned and that’s exactly what happened!  My heart started racing higher than normal and felt a little tunnel vision.  I didn’t fully recover until the next day.

That was a 2 drop tea tree oil experiment on my own nervous system even diluted with water and not swallowing.  This is how I knew for SURE I needed to hide the tea tree oil from my kids.  This is serious.  Do not try this experiment on your own as I already suffered for you to really understand the serious side effects.

This is typical behavior from a lab tech if you happen to have any lab tech friends 🙂

What is the good from tea tree oil if there is potential for toxicity?

Even after my tea tree oil poison experiment, I still use tea tree oil for my alternative natural home medicine uses.

The essential oil is potent and that is why I keep it around for those health emergencies needing something powerful to cure it.  Here is a list of what I use tea tree oil for and how I use it:

  •  One drop of tea tree oil mixed with my natural insect repellent
  • One drop of tea tree oil mixed with olive oil for spider bites and other skin infections
  • One drop of tea tree oil mixed with coconut oil for dandruff
  • One drop of tea tree oil mixed with vinegar and water for household cleaning and mold removal

Notice the One drop used for these natural home remedies using tea tree oil.  I never use more than one drop, you don’t need to.  A bottle should last you longer than its expiration date so be sure to replace tea tree oil bottles when they expire.  Additional side effects may happen after the oil is used passed their expiration date.

NOTE: A skin test on the back of the hand with one drop or mixed with olive oil if you know you are sensitive to allergies is important to do before continued use.

Tea tree oil works so well for the 4 remedies I listed above and that is why I keep this highly toxic bottle in my house.  It works great on fungal and bacterial infections where conventional methods fail and have their own side effects as well.

Important Takeaways about Tea Tree Essential Oil

  • Use the one drop rule
  • ALWAYS do an allergy skin test on your hand before future use
  • Keep locked up and away from children
  • NEVER use orally
  • ALWAYS mix with a carrier oil like olive oil and coconut oil
  • Replace bottles before their expiration date

If you are someone who has experienced poisoning from tea tree oil or you have found some great uses that have not caused poisoning, please share your story with us.  People learn a great deal from personal stories and we would love to read them 🙂