How much tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed

Tea Tree Oil Remedy and Poison

The Bottom Line

Tea tree oil has been used as a "natural" remedy for a long time, especially for skin afflictions. There is some scientific evidence that tea tree oil can be effective for certain skin conditions. It is poisonous if swallowed and so should not be used in or around the mouth at all.

The Full Story

Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of an Australian tree called Melaleuca alternifolia. It is an essential oil with a long history of use as a natural remedy for skin ailments and other conditions. Unfortunately, sometimes "natural" is confused with "non-toxic" or "non-poisonous".

Tea tree oil, like many other "natural" substances, can indeed be poisonous if used in the wrong way, especially if swallowed. In 2011, Poison Control received nearly twice as many calls about tea tree oil than any other named essential oil, including cinnamon oil, clove oil, and eucalyptus oil. More than 10 percent of people exposed to tea tree oil were treated in a hospital or doctor's office.

Tea tree oil is sold as a pure essential oil, in over-the-counter and herbal remedies for skin conditions, and as an ingredient in household cleaning products.

Traditional uses: The National Library of Medicine (NLM) lists a number of traditional or theoretical uses of tea tree oil. NLM notes that these uses have not all been tested for safety or effectiveness. Skin conditions feature prominently in traditional uses of tea tree oil: bruises, burns, canker sores, corns, eczema, insect bites, psoriasis, rosacea, scabies, skin infections, etc. A number of respiratory conditions are noted: colds, cough, bronchial congestion, and nose and throat irritation. A wide variety of other conditions are also listed as traditional uses: melanoma, body odor, and infections of the bone and prostate.

Medical studies:  A number of studies have examined the effects of tea tree oil on individual cells; many of these indicate some activity against microbes and fungi. There are few studies in humans that affirm the effectiveness and safety of tea tree oil and that have been successfully repeated. So far, studies do not support the idea that tea tree oil boosts the immune system.

A few studies of effects on skin conditions include:

  • A 1994 study compared tea tree oil to the antifungal drug clotrimazole in treating fingernail fungus. Both had approximately the same effect.
  • A 1990 study comparing tea tree oil to benzoyl peroxide in treating acne found that both were effective, tea tree oil took longer to work, and the tea tree oil patients had fewer side effects.
  • A 1992 study of tea tree oil, the antifungal drug tolnaftate, and a placebo showed that tea tree oil was no better than the placebo in curing the fungus infection, though it did improve the patient's symptoms as much as tolnaftate.

Side effects: Tea tree oil can sometimes irritate the skin, especially in higher concentrations. It has also caused allergic skin reactions. There is a single report of breast enlargement in a young boy who used products containing lavender oil and tea tree oil; laboratory studies of the oil itself indicated that tea tree oil may have hormonal effects. (It's likely that if this were a common effect it would have been noted long ago; the authors published the information so that physicians could consider essential oils when treating boys with breast enlargement.)

Poisoning: Tea tree oil is known to be poisonous if swallowed. A child who swallowed a small amount given to him by mistake went into a coma (from which he recovered). Tea tree oil should NOT be taken by mouth for any reason, even though some traditional uses include tea tree oil as a mouthwash, treatment for bad breath, and treatment of toothache and mouth ulcers.

Tea tree oil and pets: Veterinary toxicologists have reported that large amounts of tea tree oil applied to the skin of cats and dogs caused poisoning. Symptoms have included muscle tremors, weakness, difficulty in walking, low body temperature, and excessive salivation. With pets, as with people, following label instructions is essential.

Non-medicinal uses: Tea tree oil is found in some household products, including cleaning products. It is promoted as being "natural" and "better for the environment".  As noted above, "natural" does not necessarily mean "non-toxic" or "non-poisonous"; tea tree oil is irritating to some people and is poisonous to swallow. Also, studies would be needed to determine if tea tree oil is environmentally safe. These products should be used according to label instructions and stored safely in their original containers, out of reach of children, and apart from medicines and food.

The bottom line: Tea tree oil has been used as a "natural" remedy for a long time, especially for skin afflictions. There is some scientific evidence that tea tree oil can be effective for certain skin conditions. It is poisonous if swallowed and so should not be used in or around the mouth at all.

If someone may have swallowed tea tree oil, immediately check the webPOISONCONTROL® online tool or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. Don't wait to see what will happen first, as swallowed tea tree oil can cause dangerous poisoning in less than thirty minutes.

Rose Ann Gould Soloway, RN, BSN, MSEd, DABAT emerita
Clinical Toxicologist


Call 1-800-222-1222 or

HELP ME online

Prevention Tips

  • Store tea tree oil like other medicines: in its original container, locked out of sight and reach of children.
  • So not use tea tree oil in or around the mouth.

This Really Happened

Case 1: An elderly male swallowed a teaspoon of tea tree oil to treat an unknown illness. He called Poison Control about 2 hours later complaining of dizziness and vomiting. His speech was slurred. He was referred in to the nearest emergency room by Poison Control. Emergency medical services came to the home and performed an EKG and vital signs, which were normal. The patient declined to go to the emergency room. His wife observed him at home. Poison Control called the home 2 hours later and he was much better. A day later in another follow-up call from Poison Control to the patient, he reported he was fine.

Case 2: A middle-aged woman used tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide 3% as an enema. She had obtained this advice online. Twelve hours later an emergency physician called Poison Control. The patient had presented with bloody diarrhea. She required treatment with intravenous fluids and pain medication.

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For More Information

Tea tree oil (NIH)


Bassett IB, Pannowitz DL, Barnetson RS. A comparative study of tea tree oil vs. benzoyl peroxide in the treatment of acne. Med J Aust 1990;153:455-8.

Mowry JB, Spyker DA, Cantilena LR, Bailey JE, Ford M. 2012 Annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers' National Data Collection System (NPDS): 30th annual report. Clinical Toxicology. 2013;51:949-1229.

Buck DS, Nidorf DM, Addino JG. Comparison of two topical preparations for the treatment of onychomycosis: Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil and clotrimazole. J Fam Pract.1994;38:601-5.

Henley DV, Lipson N, Korach KS, Bloch CA. Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. N Engl J Med 2007;356:479-85.

Morris, M. C., Donoghue, A., Markowitz, J. A., and Osterhoudt, K. C. Ingestion of tea tree oil (Melaleuca oil) by a 4-year-old boy. Pediatric Emergency Care. 2003;19[3]:169-171.

Tong MM, Altman PM, Barnetson RS. Tea tree oil in the treatment of tinea pedis. Australia J Dermatol 1992;33:145-9.

Villar D, Knight MJ, Hansen SR, Buck WB. Toxicity of melaleuca oil and related essential oils applied topically on dogs and cats. Vet Human Toxicol 1994;36(2):139-142.


Call 1-800-222-1222 or

HELP ME online

Prevention Tips

  • Store tea tree oil like other medicines: in its original container, locked out of sight and reach of children.
  • So not use tea tree oil in or around the mouth.

This Really Happened

Case 1: An elderly male swallowed a teaspoon of tea tree oil to treat an unknown illness. He called Poison Control about 2 hours later complaining of dizziness and vomiting. His speech was slurred. He was referred in to the nearest emergency room by Poison Control. Emergency medical services came to the home and performed an EKG and vital signs, which were normal. The patient declined to go to the emergency room. His wife observed him at home. Poison Control called the home 2 hours later and he was much better. A day later in another follow-up call from Poison Control to the patient, he reported he was fine.

Case 2: A middle-aged woman used tea tree oil and hydrogen peroxide 3% as an enema. She had obtained this advice online. Twelve hours later an emergency physician called Poison Control. The patient had presented with bloody diarrhea. She required treatment with intravenous fluids and pain medication.

Poison Control

Contact Poison Control right away if you suspect a poisoning. Help is available online with webPOISONCONTROL® or by phone at 1-800-222-1222. Both options are free, expert, and confidential.

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Essential oil poisoning (Page 1)

Updated: 10/07/2022

I recently took a tea tree essential oil bath (10 drops + tbsp salt). I sat in it for about 15 minutes. And in my room an aroma lamp with lavender oil was lit. Then, when I went into the bath, I already felt that I was sick - it was stuffy there and smelled strongly of tea tree. As a result, I lay in bed for two days with malaise and severe nausea. I never vomited, only vomited. Now the third day - I'm better, but still nauseous. I hardly eat these days. Please tell me what to do and how next time not to get into the same situation? What did I do wrong?
Thank you!

2 Reply from Gleb Kamalutdinov 03/19/2015 07:55:38 PM

Well, people . . then the Muscat will overeat, then. Alena, try the usual detox procedures. Drink ginger with zira and coriander, fennel, some tonics for the brain and heart.
If you want to find out why this happened to you, then it is better to do it within the framework of an individual consultation, in my opinion.

3 Reply from Viktor Savushkin 03/23/2015 2:10:35 PM

I wonder where in the shastras it is described what to do in case of poisoning?

From the wiki: "intoxication - . the word intoxication has a narrower meaning, and describes the phenomenon itself, but not external influences." Chapter 7 "Protection of food" AHS 7.22-24 (T. Sheekumar) uses the word mada (intoxication) as a sign of poisoning and vami (nausea, vomiting) in the same place.

For example LIQORICE - "treats . poisoning, nausea ***". Can I take licorice tea?

Su, Sū., 46:
teṣāṃ lohitakaḥ śreṣṭho doṣaghnaḥ śukramūtralaḥ / (6.1)
vraṇyo jvaraharaścaiva sarvadoṣaviṣāpahaḥ / (7. 1)

More about poisoning:
- cow's milk (mada) // AHS, 5.25-27
- honey (viṣa) // AHS, 5.57-58
- surasa (Holy basil - lat. Ocimum sanctum) - viṣa (poison ) // AHS 6.109
And about another type of basil sumukha (Ocimum americanum, "hoary basil") next to it says - gara // in translations = compound poisons/toxins; artificial (homicidal) poison; noxious or poisonous beverage - also something poisonous.

4 Reply from Gleb Kamalutdinov 03/23/2015 18:20:59


5 Reply from Viktor Savushkin on 05/16/2015 06:26:05 PM Edited by Viktor Savushkin (05/16/2015 06:37:37 PM)

In the Ayurveda Kitchen Pharmacy audio lecture (Andrey Golovinov):
2:08:50 // about black cardamom
"Viṣa are already toxins, they are, as it were, not endogenous, but such a toxic effect can be used in case of poisoning. Spoiled food, that is, not associated with indigestion ([when] sluggish intoxication), namely poisoning."

6 Reply from Andrey Golovinov 05/16/2015 18:45:14

Direct speech is a horror when written.

The point is that there is ama-visa and visha.

Visha are exogenous toxins (snake bites, artificial poisons, spoiled food, etc.).

Endogenous intoxication (ama-visa) is associated with indigestion against the background of manda-agni, when ama is first formed, and over time, the process of "sourness" (suktata) occurs with it and ama turns into endogenous toxins (ama-visha).

Therefore, for example, in the passage from Svayamkṛti about tea we see:

śyāmaparṇī . cātiyogāt mada mohādikāriṇī ||

Tea leaf. when consumed in excess, causes intoxication, mental disturbances, and other similar conditions.

1) intoxication
state of intoxication - state of intoxication
2) excitement; ecstasy
3) honey. intoxication

Essential oils may cause poisoning. Safety instructions

Essential oils are obtained from plants. Because they have a pronounced aroma, they are often used in perfumes, cosmetics, and air fresheners. Many essential oils are also used in medicine.

The most popular of these are camphor, peppermint, sage, lavender, clove, cinnamon, tea tree, eucalyptus, sandalwood and bergamot oils.

Essential oils are considered safe by most people because they are natural and have been used for a long time. In some cases this is not true. Many essential oils can cause skin rashes and even poisoning.

They are not medicines, they do not undergo the same thorough research, but people continue to drink them, apply them to the skin and use them in inhalers, despite the fact that inhaling the essential oil can cause pneumonia.

In addition, some people may have an individual intolerance or allergy to the components of the oil. Children are more susceptible to toxic effects than adults because their skin is thinner and their livers are not yet fully developed.

Because essential oils are generally not subject to certification, it can be difficult to tell exactly what is in the bottle—what plant species, what concentration of active ingredient, and if there are any impurities.

The following is known about essential oils:

• Peppermint oil is used to relieve discomfort in the gastrointestinal tract. It is important to choose the right variety of mint, as some of them are toxic; for example, pennyroyal oil is very dangerous for the liver.
• Wintergreen oil is used in some topical pain relievers. But wintergreen oil is very dangerous if swallowed. Small amounts of this oil are used in food flavorings, but swallowing large amounts can be fatal.
• Tea tree oil is used for some types of fungal infections of the skin.
• Nutmeg oil is used in cooking, but if misused or abused, can cause hallucinations and coma.
• Eucalyptus oil is used for inhalation for colds and coughs. If swallowed, eucalyptus oil can cause convulsions.
• Sage oil is a natural flavoring, spice and medicinal product. Also, like eucalyptus oil, it can cause convulsions if swallowed.
• Camphor oil is used as a moth and skin treatment. Even small amounts of camphor are dangerous if swallowed. Seizures can start within minutes. Camphor poisoning can also occur with frequent topical application in children.

It is very important to use and store essential oils correctly.

• If essential oil is contained in a cosmetic product, use it according to label directions. If a rash or other skin reaction occurs, rinse gently and discontinue use immediately.
• If essential oil is used in perfumes or hygiene products, keep these products out of the reach of children.
• For medicinal purposes, use essential oil only as directed on the label.
• If you have young children, avoid using essential oils. If this is not possible, keep oils out of the reach of children and pets.

How long does tea tree oil poisoning last in dogs?

Pets may show signs of essential oil toxicity within 2–8 hours (Villar et al, 1994) and usually in less than 24 hours (Genovese et al, 2012), but may initially be non-specific and easily overlooked. Recovery often occurs within 24 hours, but may take longer.

How long does tea tree oil last for dogs?

According to an ASPCA study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, your dog will show symptoms 2-12 hours after exposure. Mild to severe symptoms of tea tree oil poisoning include hypersalivation (excessive salivation).

Can dogs be cured of essential oil poisoning?

Some types of oils are more toxic than others, so recovery may depend on which oils are ingested. There is no antidote for this poisoning; however, with early intervention and supportive care, most dogs can survive.

How long does essential oil poisoning last in dogs?

Signs may persist for up to 4 days with active care and treatment.

What should I do if my dog ​​has been exposed to tea tree oil?

If your dog or cat has been exposed to tea tree oil, call your veterinarian or the Pet Poisoning Helpline immediately. You must hydrate your pet so that he or she responds better to treatment. With prompt and proper treatment, your pet should have a good chance of recovery.

Is tea tree oil poisonous to dogs?

Pet toxicity

Tea tree oil is often found in varying concentrations and high concentrations should never be used in pets. Just 7 drops of 100% oil resulted in severe poisoning, while 10-20 ml of 100% oil resulted in poisoning and death in both dogs and cats.

What happens if dogs lick tea tree oil?

Although products containing low concentrations of tea tree oil are not expected to be a problem for pets, the use of pure tea tree oil directly on the skin is potentially very dangerous for pets and should never be used. Exposure can cause ataxia, salivation, lethargy, coma, and tremor.

What happens if a dog swallows essential oils?

Signs and symptoms of essential oil poisoning in pets include vomiting, diarrhoea, staggering, drooling, depression, lethargy, weakness, tremors and abnormal behavior. There is a significant association between weight, age, and type of animal, especially cats, with disease severity.

How toxic are essential oils to dogs?

Pets (as well as humans) can suffer chemical burns if essential oils come into direct contact with the skin. If pets lick off stains of these oils, they can suffer chemical burns and other toxic effects. Cats are especially sensitive to many essential oils, and even a couple of licks can be harmful.

Can essential oils cause diarrhea in dogs?

If your dog comes into contact with essential oils, or worse, ingests them, you may notice several symptoms, including: Vomiting. Diarrhea. Drooling.

Can essential oils cause vomiting in dogs?

Symptoms include lethargy, unsteadiness, or even low body temperature in the most severe cases. Swallowing essential oils may also cause salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Remember, skin absorption or ingestion is more dangerous than inhalation in most cases.

Can essential oils cause liver damage in dogs?

Our pets react more strongly to these products than we do. Many essential oils are toxic to pets and can cause severe respiratory irritation, gastrointestinal upset, liver failure, paralysis, and other life-threatening symptoms listed below.

How do I know if my dog ​​is allergic to essential oils?

How do I know if my pet is reacting to essential oils?

  1. Breathing problems.
  2. Difficulty walking.
  3. Drooling.
  4. Fatigue.
  5. Muscle tremor.
  6. Pat face/mouth.
  7. Rash develops on the skin.
  8. Redness or burning of the lips, tongue, skin or gums.

How long does poisonous tea tree oil last?

If someone has swallowed tea tree oil, check the web page immediately. ® online or call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222. Don't wait to see what happens first, as ingested tea tree oil can cause dangerous poisoning in less than thirty minutes.

What happens if you accidentally swallow tea tree oil?

Swallowing large amounts may cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. It can also cause symptoms such as drowsiness, loss of coordination, hallucinations, and weakness. It can also cause coma. With frequent coughing and choking, some of the oil can "slip" into the lungs.

Essential oils

Over 100 essential oils with different names and/or active ingredients can be purchased in Estonia. In addition, they are brought from trips.

Various essential oils have long been a popular home remedy. They are used both to lubricate the skin, to create therapeutic steam and as an additive to bath water. Since these are natural products, they are considered safe by most consumers and are often unreasonably used for young children. Still, it is important to remember that we are dealing here with substances that, if used carelessly, can cause acute poisoning if swallowed, inhaled as a vapor or applied to the skin.

"Natural" does not automatically mean "safe"

When using essential oils, it is important to remember that these oils are volatile and fragrant mixtures of esters, aldehydes, ketones and turpentine. They are obtained from plants by extraction and synthetic preparation. Hence their name "natural" - in the case of potent products, their composition can be 100% natural. When using essential oils, it must be remembered that the amount of active ingredient in 1 drop of these oils largely depends on the type of oil, and the dose may not be the same for different oils.

In addition, different essential oils can have different effects on the human body, for example, citronella oil has an irritating and photosensitizing effect. In addition, there are oils that cause hepatotoxicity when taken orally - while the poisoning is similar, for example, to poisoning due to the use of acetaminophen (paracetamol). Essential oils irritate mucous membranes and the gastrointestinal tract, causing nausea and vomiting.

It is important to know that children are more sensitive to essential oils than adults. At higher doses, dizziness, inhibition of the central nervous system may occur, convulsions and arrhythmias may appear. Already 2-3 ml of pure eucalyptus oil cause disorders of the central nervous system when taken orally, and 5 ml cause loss of consciousness. There have been cases of dangerous lung damage in infants when using essential oils as inhalers. Namely, essential oils diffuse through the lungs to the surface of the alveoli of the lung, interfering with the work of the vital surfactant necessary for the absorption of oxygen.

Essential oils are also sold diluted, also in the form of ethanol solutions (containing, for example, 10-20% essential oil), and are usually suitable for skin application in limited quantities. Always keep an eye on what exactly is in the bottle - 100% oil or 10-20% solution!

Make sure that essential oils, especially 100% oils, are stored at a safe height, out of the reach of children!

Essential oil, like any other medicine, should be applied externally as directed.

First Aid

  • If you accidentally swallow a few drops of essential oil, rinse your mouth thoroughly and observe the condition at home.
  • Remove oil-stained clothing immediately and wash oil on skin with soap and water.
  • In case of contact with eyes, immediately rinse eyes with plenty of running water for 15 minutes.
  • If pain and watery eyes persist, see an ophthalmologist.
  • If you have swallowed a large amount of oil or have symptoms after steam or essential oil treatment, call ☎️ 16662!
  • In case of loss of consciousness: call an ambulance ☎️ 112!

Information on this topic in the media:

Pay attention!

In the natural environment of Estonia there are several substances dangerous for human life, which are certainly 100% natural, but their effects are not suitable for the human body. There are many other life-threatening plants in Estonian nature, and fatal poisoning occurs when these plants are eaten or the active ingredients of these plants are misused. No one doubts that, for example, white or green fly agaric, colchicum, rhubarb leaves, etc. are natural, but people are also aware of their danger to the human body.

Are essential oils dangerous? 5 reasons to carefully choose a fragrance

Do you like to arrange a relaxation session: light an aroma smoker or rub yourself with essential oils after a hot bath? Such harmless procedures can lead to serious consequences. Why? Essential oils are extracts and extracts from plants. The concentrated liquid enters the body through the pores and respiratory tract, strongly affecting us.

They interact with drugs

You are taking medication without realizing that a particular fragrance may affect your health in conjunction with the medication. This happens if you use fragrances based on natural oils. Which combination of ether and drugs is considered dangerous:

  • peppermint interacts dangerously with anticoagulant drugs;
  • lavender ether is useful for tumors, but in combination with drugs for tumors, it can have a negative effect.

Before diving into the world of aromatherapy, consult with your physician. The doctor will tell you which oils are safe for you during this period, and which ones are better to refrain from.

They may be toxic.

Concentrated odor may affect the liver. The use of such oils is fraught with damage to this organ. Vivid signs of damage are dizziness, nausea. For harmless use, dilute the ester with base oils. For these purposes, use coconut, olive oil or apricot, grape seed oil. And one more thing: some essential oils contribute to the manifestation of allergic reactions to flowering plants.

They can irritate the skin

Even if you are the most allergy resistant person, essential oil can cause itching and redness. The most allergenic are essential oils of cinnamon, lemongrass and lemon, as well as oregano. These are the most aggressive esters. But even soft oils cannot be applied to the skin in its pure form. As already mentioned, the ether must be diluted with base oil.

They are dangerous to take orally

There are oils that can and should be taken orally. But this does not negate the fact that some types of esters can cause severe poisoning. Lemon oil and tea tree oil cause nausea, dizziness, stomach pain and even upset. If a child accidentally drank an essential oil, see a doctor immediately or, as a last resort, do a gastric lavage.

They are a danger to women in position

Even if you have been scenting a room with a diffuser or making face masks with ether all your life, now you need to stop doing this. Or take their choice with great responsibility. Smells can cause nausea and even premature birth. Which esters are safe for pregnant women, and which ones should be avoided? Learn about it here.

Please do not self-medicate! In case of symptoms of the disease - consult a doctor.

See also:

  • Pharyngitis in adults: symptoms, treatment, prevention at home
  • How to identify worms in a cat?
  • About the use of masks
  • 10 myths about rabies / Sudo Null IT News
  • Bowel diseases

Tea tree oil lice treatment: does it work?


  • What does the study say?
  • Tea tree oil is promising
  • It can repel lice
  • Many uses of tea tree oil have not been proven.
  • What are the risks of using tea tree oil?
  • Never swallow this
  • What is the correct dose?
  • Proceed with caution

Controversial treatment

Tea tree oil is obtained from the leaves of the tea tree. Australian Aborigines have used it medicinally for centuries. People around the world continue to use tea tree oil as a remedy for many ailments.

Among other things, some people believe that tea tree oil can kill lice. But not all experts are sure about this. More research is needed before scientists can draw conclusions.

What does the study say?

According to the Mayo Clinic, more research is needed to find out how effective tea tree oil is for head lice. In particular, scientists need to conduct more large, well-designed trials.

Meanwhile, some early research suggests that tea tree oil may be helpful in treating head lice. For example, one study published in Parasitological Research suggests that it can kill lice in the nymph stage and adult stage. The tea tree oil treatment also reduced the number of hatched lice eggs.

Tea tree oil shows promise

Another study published in BMC Dermatology also showed promising results. The researchers used three different products to treat children with head lice, including one that contained tea tree oil and lavender oil.

After the last day of treatment, almost all children who were treated with tea tree and lavender were free of lice. The same applies to children who have been treated with an agent designed to suffocate lice. In contrast, only a quarter of the children treated with pyrethrins and piperonyl butoxide were free from lice. Pyrethrin and piperonyl butoxide are common ingredients in anti-lice shampoos.

It may repel lice

Another study published in the International Journal of Dermatology compared herbal and synthetic substances for the prevention of head lice in primary school children. The researchers compared tea tree oil, lavender oil, peppermint oil, and DEET.

Tea tree oil itself has proven to be the most effective treatment. Tea tree oil and peppermint have proven to be the most beneficial for repelling lice. Tea tree oil and lavender have also been found to prevent lice from feeding on treated skin. While the results are encouraging, the researchers concluded that none of the treatments were effective enough to be approved.

Many uses of tea tree oil have not been proven.

In addition to preventing and killing lice on the skin, some people find that tea tree oil is helpful in removing lice from underwear. But there is no scientific evidence that this strategy works. More research is needed to find out how tea tree oil can be used to prevent and control head lice outbreaks.

What are the risks of using tea tree oil?

According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), it is considered safe for most adults to apply diluted tea tree oil to the skin. But this poses some risk of side effects.

For example, tea tree oil contains a compound that can irritate the skin. In some people, this can cause an allergic reaction known as contact dermatitis. Its repeated use can also lead to an increase in breast tissue in prepubertal boys. The NCCIH warns that in one study, a boy experienced breast enlargement after using hair products containing tea tree oil and lavender oil.

Never swallow it

If you choose to use tea tree oil, use it topically. Never swallow it.

According to NCCIH, tea tree oil is toxic if swallowed. This can cause drowsiness, confusion, rashes, and loss of control of the muscles in the arms and legs. At least one person has slipped into a coma after drinking tea tree oil.

What is the correct dose?

If you want to use tea tree oil to treat lice, you may be wondering how much you should use. The Mayo Clinic reports that no specific dose of tea tree oil has been proven to be clinically effective.

Some clinical trials have used 1 to 10 percent tea tree oil in a shampoo or gel formula.

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