(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Family: Myrtaceae
Description: Ti-tree is also spelled tea-tree, and is a shrub or small tree with needlelike leaves, which grows best in swampy ground. Also known as paper bark, the bark of ti-tree is white and papery. The essential oil is steam- or water-distilled from the leaves and twigs.

Country of origin: Australia

Characteristics: Ti-tree has warm, spicy, camphoraceous top notes with pungent, medicinal undertones. It blends well with most spices and herbs and also with lavender, pine and
Main therapeutic properties: Anti-microbial, antiseptic, anti-viral, bactericide, cicatrizant, expectorant, fungicide, immuno-stimulant, stimulant.


Ti-tree is the most medicinal of the essential oils, with powerful antimicrobial activity against all three of the infectious organisms: bacteria, viruses and fungi. When diffused in an oil burner, ti-tree is particularly helpful in preventing the spread of air-borne infections. Together with its powerful immuno-stimulant properties, ti-tree is a real ally in combating many illnesses and ailments. Overall, it is penetrating, medicinal and stimulating.
Athlete’s foot, vaginal thrush, cold sores, herpes, insect bites, spots, acne and minor abrasions all respond well to local applications of ti-tree. In steam inhalations, it prevents colds and flu developing, and if they do manifest, it aids recovery and alleviates symptoms. Ti-tree in massage and bath oils can help boost those with weak immune systems, and it helps with long-term debilitating illnesses such as glandular fever. Mixed into aloe-vera gel, ti-tree helps to alleviate the pain of shingles.
Psychologically, ti-tree is strengthening and warming. Its aroma is distinctly medicinal and many people find it more palatable when it is blended. Ti-tree invigorates mind, body and spirit; inspires confidence; and dispels the doom and gloom of chronic ill health. Ti-tree also strengthens subtle energies.

Contraindications: Do not use on very sensitive skin. Use in moderation — no more than 4 drops in the bath, and no more than 2 per cent in massage oils. Avoid direct contact with the skin, except directly on spots, verrucas and cold sores.