Your web browser is out of date

For the best experience, please upgrade. Learn more

Tea Tree Essential Oil Shown Effective Against Staph Bacteria

Staphylococcus bacteria are the cause of infection in many, many situations (ranging from acne to life-threatening systemic and bronchial infections). MRSA, a drug-resistant strain of this bacteria has been dubbed ‘the superbug’ due to its challenging medical implications. Many, many studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals describing the antibacterial action of Tea Tree essential [...]

Staphylococcus bacteria are the cause of infection in many, many situations (ranging from acne to life-threatening systemic and bronchial infections). MRSA, a drug-resistant strain of this bacteria has been dubbed ‘the superbug’ due to its challenging medical implications.

Many, many studies have been published in peer-reviewed journals describing the antibacterial action of Tea Tree essential oil. Tea tree is probably the most well known and widely used antibacterial essential oil bar none. It is inexpensive and very safe to use (though some find it’s aroma not especially appealing. We have found very fresh Tea Tree oil to actually have a pleasing sent).

Tea tree appears to exert its antibacterial action by disrupting the integrity of cell membranes of the bacteria, causing ‘leaks’ in the cell walls to occur. Also, when individual chemicals were isolated from Tea Tree oil, these did not have as potent an effect as the complete oil (as is often the case with natural medicines). Due to the vigor of the MRSA bacteria, however, it has also been found that a blend of oils, also including Geranium, has been more effective. The blend is not available to the public, however, as the researchers are preparing a commercial formula.

Here are a few abstracts and studies describing the actions of Tea Tree on varieties of Staph bacteria:

Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus and wounds: a review of tea tree oil as a promising antimicrobial.

Halcón L, Milkus K.School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria continue to be a major health concern worldwide. In particular, Staphylococcus aureus, both methicillin-resistant and -sensitive, are of concern in their ability to cause difficult skin and underlying tissue infections. Melaleuca alternifolia oil (tea tree oil), an essential oil, has demonstrated promising efficacy in fighting these infections. Tea tree oil has been used for centuries as a botanical medicine and has only in recent decades surfaced in the scientific literature as a promising adjunctive wound alleviation. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and has demonstrated the ability to activate monocytes. There are few apparent side effects of using tea tree oil topically in low concentrations, with contact dermatitis being the most common.

Tea tree oil has been effective as an adjunctive therapy in fighting osteomyelitis and infected chronic wounds in case studies and small clinical trials. There is a need for larger clinical trials to further examine the efficacy of tea tree oil as an adjunctive wound therapy, as well as improved guidelines for developing plant-based medicines.

Study: A randomized, controlled trial of tea tree topical preparations versus a standard topical regimen for the clearance of MRSA colonization.

Dryden MS, Dailly S, Crouch M. Department of Microbiology and Communicable Disease, Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 5DG, UK.

Two topical MRSA eradication regimes were compared in hospital patients: a standard exposure included mupirocin 2% nasal ointment, chlorhexidine gluconate 4% soap, silver sulfadiazine 1% cream versus a tea tree oil regimen, which included tea tree 10% cream, tea tree 5% body wash, both given for five days. One hundred and fourteen patients received standard protocol and 56 (49%) were cleared of MRSA carriage. One hundred and ten received tea tree oil regimen and 46 (41%) were cleared. There was no significant difference between regimens (Fisher’s exact test; P = 0.0286). Mupirocin was significantly more effective at clearing nasal carriage (78%) than tea tree cream (47%; P = 0.0001) but tea tree exposure was more effective than chlorhexidine or silver sulfadiazine at clearing superficial skin sites and skin lesions. The tea tree preparations were effective, safe and well tolerated and could be considered in regimens for eradication of MRSA carriage.

Antimicrobial effects of tea-tree oil and its major components on Staphylococcus aureus, Staph. epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes.

Raman A, Weir U, Bloomfield SF.Department of Pharmacy, King’s College London, UK.

Major components of two tea-tree oil samples were identified using a thin layer and gas-liquid chromatography (TLC and GLC). Using a TLC-bioautographic technique, the tea-tree oils, terpinen-4-ol, alpha-terpineol, and alpha-pinene were found to be active against Staphylococcus aureus, Staph. epidermidis and Propionibacterium acnes whereas cineole was inactive against these organisms. The MIC values of the three active compounds increased in the order alpha-terpineol < terpinen-4-ol < pinene for all three micro-organisms. MIC values of the tea-tree oils and terpinen-4-ol were lower for P. acnes than for the two staphylococci. This study supports the use of tea-tree oil in the fight of acne and demonstrates that terpinen-4-ol is not the sole active constituent of the oil.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Individual weight loss results will vary. By using this site you agree to follow the Privacy Policy and all Terms & Conditions printed on this site. Void Where Prohibited By Law.Consult with a physician before use if you have a serious medical condition or use prescription medications. A Doctor’s advice should be sought before using this and any supplemental dietary product.

Share Share

Discover how to enhance your life with Mother Nature’s remedies

We’ve got the blueprints for health, beauty, spirituality, and more..

Start Quiz

Thank You for Your Incredible Support

It Comes with the Greatest Pleasure To let You Know… that…Because of YOU Ananda has Managed to Survive one of the Most Uncertain Times of its Tenure  ~ We can not thank you enough for your enormous patience, understanding and support. From your incoming calls, comments on social media, direct messages across various channels, emails […]


Here are a small fraction of the heartfelt responses we have received following the notice of our business closure and liquidation sale. We offer all of you a deserved shout out for being the improbable,  most essential, significant, factor in creating the Dream you are voicing to us: Hope for a Sustainable Future and Provider […]

Stay Connected!

DON’T BE A STRANGER… We’ve Been Friends Forever (BFF)! LET’S KEEP CONNECTED! When you provide your email address we can include you in future updates about our next steps; or where you can find Ananda products; similar high quality oils; or the plethora of information on essential oils of which we have offered on the […]

Thank You For your Support

Thank You For your Support Since 2004 The Ananda Apothecary is Closing Business   SAD BUT TRUE As previously disclosed, The Ananda Apothecary has been greatly affected by to the global health situation. Bottom line is, we were increasing growing slim on product with no resupply any time soon. We are unable to get goods […]

Spring Cleaning Special


Reduce Anxiety with These Essential Oils Daily

There’s tons of research on Lavender helping sleep and anxiety (see this post) but what does the science say about other daily-use oils. For those who’d love to try something different, there’s a great many other essential oils have been shown to have anxiety and depression-reducing properties in laboratory studies.* Sweet Orange has been the […]