Of all the natural herpes remedies, tea tree oil is one of the most popular and well-known. That’s probably because tea tree oil is already popular as an alternative treatment for plenty of other ailments. So how reliable is this tea tree oil herpes remedy?
(For informational purposes only. What works for one person will not work for all people, and you should always talk to your doctor before embarking on any course of treatment. This is not medical advice.)
What is Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil is a medicinal essential oil distilled from the leaves of a plant native to Australia. Aboriginals have long used it to treat skin wounds such as cuts and burns.
There’s only a limited body of research on its effectiveness, and it hasn’t been evaluated by the FDA.
However, it’s popular in alternative health for many natural remedies, such as for acne, insect bites, mites, and athlete’s foot.
It’s also sometimes an ingredient in scalp-soothing shampoos and facial cleansers.
Tea tree oil is likely popular because of its properties as a natural antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal with analgesic properties.
Should Tea Tree Oil be Used for Herpes?
Tea tree oil is inexpensive and natural. Because it is a natural product, it is generally safe, effective and without negative effects.
However, it is strong, and can sometimes irritate existing problems.
Since its pure form is so potent, it can be more soothing in a carrier oil or as an ingredient. It comes distilled and concentrated for maximum efficiency.
For a list of topical treatments for herpes and the studies about them, check out our page Topical Herpes Treatments.
Safety and Warnings
- Keep away from pets: Tea tree oil is toxic to cats and should be kept away from them, including the fumes.
- Never swallow tea tree oil. It’s not meant for oral use, and doing so could cause serious side effects like confusion and loss of coordination.
- Patch test first. Tea tree oil is safe for use on the skin for most people, but some people can have allergic reactions like dermatitis and other irritation.
- Don’t use if pregnant or breastfeeding. There’s not enough research into its safety for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
How to use Tea Tree Oil for Skin
- Wash both hands with water and soap. After washing, dry them with a clean towel.
- Use the eye-dropper that is included with the bottle and use just one drop of the oil on the area.
- Wash your hands again.
- Repeat 2 to 4 times daily.
Please note: If you’ve never used tea tree oil before, it is recommended that you dilute it in a “carrier” oil such as olive oil or almond oil and apply that to a small area of skin first, to test for skin sensitivity.
It is important to wash your hands before and after applying tea tree oil (or any other remedy) as it prevents an outbreak from becoming more irritated by oils and dirt on your hands. Washing hands after treatment can reduces your risk of spreading the infection.
Does It Work?
The FDA has not evaluated tea tree oil and of course it is recommended that you consult with your doctor before embarking on any course of treatment.
There is no cure for herpes, so the tea tree oil remedy can’t cure you of the virus. It’s only said by some people to help stop and reduce outbreaks.
For the best result, any treatment is best done at the first sign of symptoms.
Where to Get Tea Tree Oil
Here’s an example of a popular tea tree oil on Amazon. (Affiliate link.)
There’s no need to feel ashamed because of herpes. Millions and millions people all around the world have the same problem. Many of them don’t even know they have it. Herpes isn’t a dangerous disease, but can be annoying. This site has information about life with herpes, so visit often and take a look around.