How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection With Tea Tree Oil

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How To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection With Tea Tree OilImages: Sinusitis – via – Wikipedia – staff (2014). “Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014”. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.010. ISSN 2002-4436. lic. under CC-BY-3.0; Tea Tree Oil image – Amazon (affiliate link)

Tea Tree Essential Oil is one of the most popular natural antibiotics used in alternative health care today. Because it is readily available in most health and beauty stores (and even in pharmacies and groceries), it is often used as a home remedy to manage a variety of infections, including severe acne and even respiratory problems! You can use tea tree oil (carefully and correctly) in a variety of ways as well, from soothing rubs to inhalation therapy.

Tea tree oil comes from the Australian tree, Melaleuca alternifolia. The oil is derived specifically from the tree’s leaves and is a pale yellow to clear color. Important note – never ingest tea tree oil: Taken internally, tea tree oil is toxic because it can harm the delicate tissues that line the throat and stomach. However, because it has been found quite potent on the antibacterial front, it has been used for centuries to manage different mild to severe infections – including sinus infections. [1][2]

Tea Tree Oil And Sinus Infections

A study conducted this year in 2016 by Li, et. al. found that tea tree oil could be used to manage bacterial and fungal pneumonia – primarily through inhalation therapy or nanoemulsification. The researchers created an inhalable preparation of tea tree oil and used it to manage cases of pneumonia caused by bacteria and fungi. Culture studies revealed that the tea tree oil preparation was able to show strong antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, Acinetobacter baumannii, Klebsiella pneumonia, Staphyloccocus aureus, and Candida albicans. In terms of antifungal activity, inhaled tea tree oil was significantly more effective than fluconazole, the leading medication used to manage fungal infections. The study concluded that tea tree oil is a very effective method to manage respiratory problems without any adverse effects. [3]

How To Use Tea Tree Oil

Li, et. al’s study is a very important one to consider when using tea tree oil to manage respiratory problems, sinus infections included. The preparation used in the study is an excellent way for sinus infections, since inhalational therapy will first hit the sinuses before reaching the lungs.

#1: You can prepare your own inhalation tea tree oil therapy by adding a couple of drops into a steaming bowl or pot of hot water (not boiling! Just water hot enough to make steam). Place your face over the steaming pot and cover yourself with a towel or piece of cloth, creating a “dome” of sorts. Take a few minutes underneath to get the full benefits of the tea tree oil but stop if it seems overpowering.

#2: Another way is to purchase medical-grade saline spray and add one or two drops of tea tree oil. This is great for on-the-go use, since you can’t bring a steam bath with you to work or school. Use one to two spritzes of the saline-tea tree oil mixture in each nostril. When creating the mixture, don’t use too much tea tree oil and shake well before use.

#3: If you want to use inhalation therapy while you sleep or do some work, you can add tea tree oil into a humidifier instead. Place the humidifier near your bed or work area and add a few drops of tea tree oil into the water. This is an excellent alternative if you are too busy for a tea tree oil steam bath.

Scientific Studies

Here are further selected scientific studies that support how effective tea tree oil is at managing infections.

– Mantil, Daly, & Avis published a study in 2015 on how tea tree oil is effective as a natural antimicrobial agent. They study was also able to show how well tea tree oil is preserved, able to withstand a variety of environmental changes such as air and water exposure and temperature fluctuations. [4]

– The results of Homeyer, et. al. in 2015 showed that tea tree oil was able to exhibit strong antifungal activity in vitro. The study focused in invasive fungal infections typically seen in traumatic wounds and topically applied tea tree oil. Aside from its fungi-fighting ability, tea tree oil didn’t harm the healing tissue in anyway, suggesting a potential use of TTO in the management of fungal infections. [5]

– Because of the never ending search for the perfect acne-fighting product, tea tree oil has risen to the top of the ranks in terms of skincare for acne-prone skin. Hammer (2015) reviewed tea tree oils effectiveness in treating acne, finding that it was able to combat mild to moderate acne without causing damage to healthy skin. [6]

For more detailed info, see our full page on Tea Tree Essential Oil.

Note – as with all our content, this article is not medical advice, not evaluated by the FDA and is not a claim of efficacy. We report on the findings and claims of others regarding natural remedies and are not directly affiliated with any specific essential oil brand. Never take tea tree internally and keep out of the reach of children.


[1] University of Michigan. Tea Tree Oil.

[2] National Capital Poison Center. Tea Tree Oil.

[3] Li, M., et. al. (2016). Treatment of acne with tea tree oil (melaleuca) products: a review of efficacy, tolerability and potential modes of action.Tea tree oil nanoemulsions for inhalation therapies of bacterial and fungal pneumonia.

[4] Mantil, E., Daly, G., & Avis, T. (2015). Effect of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil as a natural antimicrobial agent in lipophilic formulations.

[5] Homeyer, D., et. al. (2015). In vitro activity of Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree) oil on filamentous fungi and toxicity to human cells.

[6] Hammer, K. (2015). Treatment of acne with tea tree oil (melaleuca) products: a review of efficacy, tolerability and potential modes of action.

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