The effect of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) on wound healing using a dressing model

J Altern Complement Med. 2013 Dec;19(12):942-5. doi: 10.1089/acm.2012.0787. Epub 2013 Jul 13.


Numerous studies have shown the promising antibacterial effects of Melaleuca alternifolia, or tea tree essential oil. The study detailed here replicates in humans a 2004 in vitro study that used a dressing model over Petri dishes to determine the antimicrobial effects of the fumes of tea tree essential oil. The current study used the same dressing model with patients who had wounds infected with Staphylococcus aureus. Ten participants volunteered for the quasi-experimental study, and four of the 10 were used as matched participants to compare wound healing times between conventional treatment alone and conventional treatment plus fumes of tea tree essential oil. The results demonstrated decreased healing time in all but one of the participants treated with tea tree oil. The differences between the matched participants were striking. The results of this small investigational study indicate that additional study is warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bandages*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tea Tree Oil / administration & dosage*
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Tea Tree Oil