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What are the risks of using tea tree oil?

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Topical tea tree oil has been reported to cause allergic reactions that can be severe. Tea tree oil may also cause redness, itching, and blistering. It may aggravate burns and skin conditions like eczema. Using large quantities of tea tree oil on the skin could cause severe side effects.

It's for topical use only. Tea tree oil must never be used in the eyes or swallowed. Even swallowing tea tree oil in small amounts could potentially cause severe reactions, including severe rash, nausea, confusion, and coma.

Given the lack of evidence about its safety, tea tree oil is not recommended for children or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

SOURCES:

Longe, J., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition, 2004.

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: "Tea Tree Oil."

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Tea Tree Oil."

Natural Standard: " Tea Tree Oil."

Buck, D. The Journal of Family Practice, 1994.

Carson, C. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2001.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 12, 2019

SOURCES:

Longe, J., ed. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, second edition, 2004.

Natural Standard Patient Monograph: "Tea Tree Oil."

Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database: "Tea Tree Oil."

Natural Standard: " Tea Tree Oil."

Buck, D. The Journal of Family Practice, 1994.

Carson, C. The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 2001.

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini on February 12, 2019

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