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Should I Use Tea Tree Oil for Yeast Infection?

By Synthia L. Rose
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Tea tree oil can successfully end symptoms of a yeast infection because the oil is anti-fungal. Yeast infections are typically caused by the overgrowth of Candida, which is a type of fungus existing normally inside vaginal microflora along with other bacteria. When the microflora becomes unbalanced due to antibiotics, illness, or poor nutrition, the excess yeast can lead to redness, swelling, and itching; all these symptoms can be cured by tea tree oil. Occasionally, bumps filled with pus will also result, and these, too, can be dried out and reduced by the consistent use of the essential oil, which is also anti-bacterial and antiviral.

The highly-concentrated oil, known by its Latin name Melaleuca alternifolia, can sting and severely burn when used without dilution on sensitive areas like the vulva and vagina. Carrier oils like olive oil, castor oil, and sunflower oils are typically mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil for yeast infection treatment. The mixture can be applied with a cotton swab to affected areas two to four times a day, or a tampon can be drenched in the oil mixture for insertion into the vagina overnight.

For convenience, many people elect to purchase ready-made suppositories with tea tree oil as an ingredient. Others prefer to run a hot bath and then add five to 10 drops of the oil. Some women will boil an herbal tea and add tea tree oil before using the mixture for douching. Many doctors warn against douching, however, because it can upset vaginal microflora of even more.

Although using tea tree oil for yeast infection can stop itching and destroy excess fungus, the natural treatment may not prevent the recurrence of yeast infections unless other factors change. Women, according to homeopathic professionals, should look at underlying causes for yeast infection, such as a diet high in sugar, which feeds Candida. The use of antibiotics to end infections can also kill off good bacteria in the vagina, leading to a high percentage of fungus and, consequently, yeast infection. After this happens, supplements containing probiotics may be beneficial to some women to restore their bacterial balance.

Eating yogurt which contains live and active probiotics can also be helpful, as these active bacteria produce hydrogen peroxide which annihilates the yeast. Some women attempt to apply such yogurt inside the vagina, which can be counter-productive if the yogurt has sugar added. If the Candida oversupply is related to the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, tea tree oil likely will not be enough of a cure unless professional medical treatment for the venereal disease is simultaneously sought.

How To Dilute Tea Tree Oil for Yeast Infection

Without dilution, tea tree oil could potentially worsen your infection, so it is important to use it carefully. You should never use another essential oil as a carrier, as these are often just as concentrated and irritating. Luckily, there are many skin-safe options to use as carrier oils that not only safely deliver the tea tree oil to the infected area but also offer their own benefits:

  • Coconut 
  • Sunflower
  • Avocado
  • Rosehip
  • Pomegranate
  • Jojoba

When mixing your oils, you should use roughly 12 drops of a carrier for every one drop of tea tree. If you decide to take it as a suppository but don't know what brand to try, it is possible to make your own. You may make an oil mixture of your choosing and then pour it into a freezer-safe mold. After it has hardened, you can insert it into the vagina and let it melt naturally. You may want to use this method at night when lying down or while wearing a pad, as it could make a mess as it melts.

How To Use Tea Tree Oil for Yeast Infection

Whatever method you choose, from suppositories to direct application, the oil mixture works because it is antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Many people choose to use homeopathic remedies to treat symptoms of a condition but then have to resort to prescription medication to eradicate the condition entirely. Tea tree oil is unique in that it can relieve a person's symptoms and cure the yeast infection all on its own. While many women have anecdotal evidence to support the oil's healing properties, it has not been scientifically proven or thoroughly researched as a treatment method.

Risks To Watch Out For

While it has many benefits, tea tree oil does have some risks. Like any plant derivative, an allergic reaction is possible, especially if you have never used it before. Doing a patch test on the skin is always a good idea to gauge your body's reaction. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use it due to a lack of research on its neonatal effects. Using the oil undiluted can also produce severe reactions, so be sure to follow the steps above to avoid this risk.

Where To Buy

Like most essential oils, tea tree oil can be found at any health store, like Whole Foods. It can also be found online on popular retail platforms or purchased locally at a specialty shop. There are many options available, but it is up to you to determine which type of concentrate is the right fit. Some vendors may sell oil that is already diluted or has other filler ingredients, so you may want to look for a brand that is 100% unrefined tea tree. You will also want to consider other factors of the label that are important to you, like organic or cruelty-free brands. No matter where you choose to buy it, most small bottles should not cost more than ten dollars.

How Long To Use Tea Tree Oil for Yeast Infection

You may apply the mixture daily for up to six days. Relief might be felt after the first day, but if you don't feel total improvement after a week, you will likely need to see a doctor for a stronger remedy. Most doctors treat yeast infections with a course of antifungal cream or a single dose of fluconazole. Alternatively, there are many over-the-counter options for a potent treatment. Women who have recurring yeast infections will probably not see relief with tea tree oil and should talk to their doctor about lifestyle changes to improve their vaginal health.

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Discussion Comments

By anon991489 — On Jun 24, 2015

I use this and probably don't dilute the tea tree oil nearly enough but, for me, it is still much gentler and more effective than using over the counter anti fungal creams.

By anon989721 — On Mar 18, 2015

I used it on the tip of my penis and it worked great. I had an itchy spot which was caused by candida and it cleared it up in a couple of days. I dropped it right on the raw spot and the cool burning sensation was great.

By anon965241 — On Aug 11, 2014

I've never used tea tree oil to treat a yeast infection - sounds interesting though! I have tried a heap of other natural methods though.

By anon947183 — On Apr 24, 2014

@fify: At the point of the yeast infection, the vagina is in need of something strong.

By anon351510 — On Oct 14, 2013

I use two or three drops of tea tree with coconut oil. It helps a lot! Tea tree alone made me go to the bathroom and wash it off asap.

By SteamLouis — On Aug 14, 2013

@fify-- How much diluted tea tree oil did you use? You only need a few drops! Most women use too much.

Diluted tea tree oil is very effective, it worked for me. I used only a few drops on a tampon.

By fify — On Aug 13, 2013

I actually don't think that tea tree oil is very safe to use for a yeast infection. The vaginal area is already so sensitive and tea tree oil is very strong, even when it's diluted.

I've used it and I ended up even more irritated than before. I diluted the tea tree oil with olive oil, but it still burned and irritated my skin.

I think that other home treatments for yeast infections like yogurt and aloe vera gel are better and safer.

By turquoise — On Aug 13, 2013

I can't use tea tree oil for yeast infections because I'm allergic to it. I actually wanted to use it once but I decided to test it on my arm first. I'm so glad that I did that before I used the tea tree oil. The oil made my skin turn red and itch. I can't even imagine the agony I would have been through if I had applied the oil to my vagina without doing the test.

If any of you are planning on trying this natural remedy for yeast infections, please make sure that you are not allergic first. Dilute the tea tree oil and apply it on your arm and wait for twenty minutes to see if there is an allergic reaction.

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