Tea Tree Oil During Pregnancy – Benefits & Risks

5 min read

Written by Indrani Sil Saha

Indrani Sil Saha

Tea tree oil during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey, and the list of precautions can be often daunting. Thus, proper evaluation of medicines, foods, and natural ingredients is important. Tea tree oil is a natural essential oil widely known for its antifungal and antibacterial properties. But is it safe to use tea tree oil during pregnancy?

To help you make informed decisions, we have mentioned the benefits, risks, and precautions of using tea tree oil. Every pregnancy is unique in its way, so it often becomes difficult to say whether a product is safe for use in general. Therefore, the best way is to have knowledge of both the risks and the benefits and weigh those based on your scenario.

In This Article

What Is Tea Tree Oil?

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca oil) is derived from the leaves of a native Australian plant named Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil has found a prominent place in skincare and hair care products. Clinical research has shown the presence of antimicrobial, anti fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties in it. When used as directed, tea tree oil has several topical uses. From treating acne and skin rashes to soothing cuts and bug bites, it is often a one-stop destination for multiple problems.[1]

Is Tea Tree Oil Use Safe During Pregnancy?

women using Tea Tree Oil In Pregnancy_

Essential oils like tea trees have potent chemicals that enable them to cross the placenta and reach the baby during pregnancy. Individuals with sensitive skin have often cited skin irritations after prolonged use of tea tree oil.[2] According to Blair Murphy, a well-known dermatologist based in Midtown, New York, tea tree oil should be avoided during the first trimester and after 35 weeks of pregnancy. However, due to the absence of any concrete scientific evidence, we recommend you only use tea tree oil under medical guidance.

Benefits Of Using Tea Tree Oil In Pregnancy

acne breakout

The International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists suggests that, under proper guidance, tea tree oil can considerably benefit pregnant women. Experts recommend diluting the tea tree oil with other carrier oils before use. Listed below, you will find the most common benefits of using tea tree oil for pregnant women:-


Acne breakout is one of the most common side effects of pregnancy due to hormonal imbalance. Tea tree oil, with its antimicrobial properties, can help fight acne.[3]


Tea tree oil can also alleviate the itching and swelling caused by haemorrhoids. However, it is only possible in the earlier stages of haemorrhoids.

Yeast Infections

Yeast infections are frequent during pregnancy, especially in the last trimester. Studies have suggested that tea tree oil can significantly reduce the growth of fungi and yeast.


Increased sebum production during pregnancy sometimes results in dandruff. Different research articles have cited positive results for the use of tea tree oil in scalp treatments.

Insect Bites & Stings

Itchy skin during pregnancy can often cause unnecessary red marks. The anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil help to soothe the skin from insect bites and bugs. 

In addition to these benefits, tea tree oil when used helps pregnant mothers relax and bring down their anxiety levels.

Are There Any Risks Of Using Tea Tree Oil During Pregnancy?

Risks Of Using Tea Tree Oil During Pregnancy_

According to the International Childbirth Education Association, tea tree oil is considered to be safe during pregnancy for both the mother and baby. However, for individuals with sensitive skin, the use of tea tree oil can lead to allergies, skin irritations, and burning sensations[4]. Tea tree oil should never be ingested, as it can turn out to be fatal causing serious complications in pregnancy. In addition, look out for the following symptoms and contact your dermatologist if symptoms persist for too long.

  • Red, Itchy skin
  • Stinging sensation
  • Headache
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Vertigo
  • Nausea
  • Dry, flaky skin

What Precautions Should You Take When Using Tea Tree Oil In Pregnancy?

Pregnancy has its own rules, and it’s often difficult to concur whether using tree tea oil during pregnancy is safe for you or not. Thus, it is always advisable to take precautions when using natural ingredients like tea tree oil during pregnancy.

  1. One must always dilute a few drops of tea tree oil with carrier oils like almond oil or coconut oil before using it.[5]
  2. Essential oils have a high absorbance rate. Thus, it is best to avoid applying this oil around or on the belly during pregnancy.
  3. To check the sensitivity of the skin, one must always do a skin patch test before using the blended tea tree oil.
  4. To know the correct dosage and suitable ways to use tea tree oil effectively. One must consult a medicine expert and share with them their intention of using this oil during pregnancy.
  5. Buy tea tree oil from trusted sources so that it is free from contamination or adulteration.
  6. Make sure you go through the labels and look out for the extraction method and country of origin. Cold-pressed ones are always a better choice in a skincare regime.
  7. Do not expose the tree tea oil to heat or direct sunlight. Preferably, store it in a cool, dry place.
  8. Broken skin can absorb more essential oil. So, refrain from applying tea tree oil if the skin is severely bruised or is cut.
  9. If you suffer from acute smell sensitivity, then use tea tree oil in minimal quantities in a well-ventilated room to avoid feeling nauseous.
  10. Avoid using tea tree oil if you are nearing labour.

Tea tree oil is an essential oil with many health benefits. There are not many scientific experiments to show the effect of tea tree oil on the baby. According to different studies, most medical professionals regard using tea tree oil during pregnancy as safe. However,  using it during the first trimester is not recommended at all. During pregnancy, consult your healthcare professional before you incorporate any new ingredient into your daily routine. 


1. Is Tea Tree Oil Good For Pregnancy Stretch Marks?

The oil has anti-inflammatory and healing properties, which makes it an ideal choice for fading pregnancy stretch marks. 

2. Is Tea Tree Oil Safe For Use During Labor And Delivery?

Using tea this oil is safe in most cases. But without medical guidance, using tea tree oil during labor and delivery can make things challenging.

3. Who Should Avoid Using Tea Tree Oil During Pregnancy?

Individuals with sensitive skin should avoid using tea tree during pregnancy.

4. Can I Use Tea Tree Face Wash And Shampoo During Pregnancy?

Cosmetic products like face wash and shampoo have trace amounts of tree tea and is not harmful to use during pregnancy.


  1. The dynamics and mechanism of the antimicrobial activity of tea tree oil against bacteria and fungi – [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27388769/]
  2. Evaluation of Placental Toxicity of Five Essential Oils and Their Potential Endocrine-Disrupting Effects – [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9323951/]
  3. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties – [https://journals.asm.org/doi/full/10.1128/cmr.19.1.50-62.2006]
  4. Correlations of the components of tea tree oil with its antibacterial effects and skin irritation – [https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949813000082]
  5. The Safe Use of Essential Oils – [https://icea.org/the-safe-use-of-essential-oils/]
Indrani Sil Saha,M.Sc in Remote Sensing and GIS from Vidyasagar University

She has over 8 years of experience as an Academic Coordinator in reputed international schools. She has first-hand experience in curating content for children of different age groups. Being a proud mother of a toddler she brings her unique perspective in curating informative content for the pregnancy and parenting corner.Read more.

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