What to do if I accidentally swallowed tea tree oil?

In this article, we will answer the question “What to do if I accidentally swallowed tea tree oil?”, what are the side effects of tea tree oil, can tea tree oil harm pets and children, how to safely use tea tree oil, and who should not use tea tree oil.

What to do if I accidentally swallowed tea tree oil?

If you have accidentally swallowed tea tree oil, rinse your mouth with plain water. Drink up a glass of water to prevent the tea tree oil from damaging the mucous membranes of the gut. 

The severity of the harm of swallowing tea tree oil depends on the amount of the oil ingested and its dilution. Swallowing tea tree oil can result in drowsiness, confusion, uncoordinated movements (ataxia), and loss of consciousness. 

If it was a large amount and the dilution was high or unknown, or if you feel a burning or irritation in your gut or mouth, contact the poison control immediately. Time is the key here so you do not waste that. Seeking immediate medical help is important to impede the harm of the swallowed te tree oil.

What are the side effects of tea tree oil?

Topical side effects of tea tree oil

Undiluted tea tree oil can irritate or burn your skin when applied directly. Other side effects include redness, itchy or scaly skin, itching, and stinging. 

However, you may also have an allergic reaction to the topical application of tea tree oil. Technically, it is referred to as allergic contact dermatitis.

The allergic reaction involves a skin rash, the severity of which may vary. It can become increasingly swollen accompanied by itchiness.

The chances of an allergic reaction are high if you are using outdated tea tree oil. But the chances are still there even if the tea tree oil is new.

Side effects of inhaling tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has been long used in aromatherapy for relieving stress, boosting immunity, and combating infections. But the opposite can happen if you breathe too much tea tree oil at once.

Similarly, it is dangerous to inhale tea tree oil for prolonged periods or when you are already allergic. An expert aromatherapist would know how to avoid such problems. 

So, you must reach out to the right people for the right cause. Stop inhaling tea tree oil if you feel vomiting, nauseating, or dizzy.

Side effects from internal application

Ingesting or swallowing tea tree oil, that has not been diluted to safe concentrations, can severely damage you internally. In the worst-case scenario, it can be fatal.

Can tea tree oil harm pets and children?

Needless to say, tea tree oil should be kept out of the reach of children and pets because it can have toxic effects. 

Side effects in children 

Tea tree oil poisoning is dangerous but none of the cases reported fatality. The children recovered from the poisoning under utmost care at the hospital. 

Tea tree oil poisoning is characterized by drowsiness, uncoordinated movements (ataxia), confusion, and loss of consciousness.

Side effects in pets 

Similar to humans, swallowing tea tree oil can be fatal or extremely dangerous for pets. However, pets are also sensitive to the topical application of tea tree oil.

If exposed to tea tree oil, your cats and dogs may exhibit symptoms such as excessive drooling, fatigue, muscle weakness, tremors, and uncoordinated movements (ataxia).

How to safely use tea tree oil?

  1. As we have already established that swallowing tea tree oil is highly toxic, you ought to be careful not to ingest it. 
  1. Protect your children and pets from tea tree oil. Store it somewhere out of the reach of children and pets.
  1. Essential oils such the tea tree oil should never be used undiluted on your skin. Dilute them by mixing them in carrier oils, creams, or lotions. Tea tree oil, diluted at 1-5%, is considered safe for topical application.
  1. A dilution range of 0.5 to 2.5% is considered safe for children and those with highly sensitive skin.
  1. Always do a patch test before exposing a large part of your skin to tea tree oil. You may have a tea tree oil that you were unaware of.
  1. Long hours of aromatherapy with tea tree oil can harm you. Make sure you sit in a well-ventilated room for the aromatherapy with tea tree oil.
  1. If you want your tea tree oil to last long, use dark-colored bottles to deflect the light that may oxidize it and shorten its shelf-life.

Who should not use tea tree oil?

Do not use if you have eczema, asthma, you are pregnant/breastfeeding, or someone with an underlying health condition. Skip use if you are taking prescription medications.

Conclusion 

In this article, we answered the question “What to do if I accidentally swallowed tea tree oil?”, what are the side effects of tea tree oil, can tea tree oil harm pets and children, how to safely use tea tree oil, and who should not use tea tree oil.

References 

https://www.healthline.com/health/tea-tree-oil-side-effects#when-to-avoid

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