The powerful health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil include treating colds and flu, hair care, relieving muscle pain, and preventing cavities. It also aids in boosting immunity and healing fungal infections as well as wounds. The oil’s properties include being an anti- , , , deodorant, antiseptic, , and stimulant.
What is Eucalyptus Essential Oil?
Eucalyptus essential oil is obtained from fresh leaves of the tall, evergreen eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus globulus). The essential oil is colorless and has a distinctive taste and odor. The potent medicinal benefits of are due to a compound called eucalyptol (also known as cineole), which has properties. The oil is used in a variety of over-the-counter drugs including rubs, inhalers, liniments, rash creams, and mouthwashes.
Eucalyptus is native to Australia and has spread in the past few centuries to other parts of the world including India, Europe, and South Africa. It is also known as fever tree, Tasmanian blue gum tree or stringy bark tree, depending on where it is located in the world. Though many countries produce eucalyptus oil in small quantities, the prime source of eucalyptus oil for the world is still Australia.
The numerous health benefits of eucalyptus oil have attracted the attention of the entire world, and it has stimulated a great deal of exploration into its usage in aromatherapy as well as in conventional medicine.
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Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
Let’s take a look at the most popular health benefits and uses of eucalyptus oil in detail.
Treats Colds & Flu
Eucalyptus essential oil is effective for treating a number of respiratory tract infections including cold, cough, running nose, sore throat, nasal congestion, bronchitis, and sinusitis. According to a research study published in Current Microbiology, it has the ability to inhibit bacteria such as S. pneumonia, H. influenza, and parainfluenza that cause sinus infections, fever, and flu. Eucalyptus oil is an expectorant and helps decongest sinuses.
To treat colds, you can add a few drops of the oil to hot water and inhale the steam, or add it to your diffuser. Alternatively, rub a little oil on the pillow to ensure a good night’s sleep if you are troubled with congestion and wet cough.
Hair Lice Treatment
A 2017 study conducted by an Australian pharmaceutical company concluded that the efficacy, safety, and ease of using eucalyptus oil solution make it a productive alternative in the treatment of head lice. That is due to its well-known qualities as an insect repellent and natural pesticide, eucalyptus oil is frequently used as a natural treatment for lice. Apply a few drops of the oil mixed with carrier oils on lice-infested hair to get rid of lice.
Note: Eucalyptus essential oil is usually not recommended for children below the age of 5; it’s best to consult a doctor before use.
A 2012 report published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Tropical Disease revealed that eucalyptus essential oil has potent antiseptic and anti-fungal properties which help remove the build-up of germs in hair follicles. This helps prevent conditions like dandruff, itchy scalp, and psoriasis.
For best results, you can blend a few drops of the herbal oil with a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil to moisturize and heal the scalp. Also, the oil acts as a stimulant and increases blood flow, when a few drops are directly applied to the scalp. This also helps boost hair growth.
The anti-inflammatory properties of cineole in eucalyptus essential oil help relieve asthmatic symptoms. Simply massage 1-3 drops of the oil onto the chest and the soothing effect of the aroma and vapors will calm the throat and dilate the blood vessels, which will allow more oxygen into the lungs and thus, help restore normal breathing.
When eucalyptus essential oil is exposed to air, an ozone layer is formed that makes the oil a potent antiseptic. Therefore, it is used to heal wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts, abrasions, and cold sores. It is also an effective salve for insect bites and stings. Furthermore, it protects the open wound or irritated area from developing infections due to microbial activity and exposure to air. A 2013 report published in the World Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences suggests that the extracts of Eucalyptus citriodorais is a potential method for the treatment of dermal wounds by the topical and oral administration. The extracts reportedly accelerate the wound repair at all the phases of the healing.
Removes Mental Exhaustion
Eucalyptus oil, a stimulant, helps remove exhaustion and mental sluggishness and rejuvenates people who are feeling under the weather or are sick. It can also be effective in treating stress and mental disorders as inhaling its vapor help increase blood circulation to the brain.
Improves Brain Function
Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly used to stimulate mental activity and alertness. Since the essential oil is considered a vasodilator, it increases the blood flow by relaxing the blood vessels and allowing more blood to circulate. Basically, more blood to the brain means more brain power.
Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly employed in classrooms as a form of causalto increase student performances.
Relieves Muscle Pain
The volatile eucalyptus oil is analgesic and anti-inflammatory in nature. If you are experiencing muscle pain or soreness, massaging oil on affected areas in a circular motion helps relieve stress and pain.
Treats Joint Pain
Eucalyptus oil is often recommended for patients suffering from rheumatism, lumbago, sprained ligaments and tendons, stiff muscles, aches, fibrosis, and even nerve pain. It is a stimulant and helps increase blood circulation, providing pain relief. A research study showed that inhaling its vapor reduced pain, swelling, and inflammation in patients who underwent total knee replacement surgery.
Eucalyptus essential oil is very effective against cavities, dental plaque, gingivitis, bad breath (halitosis), and other dental infections owing to its germicidal. This is why it is so commonly found as an active ingredient in mouthwash, toothpaste, and other dental hygiene products.
Removes Intestinal Germs
Eucalyptus oil is a vermifuge and is frequently used to remove intestinal germs. Studies have shown that ingesting eucalyptus oil can deter many of the bacterial, microbial, and parasitic conditions that arise in the various parts of the body, particularly in susceptible areas like the colon and intestine.
Researchers at the School of Medical Science and Technology, IIT Kharagpur, published a report in the World Journal of Diabetes, which stated that eucalyptus oil aids in controlling blood sugar because it contains powerful flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol), phenolics (tannins, ellagic acid), and terpenoids (cineole, alpha-pinene), when ingested. These potent compounds help reduce post-prandial and treat type 2 diabetes. Diabetics can also benefit by frequently massaging eucalyptus oil to the skin topically, or inhaling it as a vapor.
Eucalyptus oil is also used for treating fever, and is often referred to as “fever oil”. You can add a few drops of the herbal oil to a warm water compress and place it on the forehead frequently to reduce body temperature during high fever.
Heals Sinus & Allergies
Eucalyptus oil is has proven helpful when added to hot water for steam inhalation. This has helped clear nasal and sinus congestion. This essential oil is reportedly said to function in a way quite similar to that of menthol as it acts on receptors in the nasal mucous membranes, resulting in the lessening of symptoms of nasal stuffiness. According to a report by Michigan Univesity, eucalyptus oil must be used internally without supervision by a healthcare professional, as just 3.5 ml of the oil taken internally has proven fatal.
Treats Tuberculosis & Pneumonia
When massaged onto the chest and used as a vapor rub or inhalant, it can relieve the signs and symptoms of harmful conditions like tuberculosis by clearing the lungs and reducing inflammation. It is best if applied to both, the chest and the back.
Eucalyptus oil, rich in cineole, is one of the best oils to strengthen the immune system. Apart from its ability to keep colds and flu at bay, it can be used to treat hay fever (seasonal allergy), acne, and .
Skin Care & Cleanser
Eucalyptus oil is often applied topically to treat skin infections as its main compound, cineole, has antibacterial properties. The oil helps speed up healing and treat acne, eczema, sun spots, blemishes, aging, and pimples. Furthermore, it can be combined with olive or coconut oil to form a natural sunscreen and moisturizer.
Treats Fungal Infections
Due to its natural antifungal properties, eucalyptus oil can be used to treat fungal-infected toenails (onychomycosis), jock itch, ringworm, athlete’s foot, thrush, and cold sores. To treat fungal infections in the toenails, it is best to soak your feet in warm water which has a few drops of eucalyptus oil and tea tree essential oil (another antifungal oil).
It also helps heal shingles, kidney stones, and earaches.
Apart from that, the uses of eucalyptus oil include the following:
The antiseptic and deodorant nature of eucalyptus oil makes it a perfect room freshener for hospitals. It acts as an odor remover and helps keep the environment of the rooms clean and sterilized.
Eucalyptus oil is frequently used in soaps and detergents due to its pleasant aroma and medicinal properties.
Lemon eucalyptus oil is a well-known natural repellant for mosquitoes. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a mixture of 32% lemon eucalyptus oil provided more than 95% protection against mosquitoes for three hours.
Eucalyptus oil can be used as a handy household cleaner for cleaning kitchen surfaces, bathroom countertops, and sinks. Mix 1 cup water, ½ cup vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of the oil in a clean spray bottle.
You can add the herbal oil to warm water and soak grease-stained clothes for a few hours, before washing it to get rid of the stains.
If you are working with grease, paints, or tar, you can use the herbal oil to clean your hands. Blend the oil with sea salt and wash your hands with this mixture.
Aromatherapy & Diffuser
Many people add eucalyptus oil to baths, spas, and saunas because of its refreshing and antiseptic attributes. Therefore, it is commonly used in aromatherapy and added in diffusers, which is frequently included in spa treatment packages.
Eucalyptus Oil Side Effects
Eucalyptus oil, when taken in more quantities than prescribed, can be toxic. The side effects include:
Before using an essential oil, it is advisable to consult your doctor or have an allergy test done. Also, usage of the herbal oil may interfere with other homeopathic treatments.