6 Impressive Eucalyptus Benefits
Some of the best health benefits of eucalyptus includes its ability to boost respiratory health, strengthen the immune system, protect skin health, ease tension and anxiety, lower blood sugar, eliminate inflammation, and fight against bacterial infection.
Eucalyptus actually refers to a large genus of flowering trees that has over 700 different species, most of which are located in Australia and New Zealand, although some of the more widespread species can be found throughout Southeast Asia. Due to the diverse uses of eucalyptus, it has been naturalized in various other tropical and temperate regions throughout the world, but is also a major export of that Pacific region. Most of its species range from the size of a small shrub to a medium-sized flowering tree, but all species have leaves that are covered in oil glands, from which the majority of the health benefits are derived. Strangely enough, it appears that it used to be native to South America, although it is no longer endemic to that region, but this beneficial plant has been used for thousands of years by indigenous populations.
Eucalyptus oil is certainly the most beneficial product from eucalyptus trees, but the bark and leaves themselves are also highly prized by certain cultures. Eucalyptus tea is very popular for curing a range of medical conditions, and the leaves themselves are important sources of food for certain animal species in Australia and New Zealand, koalas being the most well-known consumers. This fast growing genus of plants make it valuable as a source of wood, but it is also considered an invasive species in certain areas, as the trees are hardy and can quickly overtake native populations of slower-growing plants. The popularity of eucalyptus in various forms is undeniable, so let’s take a closer look at some of its important health benefits.
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus
Respiratory Health: Eucalyptus leaves and oil have been used for generations as a cure-all for respiratory issues, particularly in removing catarrh from the respiratory tracts. The active ingredients in its leaves act as expectorants, helping to remove excess phlegm and mucus from the sinuses and respiratory tracts, eliminating the natural environment for bacteria and other pathogens to multiply and spread. In terms of bronchitis, the common cold, and even flu symptoms, eucalyptus leaves and extracts are often recommended for people looking for herbal or natural remedies for those common conditions.
Immune System Booster: The powerful effects of eucalyptus tea are widely studied, and aside from its direct impact on the respiratory system, eucalyptus is recommended to protect the body from a wide variety of bacterial infections, including E. coli and candida albicans, the latter of which can cause yeast infections. If your immune system is compromised by another illness or as the result of an injury or fatigue, this tea can act as a natural booster for your immunity.
Anxiety and Stress: When people begin to feel the pressure of the modern world mounting, so many people turn to pharmaceutical solutions, but there are a wide range of other natural remedies, including eucalyptus. The natural sedative and soothing effects of eucalyptus can be employed for many reasons, but its tea is specifically recommended for those suffering from chronic stress. Stress hormones in the body can wreak havoc on your metabolism and general health, so reducing those potentially dangerous stress hormones and easing mental tension can be a wonderful side effect of a well-brewed cup of eucalyptus tea.
Skin Health: The natural antibacterial properties of eucalyptus make it ideal for protecting skin health as well. Rubbing its leaves on the skin can work as a quick fix, but drinking its tea or utilizing eucalyptus oil on irritated or infected skin works much faster and more effectively. However, it is important to note that the oil is extremely strong and can be toxic if consumed in its undiluted form. Always use carrier oils and avoid consumption when using this oil on the skin.
Diabetes Management and Prevention: Although the exact chemical pathway is unknown, research has shown that brewing eucalyptus leaves into tea can be an effective preventative measure or treatment for diabetes. Whether you have already developed the condition or are actively establishing a lifestyle to prevent the onset of diabetes, drinking 1-2 cups of eucalyptus tea each day can be a great strategy. It is recommended to speak to your doctor before utilizing it in this way, as the blood sugar-lowering ability of the tea can be dangerous depending on what type of diabetes you have or are at risk for.
Anti-Inflammatory Activity: Eucalyptus is a natural anti-inflammatory substance, so consuming its tea can do everything from ease aches and pains to protect the heart. Eucalyptus tea is often recommended for people who suffer from asthma, as well as arthritis and chronic muscle strain. If you suffer a mild injury, drink this tea and watch the pain fade away. By reducing inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries, it can also protect heart health and decrease the likelihood of developing atherosclerosis, thereby protecting you from heart attacks and strokes.
A Final Word of Warning: As mentioned above, eucalyptus oil is extremely potent and is actually poisonous in its undiluted form, particularly for young children. Always consult a medical professional before adding it to your diet in a substantial way and monitor your body’s reactions. The powerful effects of eucalyptus can be intense and is not recommended for everyone.