6 Impressive Eucalyptus Benefits

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

The best health benefits of eucalyptus might include its ability to boost respiratory health, strengthen the immune system, protect skin health, ease stress and anxiety, lower blood sugar, eliminate inflammation, and fight against bacterial infections.

What is Eucalyptus?

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. Some of the more widespread species may be found throughout Southeast Asia as well. Most of its species may 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 might be derived.

Due to the diverse uses of eucalyptus, it may have been naturalized in various other tropical and temperate regions throughout the world but may also be a major export of the Pacific region. Strangely enough, it appears that it used to be native to South America, although it is no longer endemic to that region. This beneficial plant may have been used for thousands of years by indigenous populations. [1]

Health Benefits of Eucalyptus

Let’s take a closer look at the various health benefits of eucalyptus in detail.

Might Improve Respiratory Health

Eucalyptus leaves and oil may have been used for generations as a cure-all for respiratory issues, particularly in removing catarrh from the respiratory tracts. The active ingredients present in these leaves may act as expectorants. This might help remove excess phlegm and mucus from the sinuses and respiratory tracts, eliminating the natural environment for bacteria and other pathogens to multiply and spread. Eucalyptus leaves and extract may often be recommended for people looking for herbal or natural remedies for bronchitis, common cold, and flu. [2]

Eucalyptus leaves on a tree

Eucalyptus leaves might be advantageous for a person suffering from itchiness or rashes. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Might Boost Immunity

The powerful effects of eucalyptus tea are widely studied, and aside from its direct impact on the respiratory system, it may have been recommended to protect the body from a wide variety of bacterial infections. Some of them include E. coli and Candida albicans, the latter of which can cause yeast infections. If your immune system is compromised by an illness or as the result of an injury or fatigue, this tea might act as a natural booster for your immunity. [3]

Might Reduce Anxiety & Stress

The natural sedative and soothing effect of eucalyptus can be employed for many reasons, but its tea may be specifically recommended for those suffering from chronic stress. Stress hormones in the body might wreak havoc on your metabolism and general health. And a well-brewed cup of eucalyptus tea can help in reducing those potentially dangerous stress hormones and easing mental tension. [4]

Might be used for Skin Care

The natural antibacterial properties of eucalyptus might make it ideal for protecting skin health as well. Rubbing its leaves on the skin might work as a quick fix, but drinking its tea or utilizing its oil on infected skin may work much faster and more effectively. However, it is important to note that the oil is extremely strong and might be toxic if consumed in its undiluted form. Always use carrier oils and avoid consumption when using this oil on the skin. [5]

Might Control Diabetes

Although the exact chemical pathway is unknown, research has shown that brewing eucalyptus leaves into a tea might be a preventative measure or an effective 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 might be a great strategy. It may be recommended to speak with 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. [6]

Might be Anti-inflammatory

Eucalyptus might be a natural anti-inflammatory substance, so consuming its tea might do everything from easing aches and pains to protecting the heart. Eucalyptus tea may often be 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 you might watch the pain fade away. It might reduce inflammation in the blood vessels and arteries. This might prevent the onset of atherosclerosis, thereby protecting you from heart attacks and strokes. [7]

Uses of Eucalyptus

This tree may have many uses, ranging from a preparation of oil and tea that may have many benefits.

  • Eucalyptus Oil: It might be the most beneficial product from the eucalyptus tree, but the bark and leaves themselves may also be highly prized by certain cultures. [8]
  • Eucalyptus Leaves: The tea brewed from its leaves may be very popular for curing a range of medical conditions. These leaves themselves might be important sources of food for certain animal species in Australia and New Zealand, koalas being their most well-known consumers.
  • Source of Wood & Paper: This fast-growing genus of the plant might make it valuable as a source of wood and paper.

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.

Word of Caution: As mentioned above, eucalyptus oil might be extremely potent and can actually be poisonous in its undiluted form, particularly for young children. Always consult a medical professional before adding it in any form to your diet in a substantial way, and monitor your body’s reactions. The powerful effects of eucalyptus can be intense and might not be recommended for everyone.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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