We all know eucalyptus, also known as blue gum, fever tree or gum tree, a tree associated to and eaten by koalas are found from the land down under or Australia and also native to Tasmania.
Almost all eucalypts are evergreen, meaning they retain their green-colored leaves throughout the year.
Conveniently, eucalyptus can be harvested and readily available all year round and are grown all over the world.
We also know eucalyptus oil as the main ingredient of a well-known ointment, Vicks, and a famous cough remedy, Valda pastilles, contains eucalyptol, but what other uses of eucalyptus essential oil are we familiar with aside from its calming properties?
Read on as we tackle a brief history of the discovery of eucalyptus, the benefits of using eucalyptus essential oil, and how it is used.
Based on a Wikipedia article, in 1770, Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander together with Captain James Cook collected specimens of eucalyptus, E. gummifera and E. platyphylla, both were not yet classified and named at that time.
It was then in 1777 that David Nelson, on Cook’s third expedition, took the specimen to London and later Charles Louis L’Heritier de Brutelle, a French botanist named the plant eucalyptus from the Greek words eu meaning “well” and calypsos meaning “covered” because of the flower buds of eucalyptus as the flowers develop and later on shed while the stamen push them at flowering.
Most of the essential oils we used today is from the leaves of the species called Eucalyptus globulus.
The oil is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus plant.
This site explains how eucalyptus oil is extracted industrially using a specific type of distillation.
Steam distillation is recommended if you’re planning to make eucalyptus essential oil in bulk and commercially, as it uses a complicated and costly method.
This site lets you make the essential oil at the comfort of your own home.
First one is the crockpot method that requires you to slow cook the oil for at least six hours.
The second method that infuses the oil while in the sun, although it needs to be prepared for a longer time, (2 weeks) it doesn’t need any electricity as you only need to steep it in a jar.
It shows two methods, choose one with your availability of resources.
While these two sites give a completely different method, they both use heat as means of extracting the essential oil and need a carrier oil, the one that dilutes the essential oil and as the name implies, the oil that carries the essential oil into the skin.
Are you ready to learn the benefits of Eucalyptus essential oil? Here they are:
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) defines aromatherapy as “utilizing naturally extracted aromatics.”
Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals inside the body.
With eucalyptus essential oil’s calming properties, no doubt most stressed persons rely on the fragrant smell this essential oil brings.
The earthy smell of eucalyptus essential oil is a perfect mood-setter, it cancels negative emotions, uplifts mood, and while not yet scientifically proven, many use it to ease depression.
The air diffused by the scent of eucalyptus essential oil provides energy to a tired body.
It provides balance and harmony to the mind, so it clears your spirit from unwanted issues.
The scent can be diffused by an air humidifier (see this list of best air humidifiers) or from lighting a candle mixed with essential oil.
2. Treating Respiratory Ailments
When people look for the treatment of their colds, coughs, asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis and even TB, bronchitis and pneumonia, most of them rely on natural and organic remedies; they are not only affordable but also effective.
A study explains that eucalyptus has anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antibacterial properties.
The essential oil can be rubbed on the chest or can be inhaled as it can clear the throat, decongest nasal airways, dilate the bronchi and loosen phlegm.
Eucalyptus has been used traditionally as a cure for respiratory tract infections.
The presence of eucalyptol made the said plant to be used to counteract pathogens, which cause certain respiratory ailments.
It can also reduce mucus production, therefore, treating colds.
When one is suffering from asthma, eucalyptus helps widen blood vessels, so that more oxygen is delivered to the lungs; eucalyptus also thins mucus to cough it up easily.
Be careful, though, as in taking large amounts of eucalyptus may cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and large concentrations may lead to poisoning.
3. Antibacterial Function
A related article from this site features eucalyptus as a powerful agent in removing toxins inside the body; it strengthens the immune system and reduces allergies.
Eucalyptus essential oil is used to treat fever.
A precaution, though, that while alternative medicine is notably effective, one should not ignore their physician’s advice.
A study of Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine shows that eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful antibiotic against gram-negative bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) and gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) both cause severe and life-threatening infections in immunocompromised patients.
E. coli bacteria are present in the human intestine and can cause lower urinary tract infection, coleocystis or septicemia while S. aureus bacteria are the leading cause of post-operative wound infection, toxic shock syndrome, and food poisoning.
It is found that bacteria are increasingly becoming more immune to antibiotics, so one could not stop thinking that maybe eucalyptus essential oil could be a solution to arising health problems.
4. For Migraines
Most of the headaches are warning signs that the body sends when a certain portion is not in a good state, for example, sinusitis or stress.
Eucalyptus attack the cause of inflammation; therefore, curing sinusitis and diffuses a wonderful aroma that relaxes the body that reduces stress levels.
Eucalyptus essential oil works by clearing the nasal pathways; it also has anti-inflammatory properties that help in easing the pain.
It is also effective in lowering blood pressure levels.
A study tells that patients suffering from high blood pressure recovered from the said ailment when they inhaled eucalyptus essential oil.
Not only eucalyptus is effective for migraine but also tension by relaxing the mind and body.
By diluting eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and applying it to the forehead and temples, you could enjoy the benefits of the oil if you are experiencing migraine.
Read more about the benefits of eucalyptus in curing headaches.
Part of oral hygiene is gargling.
A lot of commercials we see today tells us that brushing is not enough.
Well, it is true in a way; but we should be aware of the pros and cons of using synthetic and organic-based mouthwash.
It is very important to ask a trained professional or your dentist before trying out oral products because there are several products over the counter that specifically formulated for everyone’s needs, and while essential oils pose so many benefits, chances are you could be allergic to it, though a very few select populations are showing symptoms of it.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a powerful antiseptic and is safe to use as a mouthwash.
It contains eucalyptol which is similar to menthol, so it leaves your mouth smelling fresh.
In addition to that, it strengthens teeth, therefore, preventing tooth decay.
If you have gum disease eucalyptus, the essential oil may cure it.
For adults, it reduces the need for braces.
Just dilute eucalyptus essential oil with water or combine with other oils.
6. As an Insect Repellent
A majority of deadly diseases like Zika, dengue, malaria, and Chikungunya come from mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes are attracted to heat and many other factors.
If you’re the mosquito-magnet type, you might consider trying eucalyptus essential oil for most alternatives pose health and environmental concerns, and they’re generally harmful to children.
Take note, though, before using essential oils for children, make sure you follow dilution ratios and the essential oil is pure, as some products are mixed with alcohol which some infants are sensitive with.
As humans like the scent of eucalyptus, conversely, insects do not.
Eucalyptus essential oil is good for keeping away mosquitoes and blood-sucking insects.
It is also good for keeping away moth in the closet!
You could add it to your lotion if you are going outdoors or diffuse it in the air if you’re in a room.
7. Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis
Although eucalyptus essential oil could not cure rheumatoid arthritis, it could alleviate the pain caused by it.
As the first item indicates, eucalyptus can also be used as aromatherapy… and reduce symptoms of arthritis by inhaling or adding to a warm bath.
On the contrary, some experts say that if you want to ease joint pain, you may want to apply it topically.
Blending with other essential oils is effective for easing joint pains, too.
Eucalyptus essential oil is good for relieving back pain or muscle injury.
In one study conducted on people with osteoarthritis who had knee replacement surgery, the patients inhaled eucalyptus oil for 30 minutes for three straight days, and it showed great results; the patients felt less pain, and eucalyptus essential oil thus is proven to be effective.
8. In Perfumes
Eucalyptus essential oil is now widely used in cosmetics, even in fabric fresheners and cleaning agents.
Based on the ingredient dictionary of Paula’s Choice Skincare, eucalyptus essential oil is a fragrant component with skin benefits.
Majority of the population do not have allergic skin reactions to eucalyptus essential oil, and while some exhibits sensitivity, it is very minimal.
Eucalyptus is widely used in cleaning products because of its fresh scent.
Aside from its fragrance, eucalyptus has disinfecting properties that eliminate air-borne bacteria, so companies use it as an active ingredient in their products.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a common ingredient in soaps and deodorants.
9. Industrial Use
A study revealed that eucalyptus oil could be used as biodiesel and when blended, can be an alternative to diesel fuel.
This could be beneficial because of the rising need yet the low supply of fossil fuels.
Even though some properties of eucalyptus oil is not appropriate for use as engine fuel, there are specific processes to make up for its high viscosity and low volatility.
Research shows that in the late 1850s eucalyptus oil was used in Victoria, Australia when it was commercially produced to light up houses, hotels, shops and other buildings in towns.
If knowledge of this innovation would be widely known, maybe countries would not have a power crisis, life would be easier, and the economy would rise faster.
Truly eucalyptus is the key for a clean and renewable source of fuel.
10. For Scalp and Skin
Eucalyptus essential oil is beneficial for hair growth that it stimulates hair follicles.
When diluted with a carrier oil, coconut oil to be exact, eucalyptus oil can be useful in beard growth and treatment for baldness for males, or for maintaining long hair and moisturizing dry hair for females.
Trichosporon ovoides, a fungus responsible for piedra, an infection forming on the hair shaft, could be treated by using eucalyptus essential oil.
Do you have an itchy scalp?
Eucalyptus essential oil may be the one for you!
Eucalyptus oil could also treat head lice.
It is useful for the treatment of dandruff.
In addition to that, eucalyptus is great for treating wounds as it prevents infection.
Not only that, eucalyptus essential oil is good for treating acne, boils, skin ulcers, and seborrheic dermatitis.
With the many uses of eucalyptus essential oil, one could not bother thinking of trying one.
There are more uses for the said oil aside from the ones listed above.
Although there is no strong scientific evidence to support the efficacy of eucalyptus essential oil, the growing need of people using it is very noticeable.
We should not forget to thank nature as it provides us with everything we need to survive.
Do you know other uses of eucalyptus essential oil aside from the ones mentioned above?
Let us know in the comments below.