Eucalyptus oil is a wonderful essential oil which comes from the Eucalyptus tree. It has a strong, pleasing aroma, very refreshing but somewhat medicinal as well. Eucalyptus oil can be used for a variety of purposes in your home, when you are going outside and for many personal health problems. And it is very powerful in accomplishing these tasks. Eucalyptus oil is best for relieving a sinus infection.
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Eucalyptus oil comes from the leaves of Eucalyptus tree. There are many varieties of Eucalyptus in the world. The best quality eucalyptus oil comes from the Eucalyptus trees in Australia. In fact, Australia is the native place of Eucalyptus. But, this oil is costlier as it is extracted from the finest Eucalyptus trees. However, you can feel the difference between the Australian eucalyptus oil and eucalyptus oil from other places. About 70 % of the current production comes from China and this oil may not be 100 % from eucalyptus oil. It is usually flavored with oil fractions from cheaper camphor oil.
Eucalyptus oil is produced in various compositions depending on the end use, whether it is industrial, in perfumes or a home based medicinal use. Eucalyptus oil is also used in many herbal formulae.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil :
Among the various varities of eucalyptus trees, this one is special. It is called Eucalyptus citrioda, or Lemon Eucalyptus. The oil of this tree has more than 40 % citronella, the same compound obtained from lemongrass. It has a lemony scent and is excellent to repel mosquitoes and deer ticks.
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Eucalyptus oil possessses manmy properties which affect our physical, mental and external environment. These are some of the prominent properties of eucalyptus essential oil.
- Insecticidal – When used neat ( undiluted ), it can kill many kinds of insects and pests. Its smell drives away insects.
- Analgesic – mild pain reliever when used topically
- Antibacterial – kills bacteria, especially active against bacteria that invade the respiratory tract.
- Antiviral – Aids the body in killing viruses, especially the herpes simplex virus.
- Antispetic – used to wash wounds and as dressing. Got cut during your shave ? Use diluted eucalyptus essential oil.
- Decongestant – relieves congestion in throat and chest.
- Bronchodilator – Its smell assists the body in dilating the air passages in lungs, the bronchiloes.
- Anti-asthmatic – prevents msucular spasms during asthma attack.
- Deodorant – gets rid of foul odor
- Muscle relaxant – when applied topically, it soothes muscles.
- Antipyretic – reduces a fever.
- Anti-inflammatory – soothes and calmes inflammation and redness.
- Vaso Dilator – When applied topically, it can dilate blood vessels close to the skin.
- Anti-fungal – to a mild degree
Many of these properties of eucalyptus were known to Australian aboriginal people. They make a tea out of eucalyptus leaves and use it to aid in sinus problems, muscular pain and many kinds of fevers.
Uses and Health Benefits
Because of its properties, eucalyptus oil find use in pharmaceutical industry, agriculture and for personal use.
Medicinal uses of eucalyptus essential oil
Make use of eucalyptus oil for treating or relieving these conditions at home.
1. Prevent an Asthma Attack
If you suffer from asthma and feel an attack coming up, just apply a few drops of undiluted eucalyptus oil around the collar of your cloth. If you are at home, then dilute eucalyptus essential oil in coconut oil or olive oil in 1 : 3 ratio. Use 1 drop of eucalyptus oil to 3 drops of coconut oil. Massage this combination oil on the entire front and back chest, the throat and nose. Its sweet, cold and minty smell helps one to breathe better without gasping for air. Eucalyptus oil has been identified to help in asthma . 
Also drink a cup of strong black coffee. Caffeine helps in asthma. If nothing helps, use your inhaler.
Practice yoga breathing, called pranayama after you have vaprized the room with eucalyptus scent.
2. Sinus Infection no more
Eucalyptus essential oil is by far the most powerful home based treatment for sinus infection. Whether the infecton is bacterial, or viral, this oil helps a lot . This is how to use it.
Eucalyptus essential oil
Lots of handkerchiefs if the sinus infection is relasing phlegm.
- Directions / How to use
Add 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to boiled water. Bring it out of the stove and place the bowl in a less ventilated space. Now, cover your face with a large towel and start inhaling the steam. This steam is rich in volatile oils from the eucalyptus oil. They enter into the lungs and sinus cavities. Within a few minutes, one can experience relief from sinus facial pressure and headache. The oil not only provides relief from the symptoms, it can also cure the infection completely if used regularly for a few days.
- Why it works ?
The antibiotic nature of eucalyptus oil is put to work. Even though one is just inhaling the vapors of this oil, it is still enough to kill the pathogens.
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3. Fight Respiratory Tract Infections
Eucalyptus oil can help you overcome dangerous respiratory infections like bronchitis, tuberculosis  and rhinitis . Eucalyptus essential oil is a strong therapeutic agent for the entire respiratory tract. It provides relief by dilating the air passages, killing bacteria and even viruses.
Massage your chest and throat with diluted eucalyptus essential oil. Dilute it with any common oil, like olive oil. This massage allows skin to absorb nutrients from eucalyptus oil. This way it helps to heal most infections of the respiratory system.
Breathing becomes much less strained . This helps in COPD, emphysema and even sleep apnea.
4. Soothe Tired Muscles
If you have tired, sore or even cramping muscles, then eucalyptus oil can provide great relief. Just massage the painful muscle gently using diluted eucalyptus oil 2 – 3 times a day. It is a pain reliever and a muscle relaxant as well. This is great for cramped muscles.
If the pain is not going away, try wintergreen essential oil as well, which is one of the finest natural pain relievers known to man.
5. Eliminate Viral Infections
Virus are extremely stubborn. They need to be kicked out of the system. Alas, there are not many things that help with viruses, especially the deadly ones, like hepatitis viruses. Eucalyptus oil can be used to aid the body in eliminating the following viral infections.
A study done by NCBI found out that tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are strongly effective against herpes simplex virus.
For flu, take a eucalyptus oil steam. For herpes, apply eucalyptus oil topically by adding it in a natural cream, or by diluting it in a carrier oil.
6. Wound healer and Antiseptic
Eucalyptus oil serves well as a home based completely natural antiseptic wash. This is how you can make. Add 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil to 2 cups water. Put this in a spray bottle. When you get cut or scrape, spray this solution on a damp but clean cloth. Use this cloth to wipe your wound.
You can also use this homemade antiseptic wash to prevent chances of infection in case of mosquito bites, insect bites and partially healing scabs.
“FACT – Back in the later half of 18 th century, eucalyptus oil haad gained immense popularity among surgeons as a powerful antiseptic. ”
7. Cool Your Fever
Use the homemade eucalyptus oil spray I mentioned above. To relieve a fever, spray this solution on a cool, damp cloth and place many such cloths all over your body. Take care to avoid areas of sensitive skin. This should relieve the fever in quick time.
To make this even more powerful, add 10 drops of cold peppermint tea to this solution. Peppermint contains menthol which is a cooling agent.
If you don’t have that much time, just apply used tea bags of peppermint and eucalyptus.
8. Lower your stress
Many of us live in a continuous state of mental stress, and sometimes even physical stress. The mental stress however doesn’t ease quickly. Within a few weeks, person may succumb to mental exhaustion, a feeling of extreme tiredness in the brain. All the mental faculties dull down and it becomes very hard for the person to concentrate or enjoy life. Eucalyptus oil provides freshness to the brain, thus relieving mental exhaustion.
Smell the oil from its bottle or vial for a few seconds. Take it in deeply. The camphor like cold and sweet fragrance makes you relaxed at the mind. If you like it, keep the bottle in your purse and smell it whenever you like. Peppermint oil too has a similar effect. The reason behind this is that both eucalyptus and peppermint oil have a strong cooling effect.
7. Headaches and Migraines
Eucalyptus oil can be made use of in relieving different kinds of headache, one of them being migraine headache.
Eucalyptus essential oil
- Directions / How to use
Add 4 – 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil to about 30 ml cool water. Then dip a small cloth in it and place this cloth on your temples. Make sure that the cloth is not dripping liquid, or it could enter your eyes. You wouldn’t want eucalyptus oil in your eyes, its dangerous. So just apply moderately wet cloth on your temples and drink some cold water. Migraine and other kinds of headache start to ease out.
- Why it works ?
Eucalyptus oil has the ability to increase blood circulation to brain. With more blood rushing in with each beat, brain gets more sugar, oxygen, ketones and omega – 3s. This makes brain perform better. There is much less pressure on cranial arteries, thus alleviating the throbbing headache. Its vaso-dilator property also helps in relaxing blood vessels, allowing them to carry blood easily.
Eucalyptus oil, applied in this away also relieves inflammation of the ear, and the eyes. You don’t need to apply it on the eye, or the ear. Blood vessels and nerves get the nutrients direct from the skin of the temples.
8 . Heal Sports Injuries faster
Sports, or any other activity can cause deep seated injuries in the tendons, ligaments and muscular structures. The person takes physiotherapy to allow the body to heal properly and recover faster. Apply diluted eucalyptus oil to the affected part reduces inflammation and lowers the pain.
One can use this for issues like tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee injuries like ilioibial band stretch and many other such injuries.
9. Common Cold
Apply some diluted eucalyptus essential oil on the sole of your feet before sleeping. The cold may go away by the next morning. It seems far fetched, but this technique really works for many people.
10. Get rid of lice
Add a few drops eucalyptus oil in any other oil, like olive oil. Perform a hot oil scalp treatment with this mixture, instead of plain olive oil. Eucalyptus oil drives away the lice. You can mop out the nits ( lice eggs ) with a lice comb.
People who suffer from diabetes have to face poor blood circulation issues in the extremities ( hands and feet ). In severe cases, diabetes causes neuropathy in peripheral nerves. The person suffers from pain without any reason and burning sensation on the skin, especially in the feet. This can be relieved to some extent by applying diluted eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil to the feet .
12. Eucalyptus Oil For Skin Care
Although eucalyptus oil is not so acclaimed for skin care, you can get more out of your product by using it on the skin. Always apply only diluted eucalyptus oil on skin, and avoid sensitive skin. It can be used to prevent bacterial and fungal infection like athlete’s foot, ringworm etc. If you need to go in some bug infested places, by chance, then use this oil to keep insects and pests away.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Home
One can use eucalyptus oil to make the home smell and feel better. You can also drive away insects and unwanted smells.
- Drains and Sinks – Clean them with the homemade eucalyptus oil spray. This keeps cockroaches away from sinks.
- Room Freshener – Use eucalptus oil in your room freshener device. The smell it creates is quite cooling, refreshing and pleasing to the sense. If you suspect places of foul odor, use higher concentration of eucalyptus oil in the spray.
- Clean baby’s items – Babies have the tendency to put anything in their mouth. Clean the items in your house with eucalyptus oil spray. After you have sprayed, wipe them off nicely to mop out excess oil sitting on the surface. This disinfects your entire house.
- Ward away moths – Eucalyptus oil smell in the house keeps moth away.
- Prevent Molds – Spray eucalyptus oil in warm, moist areas, like bathroom to prevent mold growing in these places.
- Clean anything , like countertops, tiles, sinks, greasy kitchen utensils and probably any other stuff.
( Photo credit : studiomtn )
Eucalyptus oil is used in many products, like toothpaste, skin care products, mouthwash, antiseptic solutions, vapor rubs etc. It is also used as a biopesticide.
Side Effects And Toxicity Issues
Eucalyptus oil is generally safe to be applied topically in diluted form. However, it is dangerous to use it undiluted on skin. So, avoid this. Eucalyptus essential oil should never be taken internally.
There are many food items which contain small amounts of eucalyptus oil as flavorings, or for other therapeutical purposes. But, those are all within the safe limits. Do not try to add eucalyptus oil to food items at home.
Lethal dose – Even very small amounts of 0.05 mL per kg of body weight can be lethal to adults. For kids, it may be even lower. [ Source : Wikipedia]
So, one should always use eucalpytus oil in diluted form. In steam and other aromatherapy uses like spa, one uses small amounts of eucalyptus essential oil, which is safe.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a pretty interesting history. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia. In 1852, a man named Joseph Bosisto started extracting eucalyptus oil commercially. The trade flourished. But, in the 1940s and 50s, many species of Eucalyptus oil had been taken to many other parts of the world, mainly for its wood. Eucalyptus trees grow fast and are great for wood.
Now, many other countries started competing Australia for the global eucalyptus oil industry. Since the prices of extracting eucalyptus oil had gone way high in Australia, they couldn’t lower the prices enough to match their competitors, mainly from Spain.
At present, most of the eucalyptus oil comes from China. Australia still produces high quality, somewhat exotic eucalyptus oil.
(Photo credit : Zaareo )
Medical and Nutritional Information
The chief ingredient in Eucalyptus Essential Oil is Cineole. Technically speaking, it is 1,8 – cineole, which is also called Eucalyptol. This is the main component in many dental care products like mouth fresheners and mouth wash. There are other compounds in eucalyptus oil, many of which are volatile. These are macrocarpals, monoterpenes, eucalyptin, and many other tannins and flavonoids.
Many times, eucalyptus oil is derived only from those tree species which yield oil high in cineole content. In low quality eucalyptus oils, there may also be some ingredients of camphor oil as well.
Cineole content in eucalyptus oil can go as high as 80 %. But, what is all the hype about cineole ? That’s because cineole is the chief anti-inflammatory and volatile component of this oil. This is the nutrient which provides most of the health benefits of eucalyptus oil. And, it is also used in food flavorings and medicines.
Nutritional Data For Eucalyptus Essential Oil
|Cineole||upto 80 %||Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Aromatic|
|Macrocarpals||–||Anti bacterial, Anti viral|
|Verbenone||–||Pleasing Aroma, Cough Suppressant|
Eucalyptus essential oil is such a useful product to be kept at home. It is a multipurpose oil with so many applications at home. Choosing the best eucalypus oil can be tough though. You can buy it at the nearest health store, or you can buy it online. There are some varieties of Eucalyptus oil that are pretty costly, but they are renowned for their exquisite quality.
1. Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture – P. Schnitzler, NCBI.
2. Anti-inflammatory activity of 1.8-cineol (eucalyptol) in bronchial asthma: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Juergens UR1, Dethlefsen U, Steinkamp G, Gillissen A, Repges R, Vetter H. NCBI
3. NYU Langone Medical Center
4. Airborne Antituberculosis Activity of Eucalyptus citriodora Essential Oil – René F. Ramos Alvarenga , Baojie Wan , Taichi Inui , Scott G. Franzblau , Guido F. Pauli, and Birgit U. Jaki, – J. Nat. Prod.
5. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. – Sadlon AE, Lamson DW. NCBI
6. Peripheral neuropathy – NAPWHA
7. Properties of 1,8-cineole: a thermophysical and theoretical study. Aparicio S, Alcalde R, Dávila MJ, García B, Leal JM.- NCBI
8. Macrocarpals H, I, and J from the Leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Kenji Osawa and Hideyuki Yasuda , J. Nat. Prod
9. Monoterpenes in essential oils. Biosynthesis and properties. Loza-Tavera H. NCBI