Eucalyptus oil has been used by the indigenous people of Australia for centuries to relieve everything from aches and pains to cold and flu symptoms. The oil is extracted by distillation from dried eucalyptus leaves, and is used in everything from analgesic gels to cough drops. In terms of application today, eucalyptus oil is used in insect repellent, shaving balm, soap, shampoo, cough suppressant, disinfectant, asthma treatment, for managing blood sugar with diabetes, treating cold sores, easing pain, freshening breath, and other uses too numerous to mention.
I personally love my eucalyptus oil-base shaving soap and aftershave balm, as it both prevents and soothes the irritation of dragging a razor over my face in the mornings. While originally native to Australia, eucalyptus trees are able to thrive in other similar biospheres, and thus their essential oil is in widespread use.
Here are 15 ways eucalyptus oil makes people’s lives better every day.
1. Cough Suppressant
For over a century, people in the western hemisphere have been using eucalyptus oil to treat coughs and upper respiratory irritation. Most cough drops on the market today contain a concentration of eucalyptus oil to fix that itch in your throat that just won’t go away. The vapors produced by eucalyptus oil actually soothe the irritated nerves in your respiratory tract, and the oil itself acts a numbing agent to stop that tickle in your throat. As a testament to the power of eucalyptus oil as a cough suppressant, Vicks VapoRub, a popular respiratory treatment, uses a 1.2% concentration of eucalyptus oil, and Halls Cough Drops contain merely 6.5 mg of menthol extracted from eucalyptus oil.
2. Cold and Flu
One of the greatest benefits of eucalyptus oil is its function as an expectorant to assist your body in purging toxins and harmful virii and bacteria that can make you ill. Treating a cold with eucalyptus oil is simple: add a few drops of the essential oil into an essential oil diffuser before sleeping, and let it run all night long to help relieve symptoms and boost your body’s immune response. Alternatively, you can use a Vicks brand eucalyptus solution in a steam humidifier overnight. If your symptoms are more acute, you can add about 10 drops of essential oil of eucalyptus to a cup of boiling water in a large bowl, put your head over the bowl and cover it with a towel. Breath deeply for about 5-10 minutes, and you will find your symptoms significantly relieved.
3. Hair and Scalp
I love shampoos and soaps made with eucalyptus, as they are wonderful for stress relief and soothing a dry scalp or sore muscles in your neck and shoulders. One way you can use eucalyptus essential oil to make your own hair and skin treatment is to add a few drops to some coconut or olive oil to make a tingling, refreshing hair and scalp treatment. I like to use this method if I have an especially itchy scalp or I am noticing more dandruff on my shirts and jackets. It is also great for chapped, dry skin on your hands and feet to soothe sore muscles and irritated skin.
4. Sinus and Allergies
There have been several scientific studies conducted regarding the use of eucalyptus to treat sinusitis and other ear, nose, and throat conditions. The patients studied all stated they experienced more rapid improvement when adding eucalyptus oil to their anti-allergy/sinus remedy routine. Several studies also recommended gargling with eucalyptus oil in order to clear a congested or itchy throat. This is similar to the boiling water bowl and towel method, but functions a little more directly, and is more effective when it comes to treating allergies.
5. Household Use
In addition to helping clear your breathing and treat your illnesses, eucalyptus is very effective at freshening up your home and linens. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your laundry or in the bottom of your garbage cans, or even adding some to your mop water, window cleaner, or kitchen cleanser creates a clean, breathable atmosphere in your home. Not only does eucalyptus oil add a fresh and pleasant aroma, but it also has proven antimicrobial and insect repelling properties as well.
6. Insect Repellent
Recently, the Center for Disease Control released an endorsement of lemon eucalyptus oil as an insect repellent. Considered by the CDC to be as effective as leading synthetic insect repellent DEET, a petrochemical known to cause seizures, tremors, and other neurological side effects with long term implications. This is the first time the CDC has ever endorsed a natural alternative to DEET repellent, and it is good news all around for parents and guardians of children alike. DEET has proven to be toxic to animals at dosage levels that are typical to what humans apply to their skin, and there have been reports that children have suffered from toxic exposure symptoms when using DEET based insect repellents. Give this CDC approved bug repellent a try next time you will be spending time in the woods or at the beach, and let a natural alternative keep you safe from pesky biters and buzzers.
When the aborigines of Australia historically would use eucalyptus leaves and essential oils to bind wounds and treat burns. Eucalyptus oil acts as a natural disinfectant, cleaning the wound or burned area of the skin. Additionally, its anti-microbial nature also helps prevent infections during recovery, and the anti-inflammatory properties soothe pain and speed the healing process.As general rule, eucalyptus oil should only be used to treat minor cuts, abrasions, and burns, but you will find that regular cleaning of the injured area with diluted eucalyptus oil accelerates the recover process and relieves your pain. Best of all, it is very effective at eliminating the the sting and itch of bug bites, so rub a little on mixed with some coconut oil the next time you get bitten while you are out in the yard.
8. Soothing Cold Sores
As an anti-inflammatory treatment, eucalyptus oil provides fast relief for pain and swelling on the skin. This includes cold sores that occur anywhere on the skin. In fact, many cold sore balms on the market today include eucalyptus oil in their active ingredients in order to speed the healing and reduction of cold sores.
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9. Aches and Pains/Arthritis
Whether you suffer from sore muscles after exercise or have arthritis in your hands, knees, or feet, a eucalyptus oil solution can really help alleviate your pain. Mixing a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in with some coconut oil or your favorite moisturizer/lotion and applying to sore hands, arms, or legs can really ease up the aching sensation, and alleviate some of the pain of arthritis. If you want to give it a little boost in terms of potency, try adding a little peppermint oil for good measure. Not only do the aroma and tingling sensation help relieve your pain and aching, but they also boost your mood and reduce your overall stress level.
10. Dental Care
When it comes to taking care of your teeth and freshening your breath, mint and baking soda are not your sole weapons in the battle against dental disease. Because of its antimicrobial properties and its function as an anti-inflammatory substance, eucalyptus oil can soothe irritated gums and kill bacteria that cause bad breath and gum disease. There is even evidence to suggest that eucalyptus oil helps break up the plaque and prevent it from bonding with teeth in the future as well.
11. Brain Boosting
Many teachers use eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils in classroom diffusers in their classrooms, as it has been shown in studies that it helps students concentrate and improves their performance on assessments. Try this in your office or work space next time you need a little pick me up in the afternoon.
12. Stimulating Immune Responses
Several studies have shown that when exposed to eucalyptus oil as an aromatic, topical, or in very small diluted concentrations internally, eucalyptus oil actually stimulates the production of immune system cells that fight infection and disease.
13. Mobile Air Conditioning
When you know you are going to be at an outdoor event in the heat for an extended period of time, having a spray bottle fan can be an absolute life saver. However, you can boost the effectiveness of your misting fan by adding about 24 drops of eucalyptus oil to 4 oz. of water. Give yourself a spritz for some cooling relief now and then, and let the eucalyptus add an extra layer of cool on your skin.
14. Bath Balm
Add a three or four drops of eucalyptus oil to your bath salts before putting them in a hot bath. Not only will you breathe easier, but your sore muscles and tired feet will appreciate the pain relieving soak.
15. Sauna Time
If you use a sauna regularly, add a couple drops to 2 cups of water, then pour it over the hot rocks. The steam will not only aid in relieving your aches and pains, but it also opens up your respiratory system so you can breathe more easily.
All in all, eucalyptus oil is an excellent supplement to your remedy routine when treating a whole slew of ailments. I get a lot out of the eucalyptus oil products I use, and I hope you benefit from what you learned in this article today. Enjoy what you read? Let us know by liking the post and sharing what you liked best in the com