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Another essential oil that is worth looking at because it is versatile and all-purpose is eucalyptus. There are many benefits from eucalyptus oil and therapeutic uses. We don’t have to use many over-the-counter medications when there is something as amazing as eucalyptus essential oil.
The scientific name for the most used species of eucalyptus is Eucalyptus Globulus. It is from the Myrtaceae (Myrtle) family. The globulus is a perennial tree that’s 40-65 feet high. It is widely used as a garden tree. These are just a few facts about eucalyptus. Continue reading to find out more about it and to see the many health benefits it has to offer.
Some Tidbits Of Eucalyptus (Globulus) Essential Oil
Eucalyptus Essential Oil originated in Australia, but now is cultivated in Europe, China, the Americas, parts of the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It is very popular with the Aborigines in Australia and for hundreds of years the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree have been used to treat medical conditions such as infections, colds, and other respiratory conditions.
It wasn’t until 1788 that it was distilled for the oil, and the oil was used to treat colic and respiratory conditions instead of the leaves. Eucalyptus oil began to catch on in the 1800s when it became popular worldwide. European hospitals started using it as a disinfectant and antiseptic in the nineteenth century, using it to clean surgical and medical equipment. It was used to help relieve pain because of its analgesic property.
Eucalyptus (Globulus) Essential Oil is extracted from the leaves of the fast-growing Eucalyptus tree by the steam distillation method. Young twigs are sometimes used, as well. There are over 500 species of eucalyptus trees. The most commonly used species for essential oil is Eucalyptus globulus, which is also referred to as blue gum tree. Oil from the eucalyptus leaves is a colorless liquid and has a very strong sweet, woody smell with some camphor present.
There are over 100 different terpene components that make up eucalyptus oil. The main component is 1,8-cineole, which can be anywhere from 60% to 80% of the oil. The other main chemical components are a-pinene, d-limonene, a-phellandrene, b-pinene, camphor, sabinene, and traces of many more. With a single distillation, known as the “crude” form, the oil is more potent than eucalyptus oil that has been distilled twice.
Most essential oils are more potent after the second distillation. In eucalyptus oil, after single distillation, the ratio is about 60% cineole and 40% of other beneficial components. After a double distillation, the ratio is 80% cineole and 20% other components and the oil tends to be less effective because the other components are not as powerful.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a strong camphoraceous, woody, and herbal scent. The consistency of the oil is thin and it’s colorless and turns yellow with age. As a top note, this oil makes up about 20% of the oil blend. This oil is a member of the camphoraceous family. See my article on categorizing oils.
These are the oils Eucalyptus oil blends well with:
- Woody family: cedarwood, frankincense, juniper, cypress, and pine.
- Floral family: lavender, geranium, and chamomile.
- Camphoraceous family: tea tree, cajuput, and peppermint.
- Citrus family: lemon and grapefruit.
- Herbal family: basil, rosemary, thyme, spearmint, and marjoram
- Spicy family: ginger
To get the best results when blending, always add middle and base note oils with the top note. Here’s my blending article to find out more.
Eucalyptus oil has awesome chemical components that make up the therapeutic properties and are powerfully beneficial. The main component, cineole, has very potent properties. They are: anti-bacterial, expectorant, respiratory anti-inflammatory, cough suppressant, and a powerful nasal decongestant.
Other chemical components bring these beneficial properties to eucalyptus oil: antispasmodic, antiseptic, analgesic, anti-fungal, antiviral and disinfectant. They are also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. With all these properties they make Eucalyptus Essential oil a great remedy for many health issues.
Benefits From Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil offers fantastic health benefits. Have you ever gone to the drug store when you’re suffering from cold symptoms like chest congestion and/or sore throat to purchase a vapor chest rub or cold medications or sore throat sprays? If you look on the ingredients, you will often find that eucalyptus oil is one of the active ingredients in these over-the-counter medications. So the medical/pharmaceutical industry has realized the benefits of eucalyptus.
If you are suffering from some kind of respiratory condition, like cough/cold, bronchitis, or allergies then eucalyptus may give you some great relief. Eucalyptus essential oil acts as a decongestant when the vapor is inhaled. It clears the nasal passages and makes breathing easier. Also, as an expectorant, it can loosen phlegm/mucus and help get rid of the toxins that are making you feel bad.
As an anti-inflammatory, the cineole in eucalyptus helps to reduce the inflammation of bronchitis as well as the coughing that is caused by bronchitis. Besides being anti-inflammatory, eucalyptus has immuno-regulatory effects, meaning it helps change the way the body reacts to allergens. HERE is a study that shows the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of eucalyptus essential oil.
Eucalyptus essential oil helps fight infections because of its antimicrobial properties; it is anti-fungal, antiviral, and antibacterial. It is effective against many strains of fungi, viruses, and bacteria. This is why it can help to boost the immune system. The antibacterial qualities is shown in THIS study.
We know it’s anti-inflammatory, but it is also analgesic. This means these properties work together to relieve pain, from headaches, to muscle aches, to joint aches.
Another important benefit is that it can be used to bring mental clarity and increase energy. It induces a cooling effect on the mind, which allows better coping with anxiety, stress, and negative emotion.
As a natural antiseptic, eucalyptus oil can be used to treat wounds and promote faster healing by killing bacteria and fighting off infection and its analgesic properties relieve the pain resulting from the wound.
Another surprising benefit of eucalyptus oil, is that it can help in the fight against tooth decay and gum disease. Since it has anti-bacterial properties, I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that it can help in dental care. It is perfect for helping reduce plaque on teeth and killing those germs that cause plaque.
Those are some of the many health benefits from eucalyptus oil. It also may help with:
- Bladder diseases
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses
There are several ways to use eucalyptus oil, which include aromatically, topically, and internally.
Here are some ways to use eucalyptus oil topically:
- For a chest vapor rub, dilute in a carrier oil or Shea butter along with a few other essential oils such as peppermint, lavender, lemon, and tea tree.
- To help relieve headaches, apply a couple drops to the temples and back of the neck.
- For relief of muscle pain, rub 2 or 3 drops to the sore muscle and for large areas mix with 1/2 tsp of carrier oil.
- To relieve earaches, rub 1 drop gently on the outer part of ear canal
- For a sinus infection, use eucalyptus oil with a Neti-pot solution
- For hair, massage into the scalp and the oil helps to nourish the hair follicles and can fight against dandruff
- Mix with a carrier oil and massage into head as a hot oil treatment to encourage hair growth
- Use it on wounds as a natural antiseptic and it will enable faster healing.
- For insect bites, apply 2 or 3 drops to a cotton ball and apply to bites 3 times daily until they are gone.
To use eucalyptus oil aromatically:
- For asthma relief, use in a diffuser or inhaler to help reduce inflammation and to clear congestion in the airways.
- To boost energy and concentration, diffuse 5 to 10 drops for a few hours. It is refreshing and very stimulating.
- For cold, cough and congestion, add 7-8 drops to boiling water in a bowl or pot and lean over it. When you do, cover your head with a towel, closing your eyes and breathing in through your nose for about 2-5 minutes. This should loosen the mucus and the oil will kill off the germs that cause infection.
- Diffusing 5-7 drops of eucalyptus oil can do several things. To help relieve headaches; to boost your immune system; to improve seasonal allergies; to kill germs in your home. So, you see, by diffusing this oil you can help many issues at once.
And for internal use:
As previously mentioned, eucalyptus oil is recognized for it’s health benefits in the medical and pharmaceutical world. You can find it in cough drops, throat lozenges, mouthwashes, and even in toothpastes. It can even be found in certain gums.
There are several ways you can make your own mouthwash. One way is to add 8 drops of eucalyptus oil, 8 drops of peppermint oil, and 6 drops of tea tree oil to 1 cup Brandy. Rinse your mouth with the mixture and then rinse it again with plain water. Try not to ingest the mixture. A small amount may not harm you, but play it safe. There is still a lot of controversy about whether essential oils are safe for internal use.
Most essential oils can be used for various things around the house. Here are some examples:
- Add 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to your vacuum cleaner to hinder mold growth in your home.
- If you have dirty carpets, mix some baking soda with eucalyptus oil and apply it over the carpet to not only clean the dirt and germs but it will also take odors away.
- To get rid of the bad odor from your trash can, drop a little eucalyptus oil in it.
- For bad smell in your bathroom, put some oil on some cotton balls and put them around your bathroom.
- For an antibacterial cleaning spray, in a glass spray bottle, mix 10 drops each of eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, citronella oil, 1/4 cup vinegar with 2 cups of water. Shake it up well and spray on whatever surface you want clean.
- Drop some eucalyptus oil on the air filter in your home. It will help refresh and rejuvenate the air in your house.
- To make a mold-killing shower cleaner, add to a 16 oz. glass spray bottle, 5 drops each of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil. Fill the bottle up with water, then spray the shower after each use.
As with any essential oil, pregnant women and children under six should use caution when using them. Consult your doctor about using essential oils while pregnant.
My Final Thoughts
It is quite apparent that eucalyptus essential oil health benefits are numerous. The Australian Aborigines knew the value of the oil and took full advantage of it. If these “primitive” people knew the amazing healing powers of this oil, then maybe we should all consider this healthier alternative for better living.
As you can tell, the versatility of eucalyptus essential oil allows for a variety of uses. There are so many things you can do with it. It’s such a healthful addition to your home, especially in this day and age when there are so many toxins and contaminants jeopardizing our health.
If you already use eucalyptus essential oil, I’m interested in knowing how you use it. If you have any other comments or questions, just leave them below.
As always, thanks for reading!