Eucalyptus essential oil is acquired from leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The tree is botanically called Eucalyptus globulus; in fact, there are over 700 species. It is also known as fever tree, stringy bark tree or blue gum tree. Eucalyptus essential oil is also known as Blue Gum Oil, Black Peppermint Oil, Lemon Eucalyptus Oil, Blue Mallee Oil etc. The leading producer of eucalyptus oil is Australia, it being the native of Eucalyptus. Fresh leaves are processed through steam distillation to extract the essential oils.
Why is eucalyptus essential oil beneficial?
Health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil are being reaped since ages. About 70-85% of eucalyptus essential oil is eucalyptol, also called 1.8-cineole. Eucalyptol has been in use as anti-bacterial mouthwash, usually in combination with other herb oils. Due to the practical health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil it has been in use particularly for respiratory problems. Scientific studies lead to presence of chemicals that might help control blood sugar; work against bacteria and fungi; ease pain and inflammation, and block chemicals that cause asthma.
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Unknowingly or knowingly, most people have been benefitted by eucalyptus essential oil because it is found in products like decongestants, muscle and joint ointments, inhalers, cough remedies and mouthwashes. However, here is a glance of health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil:
Benefits to Respiration : The active compound in the eucalyptus essential oil is a proven ingredient against a wide range of respiratory problems including cold, cough, nasal congestion, running nose, sore throat, bronchitis, asthma, and sinusitis. The vapors of the oil have excellent positive effect in blocked respiratory tract. The oil relieves non-bacterial sinusitis.
A simple therapy for cold : A few drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a handkerchief, if inhaled will give almost instant relief from nasal congestion and colds. If a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil are diluted in half glass of lukewarm water and gargled, sooths the sore throat. Barring infants, almost everyone can reap the health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil. A light chest rub will clear the phlegm in the lungs; rub and inhaling of vapors will decongest the nasal passages; rub on the temples will ease sinusitis-linked headaches. Modes of application include massage, compress, bath, as well as diffuser, direct inhalation and vaporizer.
Benefits to Muscles : The oil is known for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Massaging eucalyptus essential oil relieves muscle and joint pains and eases inflammation. It is a successful treatment of rheumatism, sprains, stiff muscles, lumbago, aches, fibrosis and even nerve pain. Eucalyptus essential oil massage is suggested for stiff muscles, rheumatism, muscle aches, sprained ligaments and tendons, lumbago, fibrosis and even nerve pain.
Benefits to Skin : Germicidal properties of eucalyptus essential oil make it a good antiseptic. This oil helps in healing wounds, burns, cuts, dermal ulcers, blisters, irritations and sores. Eucalyptus oil can be applied topically to treat skin infections. Besides being a very effective mosquito repellant the oil is known to deter cockroaches and silverfish. When rubbed on insect bites and stings, the oil soothes the area and provides anti-inflammatory protection.
Benefits to Teeth : Eucalyptus essential oil is a known for germicidal properties. Therefore it is a chosen treatment for various dental problems such as cavities, plaques and gingivitis. A regular gargling with Eucalyptus essential oil diluted in water (preferably warm) will keep the oral cavity free of germs and checks the bad breath. The germicidal properties of eucalyptus oil are helpful in effectively killing staphylococcus bacteria and have been used to treat tuberculosis.
Benefits to Mind : Eucalyptus essential oil is well-known to provide a cooling and refreshing effect to mind. The aromatic oil stimulates, rejuvenates and lifts up the spirits during stress and mental disorders. It is even found beneficial for those who are susceptible to becoming ill due to emotional stress or anxieties. The odor helps to ease grief and depression, restore vitality, harmony, and balance.
Blood sugar : Eucalyptus essential oil is also used for controlling blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients have been benefitted by taking the oil internally.
Febrile conditions : The volatile oil is used to control fever (increase in body temperature) caused due to infectious diseases. Probably that is why the oil is often called as ‘fever oil’. The oil can be applied on the surface in diluted form to relieve fevers. It is useful in cool compresses applied to the forehead or back of neck etc.
Urogenital infections : The antiseptic property of eucalyptus oil is beneficial for the urinary system, and is helpful in treatment of urogenital infections. It is also used as a mild diuretic to increase the excretion of urea.
Other direct and indirect health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil include:
- Intestinal germs: Eucalyptus oil is used to remove germs in the intestine.
- Air purifier: Eucalyptus essential oil, owing to its volatile compound, helps neutralizing airborne germs. Two of its chemical constituents, aromadendrene and phellandrene hinder survival of bacteria. Mix eucalyptus essential oil in a bottle of water and spray in the room to clean the air, or mop the floor to disinfect.
- Body deodorant: Eucalyptus oil is a commendable body deodorant. Dab the water-oil mixture and be ensured to keep the body odor away.
Precautions while using eucalyptus esssential oil
Pure and undiluted eucalyptus oil is HAZARDOUS if taken internally or applied directly to the skin. It should be diluted with water or carrier oil before using. Consuming about 3.5 mL of undiluted oil can be fatal. Eucalyptus poisoning may cause giddiness, convulsions, stomach pain and burning, muscle weakness, suffocation etc. Eucalyptus oil can also cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea1. While almost all can be benefitted from the goodness of eucalyptus essential oil, it is not suggested to be used on infants, pregnant women, people with high blood pressure and epilepsy.
The vast array of health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil include fighting against viral, rheumatic, fungal, bacterial infections. It also possesses anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, deodorant, insecticidal, mucolytic and expectorant properties, and therefore taking care of the entire body – physical, physiological and psychological.