Everyone has heard of Eucalyptus and we all know that it’s the food of choice for koalas!
However, did you know that the essential oil from the eucalyptus tree is actually very beneficial for a variety of different health problems too?
Eucalyptus essential oil is thought tone a cleansing, clarifying and purifying oil, which can boost your immune system and also be used on the skin to give you fantastic results.
However, it’s worthwhile noting that further studies are ongoing into the range of benefits of any type of essential oil, eucalyptus oil included.
There are more than 500 different types of eucalyptus trees across the world and most of them are used to extract oil.
These all vary a little in terms of their scent, but the famous eucalyptus scent that you’re so used to from cold and blocked nose remedies is the most common you’ll notice.
As a result, you’ll find eucalyptus oil in inhalers, massage oils, balms, and even dental products, because of its antibacterial element and how soothing and cooling it is.
What is Eucalyptus Essential Oil?
Let’s take it back a few steps.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree.
Whilst you’ll find most eucalyptus trees in Australia, they’re also present in other regions too, including Brazil, India, China, and across certain parts of Europe.
It wasn’t until the 1880s that the oil from the tree began to be extracted for use in various different medicines and products, manly for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties.
These days you’ll find eucalyptus in many over the counter products for colds and flus, and can also be added to warm water to breathe in, in order to unblock a stuffy nose.
As with any type of essential oil, this is the essence of the tree, which is extracted carefully using various different methods.
The oil is then sold as natural as it can possibly be, and used to treat many different ailments.
However, that doesn’t mean that eucalyptus oil is safe for everyone.
You should check with your doctor before you start using eucalyptus oil if you have any health issues or you’re taking any medications.
If you’re pregnant or you have any other concerns, you should also speak to your doctor.
Its always best to get the green light from a health professional before you start using any oil, eucalyptus included.
You should also never use eucalyptus oil without diluting it down with a carrier oil.
This is a very potent oil which needs to be reduced in strength before it is suitable for human use.
You can then breathe it in via a diffuser or a steam bath, or you can use it topically onto your skin.
You should never ingest any type of essential oil, eucalyptus oil included.
So, what are the benefits of eucalyptus oil?
10 Amazing Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Many studies are still ongoing into the effectiveness of eucalyptus oil for many different ailments, however this oil is thought to offer the following ten benefits for health and wellbeing.
1 – Helping to Relief a Cough
Many over the counter cough remedies include eucalyptus oil, however you can use the oil when diluted down with a carrier oil as a topical treatment.
You simply create a rub and apply it to the throat and the rest to help to relieve the annoying symptoms of a cough, after a cold or flu bout.
However, this should be used with caution if the cough has been persistent or is worsening. In this case, you should seek medical advice.
2 – Helps to Clear a Congested Chest
Many of the benefits of eucalyptus oil are linked to the effects of the common cold or flu, and this is another one.
If you have had a cold or flu and you have a congested chest, perhaps you are suffering from problematic mucous, or you’re coughing and nothing is coming back up, you can use eucalyptus oil to loosen the congestion and help the cough become more productive.
A few drops of the oil (with a carrier oil) to hot water will create a vapour which you can breathe in.
However, you’ll also be able to use the rub from the last point to solve the same problem too.
3 – May Act as an Insect Repellent
Are you always getting bit by mosquitos and other insects?
If so, you might not want to use strong insect repellent sprays which are high in DEET content.
These sprays often contain chemicals which can irritate the chest if you have a particularly sensitive respiratory problem and may also cause irritation of the skin for some.
However, eucalyptus oil can be used to repel these insects and keep you hopefully bite-free.
4 – Can Help to Clean Wounds and Scratches
Studies have shown that the antibacterial properties of eucalyptus oil may help to avoid infection and cleanses wounds and scratches before issues occur.
Eucalyptus leaves are used in natural healing practices for this very reason already, and the oil can do the same thing. If you look on the ingredients of many antibacterial gels and creams, you might even find eucalyptus oil already in there!
When diluted down with a carrier oil you can use eucalyptus oil on minor cuts, scratches and even burns.
However, if an injury is particularly bad or is showing signs of infection, you should seek out medical attention rather than try and use an essential oil on it as the first line of treatment.
5 – Helps to Relieve a Stuffy Nose
One of the most common uses of eucalyptus oil is to clear a stuffy nose and help you breathe more easily, especially before you choose to go to sleep.
Problems such as sinusitis, colds, flus and even asthma can clog up the nose and cause issues, but you can add a few diluted drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water and breathe in the vapour, for excellent results.
Of course, this means that the mucous inside your nose is loosened, leaving you free to do whatever you need to do in order to get rid of it!
Studies have shown that eucalyptus oil is one of the best oils to help relieve congestion.
6 – May Help With Blood Sugar Control
Whilst more studies need to be done in order to ascertain the amount of benefit that eucalyptus oil can have on blood sugar control, it is thought to have a certain benefit.
Some studies suggest that the oil may lower blood sugar if you have a certain type of diabetes, however more information is required if this is to be considered a very reliable and solid benefit of this particular essential oil.
For now however, it’s something to give hope!
7 – Helps to Relieve The Symptoms of a Cold Sore
The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of eucalyptus oil means that when applied topically to a cold sore (diluted with a carrier oil, of course), the oil may help to soothe the pain and cut down healing time.
If you look at the ingredients list of over the counter balms and other creams designed for cold sores, you might even see that eucalyptus oil is already listed there for you to see.
Again, make sure you dilute this down with a carrier oil and apply with a cotton wool bud.
8 – Helps to Give You Fresher Breath
The fresh smell of eucalyptus is ideal for freshening breath.
You might also see that eucalyptus is an ingredient in certain toothpastes and mouthwashes.
This is also down to the antibacterial elements of eucalyptus oil, which helps to fight bacteria and freshen the breath at the same time.
9 – May Help With Oral Health
Studies have shown that eucalyptus oil may be helpful in oral health in general, by helping to reduce tooth decay.
This also links in with the point above, which talks about helping with fresher breath.
By fighting bacteria and oral health issues, such as tooth decay, breath is fresher, but oral health overall is far increased.
10 – Could Help to Reduce Painful Joints
There is a suggestion that using eucalyptus oil regularly, perhaps in a bath or via a topical use (carrier oil diluted), may help to reduce painful joints and soothe away aches and pains.
You will find that many creams and lotions which you can buy over the counter from pharmacies already include eucalyptus oil within them, but you can cut down on the added ingredients and simply use the oil if you want to.
If you’re a regular sufferer of mild arthritis pro perhaps back pain, or maybe you have sore muscles, eucalyptus oil could soothe the discomfort and help you move around more easily.
Using Eucalyptus Oil Safely And Purchasing The Best Quality Product
If you want to gain the most benefit from using eucalyptus oil, you need to shop around for the best product and you need to know how to use it safely.
The industry which encompasses aromatherapy products such as essential oils isn’t regulated by any single body.
That means any company can produce a product and sell it, and you can’t be sure how high quality it is, whether the ingredients are organic or otherwise, and how the oil was extracted.
You also can’t be sure how old the oil is and where and how it has been stored.
These are all factors which can affect the quality of the oil and whether or not you’re going to grab the benefits from it.
As before, if you have any health conditions or you’re on any medications, it’s vital that you check things out with your doctor before using eucalyptus oil.
There are no known major contraindications, but you do need to be wary with certain conditions, including pregnancy.
With that in mind, getting things checked out by a doctor ahead of time is vital if you want to avoid problems.
Another main safety point is to ensure that you dilute the oil down with a carrier oil.
Eucalyptus oil might be natural, from a tree, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful.
Nature is often more potent than you realise and if used without diluting it down first, you may experience irritation, which could be extremely unpleasant.
Using a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil will allow you to utilise the benefits of both the essential oil and the carrier oil.
By identifying the specific benefit you want to target you can use the eucalyptus oil in the right way.
For instance, a steam inhalation is best for easing congestion, but a rub is better for helping with a cough.
Checking the benefits and working out the best way to use the oil is important but it’s equally as important to remember that you should never ingest any type of essential oil.
This could cause a severe reaction and even burns to the gastrointestinal tract and throat.
Stick to inhalation and topical use, and always ensure you dilute down with a carrier oil.
By doing that, you can be sure that, as long as you’ve checked beforehand, using eucalyptus essential oil for a particular issue will help you achieve the results you’re looking for.
Whilst many studies are still ongoing in terms of how effective eucalyptus oil is and what other benefits there might be, the current list of uses is quite extensive and very useful for a variety of problems.
It seems that the koala bear’s tree of choice might be just as beneficial for us as them, and provided you shop around and find the best product for your needs, you can look forward to benefits in the most natural of ways.
Check everything out before you use it, and of course, enjoy the wonderfully fresh scent of this natural tree.