Eucalyptus Oil is distilled from the Eucalyptus leaf, which is the main food of koala bears. This oil has many applications from medicinal, to skin and hair care, and even home care, making it one of the more versatile essential oils that you need to stock plenty of at home.
The leaves of the eucalyptus tree have been used by Australian Aboriginals for hundreds of years. They used it as a tea to treat body pain, fever, and colds; and as disinfecting bandages for wounds. When Australia was colonized, Eucalyptus Oil was first extracted and used to treat the same ailments to much success.
Eucalyptus Oil’s potent healing ability stems from eucalyptol, an organic compound found in many leaves like camphor, bay leaves, basil, and rosemary, among many others. However, the eucalyptus leaf contains a great abundance of eucalyptol, and is thus the favored source for this compound.
Eucalyptus Oil Benefits
There are many ways to use Eucalyptus Oil, whether topically or internally, or burned through a diffuser. Here are some of the major uses of Eucalyptus Oil:
- Treatment of cough, cold and flu
- Insect repellent
- Wound disinfectant
- Breath freshener
- All-around home cleaning agent
- Odor remover
- Muscle and joint pain relief
- Mental stimulant
- Treatment of respiratory problems
- Control blood sugar
Several studies have been conducted to confirm the benefits of Eucalyptus Oil. It has been proven effective in helping prevent tuberculosis infections, control chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), help with asthma, and as an anti-inflammatory.
Another study showed that Eucalyptus Oil has the potential to lower blood pressure. Although this has so far been tested only on laboratory animals, the results are promising and testing on humans is already underway.
Eucalyptus Oil Uses
- Eucalyptus Oil to Treat Colds, Cough, and Flu. Eucalyptus works as an expectorant by clearing the lungs of phlegm, which trap toxins, foreign objects, and disease-causing organisms. This makes it effective for treatment of colds and cough with phlegm. Diffusing Eucalyptus Oil during bedtime when suffering from cough or colds can help you get a good night’s sleep and wake up feeling better.
- Eucalyptus Oil as Insect Repellent and for Treatment of Insect Bites. Insects carry with them diseases that can vary in severity from annoying to fatal, which is why it’s important to carry Eucalyptus Oil around when going outdoors. Certain compounds in Eucalyptus Oil produce an odor that insects hate, which is why it’s effective in keeping them away. In addition to repelling insects, Eucalyptus Oil, when diluted, can also help relieve pain from insect bites and wounds.
- Eucalyptus Oil for Treatment of Wounds. Eucalyptus Oil’s antiseptic properties make it an excellent catalyst for wound healing and preventing infection. In addition, it also acts as a natural painkiller, which makes the healing process not only faster but also much less painful.
- Eucalyptus Oil as a Breath Freshener. Thanks to its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties, Eucalyptus Oil also makes an effective mouthwash. It kills bacteria and germs that cause bad breath, leaving the mouth clean and fresh-smelling. There is also evidence that Eucalyptus Oil helps prevent the buildup of plaque and stops tooth decay. This is why some brands of toothpaste contain Eucalyptus Oil.
- Eucalyptus Oil as a Cleaning Agent. Eucalyptus Oil can clean just about anything. Adding a few drops into water can clean windows, toilets, tables, chairs, glass surfaces, and many others. Adding a few drops to laundry detergent can help remove stains, while adding it to soap can not only help moisturize skin but also increase the soap’s disinfecting power. Best of all, it leaves anything with a minty scent after cleaning.
- Eucalyptus Oil as an Odor Remover. Using water with a few drops of Eucalyptus Oil to clean shoes, pet beds, tables, sinks, bathroom walls, or beds will effectively remove odors and leave them with the very refreshing smell of eucalyptus. Wipe or wash the areas that need freshening and dry them, either out in the sun or in the air to remove odors and prevent them from coming back for a while.
- Eucalyptus Oil for Muscle and Joint Pain Relief. There are many commercial ointments available for muscle pain and joint pain that contain Eucalyptus Oil. Having this oil handy in your medicine cupboard or first aid kit makes managing muscle pain easier.
- Eucalyptus Oil as a Mental Stimulant. Eucalyptus Oil is a stimulant and a vasolidator, meaning it can both increase brain activity and blood flow around the body. Diffusing Eucalyptus Oil and inhaling the aroma can cure sluggishness and exhaustion, and improve focus and attention span.
- Eucalyptus Oil for Treatment of Respiratory Problems. Eucalyptus Oil can be used for treating respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and COPD. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of Eucalyptus Oil make it an effective decongestant and anti-inflammatory. Additionally, gargling water mixed with Eucalyptus Oil can relieve sore throat.
- Eucalyptus Oil for Blood Sugar Control. Eucalyptus Oil has shown signs of lowering blood sugar levels on diabetic patients. Although the evidence is not conclusive as of yet, it shows good potential. However, more research is needed to confirm its exact effects on blood sugar, but it’s something to watch out for.
Eucalyptus Oil Side Effects
Eucalyptus Oil is largely safe when used correctly. Using it undiluted topically can lead to irritation, while ingesting it undiluted can be toxic in large amounts. Signs of eucalyptus poisoning include dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, muscle weakness, and feelings of suffocation. Extremely high doses of Eucalyptus Oil can be fatal when taken internally.
How to use Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus Oil, when diluted, can be taken orally for cough, asthma, sinus pain, and other respiratory problems. It can also be rubbed on the chest for the same purpose.
Applied on the skin, it can help relieve insect bites, treat wounds and infections, burns, and ulcers. For use as mouthwash, dilute in water and swish around in the mouth for about thirty seconds.
For cleaning surfaces, add 10-15 drops of Eucalyptus Oil to water or to cleaning soap, then let dry either under the sun or in open air.
Eucalyptus Oil can also be diffused to help with respiratory ailments, or to improve focus and cure mental exhaustion, with the added benefit of freshening the air.
How to Make Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus Oil is not very difficult to make, as long as you have access to fresh leaves. You will need:
- 2 ounces eucalyptus leaves
- 8 cups olive oil/other carrier oil
- Crock pot
- Dark airtight jar
Crush the leaves and place them inside the pot. Add the olive oil, and put the pot on a stove on low heat for 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Afterwards, strain the mixture into a jar. Store the jar in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight.
Eucalyptus Oil Recipe
One of the most useful things you can make with Eucalyptus Oil is a homemade vapor rub to soothe breathing problems. Here are the materials you will need:
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup shea butter
25 drops Eucalyptus Oil
20 drops peppermint oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
5 drops tea tree essential oil
Whip the coconut oil and shea butter and add the essential oils. Whip again, then pour into an airtight jar. Store in a cool, dry place. To use, apply a small amount onto the chest in cases of cold or cough.
Where to Buy Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus Oil is widely available both offline and online. GNC, Walmart, and The Vitamin Shoppe always carry Eucalyptus Oil, while it can be bought online via Amazon. The best brands for Eucalyptus Oil are Now Foods, Majestic Pure, Sun Organic, Edens Garden, Plant Therapy, Healing Solutions, and doTerra.
More Information on Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus Oil is generally safe when consumed in small amounts. For pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, Eucalyptus Oil is likely to be safe topically, but the safety of ingesting it while pregnant is still a topic of research. For children, Eucalyptus Oil is not advisable to use in any form.
Taking Eucalyptus Oil in large quantities can be toxic. Allergic reactions can also arise from using Eucalyptus Oil for people with allergic sensitivity to eucalyptus. If unsure, apply a small amount on the skin first to see if any adverse reactions will arise. If itchiness, redness, or sores appear, discontinue use immediately.
Eucalyptus Oil FAQs
Q: Is Eucalyptus Oil safe to apply directly on the skin?
A: Yes, but only when diluted.
Q: What is the shelf life of Eucalyptus Oil?
A: If stored properly, it may last up to 2 years.
Q: Can Eucalyptus Oil be taken internally?
A: Yes, but only in very small amounts. Consult with the doctor before taking Eucalyptus Oil internally.
Q: Is Eucalyptus Oil safe for diabetes patients?
A: There is some evidence that Eucalyptus Oil can lower blood sugar levels. However, the extent at which it does is not verified yet, so it might be risky. If you’re diabetic, do not use Eucalyptus Oil near open wounds or internally.