Got the sniffles? Feeling under the weather? Maybe a bit of brain fog? The numerous benefits of Eucalyptus oil will help get you back on track to wellness. This flu-fighter from Mother Nature is well known for its uses as a decongestant, to fight cold and flu symptoms, but there are also many other wonderful uses for Eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus oil is distilled from the leaves of the Eucalyptus Globulus or Blue Gum, native to Australia. Australian Aboriginals use the leaves medicinally, for a wide range of ailments, making infusions for sinus congestion, sore muscles and fever.
A calming yet refreshing smell that has a hint of pine and mint with a dash of honey, eucalyptus oil is popular because of its uplifting scent and wide range of uses and benefits. A fabulous all-rounder for the home.
Colds and Flu:
Eucalyptus is a powerful oil with antispasmodic, expectorant and decongestant properties. This is due to cineole, an active ingredient in eucalyptus that goes to work fighting upper respiratory congestion and easing coughs and cold symptoms.
To alleviate respiratory symptoms, eucalyptus oil is best inhaled either from the bottle, or by placing a few drops onto a tissue or clothing near the nose, or diffused in a suitable device for vapour inhalation such as an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser.
Cineole has also been found to have antimicrobial properties and can have a positive effect on respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
To relieve asthma symptoms, a few drops of eucalyptus oil can be added to a carrier oil (such as coconut oil or almond oil) and rubbed onto the chest and back areas. The oil will ease inflammation and help dilate blood vessels to allow more oxygen into the lungs.
A diffuser is the perfect way to send the refreshing, uplifting scent of eucalyptus into the air in your home, to help the kiddies (and adults!) breathe easy at night and to provide a clean, fresh home environment.
Eucalyptus oil has deodorising and antibacterial properties, so adding this oil to your home diffuser will help fight those airborne bugs and keep your home a healthy place to be, and smelling wonderful as well!
Brain booster - Wake up brain!
Placing eucalyptus oil in a diffuser for inhalation can clear brain fog.
The stimulant properties of eucalyptus go to work revitalising the brain, clearing mental exhaustion and boosting mood. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your liquid shower soap to give your body and your brain an extra morning boost. Alert and happy – sounds like a great way to start the day!
Homemade Cleaning Products:
Eucalyptus oil is often used in household soaps, detergents and cleaners, and
due to its antiseptic, antimicrobial properties eucalyptus oil is the perfect addition to homemade cleaning products. 15 drops added to a spray bottle of ½ cup of white vinegar, and topped up with water makes a wonderful all-purpose surface cleaner. You can be sure that germs will be kept at bay both on your household surfaces and in the air with this easily made all purpose cleaner. Adding other oils such as Lavender and Orange will enhance the disinfectant properties, as well as the smell.
Back off bugs!
Eucalyptus oil is a well-known bug fighter, with its antimicrobial and insecticide properties. This can be very handy to rid your garden plants of unwanted pests. Adding a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to 500ml of soapy water creates an insecticide spray for your garden plants. Spray around seedlings or at the base of plants to deter unwanted insects.
It is also commonly used for insect repellent, and blends well with other oils (such as Lemon grass, Tea tree and Rosemary) to make the perfect bug repellent. But wait - there’s more! Because of its antiseptic properties, eucalyptus oil can be applied to bites and stings to soothe the area and stop any infection developing. Keeping a bottle in your first aid kit is a wise move.
And what about those creepy crawlies that can appear in your hair? Lice. The insecticide properties of eucalyptus oil are prefect to battle these little critters. Comb a few drops of eucalyptus oil through the hair as a natural lice treatment, thereby avoiding the harmful chemicals that can be present in mainstream lice treatments.
Ease away those aches and pains with 10-15 drops of eucalyptus oil in your bath. The anti-inflammatory properties go to work on your sore muscles to reduce inflammation and ease tension. Alternately you can add a few drops of eucalyptus to a carrier oil (such as coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil) to create a luxurious massage oil for restless legs and aching muscles. Other oils can blend well with eucalyptus oil in this case to enhance the anti-inflammatory effect, such as Lavender, German Chamomile and Clary Sage, to create an even more delicious smelling (and therapeutic!) massage oil.
According to Tisserand and Young’s book “Essential Oil Safety” Eucalyptus oil can be toxic if ingested so it is not recommended to be taken orally. Eucalyptus oil is a very powerful oil, so its use with young children (under the age of 6) should be carefully managed if using on the skin and near the face, where it can sometimes cause breathing difficulties. This would also apply to breastfeeding mothers, keeping the oil away from babies’ skin and head areas. Oils such as Lavender are more suited for topical use in young children.
About the author
Kim McCormack is a qualified Naturopath. She has a Diploma in Naturopathy, a Diploma in Reflexology, and a Certificate of Massage. Kim is the owner of Holistics NZ - Natural Therapies for Body Harmony.
Kim lives in Nelson, NZ with her family and enjoys all that the region has to offer - sunshine, sea, mountains, and fresh air. Kim has spent over 20 years in the Education sector as a teacher (both in NZ and overseas). She is passionate about educating and inspiring people to live a healthy, full life, using natural therapies that are matched to each individual.
Qualifications :~ BEd, Dip.Tchg, Dip.Naturopathy, Dip.Reflexology, Cert.RelaxationMassage L4