Eucalyptus Oil

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Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is a wonderful essential oil that comes from the Eucalyptus tree. It has a strong, pleasing aroma, very refreshing but somewhat medicinal as well. Eucalyptus oil can be used for various purposes in your home when you are going outside and many personal health problems. And it is very powerful in accomplishing these tasks. Eucalyptus oil is best for relieving a sinus infection.

Source

Eucalyptus oil comes from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree. There are many varieties of Eucalyptus in the world. The best quality eucalyptus oil comes from the Eucalyptus trees in Australia. Australia is the native place of Eucalyptus. But, this oil is costlier as it is extracted from the finest Eucalyptus trees. However, you can feel the difference between Australian eucalyptus oil and eucalyptus oil from other places. About 70 % of the current production comes from China, and this oil may not be 100 % from eucalyptus oil. It is usually flavored with oil fractions from cheaper camphor oil.

Eucalyptus oil is produced in various compositions depending on the end-use, whether industrial, perfumes or home-based medicinal use. Eucalyptus oil is also used in many herbal formulae.

Lemon Eucalyptus Oil

Among the various varieties of eucalyptus trees, this one is special. It is called Eucalyptus citrioda, or Lemon Eucalyptus. The oil of this tree has more than 40 % citronella, the same compound obtained from lemongrass. It has a lemony scent and is excellent for repelling mosquitoes and deer ticks.

Properties

Eucalyptus oil possesses many properties which affect our physical, mental and external environment. These are some of the prominent properties of eucalyptus essential oil.

  • Insecticidal – When used neat ( undiluted ), it can kill many kinds of insects and pests. Its smell drives away insects.
  • Analgesic – mild pain reliever when used topically.
  • Antibacterial – kills bacteria, especially active against bacteria that invade the respiratory tract.
  • Antiviral – Aids the body in killing viruses, especially the herpes simplex virus.
  • Antiseptic – used to wash wounds and as dressing. Got cut during your shave? Use diluted eucalyptus essential oil.
  • Decongestant – relieves congestion in throat and chest.
  • Bronchodilator – Its smell assists the body in dilating the air passages in the lungs, the bronchioles.
  • Anti-asthmatic – prevents muscular spasms during an asthma attack.
  • Deodorant – gets rid of foul odor.
  • Muscle relaxant – when applied topically, it soothes muscles.
  • Antipyretic – reduce a fever.
  • Anti-inflammatory – soothes and calms inflammation and redness.
  • Vaso Dilator – When applied topically, it can dilate blood vessels close to the skin.
  • Anti-fungal – to a mild degree

Many of these properties of Eucalyptus were known to Australian aboriginal people. They make a tea out of eucalyptus leaves and use it to aid in sinus problems, muscular pain, and many kinds of fevers.

Uses and Health Benefits

Because of its properties, eucalyptus oil is used in the pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, and personal use.

Medicinal uses of eucalyptus essential oil

Make use of eucalyptus oil for treating or relieving these conditions at home.

Prevent an Asthma Attack

If you suffer from asthma and feel an attack coming up, just apply a few drops of undiluted eucalyptus oil around the collar of your cloth. If you are at home, dilute eucalyptus essential oil in coconut oil or olive oil in a 1 : 3 ratio. Use one drop of eucalyptus oil to 3 drops of coconut oil. Massage this combination oil on the entire front and back chest, the throat, and nose. Its sweet, cold, and minty smell help one to breathe better without gasping for air. Eucalyptus oil has been identified to help in asthma. [2]

Also, drink a cup of strong black coffee. Caffeine helps in asthma. If nothing helps, use your inhaler.

Practice yoga breathing called pranayama after you have vaporized the room with eucalyptus scent.

Sinus Infection no more.

Eucalyptus essential oil is by far the most effective home-based treatment for sinus infection. Whether the infection is bacterial or viral, this oil helps a lot [3]. This is how to use it.

Ingredients

  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Water
  • Large bowl
  • Towel
  • Lots of handkerchiefs if the sinus infection is releasing phlegm.

Directions / How to use ?

  • Add ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil to boiled water. Bring it out of the stove and place the bowl in a less ventilated space. Now, cover your face with a large towel and start inhaling the steam. This steam is rich in volatile oils from eucalyptus oil. They enter into the lungs and sinus cavities. Within a few minutes, one can experience relief from sinus facial pressure and headache. The oil not only provides relief from the symptoms, but it can also cure the infection completely if used regularly for a few days.

Why does it work?

  • The antibiotic nature of eucalyptus oil is put to work. Even though one is just inhaling the vapors of this oil, it is still enough to kill the pathogens.

Fight Respiratory Tract Infections

Eucalyptus oil can help you overcome dangerous respiratory infections like bronchitis, tuberculosis [4], and rhinitis [5]. Eucalyptus essential oil is a strong therapeutic agent for the entire respiratory tract. It provides relief by dilating the air passages, killing bacteria and even viruses.

Massage your chest and throat with diluted eucalyptus essential oil. Dilute it with any standard oil, like olive oil. This massage allows the skin to absorb nutrients from eucalyptus oil. This way, it helps to heal most infections of the respiratory system.

Breathing becomes much less strained. This helps in COPD, emphysema, and even sleep apnea.

Soothe Tired Muscles

If you have tired, sore, or even cramping muscles, eucalyptus oil can provide great relief. Just massage the painful muscle gently using diluted eucalyptus oil 2 – 3 times a day. It is a pain reliever and a muscle relaxant as well. This is great for cramped muscles.

If the pain is not going away, try wintergreen essential oil, which is one of the finest natural pain relievers known to man.

Eliminate Viral Infections

Viruses are extremely stubborn. They need to be kicked out of the system. Alas, there are not many things that help with viruses, especially the deadly ones, like hepatitis viruses. Eucalyptus oil can be used to aid the body in eliminating the following viral infections.

A study done by NCBI found out that tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil are powerfully effective against herpes simplex virus.

For flu, take eucalyptus oil steam. For herpes, apply eucalyptus oil topically by adding it to a natural cream or diluting it in a carrier oil.

Wound healer and Antiseptic

Eucalyptus oil serves well as a home-based, completely natural antiseptic wash. This is how you can make it. Add ten drops of eucalyptus essential oil to 2 cups of water. Put this in a spray bottle. When you get cut or scrape, spray this solution on a damp but clean cloth. Use this cloth to wipe your wound.

You can also use this homemade antiseptic wash to prevent chances of infection in case of mosquito bites, insect bites, and partially healing scabs.

“FACT – Back in the later half of 18 th century, eucalyptus oil haad gained immense popularity among surgeons as a powerful antiseptic.”

Cool Your Fever

Use the homemade eucalyptus oil spray I mentioned above. To relieve a fever, spray this solution on a cool, damp cloth and place many such cloths all over your body. Take care to avoid areas of sensitive skin. This should relieve the fever in a quick time.

To make this even more powerful, add ten drops of cold peppermint tea to this solution. Peppermint contains menthol, which is a cooling agent.

If you don’t have that much time, just apply used tea bags of peppermint and Eucalyptus.

Lower your stress

Many of us live in a continuous state of mental stress, and sometimes even physical stress. The mental stress, however, doesn’t ease quickly. Within a few weeks, a person may succumb to mental exhaustion, a feeling of extreme tiredness in the brain. All the mental faculties dull down, making it tough for the person to concentrate or enjoy life. Eucalyptus oil provides freshness to the brain, thus relieving mental exhaustion.

Smell the oil from its bottle or vial for a few seconds. Take it in deeply. The camphor-like cold and sweet fragrance make you relaxed in mind. If you like it, keep the bottle in your purse and smell it whenever you want. Peppermint oil has a similar effect. The reason behind this is that both eucalyptus and peppermint oil has a strong cooling effect.

Headaches and Migraines

Eucalyptus oil can be used to relieve different kinds of headaches, one of them being migraine headaches.

Ingredients

  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Cool Water
  • Cloth

Directions / How to use ?

  • Add 4 – 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to about 30 ml cool water. Then dip a small cloth in it and place this cloth on your temples. Make sure that the cloth is not dripping liquid, or it could enter your eyes. You wouldn’t want eucalyptus oil in your eyes; it’s dangerous. So just apply a moderately wet cloth on your temples and drink some cold water. Migraine and other kinds of headache start to ease out.

Why does it work?

  • Eucalyptus oil can increase blood circulation to the brain. With more blood rushing in with each beat, the brain gets more sugar, oxygen, ketones, and omega – 3s. This makes the brain perform better. There is much less pressure on cranial arteries, thus alleviating the throbbing headache. Its vaso-dilator property also helps in relaxing blood vessels, allowing them to carry blood easily.

Eucalyptus oil, applied in this way, also relieves inflammation of the ear and the eyes. You don’t need to apply it to the eye or the ear. Blood vessels and nerves get the nutrients direct from the skin of the temples.

Heal Sports Injuries faster.

Sports or any other activity can cause deep-seated injuries in the tendons, ligaments, and muscular structures. The person takes physiotherapy to allow the body to heal properly and recover faster. Apply diluted eucalyptus oil to the affected part reduces inflammation and lowers the pain.

One can use this for tennis elbow, carpal tunnel syndrome, knee injuries like iliotibial band stretch, and many other such injuries.

Common Cold

Apply some diluted eucalyptus essential oil on the sole of your feet before sleeping. The cold may go away by the following day. It seems far-fetched, but this technique works for many people.

Get rid of lice

Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to any other oil, like olive oil. Perform a hot oil scalp treatment with this mixture instead of plain olive oil. Eucalyptus oil drives away the lice. You can mop out the nits ( lice eggs ) with a lice comb.

Diabetes

People with diabetes have to face poor blood circulation issues in the extremities ( hands and feet ). In severe cases, diabetes causes neuropathy in peripheral nerves. The person suffers from pain without reason and a burning sensation on the skin, especially in the feet. This can be relieved to some extent by applying diluted eucalyptus oil or peppermint oil to the feet [6].

Eucalyptus Oil For Skin Care

Although eucalyptus oil is not so acclaimed for skincare, you can get more out of your product by using it on the skin. Always apply only diluted eucalyptus oil on the skin, and avoid sensitive skin. It can be used to prevent bacterial and fungal infections like athlete’s foot, ringworm, etc. If you need to go to some bug-infested places, by chance, then use this oil to keep insects and pests away.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Home

One can use eucalyptus oil to make the home smell and feel better. You can also drive away insects and unwanted smells.

  • Drains and Sinks – Clean them with the homemade eucalyptus oil spray. This keeps cockroaches away from sinks.
  • Room Freshener – Use eucalyptus oil in your room freshener device. The smell it creates is quite cooling, refreshing, and pleasing to the sense. If you suspect places of foul odor, use a higher concentration of eucalyptus oil in the spray.
  • Clean baby’s items – Babies tend to put anything in their mouth. Clean the items in your house with eucalyptus oil spray. After spraying them, wipe them off nicely to mop out excess oil sitting on the surface. This disinfects your entire home.
  • Ward away moths – Eucalyptus oil smell in the house keeps moth away.
  • Prevent Molds – Spray eucalyptus oil in warm, moist areas, like the bathroom, to prevent mold growing in these places.
  • Clean anything, like countertops, tiles, sinks, greasy kitchen utensils, and probably any other stuff.

Industrial Uses

Eucalyptus oil is used in many products, like toothpaste, skincare products, mouthwash, antiseptic solutions, vapor rubs, etc. It is also used as a biopesticide.

Side Effects And Toxicity Issues

Eucalyptus oil is generally safe to be applied topically in diluted form. However, it is dangerous to use it undiluted on the skin. So, avoid this. Eucalyptus essential oil should never be taken internally.

Many food items contain small amounts of eucalyptus oil as flavorings or for other therapeutical purposes. But, those are all within safe limits. Do not try to add eucalyptus oil to food items at home.

Lethal dose – Even minimal amounts of 0.05 mL per kg of body weight can be lethal to adults. For kids, it may be even lower. [ Source: Wikipedia]

So, one should always use eucalyptus oil in diluted form. In steam and other aromatherapy uses like spa, one uses small amounts of eucalyptus essential oil, which is safe.

History

Eucalyptus essential oil has a pretty interesting history. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia. In 1852, a man named Joseph Bosisto started extracting eucalyptus oil commercially. The trade flourished. But, in the 1940s and 50s, many species of Eucalyptus oil had been taken to many other parts of the world, mainly for its wood. Eucalyptus trees grow fast and are great for wood.

Now, many other countries started competing with Australia for the global eucalyptus oil industry. Since extracting eucalyptus oil had gone way high in Australia, they couldn’t lower the prices enough to match their competitors, mainly from Spain.

At present, most of the eucalyptus oil comes from China. Australia still produces high-quality, somewhat exotic eucalyptus oil.

Medical and Nutritional Information

The chief ingredient in Eucalyptus Essential Oil is Cineole. Technically speaking, it is 1,8 – cineole, which is also called Eucalyptol. This is the main component in many dental care products like mouth fresheners and mouth wash. There are other compounds in eucalyptus oil, many of which are volatile. These are macrocarpals, monoterpenes, eucalyptin, and many other tannins and flavonoids.

Eucalyptus oil is often derived only from those tree species that yield oil high in cineole content. In low-quality eucalyptus oils, there may be some ingredients of camphor oil as well.

Cineole content in eucalyptus oil can go as high as 80 %. But what is all the hype about cineole? That’s because cineole is the chief anti-inflammatory and volatile component of this oil. This is the nutrient that provides most of the health benefits of eucalyptus oil. And, it is also used in food flavorings and medicines.

 Nutritional Data For Eucalyptus Essential Oil

NutrientPercentageProperty
Cineole upto 80 %Anti-inflammatory, Analgesic, Aromatic
Macrocarpals –Anti bacterial, Anti viral
Monoterpenes –Anti-carcinogenic, Anti-inflammatory
Eucalyptin – 
Verbenone –Pleasing Aroma, Cough Suppressant

Eucalyptus essential oil is such a useful product to be kept at home. It is a multipurpose oil with so many applications at home. Choosing the best eucalyptus oil can be tough, though. You can buy it at the nearest health store, or you can buy it online. Some varieties of Eucalyptus oil are pretty costly, but they are renowned for their exquisite quality.

References

1. Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture – P. Schnitzler, NCBI.

2. Anti-inflammatory activity of 1.8-cineol (Eucalyptol) in bronchial asthma: a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Juergens UR1, Dethlefsen U, Steinkamp G, Gillissen A, Repges R, Vetter H. NCBI

3. NYU Langone Medical Center

4. Airborne Antituberculosis Activity of Eucalyptus citriodora Essential Oil – René F. Ramos Alvarenga, Baojie Wan, Taichi Inui, Scott G. Franzblau, Guido F. Pauli, and Birgit U. Jaki, – J. Nat. Prod.

5. Immune-modifying and antimicrobial effects of Eucalyptus oil and simple inhalation devices. – Sadlon AE, Lamson DW. NCBI

6. Peripheral neuropathy – NAPWHA

7. Properties of 1,8-cineole: a thermophysical and theoretical study. Aparicio S, Alcalde R, Dávila MJ, García B, Leal JM.- NCBI

8. Macrocarpals H, I, and J from the Leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. Kenji Osawa and Hideyuki Yasuda , J. Nat. Prod

9. Monoterpenes in essential oils. Biosynthesis and properties. Loza-Tavera H. NCBI

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