Eucalyptus oil is steam-distilled from eucalyptus leaves of select species. Eucalyptus is a tree native to Australia, which is well-known as a food source for koalas. It is also known as the Australian or Tasmanian Blue-Gum tree. The Australian tree is actually one of the tallest trees in the world.
The word “eucalyptus” comes from a Greek word that means “well covered.” This refers to an earlier stage of plant development when the calyx (the green outer coating of the flower bud) covers the whole bud.
The most common type of oil of eucalyptus is the standard cineole-based form that is a colorless liquid and yellows as it ages. It is well-known for its penetrating, strong scent that has proven effective at repelling bugs. While China currently produces three-quarters of the world’s eucalyptus oil, most of what they produce is actually from camphor oil and not true eucalyptus oil. South Africa, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, Chile and Swaziland also produce a significant amount of the world’s true oil of eucalyptus.
History of Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits Revealed
The use of eucalyptus oil goes back hundreds of years, prior to the colonizing of Australia by the British in 1787. Australian Aborigines used eucalyptus leaf infusions as a traditional medicine to treat body pain, sinus congestion, fever and colds.
When the British arrived, surgeons Dennis Considen and John White learned to distill eucalyptus oil from the leaves growing along the shores in Port Jackson. Early colonists would continue to distill the oil, but it wouldn’t be until 1852 that the product became commercially availability. At that time, a Melbourne pharmacist named Joseph Bosisto, inspired by Victorian botanist Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, started investigating the possibility of selling the oil and distilled his eucalyptus oil from the cineole species of eucalyptus tree.
The term “eucalyptol” was coined by French chemist, F.S. Cloez and became the dominant part of E. globulus oil, or Tasmanian blue gum. While this oil wasn’t the highest quality, it was used worldwide and was being used as an antiseptic by surgeons by the 1880s.
By the 1950s, producing Australian eucalyptus oil became too expensive, and commercial production turned to Spanish and Portugal for higher-quality sources. Australia still produces high-grade eucalyptus oils mostly from blue mallee.
Get Overall Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil uses include pharmaceuticals (ie: antiseptic), perfume and industrial uses.
One of the many benefits of Eucalyptus essential oil is in relieving flu and cold symptoms. It is a common non-medicinal ingredient in many products like cough drops, lozenges, ointments and inhalants.
Eucalyptus oil is known for is its effect on chest congestion, including what is commonly associated with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and other conditions that limit the lungs’ ability to function properly. Eucalyptus oil kills bacteria in the respiratory tract.
When eucalyptus oil vapor is inhaled, it controls hypersecretion of mucus in the airway which affects asthmatic reducing inflammation by controlling the body’s cytokine protein response to infection. Eucalyptus oil also stimulates immune system response by allowing the body’s white blood cells to absorb the nutrients they need to fight off illness.
Eucalyptus oil is known as one of nature’s anti-inflammatories and pain relievers and is a common ingredient in muscle rubs and liniments. So oil of eucalyptus can reduce swelling and relieve pain while also helping the body fight infection, and so it can be applied to wounds to prevent infection.
Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial properties and so is used in personal hygiene products used for dental care and soaps.
It was already mentioned that eucalyptus oil can be used as an insect repellent, but it is a known pesticide. It has been used in the United States as an insecticide and miticide since it was first registered in 1948.
Eucalyptus oil is used to flavor baked goods, confectionery, meat products and beverages, but also to prevent development and proliferation of bacteria to prevent food from spoiling and from making people sick.
Find Out the Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Colds, Flu, Fever and more!
1. Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil Use in Oral Health
Given its invigorating scent and antibacterial properties, eucalyptus oil is perfect for enhancing everyday oral hygiene habits and treating minor oral problems. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology in 1999 found that an oral rinse containing eucalyptus oil was effective in killing cavity- and gum disease-causing bacteria while also cleaning away plaque, preventing bad breath and reducing the effects of gum disease.
2. Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil Use in Treating Cold Symptoms and Hay Fever
It is widely known that eucalyptus oil is effective in treating cold symptoms and hay fever by clearing nasal congestion, but its antibacterial properties also kill “even drug-resistant” bacteria from the respiratory tract.
Blend eucalyptus oil with a massage oil, or dilute it in a bath to relieve mucous congestion and sinusitis. Gargling eucalyptus oil and warm water can soothe a sore throat or rubbing the oil into the temples can reduce fevers (fever oil). It works best when combined with peppermint oil. You can add eucalyptus oil to a dust mask as demonstrated in this video here.
Case Study of the Antibacterial Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
In 2004, a study published in Laryngoscope reported the oil’s usefulness in treating non-bacterial sinusitis. The study showed that patients with nonbacterial sinusitis showed faster improvement in symptoms and recovery when given medicine containing eucalyptus oil.
3. Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil Use as an Antiseptic to Treat Athlete’s Foot
Eucalyptus oil-based products are used to treat most any skin infection whether on the surface of within the upper layers of the skin, in the nails, hair and even in the mucus membrane. Fungal infections include ringworm, athlete’s foot, tinea and jock itch.
It is also sometimes added to surgical plasters to prevent infection and reduce swelling.
To address fungal infections, mix equal parts water and eucalyptus oil and rubbing it into the affected area. To treat athlete’s foot, soak the entire foot in the water/oil mixture for about 15 minutes before bedtime. To treat fungal infections on other parts of the body, soak a clean cloth or gauze in the water/eucalyptus oil mixture, wring it out and then place on the affected area. With gauze you will have to secure it in place with tape or tie it, but be sure not to cut off blood circulation.
To treat any kind of itching or skin dryness, combine eucalyptus oil with olive oil, or add a few drops of oil of eucalyptus to your bath water.
4. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Treats Pain Caused by Inflammation
Eucalyptus oil can be used to treat pain by applying it to an inflamed area. Its cooling properties bring quick relief to headaches, migraines or joint pain. One of its best uses of eucalyptus oil is in the form of a warming oil to ease the pain of muscle aches, pains, spasms, sprains and poor circulation.
To make this warming oil simply add eight drops of eucalyptus oil with two ounces of jojoba or almond oil (carrier oil), and massage the oil into the area.
You can add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to a hot bath to have this effect. It heals wounds faster. When massaging eucalyptus essential oil into areas, ensure that you always rub in a direction that’s toward the heart. This will help keep lymphatic fluid flowing toward the heart.
5. Eucalyptus Oil Use Can Reduce Stress through Aromatherapy
Just inhaling eucalyptus oil can relax the nervous system and muscles. When mixed with jojoba or almond oil, the eucalyptus oil mixture produces a relaxing aroma. Many people like to add eucalyptus oil to their spa bath or sauna. It can be blended with thyme, rosemary, marjoram, lavender, cedarwood and frankincense. To find out more about eucalyptus oil and aromatherapy, watch this video.
6. Eucalyptus Oil Use Can Boost Immune System
A study published in the BMC Immunology showed that eucalyptus oil elicits a stronger response from the cells within the body that kill infections while helping those immune cells produce their own protective system. Eucalyptus also contains antioxidants which are known to strengthen the immune system to fight off cold, flu and other illnesses.
7. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Help Diabetes and Hypoglycemia
Some preliminary studies have been looking into claims that eucalyptus oil can slow the progression of diabetes by naturally helping to regulate blood sugar. Simply massage one to two drops of the essential oil into the soles of your feet every day. To date, no human-based studies have been completed to prove that it works, but the research continues. However, what is known is that eucalyptus oil dilates blood vessels, increasing blood circulation. Diabetics commonly suffer from poor blood circulation which can eventually result in amputation and/or death. Rubbing eucalyptus oil into the legs and feet, or even inhaling it will have good results.
8. Eucalyptus Oil Kills Fungus and Mold
Just add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a cup of hot water and then, after soaking a rag or sponge in the mixture, wipe down any household bathroom or kitchen surface, or anyplace else where mold can happen or has been discovered. Watch this video to find out how eucalyptus oil blends work in preventing buildup of mold and mildew.
9. Eucalyptus Oil Boosts Mental Abilities
While addressing problems such as headaches and fatigue, eucalyptus oil has been shown to be effective in promoting better mental acuity. Eucalyptus oil stimulates brain activity by increasing blood flow to the brain. This stimulating effect boosts spirits while alleviating stress and similar effects of mental disorders. Because of this benefit, oil of eucalyptus is commonly used employed in classrooms as a form of causal aromatherapy to increase student performance. Further, formal research must be done in this area, but all signs point to the positive correlation between brain function and eucalyptus essential oil.”
10. Use Eucalyptus Oil for Asthma, Emphysema, Bronchitis, and Pneumonia
Massaging one to three drops onto the chest will provide enough aroma and vapor to sooth and calm the throat and dilate blood vessels in the lungs, which will increase the amount of oxygen and regulate breathing.
You can also make your own homemade vapor rub by combining eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and coconut oil. Rub this into the upper chest as a treatment for lung ailments including asthma. You can get the recipe for this homemade vapor rub here.
Eucalyptus essential oil can be added to water in a steam tent or dropped on your shirt collar to alleviate bronchitis symptoms. For emphysema, massage one drop over the chest at least once during the day, as well as to the reflex points on the feet. Doing this will engage the expectorant properties of eucalyptus oil and help keep mucus from building up.
11. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Kill Lice
We’ve already discussed eucalyptus oil’s effectiveness as an insect repellant, but it’s also a natural pesticide. As such, just a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a lice-infested head is a much safer and equally effective lice killer compared to commonly used chemicals. It will not damage hair in the process.
12. Eucalyptus Oil Heals Cold Sores
Eucalyptus oil’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-infective properties are probably why it’s included in many over-the-counter cold sore remedies. Eucalyptus oil will reduce pain and swelling while also helping the sore heal.
13. Eucalyptus Oil Use as Treatment for Diarrhea
Another effective and somewhat unusual use for eucalyptus oil is to relieve diarrhea. Just massage two drops of the oil over the lower abdomen in a counter-clockwise direction.
14. Use Eucalyptus Oil at Treatment for Ear Infection
While you should never put eucalyptus essential oil in the ear canal, simply massaging the oil on and around the ear will provide anti-inflammatory and anti-infection relief for ear pain. In children, dilute one drop to start and then gauge for tolerance.
15. Eucalyptus Essential Oil Used as Solution for Jet Lag
Its sweet, woody aroma, can help travellers temporarily overcome their jet lag.
16. Eucalyptus Oil Reduces Pain from Kidney Stones
Here, again, by dilating blood vessels thereby increasing blood flow and oxygen supply, and by simultaneously relaxing muscles and reducing swelling, eucalyptus oil relieves pain and may actually help kidney stones pass and pass sooner than without the oil.
17. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Ease Symptoms of Chickenpox and Shingles
Many people afflicted with shingles simply want relief from the burning sensation of the rashes that appear on the their body. Eucalyptus oil, combined with olive oil or coconut oil, can reduce the swelling and ease the pain of the rashes associated with shingles.
Eucalyptus oil can ease the itch and discomfort of chickenpox. With less itchiness, that means less scratching which means less potential for infection.
18. Eucalyptus Oil Uses and Endometriosis
One of the best ways of alleviating the pain and swelling of endometriosis is through aromatherapy and an “endometriosis” bath. Combine the healing properties of eucalyptus oil with the sedative properties of lavender oil and you have a recipe for an evening of pain relief and relaxation. You can add drops of each oil to your bath and add their aromatherapy candles. Eucalyptus oil will actually penetrate the skin and work its way into your pelvis and area muscles and relax them. Read this article to find out more about the endometriosis bath.
19. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Get Healthy, Dandruff-free Hair
Combine a few drops of oil of eucalyptus with coconut or olive oil — seems this combination of oils is good for a lot of things — gives your hair a nice moisturizing pick-me-up. This is especially great to ward off dandruff and an itchy scalp.”
Know the Eucalyptus Oil Uses around the House
20. You can Use Eucalyptus Oil as an Insect Repellant
Apply eucalyptus oil directly to your skin, or add a few drops to some cream or to a vaporizer to keep mosquitoes and blackflies away.
21. Use Eucalyptus Oil as a Room Deodorizer
With so many people looking for natural alternatives to help out around the house, eucalyptus may be an uncommon, but extremely effective choice. “A natural deodorizer, eucalyptus oil can kill household germs without the dangers of harmful chemicals. For a general disinfectant spray, mix 25 percent vinegar, 75 percent water, and 20 drops eucalyptus into a spray bottle. Make sure to shake the bottle before each use. This all-purpose spray is great as a disinfectant and can even be used as a room air freshener.”
22. Eucalyptus Oil Deters and/or Kills Bedbugs and Fleas
Click here for a bed bug deterrent spray that includes lavender, rosemary, clove and eucalyptus essential oils, as well as bed bug killing spray when you combine eucalyptus and mint. You can also keep a sachet of these herbs in your luggage to keep the bug from travelling with you. Beware of using undiluted essential oils in high concentrations. They can stain clothing and bedding, and may cause nausea and headaches. So, if you’re planning on using a stronger concentration, you might want to plan to stay somewhere else overnight.
You can use eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, oregano or lavender essential oil with olive oil and lather on as a repellant before you go to bed paying particular attention to between toes and along the hips and lower back, and around the nape of the neck.
As for using eucalyptus oil to kill fleas, check out this video.
23. Use Eucalyptus Oil to Clean Greasy Hands
One of the more surprising uses for eucalyptus oil is as a degreasing agent. Use eucalyptus oil an excellent cleanser to remove workday grease and grime, while also rejuvenating and soothing sore hands and feet. Simply add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to a bath of sea salt and epsom salts.
24. Use Eucalyptus Oil as a Natural Household Cleaner and Anti-microbial Agent
Use a couple drops of eucalyptus oil to your soap, laundry detergent, mop water, toilet cleaner, window cleaner, etc., to clean, kill micro-organisms, and leave a fresh, invigorating scent behind. Read this article for more natural household cleaners.
Kill 70 percent of staphylococcus bacteria in a room by adding a 2-percent eucalyptus oil mixture in an aroma burner. Researchers in various parts of the world have also found eucalyptus oil to be as or more effective than traditional antibiotics in killing pathogenic bacteria such as:
Staphylococcus aureus which causes boils, sinusitis and food poisoning
Streptococcus C and D
various species of Proteus which can cause urinary and septic infections
Klebsiella spp which causes pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicemia, meningitis, diarrhea and infections of the soft tissues
Haemophilus influenza, to name a few.
25. Get The Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil Use as a Spot Remover
Looking for a natural laundry stain pre-treater or carpet stain remover? Eucalyptus oil can used to remove spots from carpet, clothes and pretty much every fabric around the house. Need to get gum off your shoe? It does that too! Before applying it to any fabric, it’s best to test it in a not-so-obvious place to gauge whether the oil will affect the color. Eucalyptus oil has been known to even remove tar from clothes or skin.
Industrial Eucalyptus Oil Uses
26. Eucalyptus Oil Fuel.
Research has shown that using 5 percent eucalyptus oil will prevent ethanol and other petrol fuel blends from separating. Eucalyptus oil on its own also has a decent octane rating which would make it an option for an environmentally friendly fuel. Unfortunately, the production costs associated with the amount of oil necessary to make eucalyptus oil fuel are too high (currently) for such a fuel to be made commercially available.
Remember, swallowing or ingesting low doses of eucalyptus oil, such as lozenges and other eucalyptus oil-based products is safe. However, eucalyptus oil can be toxic if consumed in larger-than-recommended doses. Children have a higher body surface to mass ratio which makes them more susceptible to being poisoned, even through the skin. Children have been known to have been poisoned after ingesting just 1 tsp of eucalyptus oil.
Pregnant women and those currently using homeopathics should not use eucalyptus oil. Before applying to your body, test a small bit of the eucalyptus oil/carrier oil mixture on your skin to determine your skin’s sensitivity.
Those with high blood pressure and epilepsy should avoid using eucalyptus oil. Also, overuse of the oil may actually cause headaches.
To learn about the different essential oil companies so you can be sure you’re receiving the best quality essential oil, take time to read about them. To find out what you should be looking for in an essential oil supplier read this article. If you wish to learn how to distill your own eucalyptus and other essential oils, watch this video.
You also want to be sure about how to use eucalyptus essential oil and other oils, particularly if you need to use them in combination. Here is a free beginner’s guide to essential oil application and usage.