Amazing Uses and Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

As a child, you may remember having balms like Vicks or Tiger Balm rubbed on your chest or back whenever you had a cough or a cold. You may still remember the scent of these balms -- clean, refreshing, and soothing, with a strong and distinctive menthol smell. These balms owe their scent partly to the presence of eucalyptus essential oil. 

However, this familiar and reassuring aroma isn't all that eucalyptus essential oil has to offer. Read on to learn more!

Eucalyptus Essential OilThe dried leaves of the eucalyptus oil are distilled to produce eucalyptus essential oil.

 

The name "eucalyptus" originated from the Greek word ‘eu’ meaning “well” and ‘kalyptos’ which means “cover”. This was originally derived from the “well-covered” bud caps that bloom and eventually fall off the tree when they mature. Native to Australia, eucalyptus trees comprise around 90% of the country's forests. 

There are over 700 species of eucalyptus. It’s best-known species, Eucalyptus globulus, is often referred to as blue gum, fever tree, or gum tree. It is the tallest of the species and can grow to up to 60 feet high.

Eucalyptus essential oil, meanwhile, is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. They are dried, crushed and then distilled to extract the camphorous and potent essential oil. 


Eucalyptus essential oil is widely used for medicinal and industrial purposes. In its industrial applications, it is used in disinfectants, air fresheners, deodorizers and even in the mining industry to separate metallic sulfides from ores. Because of its various therapeutic characteristics, which we will detail below, it is also a common ingredient in makeup, perfumes, liniments, mouthwash, soaps, deodorants, inhalants, lozenges, and antiseptics.

Of course, like any other essential oil, eucalyptus is most potent and effective when it is 100% pure. If you want to enjoy the best that eucalyptus oil has to offer, you need to make sure that you buy it undiluted and free of low-quality extenders.

However, how can you make sure that the eucalyptus essential oil you buy is pure, devoid of extenders or additives, and completely natural? By buying from a trustworthy and reliable brand, of course. Take Aroma Foundry, for example. We search far and wide for essential oil suppliers that guarantee high-quality products to make sure that what we sell is indeed the real deal. 

We're not just saying that -- we use our oils ourselves! We definitely don't use impure, low-quality oils, and neither should you. With Aroma Foundry, you'll get the highest quality at the lowest prices.

We did a side-by-side comparison with two of the world's biggest essential oil brands.

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Brief History of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus was popular among aboriginal communities in Australia, where for hundreds of years the leaves from tall eucalyptus trees were used as a remedy for infections and common respiratory illnesses. These include sore throat, cough, colds, breathing difficulties and congestion.

The first documented distillation of eucalyptus oil occurred in 1788 by Doctors John White and Dennis Cossiden. They used eucalyptus essential oil to treat chest problems and colic. However, it wasn’t ‘til the mid-1800s that the oil began gaining popularity all over the world, thanks to the German botanist and explorer Baron Ferdinand von Miller. He claimed that eucalyptus oil might prove to have antiseptic properties. He likened it to the Cajaput oil, a known disinfectant during the era. Von Miller then suggested the use of eucalyptus oil as a disinfectant in fever-stricken districts.

Species of Eucalyptus Used for Essential Oil ExtractionEucalyptus trees grow up to 90 feet tall, often in wide and open forests.

 

In the late 1850s, when the commercial production of eucalyptus oil began in Victoria, Australia, the oil was converted to gas and was used to light up houses, hotels, shops, and other buildings in towns. Not only was this innovative, it was also a great alternative to using coal.

In the nineteenth century, European hospitals began using the oil as an antiseptic and disinfectant for medical and surgical equipment. In fact, it was briefly referred to as “catheter oil.” Later in that same century, eucalyptus essential oil was regarded as a “cure-all.”

There’s no question of the wide variety of uses this oil has. In fact, some of these uses may even surprise you. There's definitely more to eucalyptus essential oil than we might expect, and it can benefit our health, home, and more.

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Benefits and Uses of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

There's an array of benefits in using eucalyptus essential oil. Let us give you a rundown of some of the many ways that eucalyptus oil can benefit you and your body:

1. Great For Maintaining Skin Health

Eucalyptus oil is a great cleansing and purifying agent. Mix it with bath salts and not only will your skin feel much fresher, the oil will also help clean away all the day’s dirt while fighting existing skin infections. Because of its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, it also makes a great all-natural treatment for wounds, insect bites, acne, and other minor skin problems.

Eucalyptol, a prominent oxide that is one of the main chemical components of eucalyptus essential oil, gives it its great cleansing property. When applied topically, the oil helps rejuvenate and invigorate the skin.

2. Hair Care

The oil is reputed to help promote a healthy scalp. The active ingredients found in the oil stimulate the blood vessels in the scalp, causing it to increase the blood flow to the hair follicles. This, in turn, encourages healthy hair development. As a natural insect repellent, eucalyptus essential oil is also popular as treatment for head lice.

So, if you are suffering from an irritated scalp, hair loss, and even head lice, try massaging eucalyptus essential oil diluted in coconut oil onto your hair and scalp. Not only does this help strengthen and moisturize your hair, it also aids in keeping your scalp healthy.

 

3. Antiseptic

We’ve already mentioned earlier how the indigenous people of Australia used eucalyptus oil in helping wounds heal. This antiseptic characteristic of the oil is attributed to 1,8-cineole or eucalyptol, a chemical that is effective against treating cuts, burns, abrasions, scrapes, and blisters.

There’s a popular myth about an English settler in Australia who had cut his thumb with an axe, causing a severe wound. His father, someone who had knowledge of aboriginal remedies, suggested stitching up the thumb and wrapping it up with eucalyptus leaves. This was a popular remedy within the aboriginal communities, known as “kino.” Its surprising efficacy spread like wildfire, which led to increased interest from Victorian pharmacists and eventually to the commercial production of eucalyptus essential oil.

In a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), eucalyptus oil and its major chemical component, 1,8-cineole, is said to have antimicrobial effects on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well as different strains of viruses and fungi. In a different study, the oil is recognized to have aerial antimicrobial effects.

Consequently, the oil can be used as an ingredient in a non-toxic, all-natural disinfecting spray. It can help remove bacteria, viruses, and molds in affected areas. With its insect-repelling and deodorizing property, you’re not only keeping your space germ-free, you’re saying goodbye to insects and musty smells as well! That’s hitting three birds with one stone!

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4. Muscle and Nerve Pain Relief

Eucalyptus Essential Oil for MassageEucalyptus essential oil can help relieve muscle tension.

 

Eucalyptus essential oil boasts analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and antineuralgic properties. Its pain-relieving effects make it especially helpful in soothing strained and aching muscles as well as neuralgia, or pain extending in a nerve or group of nerves. Therefore, it is a highly recommended alternative treatment to rheumatism, sprains, stiff or strained muscles, lumbago, fibrosis, and nerve pain.

The oil is also an effective vasodilator. It helps improve blood circulation by widening the blood vessels, thereby encouraging a freer flow of blood to the muscles.

Eucalyptus oil is perfect for providing your muscles with the relief they need. Tired from a long day at work or sore from surfing? Eucalyptus essential oil makes an amazing massage oil. It’s not only a great muscle pain reliever, its refreshing and distinct aroma can also help improve mental clarity and mood.  All you need to do is mix the oil with a carrier oil and massage the mixture onto your body. If that’s not enough relaxing for you, you can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into your bath along with some whole milk.

 

5. Dental Hygiene

Bad breath? Don’t worry -- there’s a solution, and it’s called eucalyptus. Because of its minty and camphorous taste, eucalyptus has been actively used as an essential ingredient in many dental hygiene products like toothpaste and mouthwash. The dental use of eucalyptus essential oil, however, is not limited to the cooling and minty fresh breath it leaves upon using. It also helps treat mouth sores and gum disorders, as well as prevent cavities and dental plaque.

6. Treatment for Respiratory Ailments

Clogged sinuses, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest area and a bad cough with nothing coming up -- these are annoying tell-tale signs of a respiratory ailment. Diseases affecting the respiratory system are some of the most common reasons for clinic visits and hospital admissions. Although there are plenty of over-the-counter medications available for such illnesses, proven home remedies and all-natural solutions can also be great complementary treatments.

Eucalyptus essential oil is most popular for its ability to treat a wide range of respiratory diseases, such as cough, colds, asthma, sinusitis, and bronchitis. It’s been historically used to cure the aforementioned respiratory problems. In the Indian Pharmacopoeia, eucalyptus is listed as an expectorant.

The eucalyptol and tannins found in the oil are highly reputed for their mucolytic, bronchodilating, and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties enable the oil to reduce mucous membrane inflammation in the upper respiratory system and loosen phlegm. This reduces the exacerbation of the associated signs and symptoms of COPD, common cough and colds, asthma, sinusitis, and other respiratory problems.

Eucalyptus cough drops also help promote the production of saliva. This aids in swallowing and, consequently, makes coughing less severe. As mentioned, the oil has significant bronchodilating effects. This means that when its scent is inhaled, it opens the sinuses and breathing passages, thereby helping foster easier and deeper breathing.

Furthermore, eucalyptus essential oil’s antimicrobial effects also make it a great remedy for respiratory infections. In fact, it has been known to aid in the treatment of tuberculosis by alleviating its symptoms and by helping fight off the infection, thereby reducing inflammation and clearing the lungs.

7. Mood Lifter and Stress Relief

We all have one of those days where we’re feeling down and the world is grey. When you need a little spirit boost or a mood uplifter, eucalyptus essential oil is an excellent go-to.

Feeling mentally and physically sluggish? Emotionally and mentally drained and exhausted? Or just feeling down in general? Eucalyptus essential oil is your friend. The oil is an effective stimulant. It’s cooling and refreshing effects go beyond being just a great shampoo. Also, because of its general cephalic properties, eucalyptus essential oil is also a potent treatment for stress and mental disorders. The aroma of eucalyptus oil, when inhaled, is rejuvenating and re-energizing.

Have you ever felt sleepy after a big meal? This happens because when we have a heavy meal, the blood flow in our body is concentrated in the stomach area to aid in faster digestion. This means that not as much blood is going to your bran. When the blood flow to the brain is sluggish, you feel sluggish as well.

Therefore, healthy blood circulation is important in keeping your brain active. As mentioned above, eucalyptus oil is a vasodilator. When inhaled, the vapors of the diffused oil are absorbed in the blood through the mucous membranes. Once absorbed, the components of the oil that are responsible for its vasodilating effect then act to help increase the blood flow all over the body. This, of course, includes the brain. Because of this, the use of eucalyptus essential oil is known to help improve mental clarity and alertness. 

  

8. Treating Fevers

The eucalyptus tree wasn’t called the “fever tree” for no reason. It has been known to help treat fever for centuries.

Fevers are often a symptom of an infection, which means that it is not a disease in itself. The antibacterial effects of eucalyptus essential oil, along with its cooling effect, make it an effective febrifuge. Adding the oil to warm water when giving a feverish person a sponge bath is a great and effective way to use the oil in bringing fevers down. Applying the diluted oil topically is actually a faster way of absorbing it into the blood.

 

9. Aromatherapy

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Aromatherapy DiffusionBecause of its distinct and calming scent, eucalyptus essential oil is one of the most popular oils used for aromatherapy

 

Taking care of your body is imperative -- not just physically, of course, but holistically. Sometimes, you need to get away from all the chaos that life brings and just chill out. In such cases, aromatherapy is a great way to keep you in good spirits.

Eucalyptus oil is perfect for setting a positive tone for your surroundings. You can diffuse the oil into the air using an aroma lamp or diffuser, apply it topically, or inhale it straight from the bottle. The fragrance the oil releases brings with it multiple benefits. It will clear your mind, help you relax, and increase your concentration while also keeping you active and stress-free.

 

10. Repels Mosquitoes

If you want to maintain a relaxing environment around you, mood-boosting fragrances just don’t cut it when you have insects like mosquitoes flying around the room. Luckily, there’s nothing to worry about. The smell of eucalyptus oil makes it a natural and potent mosquito repellent, keeping all those nasty bugs at bay while you go about your daily life.

There are two ways you can use eucalyptus oil as an insect repellent. You can mix the oil with skin cream and apply it on yourself, or you can use it via a vaporizer and spray it around the mosquito-infested area. In a few moments after application, you’ll notice the mosquitoes start to disappear.

This is what makes such essential oils special: their multiple uses. This definitely makes eucalyptus oil something worth investing in for your personal health and home use.

11. Home Uses

The advantage of essential oils such as eucalyptus is that they are not only an effective complementary treatment for a variety of health problems. They also have tons of home applications. Apart from repelling mosquitoes and making your house smell great, it can also help you with day-to-day house tasks.

Got dirty carpets? Mix some eucalyptus oil with baking soda and apply it over the surface of the carpet. It will not only clean up all the dirt and germs, it’ll also take away any remaining bad odors and give your carpet that “brand new” smell.

Got a smelly trash can? Drop a little bit of eucalyptus oil in there and let the bad odors disappear! If it’s your bathroom that’s got the bad smell, soak up a cotton ball with eucalyptus oil and place it around your bathroom. Then. let the oil’s fresh fragrance fill up the room.

 

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Precautions

The use of eucalyptus essential oil in more than the prescribed amounts can be toxic. The recommended dosage of the oil varies. Age and health conditions are primary factors in identifying the recommended dose. It is crucial to consult a doctor and a licensed aromatherapist prior to starting any therapeutic regimen. This includes natural alternative medicine.

Also, there's a possibility that you may have allergic reactions to the oil. Thus, a skin test is always recommended before using the oil in any way.

Infants, children and pregnant and breastfeeding women should be kept away form essential oils in general. People with health issues like  stomach and intestinal inflammations, liver diseases, and digestive problems are also heavily discouraged from taking the oil.

Avoid using any essential oil without diluting it first. Essential oils can be irritating, and they may cause serious health problems. When applying on skin, it should be diluted with carrier oils such as almond oil, sunflower oil, olive oil and coconut oil. It should not be used too close to the area around the eyes.

The ratio in diluting eucalyptus essential oil should be 1-5% eucalyptus oil and 95% carrier oil. This approximately equals 5 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil.

 

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Recipes

Recipes for Eucalyptus Essential OilEucalyptus is a vital ingredient in a variety of products, such as liniments, balms, lotions, and more.

 

Here are some interesting eucalyptus essential recipes that you can make on your own at home.

  • Who doesn’t love DIYs? They're fun to do and can be quite fulfilling. You can create your own, personal massage oil using this recipe. It's easy to do, and you won't even need too many ingredients!

    Ingredients

    Eucalyptus Essential Oil: 5-8 drops

    Jojoba Oil: 1 tbsp

    Moringa Oil: 2 tsp

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Mix all the ingredients in a small glass bottle. Shake well until the oils are thoroughly mixed.

    Note: Moringa is a great carrier oil for massage oils as it also has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

  • This easy-peasy eucalyptus shampoo recipe is sure to keep your hair moisturized, clean, and free from head lice and dandruff.

    Ingredients

    Eucalyptus Essential Oil:  10 drops

    Lavender Essential Oil: 10 drops

    Argan Carrier Oil or Olive Carrier Oil: 1 tsp

    Coconut Milk: ¼ cup

    Liquid Castile Soap: ¼ cup

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a bowl using a wooden spoon. Transfer to a glass jar with an airtight lid or a used, empty shampoo container. Store in a cool, dry place. Use as often as needed.

  • Keep your home’s countertops, sinks, tubs, and other surfaces clean and germ-free with this easy-to-make antibacterial cleaning spray. It smells amazing, too!

    INGREDIENTS

    Eucalyptus Essential Oil: 10 drops

    Peppermint Essential Oil: 10 drops

    Citronella Essential Oil: 10 drops

    White Vinegar: ¼ cup

    Water: 2 cups

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Combine all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle. Shake well and spray on the desired surfaces. Use when needed and store in a dry place. Keep out of children’s reach. 

    Eucalyptus oil blends well with a variety of essential oils, including spearmint essential oil, lavender essential oil, tea tree essential oil and lemongrass essential oil!

     

    Check out a variety of essential oils you can use in these recipes.

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    Summary

    The uses of eucalyptus essential oil are limitless. It’s a very versatile and multi-faceted oil with various therapeutic, commercial, and industrial applications. The Australian Aborigines were not wrong in believing in the benefits of eucalyptus.

    Usually, when looking for solutions to health problems, we depend on over-the-counter and prescription medicines or remedies. However, we can also use all-natural remedies to complement the medications and treatments borne by modern medicine.

    Although there’s no doubting the fact that modern medicine has saved thousands of lives, traditional medicinal practices have also been proven and tested for ages—not in pharmaceutical laboratories, but in the real world by real people. Natural solutions and modern medicine don't have to be at odds when they can work together to improve your health in a more holistic way.

      Given all the benefits it has, eucalyptus essential oil is definitely a must-have in our own homes!

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      At Aroma Foundry, we utilize our in-depth knowledge of essential oils to bring only the best essential oil selections right to your doorstep. Check out our essential oils shop and find inspiration for making your personal favorite blends.

      Bibliography

      1. "Eucalyptus oil" Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_oil.
      2. "Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil" Organic Facts, https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-eucalyptus-essential-oil.html.
      3. “Eucalyptus Oil: Essential Oil Extraordinaire” Mercola, http://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/eucalyptus-oil.aspx.
      4. “The History of Eucalyptus Essential Oil and its Benefits" Regal Earth, http://regalearth.com/blog/the-history-of-eucalyptus-essential-oil-and-its-benefits/.
      5. “History of Bosisto's Eucalyptus Oil” FGB, https://www.fgb.com.au/content/history-bosistos-eucalyptus-oil
      6. “23 Amazing Benefits Of Eucalyptus Oil For Skin, Hair & Health” Style Craze, http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-eucalyptus-oil-for-skin-hair-health.
      7. “Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions” Sustainable Baby Steps, http://www.sustainablebabysteps.com/eucalyptus-oil-uses.html.
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