Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil which is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. It was originally grown in Australia but now you find its presence in many other parts of the world. The oil is used in industry and for healing purposes. There are about 700 types of eucalyptus species in the world. About 500 of them are used for essential oil extraction. It was used as medicine and in surgeries in the years gone back. The health benefits of eucalyptus are numerous. It is also used as an insecticide to kill mites and ticks.
Constituents of Eucalyptus oil
Different types of eucalyptus oil contain different composition of some basic compounds. There are about 100 different compounds in the oil. Some of the main compounds include globulol, cineole, limonene, terpinen, pinene, phellandrene, aromadendrene, epiglobulola and piperitone. The original raw oil composition is supposed to consists of good proportion of the above-mentioned compounds as compared to the double distilled one.
Properties of Eucalyptus Oil
The main properties of the oil for which it is used are the following.
- It has antibacterial property. It acts on pathogenic bacteria. This property helps in getting rid of bacteria in upper respiratory tract infections.
- It has analgesic property. This helps to relieve pain in the body when applied on joints or muscles.
- When used on the body externally it has a cool and refreshing effect. This aids in bringing down mental exhaustion in the body. It stimulates the brain and increases blood circulation to the head.
- Its antibacterial property also extends to the bacteria residing in dental cavities. Thus it is very effective against cariogenic and periodontopathic bacteria in the mouth.
Listed below are some of the health benefits of eucalyptus oil.
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
1. Respiratory Diseases
These diseases are one of the most important diseases addressed by eucalyptus oil. Since the oil has the following properties – antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, decongestant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. It is typically used in coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis and nasal congestion. It can also be used for sore throats and running nose. Gargles with the oil mixed with warm water helps to ease the pain in the throat and brings instant relief. Medicines for respiratory problems have eucalyptus oil content in them. You could also take 3 to 5 drops of the oil and massage your chest with it. It gives an instant soothing effect and allows more oxygen to flow into the lungs normalizing breathing.
2. In Treatment of Fever
Eucalyptus oil is very effective in reducing body temperature. It is mixed with other carrier oil like peppermint oil and used as a deodorant and sprayed on the body. This helps in bringing down the fever.
3. In Getting Rid of Intestinal Germs
This is one of the most important health benefits of eucalyptus oil. Since eucalyptus has germicidal properties it helps to kill bacteria and other germs in the various organs of the body. This is especially true of germs residing in the colon and intestine. For this, you need to consume about 1/2 teaspoon of the eucalyptus oil. It gets rid of bacteria, parasites and other microbes too.
4. In Relieving Muscle And Joint Pain
For people suffering from knee and joint pains, application of eucalyptus oil on the surface of the skin brings in a lot of relief. Since it is anti-inflammatory and analgesic too it removes the underlying stress and pain. It is typically used in rheumatism, nervous pain, stiff muscles, sprained ligaments and muscles. The affected area should be massaged in a circular fashion with 4 to 5 drops of the oil.
5. In Soothing The Brain
For people who have undergone mental exhaustion application of eucalyptus oil on the forehead helps to reduce stress and bring about relief. It is soothing and refreshing making the person feel fresh. It acts as a stimulant and removes mental sluggishness. This is achieved by increased blood circulation to the brain. The oil acts as a vasodilator and opens up blood vessels for increased flow of blood and its circulation. It is also used in aromatherapy for the same purposes. Students exposed to eucalyptus oil are found to perform better in their studies.
6. In Healing of Wounds
Apart from the above health benefits of eucalyptus oil. It has antiseptic property which works well with open wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts and sores. When applied on abrasions it helps in healing faster and keeps infections at bay. It could also be used for insect bites and stings. It provides for a protective layer and hence microbes are not allowed to infect the wounds further.
7. As an Ingredient in Mouthwash
Herbal mouthwash and toothpaste contain eucalyptus oil. Its antimicrobial property provides for dental health. It ensures that there is no deposition of plague and cavities in the mouth due to microbial infections.
8. As a Room Freshener
The pleasing odor of eucalyptus oil and its antiseptic property makes it an ideal spray to use in sick and hospital rooms. It aids in getting rid of insects and germs while keeping the environment clean and hygienic.
9. As a Constituent of Soaps
Eucalyptus oil is also commonly part of soaps, detergents, hand cleaners and household cleaners. It is used in these products for its antimicrobial, antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is used in mostly herbal and organic products. Thus these are better options to choose for us, protecting our health as well as the health of the environment.
10. For Hair Growth
This is one of the most amazing health benefits of eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus can be mixed with coconut oil and applied on the scalp. This moisturizes the scalp and keeps it healthy. It also helps in the treatment of dandruff and itchy scalp. It also helps to get rid of lice on the scalp and is a better option compared to chemical applications.
11. In Treatment for Tuberculosis
When some drops of eucalyptus oil is used and massaged on the chest and back it gives relief from symptoms of tuberculosis. Also inhaling fumes of the oil gives respite to patients because of its anti-inflammatory property.
How is The Eucalyptus Oil Used?
It is used in burners and vaporizers to generate fumes which you can inhale. This would provide relief in case of respiratory diseases and improving concentration. The vapors can also be used as insect repellents. For colds and cough 4 to 5 drops of the oil can be taken in the palm and the chest region corresponding to the lungs massaged. Massaging can be done both on the front and back. It helps to get rid of congestion in the lungs and headaches too. For open wounds and insect bites you can directly apply the oil on the affected area.
Go for these home remedies for chest congestion which if followed can provide relief.
Cautions With Using Eucalyptus Oil
Since the oil is very potent it should not be used with children below the age of 2. Also in the case of adults it should be used under recommendation from the doctor. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should also be careful about using it. In case they are allergic to it they should avoid using it.
Putting it in a nutshell.
- Eucalyptus oil is great for reducing of symptoms caused by respiratory diseases.
- Since it has a pleasing odor its vapors are used in room fresheners and in soaps, detergents etc.
- It is used directly on muscles and joints to reduce pain and discomfort. It can also be used in wounds and hurts.
- Finally applying it on the forehead brings in a soothing feeling and you feel relaxed.
Thus we have seen the health benefits of eucalyptus oil. You can make eucalyptus oil at home using dried leaves and twigs. After burning the leaves the vapors are steam distilled to get the oil. Eucalyptus can be stored for 6 months and up till a year when refrigerated. It should be easily accessible and made available in every home. Since one does not know when one will get sick and it would definitely be a handy medicine.