Looking to purchase eucalyptus oil? Before you do so do read our in-depth guide on eucalyptus oil and few effective, easy to make DIY recipes.
The Ultimate Guide to Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil, Eucalyptus globulus, is extracted from the globe-like fruit produced by the Tasmanian blue gum, a tall evergreen that thrives in Australia, more specifically in the regions of Tasmania and Victoria. When it thrives, the tree creates tall stands of trees, but it can also grow in a stunted shrub form where conditions are not ideal.
While the blue gum is not the only source of eucalyptus, it is the species from which eucalyptus oil as we know it is generally harvested. The following article will talk about the history and significance of eucalyptus oil as well as its benefits and practical at-home uses.
The History and Historic Significance of Eucalyptus Oil
One of the most universal and versatile essential oils, eucalyptus oil has a rich history that spans the globe. The oil, native to Australia, was first “discovered” by England in 1788 by Surgeon-General John White. White dubbed the oil the Sydney Peppermint because it reminded him of peppermint oil, which was already being used in England for medicinal purposes. In 1790, White sent some of the oil back home for testing.
It was found that the oil had wonderful antiseptic and bacterial properties, according to a subsequent German report. It began to be prescribed for all sorts of respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis and the flu. It was also used as an at-home treatment for ulcers, burns, and wounds.
Of course, aboriginal people had been using the oil for medicinal purposes long before White set foot on the continent. The oil itself was considered to cure just about everything. The 300 species of Eucalyptus native to Australia were also used for other things, such as fuel, mulch, and paper.
The native people of Australia found that eucalyptus helped dry out marshy regions due to its extensive need for water. This quality did not go unnoticed by the world. In 1855, France sent seeds to Algeria in order to dry up marshy regions and successfully fight an outbreak of malaria. In 1919, eucalyptus was used to fight an outbreak of meningitis and influenza.
Soon, eucalyptus seeds were exported around the world. Today, eucalyptus is cultivated and harvested in Russia, Chile, Spain, China, Portugal and South Africa in addition to Australia.
Historically, eucalyptus oil has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including breathing problems, depression, lethargy, muscle aches, sore throat, the common cold, bronchitis, and fever. It was administered using many methods and applications. It was massaged directly onto the skin, added to bath water, placed in a vaporizer and inhaled directly.
The commercialization of eucalyptus oil began in Victoria Australia in the year of 1852. By 1891, the exported oil had received many awards and prizes at international exhibits. By 1900, the oil was being exported regularly to the UK, Germany, USA, Canada, South Africa, India, China and New Zealand.
Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
As mentioned, eucalyptus oil poses many healthful and medicinal benefits. It also has beauty and mental health applications. Following are 15 benefits of eucalyptus oil.
Decongestant for Sinus Cavities
People suffering from the common cold and/or sinusitis have found eucalyptus oil to be a very effective decongestant. The powerful fumes from the oil thin mucous and opens up airways, which allows for maximum airflow through the nostrils and sinuses. A study published in a 2004 issue of Laryngoscope found that people who used eucalyptus oil to treat non-bacterial sinusitis recovered more quickly than those that did not.
To use eucalyptus oil as a decongestant, simply add a few drops to boiling hot water and inhale the aromatic steam.
Alleviates and Controls Coughing
An anti-inflammatory and natural decongestant, eucalyptus oil helps alleviate coughing associated with a multitude of illnesses, including the flu, asthma and the common cold. Eucalyptus oil alleviates coughing by dilating blood vessels located within the respiratory system, which allows for more oxygen exchange.
Cough relief can be achieved with eucalyptus oil in one of two ways. You can place a few drops in boiling water and inhale the steam or rub the oil directly onto your chest.
Soothes Sore Throats
Eucalyptus oil relieves the pain and swelling associated with a sore throat. It also has excellent anti-bacterial properties, which can aid in hastening the treatment of a throat infection. The cooling sensation associated with eucalyptus oil also helps soothe throat irritation.
Incorporate eucalyptus oil into a homemade throat spray and spray onto the affected area when necessary.
Relieves Sore Muscles
A natural pain reliever, eucalyptus oil also has anti-inflammatory properties. The oil is ideal for treating muscle pain and inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, sprains, and injuries. It also works well at relieving nerve pain.
To treat all sorts of body aches, simply rub a few drops of the oil into the affected area using circular motions.
Disinfects Germy Mouths
Eucalyptus oil has anti-microbial properties, What’s more, it is refreshing and tastes great. For these reasons and more, eucalyptus oil makes a great mouthwash ingredient. It kills germs, reduces plaque and fights gum disease.
Do not swish or swallow eucalyptus oil in its natural state. Instead, use the oil as an ingredient in a homemade mouthwash. We will discuss the recipe later in this article.
Stimulates the Immune System
Eucalyptus oil stimulates the immune system by increasing phagocytic activity, according to the Institute of Neurobiology and Molecular Medicine. If you feel like you’re getting sick or if you have been around people who are sick, you can give your immune system a boost by inhaling the vapors of eucalyptus oil.
To inhale vapors of the oil, add a few drops to steaming hot water and inhale the steam. You can also use it in a diffuser or humidifier.
Eases Breathing Problems
Most breathing problems are associated with inflammation. Eucalyptus oil relieves inflammation of the respiratory system by reducing swelling. It also dilates blood vessels, which allows for a greater exchange of oxygen.
To alleviate breathing problems, inhale the fumes of eucalyptus oil after it has been placed in hot water or a diffuser.
Treats and Cleans Wounds
Eucalyptus oil is considered to be an antiseptic and germicide, which makes it ideal for cleaning and treating wounds. It can be used on all types of wounds, including ulcers, burns, cuts, abrasions, and sores. You can also use it on wounds caused by insect bites.
To treat a wound with eucalyptus oil, simply apply the oil directly to the wound.
Uplifts Mental State
Eucalyptus oil has long been used in aromatherapy to uplift the spirit and fight depression. A natural stimulant, eucalyptus oil helps you feel alerted and energetic. It is also a great stress reliever. It is believed that the oil has this effect because it increases blood flow to the brain.
To get the best mental benefits from eucalyptus oil, place it in an oil diffuser or apply it to your skin as an aromatherapy agent.
Controls Lice Infestations
Just like peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil is a natural insecticide. For this reason, it is often used as a natural alternative to mainstream lice treatments. In addition to treating a current infestation, it can help ward off future infestations.
To treat or repel lice with eucalyptus oil, apply a few drops directly to your scalp using your fingertips. Comb the oil through your hair with a wide-toothed comb.
Moisturizes Dry Hair
When used in a deep-conditioning treatment, eucalyptus oil adds moisture, shine and extra volume to hair. It also combats common scalp conditions, including dandruff and dry scalp.
Use eucalyptus oil as an added ingredient in a deep-conditioning treatment at least once per week for best results.
Freshens Stale Air
The aromatic fragrance of eucalyptus oil works as a natural air freshener. In addition to freshening up the air, it kills bacteria and germs, making it perfect for cleaning your home after a bout of illness.
To freshen a room, spray a small amount of eucalyptus oil in the room or place a few drops in your vacuum cleaner. You can also warm up the oil in an oil warmer.
Cleans Tough Stains
If you have a tough stain you can’t get rid of, try cleaning it with eucalyptus oil. The oily nature of the substance helps lift stubborn stains and sticky messes, such as ground in gum.
To remove stains with eucalyptus oil, simply rub the oil onto the stain and wait a couple of minutes before wiping it up with a clean cloth.
Promotes Hair Growth
Eucalyptus oil increases blood flow, making it a perfect stimulant for hair growth. When hair follicles don’t get enough blood flow and oxygen, growth slows. Increased flow, however, has the opposite reaction.
To stimulate hair growth, rub the oil directly into your scalp several times per week.
Cool Body Temperature
The cooling nature of eucalyptus oil helps cool the body and lower fever. It can also prevent you from becoming overheated while working outdoors.
Mix eucalyptus oil with distilled water and place in a spray bottle. Spray skin regularly with the oil to keep it cool.
Homemade Recipes Using Eucalyptus Oil
Now that you know how eucalyptus oil treats various ailments, it’s time to put the knowledge to practical use. Following are eight homemade recipes using eucalyptus oil that you can make and use at home.
1. Anti-Microbial Mouthwash
Eucalyptus oil’s natural anti-microbial properties make it ideal for killing the germs that are responsible for gum disease. It also helps reduce plaque.
- 3/4 cups of water
- 1/4 cup vodka
- 4 teaspoons liquid glycerin,
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and 15 drops eucalyptus oil
Keep in mind that you should only use filtered or distilled water. Do not use tap water. You will also need a glass bottle with a secure lid.
- Combine 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vodka, 4 teaspoons liquid glycerin, 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel and 15 eucalyptus drops in a glass bottle.
- Close the bottle and shake vigorously to create a minty mouthwash.
- Be sure to shake the bottle before each use. Use morning and night for best results.
2. Soothing Throat Spray
Perfect for easing the pain and swelling associated with a sore throat, eucalyptus throat spray also helps kill off illness-causing bacteria.
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 drops lemon essential oil and 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil. You will also need a saucepan, a whisk, and a travel size spray bottle.
- In a saucepan, bring 3/4 cup to a boil. Mix in 1 tablespoon honey and 1 teaspoon sea salt.
- Whisk the mixture until the honey and salt are dissolved.
- Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 4 drops lemon essential oil and 4 drops eucalyptus essential oil.
- Mix well and allow to cool to room temperature before pouring the solution into the spray bottle.
- Shake well before each use. Use the spray as needed.
3. Preventative Lice Shampoo
Ideal for preventing lice infestations, eucalyptus lice shampoo leaves the hair smelling like mint, an aromatic smell that lice hate. This shampoo is not recommended for young children under the age of 5.
- 1 ounce clarifying or deep cleansing shampoo
- 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil.
- Add 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil to 1 ounce of deep cleansing shampoo
- Mix well and massage into damp hair.
- Lather and wait for 2 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Shampoo daily for best results.
4. Hair Conditioning Treatment
Perfect for adding moisture, creating shine and stimulating new hair growth, eucalyptus oil is a well-rounded hair treatment when used as a deep-conditioning treatment. It also treats dry scalp and helps prevent bothersome scalp conditions, such as dandruff.
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
- You will also need a bowl for mixing, a shower cap, shampoo, and towels.
- A hair dryer and/or microwave is optional for warming the oil.
- Blend 2 teaspoons coconut oil and 2 drops eucalyptus oil in a bowl and heat it up in the microwave until it’s warm.
- Apply the mixture to clean, damp hair, working it through to the ends.
- Place a shower cap over your head and wait for 20 minutes.
- If you wish to have a warm conditioning treatment, aim a warm hair dryer at the plastic cap for the duration of the treatment.
- Repeat once per week for best results.
5. Breathing Treatment for Colds
When inhaled, eucalyptus oil fumes help free up breathing passages by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow to the area.
- 1 cup water
- 4 drops eucalyptus oil
- Saucepan and a large towel.
- You will also need a stove or microwave for heating the water.
- In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
- Remove pan from the heat and slowly add 4 drops of eucalyptus oil.
- Place your face over the steam with a towel draped over the back of your head to prevent the steam from escaping. Be careful not to get too close to the pan. The steam can burn you.
- Breathe in the heated fumes of the oil for approximately 10 minutes. Repeat several times per day or as necessary.
6. Air-Freshening Diffuser
Eucalyptus oil is a natural deodorizer, which makes it perfect for use in the home as an air freshener. The aroma produced by the oil also lifts moods and increases alertness.
2 drops lemon essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops eucalyptus essential oil and a pan an electric essential oil diffuser. If you don’t have an oil diffuser, you can use a small saucepan and heat the oil on the stove using the “warm” setting. Be careful not to overheat the oil.
- Plug your electric oil diffuser into the wall and add 2 drops lemon essential oil, 2 drops lavender essential oil and 2 drops eucalyptus essential oil to the oil well.
- Allow the oil to warm in the diffuser throughout the day. Use whenever you need to feel refreshed and uplifted.
7. Insect Repellant
A natural insect repellent, eucalyptus oil is a safe way to keep the insects away this summer.
- 4 ounces distilled water
- 3 1/2 ounces witch hazel and 30 drops eucalyptus oil.
- You will also need a spray bottle. If you don’t have access to distilled water, boil 1 cup of tap water and allow it to cool before using.
- Fill a full-sized spray bottle with approximately 4 ounces distilled water and 3 1/2 ounces of witch hazel.
- Add approximately 30 drops of eucalyptus oil.
- You can add up to 50 drops of oil if you prefer a more intense smell.
- Mix well before spraying directly on the skin. Use as often as necessary when spending time outdoors.
8. Stress-Relieving Massage Oil
A natural stress reliever, eucalyptus oil is the perfect main ingredient for homemade massage oil.
- 8 ounces of coconut, olive or sweet almond oil
- 35 drops eucalyptus oil and 35 drops lavender oil.
- You will also need a clean, dry glass bottle with an airtight stopper.
A bottle made from dark glass will keep your oil fresher for a longer period of time.
- Add 35 drops eucalyptus oil and 35 drops lavender oil to your choice of 8 ounces of either coconut, olive or sweet almond oil.
- Pour the mixture into a glass bottle for safe keeping.
- When using the oil, warm it up between the palms of your hand before applying it directly to the skin.
- Massage the oil into the skin using circular motions. Use as often as necessary to relieve stress.