The health benefits of eucalyptus oil have attracted attention from the whole world as more people are using this oil as a go-to natural remedy.
What Is Eucalyptus Oil?
Native to Australia, eucalyptus is an evergreen tree that is widely grown in many other other parts of the world, including South Africa, Europe and India.
Eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree through the process of steam distillation. The essential oil is useful for its medicinal properties and is famous for its use in conventional medicine and aromatherapy.
The medicinal properties of eucalyptus oil are mainly due to a compound called eucalyptol or cineole.
Eucalyptus oil blends with other essential oil like lavender, thyme, marjoram, cedarwood, frankincense and rosemary.
Uses of Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is used in the following ways:
- In aromatherapy
- As a room freshener
- In soaps, detergents and cosmetics
- As an insect repellent
- As a stain remover
- As a hand disinfectant
- As a household cleaner
- In vapor rubs, pain balms and ointments
Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
The health benefits of eucalyptus oil can be attributed to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, stimulant, deodorant, antispasmodic and antibacterial properties.
The significant health benefits of eucalyptus essential oil include:
1. Treats asthma
Eucalyptus oil contains an active compound called cineole, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Cineole helps relieve asthmatic symptoms, dilate the blood vessels, boosts more oxygen to the lungs and restores normal breathing.
2. Improves brain function
Eucalyptus oil is widely used to stimulate the mind and make you more alert throughout the day. An excellent vasodilator agent, eucalyptus oil relaxes the blood vessels and increases blood flow. This process supplies more blood to the brain, making it more active and alert.
3. Treats cold and flu
Eucalyptus oil is an effective decongestant and treats respiratory tract infections like nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, cold, sinusitis, running nose and bronchitis. It is also an expectorant that helps loosen mucus and clears sinuses.
4. Treats hair lice
Due to its pesticide and insect repellent properties, eucalyptus essential oil is commonly used in the treatment of hair lice. Mixing this oil with a carrier oil on lice-infested hair removes lice.
5. Relieves muscle and joint pain
Eucalyptus oil is anti-inflammatory and analgesic in nature. It is advised for patients suffering from joint pain, stiff muscles, sprained ligaments, nerve pain, lumbago, fibrosis, arthritis and rheumatism. Massaging eucalyptus oil on affected areas helps relieve stress and pain.
6. Removes intestinal worms
Eucalyptus contains vermifuge properties that make it effective against intestinal worms. Ingesting this essential oil helps eliminate microbial and parasitic infections that can occur in the intestine and colon. Eucalyptus oil is an effective remedy for those suffering from intestinal worms.
7. Helps control diabetes
Eucalyptus oil is rich in flavonoids, terpenoids and phenol compounds. These compounds reduce hyperglycemia and help control diabetes. It is recommended to consume the oil to control blood sugar levels for patients with diabetes.
8. Heals wounds
When eucalyptus oil is exposed to the environment, an ozone layer is formed. This ozone layer makes eucalyptus oil an effective antiseptic. It helps treat abrasions, burns, wounds, cuts, cold sores and ulcers.
Eucalyptus oil also prevents secondary infections from occurring, thereby making the existing wound heal faster.
Side Effects of Eucalyptus Oil
When used in the right quantities, eucalyptus oil imposes no known or reported side effects. Eucalyptus oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil before use.
- Individuals who have sensitive skin are advised to do a patch test before using this essential oil.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers are advised not to use eucalyptus oil.
- When taking more than what is prescribed, it can be toxic to the body and cause dermatitis, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, stomach upset and diarrhea.