Eucalyptus is native to Australia, and is the main food source for koala bears. Aboriginal people have been using it for centuries to treat a number of medical conditions, and it has also been a part of other traditional medicine systems in Europe, Greece, India and China.
There are many species of Eucalyptus, ranging from the size of a large shrub to giant trees. The blue gum, or Australian fever tree, is most commonly used in medicine, and can reach up to 230 feet in height with 4-12 inch dark, shiny leaves.
Eucalyptus oil is made from the leaves and tops of the branches. The leaves contain tannins, which are thought to reduce inflammation, plant-based antioxidants, and volatile oils.
Health Properties of Eucalyptus
- Analgesic – Relieves pain
- Antibacterial – Kills bacteria
- Anti-catarrhal – Removes excess catarrhal (inflammation of the mucous membranes)
- Anti-infectious – Fights infection
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces pain and inflammation
- Antiviral – Fights viral infections
- Insecticidal – Kills insects
- Expectorant – Relieves respiratory problems
What to do With Eucalyptus Oil
- Rub on your chest and under your nose to ease congestion. The smell of the oil will loosen mucus and clear breathing passageways.
- Dilute some in a spray bottle with peppermint oil and mist onto your body to cool off. This is perfect for hot outdoor days and strenuous exercise. The oil will also help ease fevers and hot flashes.
- Massage oil directly onto chest, back and throat to ease coughs. Also, diffusing the oil or misting it into a room can help ease coughing.
- Use for household cleaner. Because of its anti-fungal and bacteria fighting abilities, eucalyptus makes a powerful household cleaner. Combine with vinegar for a cleansing scrub.
- Apply oil to the abdomen during a bout of the flu to ease diarrhea. Diffuse into the air to kill the flu bacteria.
- Use this oil for aromatherapy, to wake you up after a long night or when recovering from jet lag.
- Rub some oil into your hair to kill lice.
- Help fight muscle pain by rubbing oil onto sore areas. Great for before and after workouts.
- Rub the oil into clothing prior to washing to remove stains and give a boost to your load of laundry.
- Get rid of sticky things – great for removing wax, oil, stickers, etc.
- Rub under your arms as a natural deodorant.
- Mix with distilled water and spray as an air freshener.
- Ease the pain of bug bites by rubbing oil directly onto them.
- Mix oil with vinegar for bug spray, or flea and tick control for pets.
- Drop some on your carpets before vacuuming for a great smell all over the house.
Note: Never take eucalyptus oil orally.
Note: Because eucalyptus oil can be irritating to the skin if applied at full strength, it is best to dilute it in a carrier oil such as sesame or olive. Try 15 – 30 drops of eucalyptus oil to 1/2-cup of carrier oil.
-The Alternative Daily