Eucalyptus oil has long been used in ancient Aboriginal folk medicine for its powerful medicinal properties to heal wounds and treat infections. In fact, according to English folklore, an early English settler who had nearly severed his thumb with an ax and was reportedly instructed to use eucalyptus leaves to bind the wound.
It healed so well that news about it and similar situations spread throughout Australia. It was later in 1852 near the city of Melbourne that the first distillation of eucalyptus radiata essential oil was made by a pharmacist named Joseph Bosisto.
I wasn’t long after this discovery that the many benefits and uses of eucalyptus oil were realized.
Eucalyptus Oil Uses for Health and Well-Being
Eucalyptus essential oil is distilled from native Australian Eucalyptus trees. Also known as Tasmanian Blue Gum, these evergreens boast a long list of benefits and uses both traditional and modern.
The Aborigines were known to use eucalyptus for wound healing, fungal infections, and to reduce fever. Later, the Chinese, Greeks, Europeans, and practitioners of Ayurveda began recognizing the decongestive and pain-relieving properties of eucalyptus essential oil.
Today, you can find constituents of eucalyptus oil in most OTC medicines, sore throat sprays, and topical pain relievers.
Eucalyptus Benefits and What is Eucalyptus Oil Good For?
You may be wondering “What is eucalyptus essential oil good for?”. Well, let me tell you, it’s probably one of the most useful essential oils out there! Aside from lavender essential oil, eucalyptus is another one of those cure-all essential oils but with a strong affinity for pain, cold and flu, and killing germs and bacteria.
It’s a definite must have!
Eucalyptus oil is:
• Analgesic – relieves pain when used topically
• Antibacterial – kills germs and bacteria
• Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation in joints, muscles, and other inflamed tissues
• Antineuralgic – reduces neuralgia associated with conditions like shingles
• Antiseptic – keeps wounds clean and bacteria free
• Antispasmodic – reduces incessant coughing
• Antiviral – kills viruses in the air and internally
• Astringent – tightens skin and tissues which improves circulation and healing
• Decongestant for both sinuses and lungs – stimulates expectoration
• Deodorant – reduces odors in the home
• Disinfectant – kills germs and bacteria in the air and on surfaces
• Diuretic – stimulates the kidneys
• Expectorant – helps the body expectorate mucus from the lungs
• Insecticidal – can keep insects off the body or out of the house
• Stimulant – stimulates the immune system and clarifies the mind
As you can see from the list above, eucalyptus covers all the bases when it comes to treating respiratory illness and physical aches and pains.
Top 3 Eucalyptus Oil Uses
Before we dive into the many eucalyptus oil uses, it’s important to note that eucalyptus essential oil is not safe for children under 10 years old. This may be over-precautionary for some, but since it’s your child we’re talking about, you should be aware that certain constituents found in eucalyptus, rosemary, and peppermint essential oil can be dangerous to those with compromised lungs.
You can read more about using essential oils safely for babies and children HERE. I encourage you to read it and make your own informed decision.
So, without further ado, here are my top 3 eucalyptus oil uses:
1. Cold and Flu
Eucalyptus is best known for its decongestant and expectorant properties, and for good reason!
Eucalyptus essential oil is an excellent expectorant that helps cut through stubborn mucus in the lungs and sinuses while also killing invading bacteria and viruses. It helps improve respiratory function by increasing vasodilation which helps open the sinus cavity and bronchial passages. This allows the body to better expel the stuck mucus that contributes to sinus infections and bronchitis.
This vasodilation is also great for reducing fevers since the expanding of the blood vessels and increased circulation allows the body to cool off more effectively. Apply a eucalyptus massage oil to the body, bundle up, and feel your fever break! Recipes are down below.
Eucalyptus oil is also great to use for wet or dry spasmodic coughs that keep you up at night. Applying it topically in the form of a chest rub or massage oil over the chest, back, and throat will help calm muscle contractions in the lungs and allow you to get restful sleep.
Another great application for eucalyptus oil during cold and flu is for soothing sore throats. Its ability to relieve pain on contact is what makes it such an excellent remedy for relieving red and inflamed tissues. I have often put a single drop of eucalyptus EO in a tiny spray bottle with water and used it as an effective sore throat spray!
Its ability to increase phagocytic activity is another reason you should be using it during cold and flu – it stimulates white blood cells and boosts immunity.
And lastly, eucalyptus is an excellent antiviral and antibacterial meaning it’s great to use to cleanse the air in your home and frequently used surfaces. In fact, using just a 2% dilution of eucalyptus oil in a spray has been shown to reduce airborne staphylococci by 70%!
2. Joint and Muscle Aches and Pains
Another amazing benefit eucalyptus bestows upon us is its ability to relieve aches and pains. Aside from cold and flu, this is one of my favorite eucalyptus oil uses and one that I use fairly often!
Eucalyptus contains analgesic constituents, specifically cineole, which is a powerful pain reliever.
Eucalyptus is indicated for arthritic pain that responds well to cold applications, neuralgia (like the kind experienced after shingles), and general aches and pains associated with the flu, working out, headaches, and debilitating conditions where there is chronic pain.
Adding eucalyptus essential oil to massage oil, creams, rubs, and balms is a great way to utilize its pain-relieving benefits.
3. Cuts, Scrapes, and Wounds
One of the best uses of eucalyptus oil you may now know is its ability to treat and heal wounds.
Its potent antimicrobial and antiseptic properties make it super effective against germs and bacteria while treating wounds, burns, cuts, scrapes, abrasions, sores, and other minor wounds. Its astringent qualities help tighten tissues and stimulate healing blood flow.
You can even apply it to bug bites and stings to help alleviate pain, prevent infection, and speed up healing.
Eucalyptus essential oil can even be used when properly diluted on your dog for treating minor wounds.
Essential Oil Recipes Using Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Here are some of my favorite essential oil recipes using eucalyptus essential oil. They may be simple, but they’re really effective! I hope you give them a try 🙂
Eucalyptus Diffuser Recipe for Cold and Flu
Add 10-15 drops of eucalyptus radiata essential oil to your favorite diffuser (I love this one), and allow the diffuser to run for 20-30 minutes 2-3 times a day. Sometimes, I will even run my diffuser all night long to help humidify the air.
Eucalyptus Oil Facial Steam
Bring some spring water to a boil and pour it into a heat safe bowl. Next, add 10-15 drops of eucalyptus radiata essential oil to the water.
Drape your upper body with a towel and hover your face over the bowl. Be careful not to burn yourself with the steam!
Breath in with slow deep breaths for 15-20 minutes. You will notice the need to blow your nose and will be able to expel any stuck mucus and other impurities from your sinuses.
Eucalyptus Sore Throat Spray
Add the essential oil, then fill to the shoulder with spring water. Shake vigorously before each use. Test out 5 drops of eucalyptus EO first, then up the drops as needed.
Spritz the back of the throat (concentrating on red inflamed tissues) up to 4 times daily to treat sore throat pain.
DIY Eucalyptus Chest Rub
• 1/2 cup of carrier oil (like sweet almond, olive oil, coconut oil, etc.)
• 2 TB beeswax pastilles
• 20 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
• 10 drops peppermint essential oil
• 5 drops myrtle essential oil
Melt the carrier oil and beeswax together in a heat safe measuring cup. Once melted, remove from the heat and add the essential oils. Mix to combine, then pour the chest rub into the container of choice.
This recipe makes a little over 4oz of eucalyptus chest rub.
Simply apply a dime sized or larger amount of chest rub over the chest, the back (where congestion can be felt), and on the throat and neck. Do this before bedtime to help ease incessant coughing.
Eucalyptus Bug Repellant
Add the essential oils to the spray bottle and then fill to the shoulder with witch hazel or water.
Sprits the body and closing thoroughly before or while outdoors to repel biting and stinging insects.
Eucalyptus Massage Oil for Fever, Aches, and Pains
Mix together thoroughly and apply generously to the body when treating fever or to the localized area for treating aches, pains, and neuralgia up to 3 times daily.
For fevers, I find it nice to massage the bottoms of the feet, the arms, legs, and abdomen with the infused oil, then bundle up and get in bed with a hot mug of ginger tea (learn how to make my favorite ginger tea here). My fever almost always breaks soon after.
Disinfecting Room and Surface Spray
Spritz the air in your home to help kill airborne germs and bacteria.
Alternatively, you can add 1/2 a cup or more of hydrogen peroxide to the mix and use it to spray down surfaces like the kitchen sink, countertops, door knobs, and bathroom surfaces to kill germs and bacteria. (I would not use this version as a room spray)
What have been your favorite eucalyptus oil uses and recipes? Please share them in the comments below!
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