11 Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
The eucalyptus is a tree that originates from Australia and is well known for its healing properties. Originally, the Aborigines chewed on the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree and also made tea out of these leaves as a remedy for fever.
Today, the Eucalyptus tree grows in many parts of the world, and the essential oil extracted from the leaves of the plant has numerous health benefits.
Here are 11 health benefits of eucalyptus oil.
1. Relief from Cold Symptoms
Eucalyptus oil has been widely accepted as a remedy for the symptoms of a cough and cold. In fact, according to research, eucalyptus oil can reduce the mucus levels and expand the airways of your lungs, reducing blockages and allowing for better breathing.
Furthermore, eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the swelling in your lungs caused by a cold or flu. In fact, eucalyptus oil functions similarly to products such as Vicks VapoRub. It can help clear out your airways, allowing you to breathe easily, even during a cold.
One study tested and compared the effects of using a vapor rub that contains menthol and eucalyptus oil with a placebo on children before they slept at night.
The researchers concluded that the vapor rub is significantly more effective as compared to the placebo when it comes to reducing the severity of the cough and in helping improve the quality of sleep in children who had a cold.
As such, it is recommended that eucalyptus oil be used via steam inhalation for quick relief from cold symptoms. The ingredient responsible for this is the eucalyptol present in the eucalyptus oil.
Furthermore, the eucalyptol can even relieve other cold symptoms such as headaches, congestion in the nose, and the frequency of coughing by reducing the buildup of mucus and the inflammation inside the throat and chest.
This isn’t all. Eucalyptus oil is even effective in reducing symptoms of asthma. According to one study of 32 people that lasted 12 weeks, people with asthma found significant relief from their symptoms after inhaling eucalyptus oil. In fact, after inhaling the oil, asthma patients required a much lower dosage of medicine.
Because eucalyptus oil is so effective in relieving cold symptoms and also helping respiration, this oil is often the key ingredient in off-the-counter decongestants and rubs.
In spite of its effectiveness, however, make sure that you do not consume the oil orally as it is not safe for oral consumption.
If you are already on any strong medication, also make sure to consult a doctor before using this oil because it may react with your prescribed medication in undesirable ways.
2. Relief from Bronchitis
Traditionally, eucalyptus oil has been used to help reduce symptoms of bronchitis. Bronchitis refers to inflammation in the bronchi or the air passages in your lungs, which can lead to excessive coughing. Bronchitis is sometimes the result of a cold that lasted too long.
Bronchitis can sometimes be extremely severe and can last for a long time, making it difficult for you to continue with the tasks of everyday living.
If you suffer from bronchitis and if store-bought medicines haven’t been particularly useful for you, you may want to consider using eucalyptus oil for quick relief.
You can either inhale the oil or even apply it topically over your chest for quick relief from the symptoms of bronchitis.
One study of 242 patients with bronchitis who were given either eucalyptus oil or a placebo discovered that those who received eucalyptus oil showed a drastic improvement in bronchitis symptoms, as compared to those who were given a placebo.
The patients exhibited a dramatic reduction in the coughing fits after only a few days of being given eucalyptus oil.
Aids in Quicker Wound Healing
Ointments and creams that aid with quicker wound healing often contain eucalyptus oil because of its healing properties. The Ancient Aborigines used eucalyptus in any form possible to aid with help with the speedier healing of wounds.
Modern science has reached a similar conclusion about eucalyptus oil, based on research. A 2012 study focusing on the anti-microbial properties of eucalyptus oil found that the oil can help provide relief from all sorts of anti-bacterial infections. It can also additionally help provide relief from wounds caused by cuts and burns. In fact, only putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a cut or bruise can increase the healing time of that wound significantly.
You should, however, make sure that your wound is perfectly clean before you apply eucalyptus oil to it.
4. May Reduce Pain
Research has found that eucalyptus oil may work wonders as an all-natural pain reliever. The eucalyptus plant contains all sorts of anti-inflammatory components, such as limonene and eucalyptol, that may function as effective pain relievers.
According to one study of 52 people that lasted three days, eucalyptus oil significantly decreased pain experienced by those who were undergoing knee replacement surgery.
In fact, these same patients were also treated with almond oil, and the results of both oils were compared. The conclusion was that eucalyptus oil was far more effective than almond oil in providing relief from the pain.
5. Reduces Anxiety Symptoms and Promotes Relaxation
The eucalyptus plant is widely known for its relaxation properties that can reduce stress levels in the body.
According to one study of 62 people, those who inhaled eucalyptus oil right before their surgeries experienced a massive decrease in their anxiety symptoms. This led researchers to conclude that eucalyptus oil, in fact, has anti-anxiety properties. The oil can induce an overall calming effect on those who inhale it.
Another study found that inhaling eucalyptus oil for about half an hour can lower blood pressure in patients who recently underwent knee surgery. The patients reportedly felt more relaxed after inhaling the oil.
Researchers concluded that inhaling eucalyptus oil reduced activity in your nervous system, thus leading to a calmer state of mind. So if you regularly suffer from anxiety attacks or high blood pressure, it can be useful to try inhaling eucalyptus oil. It might just surprise you with just how effective it is!
Do keep in mind that if you already take anti-depressants for your anxiety, you may want to consult your doctor before jumping right into taking this oil.
6. Protects You from Insect Bites
Eucalyptus oil can even function as an all-natural insect repellent, owing to its high eucalyptol concentration. Research has discovered that topically applying eucalyptus can protect you from insect bites and prevent mosquitoes from coming near you for at least eight hours after application.
The higher the eucalyptol concentration in the oil, the more effective it is as an insect repellent.
While you can easily purchase an insect repellant spray from a nearby store, it is likely to be loaded with chemicals that can be pretty damaging for your health, even if they are effective.
Other research has concluded that lemon eucalyptus oil is an extremely powerful insect repellant, too.
Furthermore, studies have even tested the effectiveness of eucalyptus oil for treating head lice. In fact, one study found that eucalyptus oil was nearly two times more effective at treating head lice as a popular head lice treatment.
7. Promotes Dental Hygiene
Research has found that eucalyptus extract can cure gingivitis, reduce dental plaque, and even reduce bad breath in those who suffer from it.
In fact, some doctors recommend diluting a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil and rinsing your mouth with this mixture. Alternatively, you can even apply this mixture on a toothbrush and brush thoroughly with it. Ethanol can reduce the bacteria that cause gum disease and cavities.
One study of nine people who chewed gum infused with eucalyptus extract found a significant reduction in inflammation of the gums, bleeding, and plaque.
For these reasons, eucalyptus oil can even be added to your mouthwash. Do remember to put only a very small quantity of this oil because essential oils aren’t meant for oral consumption and can be dangerous to swallow in large doses.
8. Relieves Muscle Soreness
Eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, this essential oil can provide quick relief from muscle pain or sore muscles after an intense workout session.
Additionally, this oil even works well for those who may suffer from chronic muscle pain or conditions such as the carpet tunnel syndrome (characterized by excessive pain and numbness in the hands and arms).
All you need to do is to dilute a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil and apply it onto the sore area, moving your hands in circular motions.
9. Improves hair quality
If you routinely complain that your hair is too dull, too oily, or full of dandruff, don’t worry! Eucalyptus oil can work wonders for your hair for two reasons – it stimulates and the scalp and controls dandruff.
Research has shown that eucalyptus oil contains certain anti-fungal elements such as Malassezia that can fight against fungus. This fungus is one of the primary causes of dandruff.
All you have to do is mix just a few drops of this oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil roughly 20 minutes before showering. Once you wash your hair, you will notice a marked improvement in the quality and texture of your hair. It will be more elastic, less oily, and will have less dandruff.
10. Relieves Sun Burn
Eucalyptus oil’s pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties can even successfully provide relief from a sunburn. Even if you use store-bought sunblock on your face each time you step outside the house, it is still possible that you may get a sunburn, especially if your skin is sensitive.
Eucalyptus oil, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, is even anti-bacterial and can prevent and protect you from a skin infection caused by too much sun exposure.
All you need to do is add roughly three drops of eucalyptus oil to pure water, as well as some aloe vera gel. The oil and aloe gel both have cooling properties that can cool your skin down in the aftermath of a bad sunburn. With summer right around the corner, it can be useful to grab your bottle of eucalyptus oil today.
11. Relieves Head-Aches
Eucalyptus oil, in addition to clearing sinuses and relaxing the mind, can even provide relief from headaches. This is because eucalyptus oil can relax facial muscles that become too tense.
So the next time you have a headache, apply a few drops of the oil onto a damp piece of cloth and place it on your forehead.
Within just a few minutes, you are likely to feel a whole lot better.
Possible Side Effects of Eucalyptus Oil
Generally speaking, eucalyptus oil is safe to use topically; just make sure that you do not end up ingesting it in some way. It is also safe to inhale directly, or through a diffuser. Make sure that when you apply it topically, you do not apply more than a few drops of the oil as too much of any essential oil can be dangerous.
Eucalyptus oil should also generally be kept out of the reach of young children. Some common side-effects associated with eucalyptus oil are shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and coordination problems.
If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you should consult a doctor before taking eucalyptus oil. Similarly, if you are already taking any strong medication such as an SSRI, you shouldn’t take eucalyptus oil before asking a doctor first.
Finally, remember that an essential oil should never be used directly on the skin. Always dilute it with a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, or jojoba oil.
These were 11 health benefits of eucalyptus oil. With all of these benefits, it would appear that eucalyptus oil has the solution for everything!