Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits: One Magical Cure-All!

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Have you ever had a cold, cough, or headache that you could not get rid of? Any of these can leave you feeling miserable, drained, irritable, and generally out of sync with yourself and your daily routine. You want to stay in bed all day, but you can’t sleep. You miss work or functions with friends because you worry about infecting others. Or because you simply don’t have the energy to deal with anything. Not to mention the cold sweats, fever, and sore throat that often accompany the infection.

To date, there is no direct cure for the common cold. There are many ways to treat it. But the best advice I can offer here is that prevention is your only real hope. That means staying healthy and building up your immune system as best as possible. However, at some point in time, catching a cold is an inevitability. When that day comes, I highly recommend that you treat the symptoms with a natural product (or multiple natural products).

In this case, I will be focusing on the healing benefits, and various other uses, of eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil does more for the common cold than almost any effervescent treatment or nasal spray. But the healing benefits of this amazing oil don’t stop there. Find out more about this amazing natural remedy below.

What Is Eucalyptus Essential Oil Good For And Where Does It Come From?

Close up of eucalyptus leaves.

Eucalyptus leaves.

The eucalyptus tree (or shrub, in some cases) is native to tropical and temperate climates. It occurs naturally in areas like Australia, Africa, and the Indian Subcontinent. However, due to a surge in the tree’s popularity over the course of the 20th century for its strong antiseptic and antibacterial qualities, the tree became cultivated all over the world. It is now also cultivated in the Americas, Europe, China, areas of the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

However, eucalyptus cultivation is quite a tricky process. That’s because the tree is known to have allelopathic qualities. This essentially means that it releases chemical compounds into the ground via its root system. It is harmful to other tree and plant species that might grow around it.

The eucalyptus tree does this largely because it needs a large amount of water to survive. So it will kill off any competing plant life in order to sustain itself. Due to this, the eucalyptus tree (also known as the ‘Blue Gum’) is considered a harmful alien. In fact, there are strict regulations and policies to adhere to when cultivating the tree.

Eucalyptus essential oil is the concentrated, pure nutrient extract of the eucalyptus leaf. One of the main, active ingredients in eucalyptus oil is an organic compound known as cineol. It is responsible for the oil’s strong, musky odor and a lot of the antibacterial/antiseptic properties of eucalyptus oil. Interestingly enough, the world’s largest producer of cineol oil is China.

This is often blended with or derived from camphor oil and sold as eucalyptus oil -- even though it isn’t pure extract. Countries that generally produce and export pure eucalyptus extract are Australia, South Africa, Brazil, and Spain.

The Extraction Method

Generally, the pure extract is made via the steam extraction process. It is an age-old and trusted method of removing the nutrient extract without any chemical additions or rectification (basically a blending of oils in order to bring up the grade of the oil). The steam process utilizes heat and water to produce steam (hence the name). Then the steam moves through long, glass tubes and passes over the organic matter (in this case, a number of eucalyptus leaves).

The steam separates the nutrients of the organic material and carries them in a vaporous state to a separate condensation chamber. This is where the liquid cools into drops that form the final product -- pure eucalyptus essential oil.

Eucalyptus Oil Benefits Explained

Man wearing hat and looking at sky.

Eucalyptus oil can ease breathing difficulties.

For one oil, eucalyptus oil certainly packs a big punch. It has incredible purifying, cleansing, clarifying and immune-boosting qualities. This makes it helpful in using on skin, in aromatherapy, and even as a cleaning element of fabric freshener.

Eucalyptus oil is often used in balms, inhalers, massages, and dental hygiene products. This is because it has calming, stimulating, and anti-bacterial properties.

It also helps out the respiratory system and can ease coughing symptoms. Some cough medicines that you can find at your local pharmacy even include eucalyptus oil among their lists of ingredients. In addition to helping to suppress coughs, eucalyptus oil can also help you actually get the irritating mucus out of your chest altogether. By making a vapor with eucalyptus oil and then inhaling the vapor, or by using a rub with eucalyptus oil in it, the mucus in your throat will be loosened. This way, when you cough, you’ll be able to cough up the mucus and actually get rid of it.

Surprisingly enough, not everyone will like breathing in eucalyptus oil. I’m talking about bugs. As an alternative to bug repellants with strong, unhealthy chemicals, turn to a bug repellant which includes natural ingredients such as eucalyptus oil. You’ll rid yourself of pests, all while not breathing in anything toxic.

How To Use Eucalyptus Oil

Essential oil bottles

Essential oils

There are plenty of ways to use eucalyptus oil. It all depends on what you want to get out of the experience.

For some nice, relaxing aromatherapy, use eucalyptus oil in a diffuser. You can choose to use it alone or to mix it with other oils if you want a different scent.

If you want to use eucalyptus oil to ease coughing symptoms, you have options as well. You can use a rub which includes eucalyptus oil in it. Alternatively, you can reap the benefits of it through steam inhalation.

For wound care, you can simply apply a few drops of the oil to a clean wound to benefit from its antibacterial properties.

Lastly, using eucalyptus oil for pain relief comes with its options, too. A 2013 study found that inhaling eucalyptus oil for a half hour each day for three days straight helped relieve certain pain. It also helped with blood pressure. Additionally, the results of a 1991 study suggested that applying eucalyptus oil topically to certain areas could relieve muscle soreness. They also found that it could work as a counterirritant.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits For Cold And Cough

Woman blowing her nose, wearing hat and gloves.

Woman with a cold.

As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, generally the only cure for a common cold is prevention. Though, getting the cold is practically inevitable. It comes with being a human and is part of our condition, one could say.

However, once you start to experience the symptoms of the cold (headache, sore throat or a cough, runny nose, fever, etc.), it’s important to treat them seriously and act fast. In some cases, the cold can morph into bronchitis. This is a pretty severe infection of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes (where the trachea splits into each of your lungs) due to an excessive buildup of infectious mucus in your throat.

Eucalyptus oil is known for its strong antibacterial (or antimicrobial) and antiseptic properties. This makes it an effective treatment for the common cold and the symptoms that accompany it such as fever, headaches, and blocked sinuses, among others.

In order to take advantage of eucalyptus oil to its maximum potential, I recommend that you use it with steam inhalation. Blend it with both peppermint and orange essential oil. However, it will work on its own. Simply add roughly 7 to 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a pot of boiling water and lean over it. Leave at least 10 inches of space between your face and the water in order to avoid steam burns.

Cover your head with a towel. Close your eyes, and breathe in through your nose for no longer than 2 minutes at a time. The steam should loosen any mucus that may be stuck in your sinuses. The essential oils will work to kill off any germs that lead to the infection. They will also help to fight your fever and relieve any head pains you might have.

In order to strengthen the healing effects, apply a dab of the eucalyptus oil to your temples. Then massage them in circular movements.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits For Hair

Side view of woman next to leaves with long curly hair.

Woman with healthy hair.

Eucalyptus is an incredibly helpful agent when it comes to caring for your hair. It is a natural replacement for a wide variety of typical chemical treatments that we generally use on a daily basis. When massaged into your scalp, the nutrient-rich oil penetrates the skin layer and helps to nourish your hair follicles from the inside. It is not a superficial treatment like most shampoos.

This means that your hair will be healthier and stronger. It can even encourage growth when repeated on a regular basis. The antimicrobial qualities of eucalyptus oil also aim to fight off the common Malassezia fungus. This is the most prominent cause of pesky dandruff.

By moisturizing your scalp and relieving you of inflammation (dryness or itchiness usually caused by the fungus), eucalyptus oil treats not only the symptoms of dandruff, it also fights off the root cause. This means that you are sure to eradicate the issue on a permanent basis. The eucalyptus oil will also help to regulate the sebum oil that your scalp produces. It will ensure that excess sebum doesn’t get released which usually clogs your pores and can lead to slower hair growth, breakage, or even hair loss.

Scientists have proven that eucalyptus contains a high amount of ceramides (which are essentially a mixture of amino and fatty acids). These help to improve hair elasticity and increase the strength of the hair follicles from the center. This means less breakage, more volume, and less split ends too.

Eucalyptus oil can be applied as a natural shampoo substitute or mixed into your current conditioner or shampoo to strengthen the effects. You can mix it in with a carrier oil (preferably coconut, jojoba, or almond oil). Then massage into your head as a hot oil treatment that will penetrate deeply into your scalp. It will encourage hair growth as well as strengthen your hair follicles from the roots -- making them stronger. The oil also smells great, so you will feel and smell fresh all the time.

Eucalyptus Oil Benefits For Skin

Woman with tan skin and black hair

Eucalyptus essential oil for skin.

You can apply eucalyptus oil topically to your skin much like a lotion or a moisturizer. Not only will the eucalyptus oil moisturize and hydrate the skin, but it will also kill off any germs that your skin may come into contact with on a daily basis. These germs usually lead to blemishes or sometimes even cause rashes.

You can also use eucalyptus oil to treat healing wounds as a natural antiseptic. It will enable faster healing due to its analgesic qualities. This basically means that the eucalyptus oil works to thicken your blood cells and improve clotting, which will enable the wound to seal quicker -- another important fact to preventing infection.

Eucalyptus also has a strong, pungent woody odor. This makes it ideal as an insect repellent. It has been used by the Aboriginals for many years to fend off annoying insects. The oil also helps to heal any bites that may have occurred. Additionally, it can be used to treat any reactive or allergic rashes that may result from insect bites.

Eucalyptus oil can even be applied to your face as a natural toner that helps to remove any dead skin cells and excess oil that certain skin types are prone to and generally block up your pores, leading to blemishes and blackheads.

Generally, eucalyptus oil is one of the best essential oils for treating superficial and topical ailments. It can also be mixed with a carrier oil (such as almond oil of extra virgin olive oil) and massaged into the skin to help relieve muscle and joint pains. It really is a very versatile product of nature.

Eucalyptus Oil For Beards Explained

Eucalyptus oil is very healthy for your beard. It can definitely stimulate hair growth and keep your facial hair moisturized and healthy. The natural antibacterial properties of eucalyptus oil will keep your facial hair clean. They will also keep your face and the roots of the beard clean.

In order to apply eucalyptus oil to your face, make sure you wash your face first. After your face is clean, apply roughly a thumb-sized amount of oil to your beard (or 2-3 drops for shorter beards). Apply it from the roots of the hairs. Make sure that you allow the oil to sit in your beard for at least 30 minutes.

After the time has elapsed, you can pat your beard dry with a towel. Or (depending on how the hair feels), you can even leave it in and go on with your day. Also, remember to comb your beard daily. This helps keep it neat and clean. It also stimulates healthy growth by slowing any knots, clumps, or tangling that may form over time.

Is Eucalyptus Essential Oil Safe For Dogs?

Dog on leash with owners.

Dog on leash.

The good news is that eucalyptus is very safe for dogs. But this is largely only relevant for external use. You can mix it into a normal shampoo and use it as a strong, natural, anti-flea remedy. To use it, simply bathe your dog and apply the shampoo liberally. Massage the shampoo into your furry friend and create a foamy lather. Rinse and repeat daily until any evidence of the infection has left.

The eucalyptus oil will also prevent any sores or wounds that your pet may have experienced due to flea bites. And the antiseptic qualities will also help to remove any eggs that may have been laid during the infection. It is important to note that you should not use eucalyptus oil for oral ingestion (for your pets). You should also not use it on cats. They have a much more sensitive skin type to that of dogs and the oil may irritate their skin.

Conclusion

I think it is easy to see why eucalyptus oil is so important to have in your home at all times! Literally everyone in your family can use it for a variety of things. Additionally, it’s definitely a cost-effective treatment for colds, the flu, or any fevers that you or your family might experience during those wintry months or around flu season.

Please note that the oil should not come into contact with your eyes at any point. If contact with your eyes occurs, make sure to wash the affected area with warm water. Also, be sure not to ingest any of the oil orally unless you have the consent of a medical doctor. Pregnant women should also avoid using eucalyptus essential oil -and other essential oils for that matter. If you start to feel dizziness, a headache, or struggle to breathe -- stop using the oil and seek a doctor immediately. Otherwise, be sure to use the oil in regulated amounts, and you should be safe.