Eucalyptus is a genus of tree or shrub native to Australia. It is well known as a food source for koalas, and has many benefits for humans as well.
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus
Helps Relieve Cold and Flu Symptoms
Eucalyptus is often used to help relieve cold, cough, and flu symptoms, and is a common ingredient in cold-relief products. Cineole (eucalyptol) is a compound in Eucalyptus which has been found to expand the bronchioles in the lungs, decrease mucus secretion, and act as an anti-inflammatory 1. These properties can help those with a cold or flu feel better. 2
Disinfects and Deodorizes
Eucalyptus has antimicrobial and antifungal properties, making it a useful ingredient for cleaning and disinfecting. 3 Additionally, eucalyptus’ powerful, refreshing fragrance is excellent for deodorizing, which is why it is a common ingredient found in not only cleaning products, but also toothpaste, mouthwash, gum, foot powders, and deodorants.
There are many different ways to use eucalyptus leaves or essential oil to promote health at home. Here are some of our favorites.
Keep in mind that eucalyptus essential oil is toxic if ingested and is for external application only. It is also very potent, one or two drops go a long way. If you are using anything that contains eucalyptus oil on your skin, always test a small amount first before applying more liberally. And always choose high quality, organic essential oils that are free of chemical excipients.
How to Use Eucalyptus
- Relieve congestion by adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of piping hot water, or to the floor of a steamy shower, and inhale the steam.
- Add eucalyptus oil to a diffuser to benefit from its healing properties and give your home a fresh scent.
- Choose toothpaste or mouthwash that contains eucalyptus for fresher breath.
- Mix a drop or two of eucalyptus oil into a carrier oil such as grapeseed or jojoba for a homemade cold-sore relief
- Combine water, white vinegar, and a few drops of eucalyptus oil for an all-purpose cleaner that can be used on household surfaces, yoga mats and workout equipment, and anything else that needs to be disinfected or deodorized.
- Use eucalyptus leaves in floral arrangements for aesthetic appeal and a refreshing fragrance in your home.
If exploring the health benefits of herbs and botanicals is exciting to you, a career as a naturopathic doctor may be the path for you.