Eucalyptus Oil Uses
Most of us have heard the old idiom, “money doesn’t grow on trees”, but relatively new research may suggest otherwise.
Eucalyptus trees, which are native to Australia, are fast-growing trees that are used for wood and oil, and are also happy homes for koalas. But that’s not all they do. Last year, Australian researchers found microscopic gold particles in the leaves of eucalyptus trees (Vergano, D., 2013). Although eucalyptus trees don’t produce gold on their own, it is theorized that their deep roots transport the gold through their roots, from underground ore deposits.
In any case, one thing we know for sure is that eucalyptus oil can be distilled from the leaves of the tree and their medicinal properties may be more impressive than a tree that holds gold.
Eucalyptus oil has a fresh and minty aroma, which is easily identifiable if you’re familiar with the oil. It is thought to have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic (pain-killing) properties, which makes it an effective tool for a variety of medical conditions. While you may find eucalyptus oil in many commercial medicinal products (think Vick’s VapoRub), there are several ways to use eucalyptus oil in your home.
Stuffy Nose and Sinus Infections
If you have a cold, sinus infection, or other difficulty with congestion, an Epsom salt and eucalyptus oil bath can help loosen congestion and clear sinuses. In a bowl, combine 2 cups of Epsom salt with 10 drops of eucalyptus oil. Add Epsom salt mixture to a bath, and fill with warm water. Soak for 20 minutes, inhaling the cool and invigorating aroma.
This is also a great regimen for sore and tired muscles!
Note: Don’t wipe down surfaces or objects that little children will put their mouths on.
Soothe Burns and Insect Bites
Eucalyptus oil has antiseptic and analgesic properties, which may help to alleviate pain and sooth burns or inflamed skin. Combine 2 drops of eucalyptus oil with 1 teaspoon of a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, almond oil or grapeseed oil are good options), and apply to a burn or insect bite.
Note: Don’t apply to open wounds or broken skin.
DIY VapoRub for Congestion
With only 3 ingredients, you can make your own vaporub to help alleviate discomfort from congestion, cold, and respiratory issues. Start with Homemade Vaseline, and add in 10 – 15 drops of eucalyptus oil. Since eucalyptus oil is an anti-inflammatory, it may help reduce swelling in the upper airway tract, and help you breathe easier at night.
Grab a clean, 8 ounce spray bottle. Add 4 ounces of distilled or boiled water, and 3 ounces of witch hazel. Add 10 drops of each essential oil: eucalyptus, lavender and tea tree. It smells great and helps keep mosquitoes and other biting insects at bay.
Having a terrible case of the coughs? Combat it with humidity and eucalyptus oil. Add 4 or 5 drops of eucalyptus oil to the water reservoir of your humidifier before running.
Help Reduce a Fever
Combine 1 quart of water with 5 drops of eucalyptus oil. Drench two cotton towels in the mixture, and ring out. Wrap the towels around the calves of the person with the fever, and wrap two clean and dry towels on top. Make sure to keep the feet warm with socks or slippers during this process.
Help Combat Ear Aches
Ear aches can be caused when the Eustachian tubes can’t drain when they’re inflamed. You may be able to help combat inflammation and increase drainage of the Eustachian tubes by taking an Epsom salt bath (see stuffy nose, above) or diffusing eucalyptus oil in a humidifier at night.
Homemade Fly Spray
You can also create a home made Fly Spray for your livestock using eucalyptus oil since it has insect repellent qualities.
A note about safe use of essential oils:
If you’re new to the world of essential oils, it can be easy to assume that they’re 100% safe, since they’re made from plants. Please note that like other medications, caution needs to be used when handling any essential oils, as there can be serious side effects.
When handling essential oils, here are a few basic rules:
- Do not ingest any amount of any essential oils orally, unless under the supervision of your doctor. Eucalyptus oil should not be taken orally and should be kept out of children’s and pet’s reach. Eucalyptus oil is highly concentrated and can be fatal when taken internally.
- Do not use eucalyptus oil on or around children under the age of 10. Eucalyptus oil is high in 1,8-cineole, which could cause respiration to slow in children.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding woman need to use caution when using any essential oils. Eucalyptus oil is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.
- If you have asthma, seizures, liver, kidney disease or low blood pressure, consult a qualified physician before using eucalyptus oil.
- Do not apply any undiluted essential oil directly to the skin. Always use a minimum of a 2% ratio of essential oil to 98% ratio of carrier oil. For children, reduce it to a 1% / 99% ratio.
Essential oils can be incredibly useful and a safer alternative to modern-day medications (which also can have serious side effects), so they don’t need to be feared. They need to be approached with knowledge and care, just like you would any other medication.
If you are looking for a wonderful source for oils, I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Oils. After careful consideration of all the companies selling essential oils, I’m happy to share that Rocky Mountain Oils has become my main source of oils for many different reasons.
What are your favorite Eucalyptus Oil uses?