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What is eucalyptus oil good for? Check out these Eucalyptus oil uses, including ideas, tips, and recipes to maximize this helpful essential oil.
Why Use Eucalyptus Oil
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 tree leaves, 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, making it an effective tool for various medical conditions. While you may find eucalyptus oil in many commercial medicinal products (think Vick’s VapoRub), other eucalyptus essential oil uses exist.
Top 5 Eucalyptus Oil Uses and Benefits
Eucalyptus essential oil is known for its fresh, minty aroma and healing properties. Here are 5 of the top uses and benefits of eucalyptus oil:
- Analgesic – Eucalyptus oil has pain-relieving properties and can reduce headaches and muscle and joint pain.
- Anti-inflammatory – The anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus oil help treat conditions like arthritis, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
- Antibacterial – Studies show eucalyptus oil has antibacterial effects and can help fight infections and boost immunity.
- Relieve Congestion – Eucalyptus oil clears sinuses and eases respiratory conditions like colds, coughs, asthma, and bronchitis.
- Skin Care – Eucalyptus oil can help treat skin conditions and is found in many skincare products. It soothes irritation and heals wounds.
9 Eucalyptus Uses
Stuffy Nose and Sinus Infections
If you have a cold, sinus infection, or other difficulties with congestion, an Epsom salt and eucalyptus oil bath can help loosen congestion and clear sinuses! Combine 2 cups of Epsom salt in a bowl with 10 drops of eucalyptus oil. Add the 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 on which little children will put their mouths.
Tip: Looking for more household cleaners? Check out these DIY Recipes For Homemade Cleaners
Soothe Burns and Insect Bites
Eucalyptus oil has antiseptic and analgesic properties, which may help to alleviate pain and soothe 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 the 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 vapor rub 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.
Tip: Find more Uses for Witch Hazel
Having a terrible case of 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 them out. Wrap the towels around the calves of the person with the fever, and wrap two clean and dry towels on top. 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 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 create a home-made Fly Spray for your livestock using eucalyptus oil since it has insect-repellent qualities.
Tip: Looking for a bug spray for yourself? Try this Homemade Bug Repellent
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 caution must be used when handling essential oils like other medications, as there can be serious side effects.
Cautions to Remember When Using Essential Oils
- 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 kept out of children’s and pets’ reach. Eucalyptus oil is highly concentrated and can be fatal when taken internally.
- Do not use eucalyptus oil on or around children under 10. Eucalyptus oil is high in 1,8-cineole, which could cause respiration to slow in children. (Source)
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women 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 must be approached with knowledge and care like any other medication.
If you are looking for a wonderful source of oils, I highly recommend Rocky Mountain Oils. After carefully considering all the companies selling essential oils, I’m happy to share that Rocky Mountain Oils has become my main source of oils for many reasons.
More Uses for Common Essential Oils
No, all essential oils, including eucalyptus oil, should be diluted before placing on your skin.
Eucalyptus oil has been proven to be effective in getting rid of spiders, roaches, lice, flies, and ants.
Find even more ideas for how to use everyday products on our Uses For Page.
What are your favorite Eucalyptus Oil uses?
This post on Eucalyptus Oil Uses was originally published in August 2014. It has been updated as of October 2023.