The Powerhouse Essential Oil Every Home Can Benefit From
Not only is eucalyptus one of the best essential oils for respiratory ailments, cough, and sore throat, it’s also a great cleansing and purifying agent
If you’ve used a balm like Vicks Vaporub to relieve chesty coughs or a blocked nose, you may be familiar with its refreshing and distinctly menthol-like fragrance – a scent that’s synonymous with eucalyptus essential oil.
Oil that comes from the eucalyptus tree is usually harnessed for its antiseptic purposes and used as an ingredient in cosmetic formulations, perfumes, as a flavouring, or in industrial solvents. Because of its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, it’s also used frequently in dental mouthwash.
Originally native to Australia, eucalyptus trees are now grown all over the world and valued for their medicinal properties. The oval-shaped leaves of the eucalyptus tree are dried, crushed, and distilled to release its essential oil.
Hugely popular among aboriginal communities in Australia, eucalyptus tree leaves were used for many generations as a remedy for infections and common respiratory illnesses such as sore throat, cough, colds, and chest congestion.
Thanks to the oil’s significant bronchodilating effects, simply inhaling its scent can help to open the sinuses and breathing passages, thereby making breathing easier. In fact, all it takes is one whiff of the minty, menthol-like aroma to open up your sinuses.
With multiple medicinal properties, it’s not surprising that eucalyptus oil is widely used in many household and medical products. If you haven’t got a bottle, grab one from the pharmacy and follow these tips to get the most out of this handy healing oil:
USE IT TO BREATHE EASY
Eucalyptus essential oil is well-loved for its ability to treat a wide range of respiratory diseases, including colds, cough, asthma, sinusitis, and bronchitis. A study published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection suggests that eucalyptus oil has antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract, including being effective against Haemophilus influenzae (a bacteria that’s responsible for some strains of streptococcus, and a range of infections).
Thanks to the eucalyptol and tannins found in the oil, its mucolytic, bronchodilating, and anti-inflammatory properties enable the reduction of mucous membrane inflammation in the upper respiratory system, thus helping to loosen phlegm.
HOW TO USE:
Steam inhalation is the most effective way to combat congestion as it allows the oil to react with mucous membranes, reducing mucus and thus loosening up congestion. Place one to two drops in a small bowl of steaming hot water. Standing about an arm’s width away from the bowl, drape a towel over your head to focus the steam, then close your eyes and breathe in deeply, allowing the vapor to enter your nose. Continue inhaling the steam for five to 10 minutes.
USE IT TO TREAT FEVER
Eucalyptus essential oil is sometimes referred to as “fever oil”. The eucalyptus tree has also earned the nickname, “fever tree”, because of its strong ability to combat fever. Fevers are usually a symptom of infection and like many of the side effects that come with being ill, it’s a result of our immune system trying to fight the source of infection. The antibacterial properties of eucalyptus essential oil, along with its cooling effects, make it an effective febrifuge.
HOW TO USE:
Sponge baths are an effective way to bring down fever. When preparing one, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to warm water to enjoy its benefits (applying the diluted oil topically is actually a faster way of absorbing it into the blood).
USE IT AS AN ANTISEPTIC AGENT
Australian indigenous folks were fond of using eucalyptus oil for wound-healing. Its strong antiseptic characteristics are attributed to 1,8-cineole or eucalyptol, a chemical that effectively treats cuts, burns, abrasions, scrapes, and blisters.
A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), found that eucalyptus oil and its major chemical component, 1,8-cineole, have antimicrobial effects on Mycobacterium tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), as well as different strains of viruses and fungi.
The advantage of an essential oil like eucalyptus, is that not only is it an effective complementary treatment for a variety of health problems, it’s also incredibly useful for various home applications.
Its natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties make it a powerful germ cleaner and deodoriser which works wonders for general household cleaning and disinfecting. Apart from repelling mosquitoes and making your house smell great, it can also help you with day-to-day house tasks.
HOW TO USE:
Eucalyptus essential oil can be used as an ingredient for making your own all-natural disinfecting spray or hand sanitiser. Use it to help remove bacteria, viruses, and molds in affected areas, and at the same time, benefit from its insect-repelling and deodorising properties. You’ll be keeping your space germ-free while diminishing musty smells, and saying goodbye to insect, dust mites and more!