You’ve probably come across a range of products containing eucalyptus, not to mention the infamous eucalyptus oil. So, this is pretty much a herb a lot of us are familiar with. But just how much do you know about this famous herb?
Eucalyptus globulus a.k.a Blue Gum is the main source of eucalyptus oil used all over the world. It was first cultivated in Australia and has over 400 different species. While it is not ingestible, the oil that comes from the eucalyptus tree features as antiseptic, a perfume, as a key ingredient in cosmetics, as a flavoring, in dental preparations, and in industrial solvents.
Eucalyptus is believed to have a number of medicinal properties, although not all of them have been confirmed by research. Here are just some of its magical benefits!
Eucalyptus contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, which is why it is commonly featured in some mouthwash and dental preparations.
Eucalyptus promotes dental health by repelling bacteria that causes tooth decay and halitosis. Since eucalyptus promotes periodontal health, it accounts for why its extract is found in some chewing gums.
Colds and Respiratory Problems
Eucalyptus has been found to be one of the most effective remedies against some respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, the common cold, cough or the flu. Eucalyptus also features in a range of concoctions believed to relieve symptoms of the common cold, for example, cough lozenges and inhalants.
Its essential oil improves many respiratory conditions by stimulating the immune system, and provides antioxidant protection. Thus, improving your respiratory system. Eucalyptus ameliorates breathing difficulties associated with nasal congestion. The fresh leaves of eucalyptus are sometimes herbally recommended in a gargle to relieve sore throat, sinusitis, and bronchitis. Also, eucalyptus oil vapor appears to act as a decongestant when inhaled. It is a popular home remedy for colds and bronchitis.
Eucalyptus also acts as an expectorant for loosening phlegm and easing congestion. (Probably why a number of cough medications contain eucalyptus extract).
In medieval times, eucalyptus was used to treat fungal infections and skin wounds due to its antiseptic and anti microbial properties. It was observed that it helped disinfect wounds and sped up the healing process. Due to its amazing antimicrobial and antiseptic properties, eucalyptus works as a great remedy for skin irritations such as wounds, cuts, burns, sores and even insect bites.
Repels Insects and Rats
As weird as this may sound, eucalyptus is an effective insect repellent and insecticide. Consequently, this led to its official registration in the US in 1948, as an insecticide and miticide, for killing mites, ticks and repelling mosquitoes. Amazing right?
And it gets amazingly weirder, did you know that eucalyptus oil can also help you get rid of rats naturally? Yes, rats! Those furry little things that scurry all over the place. It may seem like a surprising eucalyptus oil benefit, but numerous studies suggest that eucalyptus can be used in protecting an area from house rats.
It was found that when the oil was sprayed in laboratory pens, the rats no longer consumed food in that area. In fact, researchers report that food consumption was significantly lower from the treated area compared to the untreated area, which indicates a significant repellent effect of eucalyptus essential oil on rats.
Emhances the Immune System
Research has found that eucalyptus has the capability to enhance the immune system’s phagocytic response to pathogens. (Phagocytosis is a process where the immune system consumes and destroys foreign particles). Thereby, keeping the immune system safe from harmful viruses.
Great for Seasonal Allergies
The oil derived from the eucalyptus herb contains special properties, such as eucalyptol and citronellal. These have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects, which is why the oil is often used to relieve seasonal allergy symptoms. These properties can help to reconfigure the immune response that occurs when the body comes into contact with an allergen.
Eucalyptus Fights Infections
Studies show that eucalyptol (which is the main componen of the eucalyptus oil) possesses antimicrobial effects against a range of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
That’s right! Aromatically or topically, eucalyptus can be used to fight the microorganisms that make you sick. This is why eucalyptus oil benefits include its ability to boost your immune system.
What’s more, eucalyptus oil has an antiviral effect against herpes simplex virus, which can lead to infections including genital herpes. It is also an anti-fungal agent against common fungal infections like candida and toenail fungus.
Anti-pain and Anti-inflammatory
Another well known benefit of eucalyptus oil is its ability to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. When applied to the skin, eucalyptus can help to reduce muscle pain, soreness, and swelling.
No More Headaches
Eucalyptus oil is one of the best essential oils for headaches because it may alleviate sinus pressure that can cause a lot of pain and tension. It is also highly endowed with invigorating properties that can boost mental clarity and promote relaxation of tense facial muscles, (which is pretty helpful when you are suffering from a headache caused by stress or exhaustion)
For extra effect, eucalyptus oil can be combined with peppermint oil. When this is done, the results seem to be more quick and effective.
Researchers have found that eucalyptus oil contains anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. This can help to stunt the formation of mucus in the airways and improve breathing for people with respiratory conditions, which can help to reduce headache tension caused by sinus pressure.
Earaches or pain can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as the common cold or cough, nasal congestion, a bacterial infection, seasonal allergies, or any other type of condition that causes the buildup of fluids in your ear canals. Ouch!
Due to its antimicrobial nature, eucalyptus oil is an excellent remedy that helps to unclog your respiratory tract and its antimicrobial effect helps to clear up an infection that may cause fluid to build up in your ear canal, it can be used to improve ear infection symptoms and earaches.
Boosts Mental Health
Eucalyptus has also been found to improve mental health. The oil derived from this magical herb is highly packed with invigorating, soothing and purifying properties. These magical qualities give it the ability to boost energy and mental clarity. It may help to clear your airways, allow more oxygen into your lungs, and relieve brain fog.
The acclaimed health benefits of the eucalyptus herbs has over the years, been an area of interest for a number of researchers. Numerous studies have found that when a combination of eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil and ethanol is applied to large areas of the forehead and temple, there is an inexplicable increase in cognitive performance. This magical essential oil blend also has muscle-relaxing and mentally relaxing effects.
With all these amazing health benefits associated with eucalyptus, is it possible that this wonderful herb could be dangerous or have certain side effects? Yes.
- Eucalyptus must NEVER be ingested. It is potentially poisonous if ingested into the body. If you ever have to gargle with eucalyptus, make sure you SPIT it out.
- If you have a sensitive skin, you might want to combine your eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil. Using eucalyptus oil directly on a sensitive skin might cause rashes or allergic reactions.
- Eucalyptus oil may trigger certain reactions, if you suffer from any allergy. Make sure to find out you are not allergic to any component in eucalyptus before use.
- DO NOT USE eucalyptus oil on infants or children. There have been instances of infants and children dying from eucalyptus.
So let’s do a recap of this awesome herb and all its amazing qualities. Eucalyptus (especially its oil and extract) feature in a range of everyday products, from antispetic creams, mouthwashes to flavoring due to its high antimicrobial properties. This amazing herb helps boosts your immune and mental health, treats infections and wounds, takes care of your dental health, relieves pain and headache, helps with allergies and expels rats and insects!
Wow! What more could you ask for in a herb?