Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil comes from leaves and branches of the eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus globulus).1,6 This native Australian evergreen can grow to be up to 250 feet tall, and its oil has been a staple in traditional medicine for many years.2,6
In Australia, eucalyptus essential oil was traditionally used in Aboriginal medicine for its antibacterial and antifungal abilities.1 In India, Ayurvedic medicine used it to help heal respiratory tract infections and to clean wounds.7 In the 1800s, eucalyptus oil was also used to disinfect England’s hospitals.1
Today, this essential oil is just as potent and useful as ever, and science continues to prove its benefits.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses
Eucalyptus essential oil can come in handy for many things such as repelling insects, in aromatherapy, and in skin care products. This popular oil has a strong aroma and blends well with lemon, frankincense, basil, and tea tree. Below are some of the most common uses for eucalyptus essential oil.
If you’re looking for something to keep the mosquitoes at bay, eucalyptus essential oil may be the answer.3 To create your own insect repellent, add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a water filled spray bottle. Mist the blend onto your skin for natural protection against insects.
A 2011 study tested the ability of eucalyptus essential oil to repel an Indian species of mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus).3 In the test setting, eucalyptus essential oil provided between 92.04%-93.37% protection from mosquito bites.3
Eucalyptus oil is also excellent for use in aromatherapy—a treatment proven to combat stress, depression, and pain.9
To create a relaxing setting at home, place a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a diffuser, and let the soothing fragrance fill the air.
For those with asthma, regular inhalation of eucalyptus essential oil has been shown to help improve asthma symptoms, and clear sinuses.8
For people suffering from acne, eucalyptus essential oil may be an effective treatment.4 To help treat acne naturally, mix a few drops of essential oil it to an unscented lotion and apply to your face.
One study investigated the ability of eucalyptus essential oil to combat Propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes acne).4 To test the effectiveness of the oil’s antibacterial abilities, researchers placed a topical cream made with 2% eucalyptus oil in a dish containing P. acnes.4 The oil was very effective at killing the bacteria, proving to be only slightly less potent than peroxide.4
If you’ve looking to cut down on harsh, chemical cleaners in your home, eucalyptus essential oil may be a natural solution. With proven antibacterial qualities, it’s extremely useful for disinfecting household surfaces.6
To make your own household disinfectant spray, combine six drops eucalyptus oil with one cup of water. Pour the blend into a spray bottle and use the mixture to wipe down surfaces. It’ll leave your house clean and make it smell great.6
For a relaxing spa-like bath, mix 1-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil into a carrier oil like coconut, almond, or jojoba and pour the mixture into a hot bath before stepping in. Inhaling the strong aroma can alleviate respiratory troubles, and promote relaxation.
Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
For many centuries, eucalyptus essential oil has been used for its healing abilities and bacteria-killing properties. Today, this ancient oil boasts many beneficial qualities.
Eucalyptus essential oil has been studied extensively for its effectiveness at reducing allergens.5
One study found that the essential oil was incredibly effective at killing dust mites on plush toys that were washed with a mixture of 2-4% eucalyptus essential oil. Washing in this way reduced on average 95.1% of dust mites found on the toys.5
Another benefit of eucalyptus essential oil is its ability to kill bacteria.6 One study tested the oil’s effect on common microorganisms. Results indicated that eucalyptus essential oil was a powerful disinfectant against the bacteria Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas and Proteus spp.6
A 2013 study investigated the effects of inhaling eucalyptus essential oil in patients with osteoarthritis; the experiment started three days after patients had a total knee replacement.7
In the clinical study, a control group inhaled almond oil for thirty minutes, three days in a row, and the test group inhaled eucalyptus essential oil for the same duration.7
Patients who inhaled eucalyptus oil had a decrease in reported pain, unlike the control group whose pain increased.7 Additionally, the test group was noted to have lower blood pressure after inhaling the essential oil, whereas the control group’s blood pressure went up.7
Inhaling eucalyptus essential oil can help clear your sinuses when you have a cold, help patients with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) breathe easier, and it improve symptoms for people suffering from an inflamed nasal cavity (rhinosinusitis). 1,8
Side Effects of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
When used on the skin, eucalyptus essential oil is generally regarded as safe when diluted in a carrier oil.1 However, you should not use eucalyptus essential oil on the skin of a child who is less than two years old.1
Ingesting eucalyptus essential oil is not recommended as it can be harmful if taken internally, and it should not be put in the mouth unless under guidance from a doctor.1
Where to buy Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Previously, high quality essential oils could only be bought at specialty health stores, or through expensive multi-level marketing companies. Now, due to advancements in technology, extremely high grade essential oils can be purchased over the internet at very reasonable prices.
Scientific Research Referenced in this Article
- Ehrlich, S. (2015, April 29). Eucalyptus. Retrieved February 12, 2017, from http://umm.edu/Health/Medical/AltMed/Herb/Eucalyptus – View reference
- Ali, B., Ali Al-Wabel, N., Shams, S., Ahamad, A., Alam Khan, S., & Anwar, F. (2015). Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine,5(8), 601-611. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apjtb.2015.05.007
- Mandal, S. (2011). Repellent activity of Eucalyptus and Azadirachta indica seed oil against the filarial mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus Say (Diptera: Culicidae) in India. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine,1(1), S109-S112. doi:10.1016/s2221-1691(11)60135-4
- S. A., Watthanachaiyingcharoen, R., Tunvichien, S., Vayumhasuwan, P., Karnsomkiet, P., Sae-Jong, P., & Ruangrungsi, N. (2008). THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANTI-ACNE PRODUCTS FROM EUCALYPTUS GLOBULUS AND PSIDIUM GUAJAVA OIL. J Health Res,22(3), 109-113. Retrieved February 11, 2017, from http://www.jhealthres.org/upload/journal/321/22(3)_p109-113_sirivan.pdf
- Chang, C., Wu, F. F., Chen, C., Crane, J., & Siebers, R. (2011). Effect of freezing, hot tumble drying and washing with eucalyptus oil on house dust mites in soft toys [Abstract]. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology,22(6), 638-641. doi:10.1111/j.1399-3038.2011.01144.x
- Triveldi N A, Hotchandani S D. A study of the antimicrobial activity of oil of Eucalyptus. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2004 [cited 2017 Feb 12];36:93-4. Available from: http://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2004/36/2/93/6768
- Yang Suk Jun, Purum Kang, Sun Seek Min, Jeong-Min Lee, Hyo-Keun Kim, and Geun Hee Seol, “Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2013, Article ID 502727, 7 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/502727
- Sadlon, A. E., & Lamson, D. W. (2010). Immune-Modifying and Antimicrobial E ects of Eucalyptus Oil and Simple Inhalation Devices. Alternative Medicine Review, 15(1), 33-47. Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/15/1/33.pdf
- MJ, K., ES, N., & SL, P. (2005). [The effects of aromatherapy on pain, depression, and life satisfaction of arthritis patients]. [Abstract]. Taehan Kanho Hakhoe chi, 35(1), 186-194. Retrieved February 16, 2017, from http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/15778570