Uses of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
The eucalyptus plant is native to Australia and it is commonly associated with the koala bears as it is their source of food. There are so many species of the eucalyptus plant /tree with some of them being the most common species used for the extraction of the essential oil. Eucalyptus globulus is the most common species used all over the world for the extraction of the essential oil while the eucalyptus radiata was the one originally used in Australia for the extraction of the oil. Eucalyptus globulus is popularly known as blue gum, fever tree and stringy bark tree depending on the area around the world.
Eucalyptus was first used by the aboriginal people of Australia to treat and heal wounds and body pains. Back then they called it ‘kino’. In Australia there are legends about how the eucalyptus oil was used to heal wounds which led to the mass production of the essential oil by extracting it from the eucalyptus radiata species later on it spread to the rest of the world including brazil, china, Greece, India and Europe.
In 1880, surgeons began using eucalyptus essential oil while conducting operations due to its antiseptic properties. Today eucalyptus essential oil is used as an ingredient to make vapor rubs, dental hygiene products, rash creams, inhalers, and some ointments. There are over 500 species of Eucalyptus trees, with tough long and narrow blue-green leaves, creamy white pink flowers and smooth pale bark.
Eucalyptus oil varieties.
Eucalyptus polybractea (Blue Mallee) found in Australia and France
Eucalyptus dives found in Australia
Eucalyptus radiata found in Australia
Eucalyptus citriodora (eucalyptus lemon essential oil) found in brazil, china and India
Eucalyptus globulus found in India, china
The extraction process of eucalyptus oil.
The oil is extracted from the oval shaped leaves which are dried then crushed into powder like form and steam distilled.it has a strong, sweet, minty woody aroma.
Properties of eucalyptus oil
- Anti-inflammatory -to help soothe any kind of inflammations
- Healing- it has the ability to speed up healing
- Antiseptic- reduces possibility of infections.
- Antibacterial- to help prevent bacterial infections from occurring
- Antimicrobial- helps kill bacteria
- Antifungal- helps kill fungi
- Analgesic- has the ability to relieve pain
- Antiviral- kills viruses
- Antioxidant- ability to fight sun damage
Uses of eucalyptus essential oil.
- Clears sinuses
- Provides relief from cough
- Relieves sore muscles
- Disinfects wounds
- Soothes cold sores
- Provides relief from muscle and joint pains
- Boosts mental clarity
- Soothes insect bites
- Freshens breath
- Provides relief from sunburns
- Treats dry skin by increasing its ceramide content. Ceramides are a type of fatty acid which maintain its barrier and retain its moisture.
- Treats dry skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis.
- Stimulates hair follicles
- Relieves itchy scalp
- Improves hair elasticity
- Promotes hair growth
- Treats dandruff
How to use eucalyptus essential oil effectively.
- To soothe sunburns
You will need 4drops of eucalyptus oil per a teaspoon of aloe vera. Shake the mixture well and spray on your skin to provide relief from inflammation caused by sunburn.
- As a massage oil
2 drops of eucalyptus oil and jojoba oil and rose essential oil. Use whenever necessary.
- To soothe acne.
Eucalyptus oil+ tea tree essential oil+ jojoba oil + frankincense essential oil
This can be used as a spot treatment due to the calming effects and anti-microbial properties of both the essential oils. When applied to a pimple, it will help burst it out and dry it out completely and also heal the inflamed area without causing the spread of bacteria.
- To relieve sinuses
You will need to place 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a bowl of hot steaming water. You will have to drape a towel over your head near the bowl but at arm’s length so that you don’t get burned by the steam. Close your eyes and take deep breathes ensuring that you breath in the steam from the bowl with the oil and water. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes.
- As a mouth wash
You will need 2 drops of eucalyptus oil in water. Gargle it and spit it out.
You can also go the oil pulling way by adding 2 drops of eucalyptus oil to coconut oil and swish it in the mouth for 15 minutes and spit it out in a garbage bag, not in the sink.
- As an antidandruff oil and shampoo
Add a few drops of the eucalyptus oil in your preferred shampoo or in a castile soap and use it to wash your hair.
Add 2 to4 drops of the eucalyptus oil+ peppermint essential oil+ castor oil+ olive oil and use it to massage your scalp to help with hair growth and dandruff.
- As an insect repellent.
Add 2 to 4 drops of the oil to water and spray it across the room or the potential areas harbouring insects like mosquitos.
- As a disinfectant
Add a few drops of the oil to water and use it to disinfect surfaces in the rooms to kill bacteria, viruses and fungi.
Keep out of reach of children
Do not ingest.
Do not apply eucalyptus essential oil directly on the skin without diluting the oil with a carrier oil. This can cause skin sensitivity. It is therefore advised that you conduct a patch test before attempting to use the oil in its neat form.
By Eila Oketch