Eucalyptus seems like a no-brainer to include in your essential oil “must-have” collection. Its respiratory benefits are well known, well researched, and have been well used throughout history. While its respiratory benefits are pretty identifiable, eucalyptus can help with so much more! It has been used in the past to treat gastrointestinal symptoms such as colic, diarrhea, and dysentery; it was used for respiratory diseases such as colds, coughs, asthma, laryngalgia, sore throat, and trachalgia; it was used on cuts and wounds to keep them clean, and it relieved muscle aches and spasms, as well as joint and tooth pain. With this exhausting list of potential uses and benefits, it comes as no surprise that eucalyptus is a well-researched herb and essential oil.
Eucalyptus essential oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal (1). The oil can potentially be used as a potential natural antibiotic for the treatment of diseases caused by E. coli (which can cause UTIs or Pneumonia among other things) and S. aureus (which can cause pimples, cellulitis, folliculitis, pneumonia, and meningitis). (2) It also fights against the herpes simplex virus, which is the virus responsible for genital herpes. (3) Eucalyptus Essential oil is also beneficial when it comes to household molds, wood rot fungi, and phytopathogenic fungi. It also shows considerable sensitivity to yeast. (4) Because of its sensitivity, it can be used against candida as well as toenail fungus. (5) Along with its antimicrobial traits, eucalyptus is also anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antiprotozoal. (4)
Provides Natural Pain Relief
Because of its anti-inflammatory effects, eucalyptus essential oil makes a wonderful natural pain reliever! It has shown to affect both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. (6) When applied topically, it can reduce muscular aches and pains, inflammation, swelling, and soreness. (7) (8)
One study compared the pain scales of patients who had undergone total knee replacement surgery. Both groups received oils aromatically. One group was given only almond oil, the other was given almond oil and eucalyptus essential oil. The pain scores from the eucalyptus group decreased from days 1-3, while the scores from the other group actually increased from scores given before inhalation. Overall, pain scores were significantly lower in the eucalyptus group. Similarly, blood pressures decreased in the eucalyptus group while the blood pressures of the control group participants increased. (9)
Benefits the Respiratory System
Most notably, eucalyptus essential oil does wonders for the respiratory system. When used aromatically, the oil actually stimulates cold receptors and improves airflow in patients with congestion. (10) It maintains the drainage and airflow of the sinuses, and it reduces inflammation in the trachea (11). Due to camphene released from eucalyptus, the oil can help to expel fluids from the respiratory tract, making it one of the most effective essential oils for coughs as well. (12)
In a study comparing the treatments of upper respiratory tract infections, patients who were treated with an essential oil blend containing eucalyptus, peppermint, oregano, and rosemary reported fewer symptoms than those who were given a placebo spray after only three days. They also reported symptoms improving quickly after using the spray. (18)
Similarly, when patients were given cineole, one of the main components of eucalyptus essential oil, to treat acute bronchitis, they reported significant improvements of symptoms and significantly less coughing fits after only four days of treatment! (13)
As mentioned before, eucalyptus has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for our skin! It can be used to help with abscesses, athlete’s foot, bacterial dermatitis, blisters, boils, burns, chickenpox, cuts, herpes, and shingles. (14) It keeps wounds clean, and it fights off external bacterial, viral, and fungal infections! It has also shown to inhibit melanogenesis, decreasing hyperpigmentation issues. (15)
Although it is not recommended to use eucalyptus essential oil internally, research has been done on the efficacy of using eucalyptus leaf extract to treat gastrointestinal issues. In animal studies, eucalyptus leaf extracts were shown to decrease the amount of gastric acid produced by the animal, therefore, suggesting a way to treat stomach ulcers naturally. (4) You can enhance these effects by applying the oil topically to your abdomen in a clockwise motion.
The leaf extracts and the essential oil have also proven to be beneficial against protozoal infections in lab cultures. They offer a safe and inexpensive way to combat protozoans, although more in vivo research needs to be conducted to know which concentrations of each method (leaf extract consumption and topical oil application) are needed to kill protozoans effectively. (4)
Has Immune-Boosting Effects
Eucalyptus essential oil has the potential to enhance our immune response. It has been shown to be highly effective to diffuse during allergy season, not only because it benefits the respiratory system and can alleviate congestion, coughs, and runny noses, but also because it can change the way our bodies interact with allergens! It’s anti-inflammatory and immune-activating properties make it so that our immune system doesn’t respond as intensely to allergens in the air, potentially lessening allergy symptoms. (16) In one study, chickens who had supplemented eucalyptus leaves into their diet had greater primary antibody response compared to those who consumed no eucalyptus leaf, supporting the idea that eucalyptus can potentially be used to enhance the immune system. (17)
Eucalyptus is useful for so much more than just respiratory ailments. Did you learn anything new from our article? Let us know in the comments below. We would love to answer any questions you may have, and we would love to know how YOU use eucalyptus essential oil!
*Eucalyptus Essential Oil contains a high percentage of 1-8 cineole, making it unsuitable for children. Use of the oil in children may result in breathing complications or seizures*
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