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The Many Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
The Eucalyptus Tree
The eucalyptus tree is one of the fastest growing flowering trees in the world. It is native to Australia. The tree is one of the oldest, going back at least 50 million years. The eucalyptus is part of the myrtle family and there are many other species of the eucalyptus plant as well, including shrubs. Eucalyptus trees are very tall, some reaching up to 300 feet.
The name eucalyptus is derived from the Greek language. It means 'well covered'. The name refers to the lid like cover over the trees' flowers when they are budding. The flowers produce nectar, which is the main source of honey in Australia. Koala bears live on a diet of eucalyptus leaves and eat anywhere from 200 to 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves per day.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the leaves and has many uses.
Interesting Facts About Eucalyptus Oil
Native Australians, known as the Aborigines, were the first to discover the many benefits of eucalyptus. They used the oil from eucalyptus to treat infections, heal wounds and treat diseases like malaria.
German explorer Baron Ferdinand Von Muller brought the seeds back to Europe with him. In addition to being an explorer, he was also a botanist and believed that the tree would be useful as an antiseptic.
During the World War I era, eucalyptus oil gained popularity. It was used to combat menegitis and cure influenza.
Eucalyptus oil remains as one of the most popular of all essential oils. It is used in over the counter medicines. Many different cough syrups, chest rubs and cough drops contain eucalyptus oil.
Benefits and Usage of Eucalyptus Oil
- Treatment of minor respritory illnesses
- Natural decongestant
- Massage therapy
- Pain relief
- Sore muscles
- Rids dandruff
- Stress relief
- Helps to relieve depression
- Air Purifier
- Relief from drowsiness / Fights mental exhaustion
- Natural bug repellent
A little oil goes a long way. Just a couple drops of eucalyptus oil should be used when mixed with carrier oils. About ten drops can be used in vaporizers, bath and spray bottles.
How to Use
For home use, eucalyptus can safely be used externally. Eucalyptus oil must be mixed with a carrier oil before putting on skin. Good carrier oils are sweet almond oil, olive oil and saffron oil.
The oil of eucalyptus should not be ingested before consulting a doctor. Chidren under six should not take eucalyptus orally and parents should avoid giving cough drops or syrups with eucalyptus to young children.
Massage temples with eucalyptus to relieve stress, tension and headaches. Rub eucalyptus on sore muscles and joints to ease pain.
For fighting off respritory illnesses, such as bronchitis or the common cold, put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a vaporizer with water or in a pot of steaming hot water. Breathing in the steam will open nasal passages, relieve coughing and make breathing easier. You can also put a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a tissue. Put the tissue up to your nose and breathe in the scent.
Something I like to do when I'm sick is to make my own chest rub. Just mix some eucalyptus oil in a bit of vasoline and rub onto chest.
To kill germs in a room use a spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Just spray in the room. The eucalyptus will clean the air.
For dandruff, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your shampoo. Deodorize feet, shoes and under arms with a spray made from tap water and a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
A spray bottle of water and eucalyptus oil can also be used around the home to eliminate bugs.
Always buy essential oils from a reputable source. Health stores and grocery stores, like Whole Foods, are trustworthy stores to buy essential oils such as eucalyptus. Pregnant women should not use essential oils unless authorized by their doctor. As always, consult a doctor for serious health problems.
Would you like to learn more about essential oils? Read my other hub about the amazing benefits of lavender: