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Health benefits of Eucalyptus

Updated on January 31, 2014
Koala munching Eucalyptus leaves.
Koala munching Eucalyptus leaves.

Unknown in Europe and North America until the colonization of Australia in the 19th century, the stately, blue-gray eucalyptus tree was a staple of aboriginal life for centuries. Used medicinally for everything from breaking a fever to cleansing a wound, the extensive hollow root systems of this tree were also relied on by the aborigines for water, while the twigs and peeling bark were used for cleansing their bodies and teeth. The leaves are edible, too, they tend to be preferred by koalas, who spend much of their lives on these trees, munching.

You've most likely experienced the expectorant power of eucalyptus when you've had a cold of cough. It is not only effective at breaking up mucus, but also when the crushed leaves or oil are inhaled, their antiseptic properties may also help fight colds, sinus infections, Pneumonia, and other upper respiratory problems, If you've got a cold and are not inclined to purchase one of the many over-the-counter products containing eucalyptus, you might want to try a weak tea made from eucalyptus leaves.


  • when used in massage oils, eucalyptus may help soothe arthritis
  • when in bath enhanced by eucalyptus leaves, it may help alleviate everyday aches and pains
  • being a natural antiseptic, eucalyptus is also anti-fungal, which may make it effective against conditions like athlete's foot and lice
  • used for cleaning sores, minor wounds, and insect bites
  • treatment of respiratory conditions such as cough and colds

Eucalyptus leaves up close
Eucalyptus leaves up close


Eucalyptus oil is toxic and is for external use only. Even when applied topically, undiluted eucalyptus oil can cause nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, skin irritation, and muscle spasms. Use extra caution and get a doctor's approval before administering to children. A good rule of thumb: The oil should always be diluted with no more than 2 teaspoons per pint of water, vegetable oil, or rubbing alcohol. Keep eucalyptus oil away from your eyes and use only a half dose when pregnant. Eucalyptus tea should also be well diluted before you drink it.


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