Eucalyptus Oil Health Benefits
Eucalyptus Oil has multiple purposes and can be used around the house for both medicinal and cleaning purposes.
Fed up with the smell of cleaning products and concerned the prolonged inhalation was having on my health and that of my family I have continued to investigate alternative products that produce good results but are safe to use. Eucalyptus oil is one of many essential oils and natural products that are versatile and safe used in the correct quantities.
It has been used for centuries by the Aboriginal people of Australia for its healing properties. It continues to be used around the globe in industry, pharmaceuticals and for medicinal use. The main active ingredient is Cineole and if used in pharmaceuticals a 70% concentration of this ingredient is required.
Eucalyptus Oil comes from the Eucalyptus tree, also known as the ‘gum’ tree, native to Australia. It’s a very tall tree, with silvery grey bark and dark green leaves. The leaves are the staple diet of the Koala.
There are many species of Eucalyptus, most of which are grown globally.
The smell of Eucalyptus Oil is a strong, menthol aroma associated with a clean and fresh environment. Many years ago it was used as a cleaning solution in hospitals.
Surprising China produces over 75% of Eucalypt Oil whilst only 5% is made in Australia. However, Australia is one of the countries recognised for producing high quality Eucalyptus Oil. It is labelled ‘poisonous’ as by Australian law, anything with more than 25% Eucalyptus Oil is required to do so.
The oil is used in many over –the-counter medicines aimed at relieving coughs, colds and congestion as well as creams and lotions for muscle aches and sprains.
If you’ve never knowingly used Eucalyptus Oil before you may find some of its properties useful around the house.
Eucalyptus leaves can be used in tea and gargled to relieve sore throats (but not advisable to swallow).
Cineole can be used in mouthwashes due to its anti-septic properties and has been shown to reduce halitosis (bad breath) and gingivitis (gum disease).
Flu, Cold and Congestion
- To clear blocked nasal passages and headaches associated with cold and flu, inhalation can provide temporary relief:
- Add 5 to 10 drops of Eucalyptus oil to ½ cup of hot water hot water and inhale to clear nasal passages and airways.
- Chest rub (adults only) 5 drops to 10mls of vegetable oil and gentle massage the oil over the chest (not recommended for children under 6 years old).
- Sprinkle a few drops on a handkerchief or pillow to relief symptoms. Add a few drops to a bath.
Eucalyptus is found in many lozenges, vapour rubs, toothpastes and mouthwashes. Although toxic to ingest, it can be taken in small amounts. This is not advisable unless you are aware of the exact amount that can be safely ingested.
For the skin
Certain skin conditions such as eczema, acne and minor burns, boils and sores have been reported to be treated effectively with Eucalyptus oil. The Aboriginal people used it to treat wounds and fungal conditions due to its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is not advisable to use on broken/open wounds.
Insect repellent. - For those that live in mosquito lands, Eucalyptus Oil can act as a natural repellent against mosquitoes and can be used as one of the main ingredients in natural insect repellent.
Lemon Eucalyptus - Natural insect repellent and very effective
Do you buy natural cleaning products
Fill an old plant sprayer with warm water; add a small amount of washing up liquid and 1-2 capfuls of Eucalyptus oil (depending on how strong you want your house to smell). Use as you would use any spray cleaner and wipe dirt away with a cloth.
For more stubborn areas such as bathroom tiles you can add 1/3 methylated spirits or neat vodka to the above solution.
Floors and hard surfaces - You can add 2 capfuls to a bucket of warm water to clean floors and hard surfaces.
Disinfectant for toilets 50mls/1.6oz to 1litre (quart) of water
Stainless steel cleaner – clean your cutlery with eucalyptus oil, it will bring it up nice and clean.
Clothes – Dab on clothes to remove paint, grease and oil and wash as usual.
Washing – Woollens and work clothes – clean and freshen by adding 1-2 caps to a wash.
Eucalyptus oil will leave your environment smelling clean and fresh as well as getting rid of germs and dirty surfaces. I have found it to be as good as any cleaning products previously used and spray it liberally around my home knowing that I am not inhaling toxic chemicals.
Note: The guide is not meant to be fully comprehensive and is meant for information only. The author makes no guarantee, either expressed or implied, regarding the efficacy or use for any reason of the information contained within this article.