ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Unique Health and Cleaning Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Updated on July 22, 2013

An introduction to eucalyptus oil

Derived from the distilled oil of the eucalyptus tree, eucalyptus oil has historical origins dating back for many centuries. It has many, impressive properties, that mean it is a great natural product to use for health reasons and for cleaning in the home, avoiding too many chemicals.

Eucalyptus, evolving from the Greek term that means “well covered,” is an incredible plant that is native to Australia.

The eucalyptus plant itself is categorized in the myrtle family of plants, located in the broad and larger genus of “flowering trees.”

While there are over 700 different species of eucalyptus, Australia contains the greatest variety of eucalyptus species, with more than 691 species.

In fact, scientists have found that there are only 15 species in the world that are found, naturally, outside Australia.

Eucalyptus cretata in Melbourne, Australia (this photo is in the public domain)
Eucalyptus cretata in Melbourne, Australia (this photo is in the public domain)
Eucalyptus angustissima in Melbourne, Australia (this photo is in the public domain)
Eucalyptus angustissima in Melbourne, Australia (this photo is in the public domain)

The history of eucalyptus essential oil

Eucalyptus’ benefits first became popularized in 1788 when researchers found that the eucalyptus essential oil, derived from the leaves of the plants and trees, exhibited a fresh fragrance and aroma.

Shortly after this discovery, Joseph Bosito, a pharmacist, began crushing the leaves for commercial distribution and medical use in 1851.

At this time, eucalyptus oil was used as a general health aid, commonly utilized to suppress coughs, alleviate breathing issues and congestion, as well assuage additional ailments.

The success and popularity of the eucalyptus plant oil eventually lead to the gradual rise in manufacturing “stills,” and the oils were then distributed to the global market with exports to England in 1865. By the early 1900s, eucalyptus oil had grown in popularity all around the world.

While there are certainly many types of eucalyptus, only an estimated 10 species are actually beneficial for the production of essential oils.

The essential oils of the eucalyptus herb smell incredibly clean and fresh, providing consumers a variety of benefits.

Eco-friendly cleaning with eucalyptus oil

Today, many people use eucalyptus oil for its natural disinfectant and pest-deterrent properties.

As eucalyptus oil is an all-natural compound, many of us (including my family) use this oil as a replacement for harsh chemical cleaning agents.As far as I'm concerned, anything which reduces my family's exposure to chemicals is a Good Thing.

To use the oil for basic cleaning purposes, one can simply combine oil with basic dish-soap and water.

The mixture can be gently shaken in a spray bottle, and then can be sprayed and wiped on tile, ceramic, and other common surfaces.

In fact, many users of the oil proclaim that one of the best Eucalyptus benefits is its ability to remove paint, gum, grease, ink, and other tough stains from clothing and materials.

If you try this, check on a seam out of the way first, if the material is coloured. You can therefore be sure that the essential oil won't alter the colour.

Eucalyptus platypus - this photo is in the public domain
Eucalyptus platypus - this photo is in the public domain

Eucalyptus benefits for respiratory complaints

In addition to environmentally friendly cleaning perks, eucalyptus plant oil is also used to treat a variety of respiratory problems.

As eucalyptus essential oil is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, non-inflammatory, and anti-microbial, the oil can be used to alleviate symptoms and problems associated with asthma, congestion, the common cold, and sinusitis.

One of the best ways to tackle blocked noses and coughs associated with colds and flu is to put a few drops of each of eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil in a bowl of warm water, and sit near it.

You can also put the drops of oil on a tissue or handkerchief and put it near you, or on a bedside table.

The use of eucalyptus plant oil for infections and pain

Many athletes and people keen on regular exercise use eucalyptus oil to treat common physical ailments, including wounds, muscle pain, and even mental fatigue.

When applied as directed to cuts, burns, or other injuries, the oil can protect the body from potentially harmful germs and infections.

When applied as directed to sore muscles and joints, the oil serves to reduce inflammation. The act of massaging the oil in (carefully!) to the muscle or joint helps as well as the action of the essential oil itself.

Many people suffering from issues such as muscle sprains, lumbago, rheumatism, and other nerve-related pain are often encouraged by physiotherapists and aromatherapists to use eucalyptus oil to help treat the discomfort.

In addition, when using this oil, many consumers boast of the refreshing mental benefits experienced with proper application.

Some studies report that eucalyptus oil helps stimulate the brain, resulting in increased mental focus, energy, and rejuvenation.

Eucalyptus tetragona in Australia - this photo is in the public domain
Eucalyptus tetragona in Australia - this photo is in the public domain

Additional eucalyptus essential oil medical uses

For even more physical benefits, many individuals choose to use eucalyptus essential oil to take care of their teeth and skin.

When used appropriately, eucalyptus oil helps prevent cavities, plaque build-up, gingivitis, and other oral infections that are caused by germs and bacteria.

Similarly, eucalyptus oil helps keep skin safe from infections with its healing powers.

Eucalyptus trees damaged by fire in San Diego, 2007. Image is in the public domain.
Eucalyptus trees damaged by fire in San Diego, 2007. Image is in the public domain.

Aromatherapy and eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus essential oil is often used in aromatherapy products, and in massages and treatments, too.

For an aromatherapy massage designed to encourage energy, vitality and get-up-and-go feelings, eucalyptus oil is often blended with one or more of lavender, peppermint, wintergreen, and rosewood essential oils, with a carrier oil such as sweet almond used as a base.

Eucalyptus oil is thought to have a calming effect on highly-strung or anxious people, and is often included in aromatherapy products for people feeling under stress and pressure.

Risks of eucalyptus oil misuse

While eucalyptus certainly offers an array of benefits, individuals should be aware of the potentially fatal consequences of consuming this oil by mouth.

When consumed by mouth by both children and adults, individuals may experience damage to the brain, central nervous system, seizures, coma, or even death.

Some experts assert that even one teaspoon of the eucalyptus herb consumed by mouth can lead to permanent physical damage.

This is one essential oil to keep well away from children.

Who should avoid using eucalyptus oil ?

Young children and infants should avoid eucalyptus oil, as some studies suggest that even the mere inhalation or indirect contact with the oil can result in serious and harmful reactions.

Similarly, to protect a fetus or infant, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not use this oil.

Additionally, individuals with serious and chronic health issues such as seizure disorder, heart disease, stomach / intestinal disorders, and lungs disease should consult an expert prior to using eucalyptus oil.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)