Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia, and they grow very fast. They are most often used as an ingredient in products like herbal heating pads aimed at helping people who have sinus and respiratory issues due to colds or allergies. The oil is also available for use in creams and ointments that can help reduce the pain from sore muscles or injury.
Eucalyptus oil is a versatile substance that can be used for many purposes. It has multiple uses because of its distinct aroma, making it worthwhile in more than one industry! It is often utilized as an antiseptic, perfume ingredient, cosmetics, and even dental preparations.
Traditional Chinese medicine Greek and European healing methods have incorporated the medicinal properties of eucalyptus into their treatments for thousands of years.
There are many different eucalyptus trees, but one of the most common is the evergreen Eucalyptus globulus, also known as "Blue Gum". Distilled from the leaves, essential oil from 'Blue Gum' is commonly used in aromatherapy because of its distinct aroma.
Leaves can be distilled to extract the oil, a colourless liquid with a strong, sweet, woody scent and a pungent odour. This oil contains 1,8-cineole, also known as eucalyptol.
In addition to the bark, the leaves are edible and contain the antioxidants flavonoids. They can be beneficial if you look to reduce any pain or inflammation in your joints or body.
Health benefits and uses of eucalyptus
Many believe that eucalyptus has numerous medicinal properties, but research into these benefits hasn't been completed yet. However, there are some documented public health benefits to using eucalyptus, which is as follows:
Eucalyptus oil is a prevalent ingredient found in many products for cleaning, disinfecting and deodorizing. It works because eucalyptus is one of the most volatile aromatic oils in nature and has a high vapour pressure. This means it evaporates very quickly into the air, whereas other oils do not. It's this evaporation that allows it to both have such a delightful aroma and clear out undesirable odours at the same time!
In the 19th century, doctors knew how to harness the benefits of eucalyptus oil. It was commonly used in most hospitals in England for cleaning catheters around the late 1800s. Modern research is now starting to back this practice up.
In 2016, researchers in Serbia discovered that eucalyptus could actually kill certain microorganisms. The antimicrobial action of eucalyptus essential oil results from the high levels of 1,8-cineole and p-cymene present in its chemical composition.
Recent research shows Eucalyptus camaldulensis - a tree belonging to the Eucalyptus family - as a helpful remedy for certain bacterial infections.
Their findings reveal how essential oils derived from the Eucalyptus family can positively interact with existing antibiotics and lead to new treatment strategies for certain infections.
Researchers hope that using this compound may eventually reduce the need for antibiotics.
A study published in Clinical Microbiology & Infection suggests that eucalyptus oil may have antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract, including Haemophilus influenza and some strains of streptococcus. This finding could provide a natural alternative to antibiotics.
Colds and respiratory problems
Eucalyptus has been used to alleviate respiratory problems like a stuffy nose, scratchy throat, and coughing since the dawn of time. Historically, it's been used in a range of preparations, including cough syrups and vapour rubs.
Herbal remedies suggest using fresh leaves in a gargle to relieve a sore throat, sinusitis, and bronchitis. Although eucalyptus oil vapour doesn't appear to act as a decongestant when inhaled, it is a popular home remedy for colds and bronchitis.
Sometimes referred to as an expectorant, eucalyptus oil is used in many medicinal products and has been found to reduce an individual's phlegm and ease congestion associated with a persistent cough. With so many different ways of applying the oil (liquid, lotion, vaporizer), eucalyptus can come in handy when faced with a cough or cold symptom, not just in times of illness but year-round too!
A team of researchers from the University of London has called for further studies on how eucalyptus leaf extract can be used for therapeutic purposes. This provides answers about how it can help treat respiratory diseases such as COPD, asthma, and bronchitis.
Eucalyptus and dental care
Several types of mouthwash and dental products contain eucalyptus' antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Eucalyptus is very beneficial for your oral health. Daily consumption of eucalyptus may help ensure that you don't develop cavities as quickly and help you maintain healthy gums, and prevent gum disease too!
According to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology, eucalyptus extract in chewing gum may promote periodontal health by reducing harmful bacteria.
Fungal infections and wounds
The University of Maryland Medical Center says that Aboriginal tribes use eucalyptus to treat fungal infections and skin wounds. They claim it works because the oil in the leaves is an effective antiseptic and antifungal for treatment.
For those who have issues with insects, eucalyptus is an essential natural bug repellent. Native to Australia and found in many parts of South America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of the Middle East—and with about 800 different kinds of eucalyptus trees (and counting)—the oil extracted from leaves has proven to be one of our best defences against ticks, mites, fleas and mosquitoes.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus is commonly recommended as an insect repellent. For example, it can keep pesky mosquitoes away when appropriately applied.
In the study, oil from a plant in Japan called Akita Eucalyptus was tested and active against larvae and pupae of the housefly. It could be used as a viable option for eco-friendly products to control houseflies.
Eucalyptus oil may function as a pain reliever; research suggests that the oil has analgesic properties. A study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation by researchers from Melbourne's University of Natural Therapies indicates that applying Eucalyptamint to the skin of 10 people on their anterior forearms could bring about a reduction in pain sensation that lasted for about 90 minutes.
Eucalyptamint is an excellent painkiller, and there are so many ways in which you can use it. One of the most effective ways to benefit from this medication is by rubbing a quantity of it on your back, calves or thighs right before bedtime at least two hours after eating and drinking.
Many people tend to find that it enhances their experience while they are sleeping because the product has a naturally occurring compound called chloroformic acid that works wonderfully alongside regular medication. Also, did you know that Eucalyptamint is better when used with other medicines?
To kick an addiction to prescription drugs without going cold turkey! It complements perfectly with prescription drugs like Percocet or OxyContin and any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug available, which results in it working faster for longer and offering at all some much-needed pain management if you're trying.
Scientists across the country have been studying how to help athletes warm up before physical activity since ancient times. Over these few thousand years, scientists have concluded that "Eucalyptamint produced significant physiologic responses that may be beneficial for pain relief".
Stimulating immune system
Findings published in BMC Immunology suggest that eucalyptus oil may stimulate an immune system response, using the substance possibly benefiting patients undergoing cancer treatments or recovering from surgeries.
As mentioned in a recent study by scientists at the University of Sao Paulo, Eucalyptus oil can increase the ability of phagocytes in the immune system to consume and destroy foreign particles or pathogens. A rat model was used to test this theory that showed, on average, there was a 64% increase seen after consuming Eucalyptus oil for four weeks.
Other conditions that eucalyptus may help with include:
- Wounds and burns
- Cold sores – perhaps due to its anti-inflammatory properties
- Arthritis – potentially due to its anti-inflammatory properties
- Diabetes – eucalyptus might help lower blood sugar
- A blocked nose
- Bladder diseases