Eucalyptus. What a funny-sounding name for an even more exotic plant! You might recognize eucalyptus as the preferred habitat of Koalas in Australia. The cuddly-looking marsupials live almost exclusively in groves of eucalyptus trees, and the pungent leaves are nearly all they ever eat.
While we can’t recommend making eucalyptus a part of your own diet (it’s toxic to humans when taken internally), the oil extracted from the leaves can play a very important role in detoxifying the air you breathe, your home and laundry, and even your body.
Eucalyptus contains high levels of cineole (also known as eucalyptol), a chemical compound widely studied and shown to have a massive range of beneficial properties. Studies have shown that eucalyptus oil is:
- a respiratory aid
- an immune booster
We’ve grown to rely on eucalyptus essential oil for so many uses! Here are some ideas to get you started.
Use eucalyptus in household cleansers to disinfect your home (see one of our favorite and most-requested recipes below). Add a dropperful along with your laundry detergent to rid your linens of dust mites and bacteria (especially appropriate after sickness has visited!).
Include eucalyptus in homemade salves as a pleasant scent and natural preservative. Add a few drops to shampoo or body wash to combat dandruff, ringworm, lice, and scabies.
Dilute thoroughly with a carrier oil and use topically as a rub for sore muscles and sprains, a soothing balm for minor cuts and scrapes, or an antifungal foot treatment. Use eucalyptus-based lotions or creams on the chest, back, and soles of the feet to soothe respiratory issues. (When using on the skin, always dilute eucalyptus with a carrier oil and test for sensitivity.)
Dab a few diluted drops on your body (or place a eucalyptus-dampened cotton ball in a loose pocket) to act as a bug repellent. Spray around your home to ward off invading creepy-crawlies. Dab on insect bites to cool and calm itching.
Use eucalyptus as a base when diffusing essential oils. The distinctive scent of eucalyptus blends well with many other plant oils (especially those that also contain cineole, such as Rosemary, Tea Tree, and Basil) and helps to stretch more expensive oils and make them last longer.
Take a bit of olive oil and eucalyptus and mix with bath salts, then soak in the perfumed water to soothe irritated skin and enjoy a rejuvenating dose of aromatherapy.
Eucalyptus supports respiratory health and breaks down mucus; breathing the aromas has historically been helpful with colds and congestion, allergies, and asthma.
Producing pure essential oil requires a large amount of the herb, flower, or plant. It takes over 100 pounds of eucalyptus leaves and stems to produce just two pounds of oil! This distillation process concentrates the powerful plant compounds into a potent and easy-to-use liquid form, making it simple to keep eucalyptus on hand.
Even with the costs of distillation, eucalyptus essential oil is one of the least expensive oils available, and given its versatility and ease of use, its low price means it packs an even bigger wallop. Once you realize the benefits of eucalyptus, you may come to love it as much as koalas do!
NOTE: Eucalyptus Essential Oil is not considered appropriate to use while pregnant or nursing, and should NOT be used with children under 10 years old. (Spearmint is a much safer choice for children.) If you are on medications or have a medical diagnosis, please consult with your doctor prior to using Eucalyptus because it can interact with medications and is contraindicated in some situations. Eucalyptus Essential Oil should always be diluted when used topically. The maximum concentration with mixed with a carrier oil should be 20% (to achieve, mix 20 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil).
Learn more about Beeyoutiful’s Eucalyptus Essential Oil and watch a delightful 1-minute video here.