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2 December 2021 / Laura Garvin Gomez

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: History, Uses and Benefits

Eucalyptus is incredibly versatile, good for pain, congestion, and skin irritations.

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Eucalyptus branch with leaves.

Native to Australia, Tasmania and nearby islands, the eucalyptus plant was first adopted as a traditional medicine by the Australian Aboriginals.

In traditional aboriginal medicine, an infusion of the eucalyptus leaves was used to treat pain, sinus congestion, and coughs.

These days, eucalyptus is still a popular solution to congestion, but a lot of its other traditional uses seem to go under the radar.

Eucalyptol, the constituent that accounts for 70-90% of the contents of eucalyptus oil, has been suggested to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pain-relieving effects by a number of studies.

It is these characteristics that make eucalyptus among the most versatile of the essential oils.

What is Eucalyptus Essential Oil?

Extracted via steam distillation from the leaves (either dried or fresh) of the Eucalyptus plant, eucalyptus oil carries a strong menthol scent that has commonly become associated with household remedies such as VapoRub, which uses the oil as one of its primary ingredients.

Eucalyptus is grown all over the world, and there are over 600 different species of the plant present within these different regions. Of these species, however, only 20 produce enough oil to be sold commercially.

The main species of the plant used to create essential oil is called Eucalyptus globulus – however, the oil produced by this species can vary quite significantly in scent depending on where in the world the plant is grown.

Despite this difference in scent, all oils with the botanical name Eucalyptus globulus will have near identical benefits.

Eucalyptus oil vs lemon eucalyptus oil

While they are both plants of the same species, native to Australia, is considered to be a cross between regular eucalyptus oil, and citronella oil.

Like eucalyptus, it is known to clear airways and allow for easier breathing, while also containing citronella’s powerful insect repelling properties as well as a sharp, lemony scent that makes the oil an excellent cleaning agent.

The health benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus oil carries many influential benefits that are often forgotten, yet there’s a reason why its common uses are so renowned. The benefits of eucalyptus essential oil include:

  • Clearing airways
  • Fighting infections
  • Managing pain and inflammation
  • Repelling rats and other pests

Eucalyptus leaves piled on each other.

Can Eucalyptus oil help improve respiratory conditions?

Eucalyptus is perhaps most famous for its expectorant properties.

It helps to get mucus moving through the airways, relieving congestion and cleansing your body of the responsible microorganisms.

For this reason, many people inhale eucalyptus as a way of relieving cold and flu symptoms, such as coughing, and enabling easy breathing.

There has been a fair amount of evidence to suggest that eucalyptus is effective against bronchitis in particular.

found that eucalyptus helps to reduce the inflammatory effect of chronic bronchitis and inhibit the hypersecretion of airway mucins, preventing the blockage of airways and making breathing easier.

found that one of the main components in the oil, cineole, improved cough symptoms in bronchitis sufferers.

Eucalyptus is used in households to treat a wide range of other respiratory conditions as well, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and sinusitis.

Using eucalyptus essential oil to fight infections

Eucalyptol has been shown to have antimicrobial effects, which makes eucalyptus oil a great choice for creating homemade, natural cleaning products.

It has been shown to be effective against a number of bacteria, and a  found that it can even fight effectively against staph and E.coli.

Eucalyptus oil has been used for its anti-fungal properties as well, with some people seeing a positive effect when applying a diluted substance to candida and toenail fungus.

Is eucalyptus oil good for managing pain and inflammation?

Because of the anti-inflammatory properties in eucalyptol, eucalyptus oil can help to reduce swelling around injuries and manage muscle pain.

of patients who had just undergone total knee replacement surgery found that eucalyptus oil was effective in reducing pain and inflammation around the affected area.

Eucalyptus is also effective against headache and earache, mostly because its expectorant properties can help to alleviate sinus pressure.

Some people have found that it can also help to relax tense facial muscles which can help if you are suffering from a headache caused by stress or exhaustion.

Does eucalyptus essential oil repel rats?

There is even some evidence to suggest that eucalyptus can be involved in pest control.

found that when certain areas of a lab cage were sprayed with eucalyptus oil, the rats no longer consumed food in that area.

Spraying areas of a house with eucalyptus oil may help to protect that area from house rats.

Certain commercial bug repellents are also known to use eucalyptus in their formulas, meaning the oil in its pure form could be mixed with other oils, such as peppermint or citronella, to help deter bugs from the home.

How to use Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Aromatherapy 

Many of the essential oil benefits within eucalyptus can be unlocked through the common practice of aromatherapy. 

Diffusing this strong and refreshing scent throughout your home can help relieve symptoms of congestion as well as provide a purifying atmosphere to help aid and cool the body.

Combine 5-7 drops of the oil with water and add to an oil burner or diffuser for a fresh and powerful aroma. 

As eucalyptus is an expectorant, applying a few drops to a hot steam bowl and placing your head above it with a towel can also help to clear away cold and flu symptoms.

Alternatively, you can simply hold a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil to your nose and gently inhale or add a few drops to a tissue or cotton ball for on-the-go aromatherapy.

Massage 

Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, eucalyptus essential oil makes for a great at-home massage remedy for stubborn aches as well as inflamed areas of the skin.

Dilute 5 drops to 10ml of carrier oil (such as  or oil) and massage evenly into the skin.

We always advise performing a patch test before applying eucalyptus essential oil to the skin.

Bath  

Add 6-8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to warm bathwater for a refreshing, restorative experience for the body.

Adding eucalyptus oil to your bath can carry many of the same therapeutic benefits as aromatherapy, as the scent will carry through and fill the air with a pure, relieving aroma.

Skincare  

Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a carrier oil (such as sweet almond or jojoba oil) or your chosen lotion and spread evenly, or onto affected areas.

We always advise performing a patch test before using eucalyptus essential oil on the skin.

Soap & Candles  

Suitable for soap making and candle making. We recommend following a tested recipe. 

Looking for creative ways to use your eucalyptus essential oil? Discover a number of fun candle and soap recipes in our Make at Home blog section.

History of Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Considered an ancient remedy among the Australian aboriginals, eucalyptus was named “kino” meaning “cure-all” for its wide range of benefits.

Eucalyptus oil was also very influential during the First World War, helping to control the spread of meningitis and influenza within the trenches.

Eucalyptus oil’s wide range of uses outside of its well-documented expectorant properties are still being explored in research, but it has already established itself as a household favourite.

Its powerful, distinctive aroma makes it a great choice for aromatherapy, and since its origins in Aboriginal medicine it is now used all around the world.

    Eucalyptus oil’s wide range of uses outside of its well-documented expectorant properties are still being explored in research, but it has already established itself as a household favourite.

    Its powerful, distinctive aroma makes it a great choice for aromatherapy, and since its origins in Aboriginal medicine it is now used all around the world.

    Shop our eucalyptus essential oil here.

    Product Name

    100% Pure Eucalyptus (Chinese) Essential Oil
    Botanical Name Eucalyptus Globulus
    Scent Type Fresh
    Benefits & Uses Decongestant, Antibacterial, Anti-Inflammatory
    Suitable for Diffusers? Yes, this eucalyptus (chinese) essential oil is perfect for diffusers.
    Suitable for Candles and Soaps? Yes, this eucalyptus (chinese) essential oil is perfect for candle and soap making.
    Extraction Method Steam Distillation
    Bottle Type Tamper proof and UV resistant

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