Eucalyptus may be famous for being koala food, but as it turns out, it can also be a great addition to your personal wellness repertoire. Eucalyptus oil, which is derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, is an incredibly versatile essential oil offering all sorts of science-backed benefits, from helping with headaches to improving mental clarity to helping assist in quicker recovery from colds...and more!
What Is Eucalyptus Oil?
To understand eucalyptus oil better, it’s important to understand where it comes from and how it’s made. It all starts with the eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia but are now grown all over the world. The medicinal properties of eucalyptus oil date back to at least the 1800s. Over the years, it’s been used to help treat all sorts of ailments, including arthritis, congestion, and muscle relief. The tree’s signature oval-shaped leaves are the source of eucalyptus oil, which is extracted through a steam distillation process. The key compounds in eucalyptus with medicinal properties? A mixture of 1,8-cineole and eucalyptol, which give the oil its somewhat medicinal smell and its healing properties.
The Versatile Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil has been touted as a substance that can relieve all sorts of ailments, from respiratory conditions to aches and pains to seasonal allergies...and it could even improve your oral health.
As it turns out, many of these benefits have been backed by research. Let’s explore some of the specific and versatile benefits of incredible eucalyptus oil:
Improves Respiratory Conditions
No doubt about it, respiratory conditions can cause serious discomfort and knock you off your routine. Happily, eucalyptus oil could assist with a variety of respiratory issues, from ongoing conditions like asthma or sinusitis to temporary ailments like the common cold, bronchitis, or the flu. How does it do that? In a few ways. For one, eucalyptus helps stimulate cold receptors in the nose. In one study, participants were tested based on exposure to camphor, eucalyptus, or menthol vapors to judge airflow and nasal sensation. Eucalyptus was found to stimulate cold receptors in the nose, which could assist in making it feel easier to breathe. For another, when tested for antibacterial properties, results showed that eucalyptus could have natural antibiotic qualities that could help fight infections. In short? Eucalyptus could help fight root causes of respiratory discomfort. But wait, there’s more! In a test study on rats exploring chronic bronchitis, the results showed that there were significant decreases in mucin content in the trachea and bronchiole epithelium, with density of mucus reduced. In layman's terms? Eucalyptus oil could have an anti-inflammatory effect that helps reduce symptoms of chronic bronchitis.
Everyone has to contend with infections and/or bacteria from time to time. Eucalyptus can help reduce symptoms and help you heal faster. There have been various studies that back up the idea that eucalyptus can fight virus, infection, and fungus--ranging from staph infection to e coli. One study, designed to study the antimicrobial properties of eucalyptus showed that it could have an antibacterial effect against the bacteria that cause conditions like E. Coli. Another study suggests that eucalyptus oil may help kick-start an immune response, meaning the system will kick in and fight against potential inflammation-causing phenomena in the body.
Did you know that eucalyptus is a natural expectorant? If you’re not sure what an expectorant is, the dictionary defines it as “an agent that promotes the discharge or expulsion of mucus from the respiratory tract”. While this might sound, well, kind of gross, it basically means that eucalyptus can help your body get rid of organisms that are making you feel poorly and make sure that your coughing is more productive. In one study that involved 242 patients with confirmed acute bronchitis, participants were given cineole (which occurs in eucalyptus oil) or a placebo. The results? After four days, the cineole patient group showed significant improvements versus the placebo group, confirming the idea that cineole takes an active role in reducing cough frequency.
Eucalyptus is naturally an anti-inflammatory. When used topically, it can help reduce muscle pain and diminish the soreness that comes with inflammation. One interesting study focused on the effects of eucalyptus oil on pain specifically in the case of patients who had recently had TKR (total knee replacement) surgery. The participants were judged on a Visual Analog Scale (VAS scale) for pain. Following eucalyptus oil inhalation through aromatherapy, the overall findings were that VAS scores decreased in the eucalyptus group rather than the control group. This study suggests that eucalyptus has effectiveness at helping reduce pain.
Fights Bad Breath and Cavities
There’s strong evidence that eucalyptus oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties...but as it turns out, it can also help keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Yep: a recent study showed that eucalyptus in gum can help boost dental health. In the study, 97 subjects received either high concentration eucalyptus gum, low concentration gum, or a placebo for 12 weeks. They were to chew the gum for 5 minutes, 5 times a day. They were evaluated both before and after the study to monitor plaque, gingivitis, probing depth, and other factors. At the end of the study, researchers concluded that eucalyptus in chewing gum had a notable effect on plaque, gingivitis, and probing depth and that it could help promote dental health as an addition to toothpaste and mouthwash.
Boosts Mental Clarity
If you’ve ever put eucalyptus oil in your aromatherapy diffuser, then you may already feel on an anecdotal level that simply breathing the stuff in can help you feel calm, focused, and invigorated. Turns out, there’s some science to back it all up. Not only can eucalyptus oil helps clear your airways, making it easy to take a big deep breath, but it could help improve your mental clarity, too. In one fascinating test, both peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil were investigated in a double blind, placebo controlled test of 32 participants. Four different solutions were applied to the forehead and temples, and then they were tested based on a baseline and post treatment. In the study, peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, and ethanol showed a notable improvement on cognitive performance, and also had a muscle relaxing effect. Mental stimulation and a relaxed body? Sounds good to us! essential oil
What is the Best Eucalyptus Oil to Buy?Eucalyptus oil is easy to find both in stores and online these days, both as a stand alone oil and as an ingredient in various health and beauty products. However, just because there’s plenty of eucalyptus oil out there doesn’t mean it’s all created equal. It’s well worth your while to seek out the highest quality product possible so that you can maximize the many uses and benefits of this amazing essential oil. At ArtNaturals, our goal is to provide pure and unaltered oils. To that point, we independently test every batch of oil we receive so that it can be authenticated. We also generate a GC report, which is the benchmark for testing essential oils. Any GC test results that show impurities are rejected! We go the extra mile with our eucalyptus oil and every other oil in our catalog so that you can rest assured you’re using a pure and high quality product.
How to Use Eucalyptus OilWant to begin incorporating eucalyptus oil into your wellness routine? Here are some tips for how to use it: Be sure to dilute with a carrier oil before using if applying topically. Eucalyptus oil combines well with grapefruit, lavender, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary oils. Eucalyptus can be used in either the ArtNaturals standard or bluetooth oil diffusers. For a simple and quick way to use eucalyptus oil, place one to 2 drops in the palm of your hand. Inhale deeply, and enjoy.
In ClosingIf you’re looking for an essential oil that offers plenty of beneficial bang for your buck, look no further than eucalyptus oil. To recap: Eucalyptus oil comes from the eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia but is currently grown all over the world. Eucalyptus oil’s many benefits include aiding in recovery from respiratory conditions, easing pain, improving mental clarity, and improved dental health. Eucalyptus oil contains natural antibiotic qualities. This means that eucalyptus oil can potentially help combat the root causes of some illnesses. Eucalyptus oil can be used topically or in aromatherapy diffusers. Be sure to dilute with a carrier if applying topically. Be sure to use a high quality eucalyptus oil for the best results. ArtNaturals eucalyptus oil is carefully sourced and a great product!