Eucalyptus is native to Australia, but today can be found growing in
subtropical regions worldwide. One of the first recorded medicinal uses of
Eucalyptus was by the Australian aborigines, who not only extracted
valuable water from its roots, but used its leaves to relieve fevers. It
has been reported that historically people were able to successfully treat
and cure fever using Eucalyptus leaves.
The primary active constituent in eucalyptus leaves is the volatile oil
eucalyptol. For eucalyptus to provide an effective expectorant and
antiseptic action, the volatile oil should contain at least 70% eucalyptol.
Eucalyptus oil has been compared to menthol because it acts on receptors in
the nasal mucosa, which help to alleviate nasal congestion.
What are the benefits of Eucalyptus oil?
Medicinal eucalyptus oil is widely used for the relief of cold and
influenza symptoms. It is a unique natural product having antiseptic
properties and the power to clear the nasal passages and bronchial tubes
making it easier to breathe.
Medicinal eucalyptus oil is used as an active ingredient for cough
lozenges, inhalation sprays and drops, gargles, mouth washes, toothpastes,
balms and ointments, liniments and soaps.
It is becoming popular to use it in saunas and vaporizers. It is an
excellent rub for muscular aches and pains and it has been widely used for
many years by athletes to help keep muscles in shape. A use which is
gaining widespread acceptance is the practice of adding eucalyptus oil to
the laundry wash for cleaning and freshening clothes, which utilises its
cleaning, deodorizing and antiseptic properties.
Eucalyptus oil is also used in antiseptic and germicidal disinfectants
because of its pleasant odor and its effectiveness in killing bacteria. It
is an excellent solvent which makes it an ideal spot and stain remover.
How do I do a Steam Inhalation?
Steam inhalation allows hot, moist air to enter the respiratory tract.
Eucalyptus is known for its decongestant properties. By using the oil as a
steam inhalation, your nasal passages and sinuses can be cleared.
To prepare a Eucalyptus steam inhalation, you need the following materials:
kettle with boiling water, oil, sheet or large towel, and large bowl or
Once you have all these, carefully pour about 4-6 cubs of boiling water
from the kettle into the large bowl. Then, add three drops of oil. Hold
your head over the bowl, eyes looking down on it. Next, cover your head
with the sheet or towel. Close your eyes and breathe slowly and deeply. Do
this for about 15 minutes until your nasal passages are cleared.
Eucalyptus supplementation is inadvisable for young children, pregnant
women or women who are breastfeeding, and anyone with low blood pressure,
kidney problems, stomach problems, intestinal or biliary inflammation, or
liver disorders. Insulin-dependent diabetics should carefully monitor blood
sugar since eucalyptus may affect blood sugar levels.