The eucalyptus tree has gained significant attention around the globe for its impressive health benefits and effectiveness around the home as a green alternative to chemical laden cleaning products. The eucalyptus tree with its distinct oily leaves is a native to Australia and has been used for thousands of years by the aboriginal people for its antiseptic properties as a remedy to heal wounds and infections. Of the over 400 different varieties, the Blue Gum or eucalyptus globulus is the most commonly used eucalyptus oil around the world.
Eucalyptus leaves are distilled to produce a unique essential oil that has powerful medicinal benefits. Eucalyptus oil contains an active compound called eucalyptol, which has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. (1)
NATURAL COLD AND FLU RELIEF:
Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in inhalers, cough lozenges and chest rubs.
Eucalyptus has anti-bacterial, decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties that makes it an excellent natural remedy for clearing stuffy noses and easing cold and flu symptoms. It’s also a good bronchial dilator that helps open up the lungs to improve airflow. Inhaling steam with eucalyptus oil is beneficial for people with asthma and sinusitis.
Eucalyptus is an expectorant that can help loosen chest congestion, so it can be coughed up easily. Eucalyptus is also soothing for sore throats. Try adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a hot bath or combine 1-5 drops with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil for a natural vapor chest rub.
EASE MUSCLE & JOINT PAIN:
Eucalyptus has analgesic properties that can help alleviate muscle and joint pain. According to a study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, a preparation made with eucalyptus oil and menthol was beneficial for treating muscle and joint pain associated with sprains, strains, backaches and arthritis.
This versatile botanical is also useful for improving the health of your hair and scalp. Eucalyptus is thought to enhance hair growth through stimulating the hair follicles and by improving itchy and inflamed scalps. Eucalyptus is also effective for treating dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis due to its anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.
Always dilute eucalyptus oil before putting it on your scalp. Applying essential oils directly to the skin can cause skin irritations and burning.
Eucalyptus is a safe natural alternative for treating head lice. A 2017 Australian study showed that a solution of eucalyptus oil and lemon-scented tea tree was 100% effective in killing lice and eggs. It was found to be more effective and safer than traditional head lice treatments that contain harmful neurotoxic chemicals. (2)
HEAL FUNGAL INFECTIONS:
Eucalyptus has an anti-fungal action that is useful for treating fungal infections like athlete’s foot, jock itch and toenail fungus. Eucalyptus oil has been found to be a more effective treatment for fungal infected toenails than prescription anti-fungal products. (3)
Always remember to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil like coconut, olive or grapeseed oil before applying it to the skin. As a rule of thumb use around 1-5 drops of eucalyptus oil to 2 tablespoons of oil. For a double anti-fungal effect use coconut oil.
NATURAL INSECT REPELLENT:
Researchers have found lemon eucalyptus to be the best natural mosquito repellent. This essential oil is often used in natural insect sprays along with other essential oils that have been found to deter mosquitoes such as lavender, lemongrass, citronella, tea tree, geranium and rosemary.
TOP 10 GREEN CLEANING LIFE HACKS USING EUCALYPTUS
Eucalyptus oil is an excellent natural cleaner that can be used in a variety of ways around the home. Eucalyptus will keep your home sparkling clean, smelling fresh, and free from harmful toxins.
- Keep your dishcloths fresh by soaking them in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
- Remove glue leftover from stickers and tape on appliances, kitchenware, floor boards and furniture by rubbing it with some undiluted eucalyptus oil. Be careful using eucalyptus on varnished furniture and floor boards though as it can strip the varnish.
- Keep your bathroom and toilet smelling fresh by putting a few drops of eucalyptus oil in an infuser in the bathroom or put a few drops inside the toilet roll. You can also hang a fresh bunch of eucalyptus leaves from your shower head.
4. Next time you’re mobbing the floor add a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil to the bucket of water. It will make your house smell great and floors sparkle. Be careful using it on varnished floors though.
5. Use eucalyptus oil in water to disinfect kitchen benches and bathrooms. It’s great for removing grease and grime around cooktops, and for removing marks on walls too. Add a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil to a wash cloth and wipe down your fridge, dishwasher and other appliances for a no streak clean.
6. Add eucalyptus oil and water to a spray bottle (1:4) and use it to freshen up your bedroom, pillows and mattress.
7. Add 4 drops of eucalyptus oil to your next laundry wash. It will not only clean and freshen your clothes but it will leave your linen closet smelling fabulous.
8. Freshen up stinky sneakers by putting 6 drops of eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball and place it in your smelly shoes overnight.
9. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the inside of your trash can.
10. Eucalyptus oil is also a great natural flea repellent for pets. Add a few drops to your pets shampoo next wash.
- Zhou LJ, Li FR, et al. Antifungal Activity of Eucalyptus Oil against Rice Blast Fungi and the Possible Mechanism of Gene Expression Pattern. Molecules. 2016 May 12;21(5).
- Kerryn A Greive, Tanya M Barnes. The efficacy of Australian essential oils for the treatment of head lice infestation in children: A randomised controlled trial. Australas J Dermatol. 2018 May; 59(2): e99–e105.
- Cassandra Bramston, Caroline Robinson. Is eucalyptus oil an effective antifungal treatment for onychomycosis with and without nail matrix infection? J Foot Ankle Res. 2015; 8 (Suppl 2): P1. Published online 2015 Sep 22.