In addition to being some of the hardiest, fastest growing and most beautiful trees on earth (not that we’re biased), Eucalyptus trees also produce some pretty amazing oils. Read on for our top five everyday uses for Eucalyptus oil. Please note that Eucalyptus oils are toxic when ingested and most oils are very, very concentrated. Always start with a little and add more if you need to and always ask a medical professional if you have any concerns.
Something we’re all familiar with in the darker winter months is the misery of a bunged up nose and blocked sinuses. If you add some drops of Eucalyptus oil to hot water and inhale the steam, you’ll feel fresher than a platypus on Friday! Just remember to keep your eyes closed to avoid getting the fumes in your eyes.
Asthma is a widely experienced health problem and Eucalyptus could potentially help ease the symptoms. Research has suggested that Eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory properties (Medical News) and that it can provide relief through inhalation. You can either put a few drops into hot water and carefully inhale, or use a diffuser for a milder effect.
Some of the main components of eucalyptus oil are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol and they’re the reason why it feels so soothing and cooling on your skin. This makes it ideal for massages and it is super easy to combine a few drops of oil with a moisturiser or lotion of your choice (Doterra).
It might seem more obvious than a kangaroo wearing a hat, but eucalyptus oils smell amazing and can both invigorate and relax. Try putting two drops on the floor of your shower for a refreshing, decongesting shower experience. Alternatively, use a diffuser in your bedroom before sleeping to help relax and clear your mind (Doterra).
You don’t often see flies on koalas now do you? Eucalyptus oils make for an excellent insect repellent, and have the added benefit of being completely natural. Studies have even demonstrated that Eucalyptus oils containing 30% p-menthane-diol are even more effective than DEET at repelling mozzies. Remember that if you’re applying Eucalyptus oil to your skin, first mix it with a carrier like coconut oil to reduce the concentration.
Livestock, in particular cows and horses, love to stand under Eucalyptus, because of the fly repellent abilities of the tree. Also the shade under a Euc is particularly cool, due to the high transpiration rate of the foliage.
This article is just a brief foray into the many uses of eucalyptus oils. Other uses include as jet fuel, medical solvents, medication, mining separators and dental hygiene product ingredients. And of course, it makes our trees smell nicer than a koala’s kiss!
Eucalyptus olida leaves showing transparent leaf oil dots. (Photo by John Moss via Wikimedia Commons)
Gumnut Correspondent Ben Sheers 20171218
Moore SJ, Lenglet A, Hill N. 2002: Field evaluation of three plant-based insect repellents against malaria vectors in Vaca Diez Province, the Bolivian Amazon. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2002 Jun;18(2):107-10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12083351