Eucalyptus essential oil is steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus tree, also known as blue gum, Tasmanian blue, gum tree, and fever tree. A close relative of tea tree, it is native to Asia and India, it is grown in tropical and sub-tropical countries the world over, but the majority of the essential oil produced comes from China, India, South Africa, Spain and Australia. It presents as a clear, colorless liquid with a fresh, woodsy, mentholated, camphorous and medicinal scent with a strong top fragrance note, and it is at once recognizable as a familiar, comforting remedy for colds, flu and childhood respiratory illness. Its chemical components are eucalyptol (primarily), along with a-pinene, b-pinene, globulol, limonene, phellandrene, aromadendrene, 1,8-cineole, terpinen-4-ol, epiglobulol, and piperitone. Of all the strains of eucalyptus oil, eucalyptus globulus contains the highest concentration of 1,8-cineole.
Eucalyptus essential oil in history
Most of the commercial production of eucalyptus essential oil began in the 1800’s, and it went on to become widely used in cold remedies, as well as preparations meant to treat cold sores and mouth infections. In Australia, it was known by the aboriginals as a cure-all, and since it is a hardy grower in many Australian regions, it is used for a variety of purposes, from paper, to pulp, fuel, wind breaks, erosion control, mulch, and in fighting malaria. Because of its ability to repel mosquitoes, it is planted in many marshy, mosquito-prone areas all over the world, both to soak up the ground water that is the insects’ breeding ground and to clean the air around it. In the mid 1800’s, the French government sent eucalyptus seeds to Algeria and other parts of Africa to dry up the marshlands, and consequentially, many disease-ridden areas became both dry and safe, with malaria outbreaks experiencing a particularly marked reduction. During WWI, eucalyptus was used to control outbreaks of the flu and meningitis, but its first appearance in any European medical journals was in the 1700’s, when two German doctors, Cole and Homeyer, recognized it for its effectiveness in treating respiratory conditions such as asthma, fever, coughs and the flu.
Eucalyptus oil uses
Improves concentration: cools and refreshes the mind, and stimulates mental activity, helping to relieve mental sluggishness.
Stress reliever: its invigorating scent is immediately uplifting, improving your mood and helping you to release frustration.
Oral health: protects the teeth against cavities and the gums against gingivitis.
Anti-parasitic: kills parasites on and inside the body, including intestinal worms, and head lice. It is also effective in repelling bed bugs.
CNS (central nervous system) stimulant: relieves nervous disorders and fatigue for convalescents, or for anybody who has been bedridden for long periods of time.
Diabetes: helps to control blood sugar when taken internally. It also improves blood circulation, which is a common problem among diabetes sufferers.
Deodorizing: deodorizing to the air around you as well as to your body, and helps to cleanse the air in a sick room or hospital.
Detergent: often found in soaps and laundry soap, where it lends antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial qualities
Respiratory: eases respiratory distress, coughs, and sneezing due to colds, flu or asthma.
Massage: a warming oil, effective in therapeutic and deep-tissue massage.
Pain relief: eases the pain and discomfort of arthritis, joint pain and muscle pain due to strain or overuse.
Anti-inflammatory: reduces the incidence of inflammation both internally and externally.
Fever reducer: cools the body, which can help to reduce a fever.
Astringent: an excellent skin tonic that reduces oil on the skin surface, and can help to treat acne and prevent infection in other skin eruptions.
Circulation: stimulates blood circulation, which can aid in detoxification and
Decongestant: opens breathing passages and reduces inflammation of mucous membranes due to seasonal colds and allergies.
Skin eruptions and irritations: eases the discomfort and itch of insect bites, burns, sunburn, rashes, blisters, herpes sores, and chicken pox.
Pets and domestic animals: as a liniment, eucalyptus oil can be added to poultices to relieve stress injury and inflammation in horses, dogs and house pets. Try to avoid allowing the animal to ingest the oil, as it may be irritating to their stomach and digestive system.
Generally regarded as a safe essential oil, you should avoid if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not combine with homeopathic medicines. If you have high blood pressure or epilepsy, you should avoid using eucalyptus globulus. Overuse may cause headaches in some individuals. May cause skin irritation in some individuals: always heed recommended dilution factors, and test (always diluted) on an insensitive area of the skin until you know your tolerance. Eucalyptus globulus is not recommended for internal use, and should not be used to treat children or infants. Avoid use near intense heat, open flame or sparks.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.