From time to time, I will be highlighting an individual essential oil so readers can become better acquainted with the keys to safe and effective aromatherapy usage. Keep an eye out for future installments of Essential Oil Spotlight.
Confession time. Growing up, my knowledge about eucalyptus pretty much was limited to learning it was a food source of cute, little koalas. As such, I always have associated the scent of eucalyptus with Australia, which indeed is the origin of the eucalyptus plant. However, years ago when I was introduced to essential oils, and eventually learned about the power-packed eucalyptus oil, I was left wondering why our vegemite-loving friends down under had been holding out on us all this time. Pleasant in scent and versatile in application, eucalyptus may just become one of your favorite essential oils in your aromatherapy toolbox.
Even fledgling aromatherapy users are likely familiar with the characteristic scent of eucalyptus. Minty with a mix of woodsy aroma, eucalyptus is easily recognizable as the prominent scent in popular products such as mouthwash, chest rubs, and even cough suppressants. These applications are due to the cooling effect of eucalyptus and the antibacterial, antifungal, expectorant, mucolytic, and antimicrobial properties it has, mostly because one of its constituents, 1,8-cineole (aka. eucalyptol). Eucalyptol has been studied extensively in laboratories, and its health benefits are varied. Let’s look at a few of these benefits, and how to put eucalyptol, as well as the other useful chemical constituents of eucalyptus, to use for us.
A growing issue facing medical professionals and researchers today is how to deal with the increasing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Hospitals and physicians alike, are faced with the challenge of how to treat ever-mutating and adaptive bacteria such as MRSA. The problem is especially dire in individuals who, for one reason or another, have had to receive numerous rounds of antibiotics, and for whom the normal treatment protocol proves ineffective at eradicating the harmful bacteria. However, a growing amount of research is showing the potential of using essential oils such as eucalyptus as a complementary treatment option. As an antibiotic support, eucalyptus essential oil can be applied topically, as well as taken internally. Internal consumption of essential oils should be done thoughtfully and carefully after consulting a trained professional in aromatherapy.*
Recent reports state that 60% of the population of America are taking prescription drugs, and the number continues to rise steadily each year. While there are a number of factors that affect this figure, the overall picture of american health and well being is concerning. Some individuals, however, are partnering with their doctors to find alternative treatments for what ails them, and they are turning to plant-based solutions for help. One area that has shown great promise in responding to plant-based medical treatment is fungal pathogens. Once again, essential oils are at the forefront of options for treating fungal infections. Whether it be athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, or candidiasis, essential oils can be utilized as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan, especially in individuals looking to avoid prescription drug use and the associated side effects. Eucalyptus essential oil applied topically to nails has been shown in studies to be an effective option for treating fungal infections. Here are a few ways to use eucalyptus to treat nail fungus.
- Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil and some Epsom salts to warm water for a relaxing and therapeutic foot soak.
2. Mix a couple of drops of eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil and apply directly to the nails 2-3 times daily.
Treatment for other fungal rashes also could be treated with topical application.
Twist the cap of a bottle of pure eucalyptus essential oil, inhale, and you immediately feel the cool, tingling sensation in your nasal passages and down into your lungs. It’s like an instant breath of fresh air. Feeling congested due to allergies or colds, there are several ways to receive some relief from your new friend, eucalyptus oil.
1 – Apply 1-2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil topically to chest, neck and sinuses. It is recommended to use a carrier oil such as coconut oil to dilute the oil, as some individuals can feel some sensitivity on the skin or near the eyes. Take care NEVER to put essential oils INthe eyes or mucous membranes.
2 – Grab your favorite ultrasonic diffuser, and add 5-7 drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Whether running the diffuser in your bedroom while you sleep or at the office for some midday breathing support, you will be sure to be breathing easier in no time. Combine a few drops of lavender and lemon with your eucalyptus, and you will have a springtime diffuser blend to stimulate your wellness and your mood.
Want to add some punch to your morning shower routine? Try these
Eucalyptus Shower Melts.
1 Cup Baking Soda
⅓ Cup Water
30 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil (or try a mix of 15 drops of eucalyptus and 15 drops of peppermint essential oil)Silicone Mini Muffin Pan (like this one from Amazon)
3 – Add 30 drops of eucalyptus or a blend of eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils, and stir to combine.
4 – Place the silicone mold on a cookie sheet for a sturdy surface upon which to work. Fill the molds, packing the mixture into the wells.
5 – Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
6 – Allow cooling before gently popping out of the molds.
7 – Store in an airtight container.
8 – To use, allow the shower to run until the water temperature warms up. Place one melt on the floor of the shower near the drain. Breath in deeply and enjoy!
While trying out your shower melts, you may notice the floor of your shower is a little cleaner, too. Eucalyptus has been shown in studies to be an effective antimicrobial agent, making it an excellent addition to your DIY cleaning solution. Add several drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a spray bottle of white vinegar for an all-natural, antimicrobial cleaner. Combine it with some lemon essential oil for a great-smelling, deep cleaning powerhouse.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a highly beneficial and versatile oil to have in your aromatherapy tool chest. Whether it’s for daily use or for acute infections, you will want to have some of this Australian wonder on hand. How are you going to incorporate eucalyptus into your aromatherapy routine?
*A word about safety concerning eucalyptus essential oil. Various warnings about the safety of eucalyptus essential oil have been circulating around the internet perpetuating a sense of fear concerning this beneficial oil. Much of the hype is due to a misunderstanding. The reason for the warnings is associated with the aforementioned eucalyptol, which has been reported in some rare cases of excessive consumption by small children to have caused some adverse reactions such as seizures and breathing difficulty. However, in recommended doses, eucalyptus oil in its whole form with its complimentary constituents to eucalyptol should not present any safety issues.