What is Eucalyptus Oil?

Holly Collins

Eucalyptus oil has a multitude of uses and can be found in many everyday products. Many species of eucalyptus plants exist, but not all yield eucalyptus oil, which has a fresh scent and many useful properties. Eucalyptus oil is derived from steaming the leaves and bark of certain eucalyptus trees and plants.

Eucalyptus oil may help prevent dandruff.
Eucalyptus oil may help prevent dandruff.

The deodorizing and microbial properties of eucalyptus oil make it useful as a cleaner and disinfectant. It is an ingredient in many mouthwash products and has applications in wound dressings. Eucalyptus oil is said to decrease the amount of airborne bacteria and can be added to water in humidifiers and steam rooms to help detoxify them. Mixed with water, it makes a general household cleaner.

Eucalyptus oil is sometimes used to relieve sinus pressure.
Eucalyptus oil is sometimes used to relieve sinus pressure.

This oil is widely used in veterinary medicine both as a medicinal agent and insect repellent. It can be sprayed on animals to help prevent fleas and ticks and is sometimes painted on horses' hooves to treat and prevent infection. Evidence exists that it will kill dust mites and it can be sprayed on plants to protect them from predatory insects.

Eucalyptus oil is in some types of mouthwash.
Eucalyptus oil is in some types of mouthwash.

Eucalyptus oil is used in soap for its germicidal and aromatherapy benefits. When used for aromatherapy purposes, eucalyptus oil can combat exhaustion and mental sluggishness. Although no scientific evidence exists to support the theory, many believe that the scent of eucalyptus promotes the feeling of mental well-being. Candles, massage oils and bath products attempt to capitalize on the benefits of eucalyptus’ scent.

Many brands of throat lozenges contain eucalyptus oil.
Many brands of throat lozenges contain eucalyptus oil.

Eucalyptus oil is widely used in home remedies. A couple of drops added to massage oil can be rubbed into the temples to relieve sinus pressure, or used to relieve sore muscles and joint pain. It is found in topical ointments that can be applied to the chest to act as a decongestant.

Eucalyptus oil is often used as a cleaner and disinfectant because of it's deodorizing and microbial properties.
Eucalyptus oil is often used as a cleaner and disinfectant because of it's deodorizing and microbial properties.

This oil also comes in forms that can be inhaled to break up upper respiratory tract infections. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties which make it useful for bronchitis-like conditions. Eucalyptus oil is found in many brands of cough drops and throat lozenges.

Adding eucalyptus oil to shampoo can help treat dandruff, and used in body lotion, it can calm irritated skin. The oil can be very effective in small concentrations to soothe burns and treat insect stings and bites. Caution needs to be exercised when dealing with the oil in highly concentrated forms, as too much of it can burn and aggravate the skin. It can also be poisonous when too much is ingested.

Candles and bath products often feature the benefits of eucalyptus oil.
Candles and bath products often feature the benefits of eucalyptus oil.

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Discussion Comments

burcinc

Eucalyptus oil is so great for flea control! I put several drops of the oil in my dogs' shampoo whenever they have a flea problem. I don't even need to buy a flea shampoo and one of my dogs is allergic to the ingredients of those shampoos anyway. She doesn't get affected by eucalyptus oil at all tough.

I just give them a regular bath with that shampoo and most of the fleas die and wash out during the bath. The few that remain generally die in a few hours and I brush those out after the bath. It's such a safe and easy way to get rid of fleas.

serenesurface

@alisha-- That's a great way to use eucalyptus oil for pains and aches!

My mom used to do something similar when me whenever when I was sick and had a fever. She would draw warm bath water and put eucalyptus oil in it and I would take a bath in it. It always got my fever down. I had completely forgotten about it until I read your post.

discographer

I walked into a little shop downtown the other day that sells different natural essential oils. They had a whole list about the different oils and what their benefits were. I asked if there was something for rheumatism and muscle pain and eucalyptus oil was one of the first things the shop owner mentioned.

Apparently, since rheumatism is caused by inflammation, eucalyptus helps relieve the pain with its anti-inflammation properties. I have rheumatism and muscle aches and pains for the past couple of years in my ankles and knees.

I gave the eucalyptus oil a shot and used several drops in a bucket of hot water and placed my feet in it. Immediately, it smelled really nice and fresh everywhere. I've noticed that when I soak my feet in it before sleeping, I have less pain and it's easier for me to sleep. I've not applied it directly on my skin because I have very sensitive skin and I think it's better to dilute it. So far, I'm happy with the results.

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