This native Australian tree is most famous for its characteristic menthol-like aroma and use in traditional medicine practices for many respiratory disorders.
As well as a cough treatment, eucalyptus has also been used by Australian aborigines for other aliments such as fever, joint pain and for healing wounds. It was nicknamed the ‘fever tree’ by Australian settlers due to its powerful reputation to fight many diseases.
Colds and Flu, Upper Respiratory Tract Infections:
1,8-cineole is one of the main components of eucalyptus, to which many of its benefits are attributed. Its therapeutic properties include; anti-microbial, pain-reducing, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, spasm-reducing and antioxidant. When mucus (arising from an infection or allergy) in the respiratory tract is made thinner it is easier to cough up, this effect in herbal medicine is called an ‘expectorant’. The oil can be diluted with a carrier oil and rubbed into the chest for expectorant effect and relief from many respiratory conditions. A study confirmed that people with bronchitis may benefit from treatment with oral cineole (Eucalyptus). For a ten-day period, 242 patients received either 200mg of cineole three times a day or a placebo. After four days of treatment the group treated with cineole showed a significant improvement of their acute bronchitis symptoms. It was especially effective in reducing the frequency of coughing fits [i]. Similar positive effects of cineole were seen in sinusitis patients in another study [ii].
Eucalyptus is also effective against a wide variety of bacterial infections and has been found to be particularly effective against E. coli and Candida albicans. A study from 2008 showed that Eucalyptus is also able to stimulate a key immune system response. Researchers found that the oil can enhance the immune system’s phagocytic response, this is the process whereby the immune system consumes and destroys foreign particles and dangerous pathogens [iii].
The antiseptic properties of eucalyptus make it an excellent natural remedy for wounds, cuts, sores, burns, insect bites and blisters. Eucalyptus essential oil was found to be effective against cold sores, insect bites, shingles, ulcers, wounds, abscesses and athlete’s foot in studies [iv] . Please dilute pure essential oil in a carrier oil.
The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of Eucalyptus make it an excellent massage oil for sore, arthritic joints and sports injuries. It was found in studies to be significantly effective in decreasing the pain and blood pressure of knee surgery patients [v]. Please dilute pure essential oil in a carrier oil.
Not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women or children under 2 years of age. Please consult your general practitioner before using Eucalyptus if you are taking diabetes medication or any other prescription medication. Do not use on sensitive skin. Dilute essential oil before use.
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