Many people primarily think of eucalyptus as something koalas eat. And there’s a good reason for that association -- a koala eats anywhere from 200 to 500 grams of eucalyptus leaves every day. But there’s so much more to this tree than its role as koala food.
It’s such a unique tree that it has evolved to allow its own survival after fires. When there is a fire, the hard capsules that hold the tree’s seeds open and drop the seeds on the freshly burned ground. Then the next wave of trees begins to take root.
What else makes the eucalyptus tree special? We’ll highlight 10 of the best health benefits of eucalyptus.
What Is Eucalyptus Used for?
Eucalyptus properties make it a useful commercial product in many ways. Eucalyptus sheets, for instance, make for a better choice than cotton or bamboo, especially in the summer. Their cooling properties provide a more comfortable night of sleep in the warmer weather or if you use a weighted blanket.
But eucalyptus can be found in much more than sheets. It is in many everyday products people love. It’s used in:
- Air fresheners.
- Sheets and bedding.
- Essential oil.
- Lip balm.
- Body wash.
- Insect repellent.
- Epsom salts.
10 Benefits of Eucalyptus
There are many eucalyptus plant benefits, but eucalyptus uses for health are of special interest for lots of people. Let’s look at ways this hardy tree that’s native to Australia can help you feel well and maintain your overall good health.
It should be noted that eucalyptus oil should be stored out of the reach of children and pets because ingesting it can be dangerous. Also, pregnant women should consult with their doctors before using it because any possible side effects could cause issues with their pregnancy.
Eucalyptus essential oil is a rockstar when it comes to relieving congestion caused by colds. You can put a few drops of it in your shower to help open your breathing passages up. You can put a few drops in a bowl of hot water and put a towel over your head while breathing in that relieving steam.
It helps loosen mucus up, so you can breathe better.
Cold sores can be painful and damaging to your self-esteem. No one wants to walk around with a festering sore on their lip.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, it’s worth a try to put a couple of drops of eucalyptus oil into a carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and dab it onto your sore.
Warding off disease-carrying insects can greatly benefit your health, and you can use eucalyptus extract for that. You can mix a carrier oil with lemon eucalyptus oil to ward those pesky insects off. Lemon is another scent insects don’t seem to like.
To make an insect repellent, use a ratio of one-tenth of lemon eucalyptus oil to nine-tenths of carrier oil. Shake it well and apply it.
Eucalyptus antibacterial properties are well-known by experts. For that reason, it makes an excellent household cleanser, and you won’t be subjected to the harsh chemicals in many commercial household cleansers.
Sleep is a necessary biological function for humans, but many of us struggle to get top quality shut-eye. Improving your comfort can be a great way to get better sleep. That can start with having sheets that help you fall and stay asleep.
Eucalyptus sheets are wonderful for that because they feel cool to the touch. That makes them great for summer sleeping or for year-round hot sleepers.
If you cut yourself and don’t have any antibiotic cream on hand, you can try tending to the wound with diluted eucalyptus oil. Blend it with some olive oil and dab it on your minor wound. The natural antimicrobial properties may help the wound heal faster and can assist in infection prevention.
If the cut is large or exceptionally deep, you should seek medical care though instead of dressing it with diluted eucalyptus oil.
Place one to three drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a diffuser and keep it on for at least 30 minutes. Alternatively, if your pain is localized, such as knee or back pain, you can try massaging the oil, along with a carrier oil, directly on the spot that is troubling you.
Eucalyptus oil is an ingredient in many pain relief ointments and cream. It’s a tried-and-true remedy you can try at home as long as you remember the carrier oil.
Suffering from asthma symptoms? Inhaling steam that contains eucalyptus oil may have a benefit for those who have asthma. Since it can help you loosen up mucus, it’s worth a try.
But before you do it, you should make sure you aren’t allergic to eucalyptus. It can make an asthma flare worse if you try it and you’re allergic. Before attempting this at home, you may want to have a quick discussion with your asthma doctor first.
Also, this oil is not a substitute for a rescue inhaler -- you should still carry one with you in case of emergencies.
Vicks VapoRub, an essential for decades in many households, can help suppress a cough, in part due to the eucalyptus oil it contains. You can use this preparation to help you slow your cough when you’re sick so you can rest better.
Getting rest is part of the equation when it comes to getting over a flu or cold -- it can help you get on your feet sooner.
People who love all-natural toothpaste options have been turning to eucalyptus for keeping their teeth clean and their breath smelling better. Many toothpastes contain breath-freshening eucalyptus.
Play it Cool with Eucalyptus
Whether you use it occasionally or nearly every day, eucalyptus is one versatile plant when it comes to safeguarding your health. Just remember to never use it without a carrier oil, and you’ll soon be reaping the benefits of this amazing tree.