Eucalyptus is one of the few essential oils most people can identify by smell alone. It is very popular because of its effectiveness and range of uses. However, it was not always so popular. Until recently, many people did not know much about its use. Today, though, the use of eucalyptus oil continues to grow as more about it becomes known. Originally from Australia, where it was first used by the aborigines, the locals started distilling and using the oil in the 1780s. The eucalyptus comes in 600 species, with about 15 yielding valuable oil. The oils fall into one of three categories of use: medicinal, perfumery, or industrial. All the oils are steam distilled from leaves that have that recognizable fresh and clean scent.
The most commonly used oil for aromatherapy is eucalyptus globulus, with a strong, camphor-like scent. Others have basically the same traits but are slightly more gentle. Whichever species you use, it has especially powerful germicidal properties. If you place a two percent mixture in an aroma burner it can kill up to 70 percent of staphylococcus bacteria in a room. Researchers also found eucalyptus to be effective against several strains of E. coli.
Eucalyptus has a strong influence on breathing and is best known for its effective use against respiratory ailments which include colds, coughs, allergies, bronchitis, flu, throat infections, asthma, congestion, sinus problems, and more. It can help regenerate lung tissue, and aid in the whole breathing process. It stimulates red blood cell functioning, increasing the oxygen supply to every cell in the body. To treat respiratory ailments, inhale the oil. Use it in a vaporizer or humidifier, spray, add a few drops to a bowl of hot water, place a towel over your head and breathe deep. You could also add to cough drops or chest ointment, or gargle to soothe sore throats. Place a drop or two topically over the infected area, such as the throat.
Eucalyptus is effective against muscle and joint pain. It is an effective, local pain killer for migraines, rheumatism, sprained ligaments and tendons, general aches and pains. The anti-inflammatory nature can even relieve nerve pain. Massage the oil in a circular motion on the affected area.
Eucalyptus oil can help control blood sugar. Its properties as a vasodilator, mean that the entire body benefits from the increase in blood circulation. Diabetic patients commonly suffer from lack of good circulation. Therefore, it is a good idea to frequently massage eucalyptus oil onto the skin topically, and also inhale it as a vapor to ease the constriction of blood vessels.
Eucalyptus stimulates the mind, aids concentration, and relieves mental exhaustion. It has a cooling effect upon strong emotions, rejuvenating the spirit and relieving stress. It leaves you refreshed and more balanced. A combination of eucalyptus and peppermint applied topically to forehead and temples was shown in a double blind study to relieve headaches better than aspirin.
Eucalyptus benefits skin, hair, and teeth. From acne and blemishes to dandruff, sunburn to repelling insects. It is useful against cavities, gingivitis, and other dental infections as well. It also cools the body in the summer and protects the body in the winter.
Eucalyptus products can generally be used safely on the skin, as long as the oil is diluted. The dilution should roughly one to five drops of essential oil in an ounce of carrier oil. Eucalyptus can produce irritation and a burning sensation. It should not be used too close to the eyes. Avoid using Eucalyptus essential oil on children under the age of 10. Use under the advisement of a qualified practitioner in the presence of high blood pressure or epilepsy.
As you can see, eucalyptus is a valuable and powerful medicine. It can be a beneficial addition to any medicine cabinet.
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