Have you ever heard about the Stringy Bark Tree, or the Bluegum or Fever tree?
Well, these are the several other nicknames given to the tree that provides the super ingredient for a potent Ayurvedic healing oil - Eucalyptus Essential oil.
There are many varieties of Eucalyptus. As many as 700 types of Eucalyptus grow as trees, and few of them even grow as shrubs. Despite this, the distinctive characteristics are quite similar across the diversification. The shared conventional trait is the medicinal and healing property possessed by the leaf of this plant.
Eucalyptus leaves are well-known for their camphoraceous, pungent, crisp fragrance.
Based on the narration of an English folklore, it is said that once when an English settler accidentally hurt his finger with an ax, his father had instructed him to keep some of the Eucalyptus leaves wrapped against the wound. Later, when a surgeon checked the injury, he was entirely galvanized by the healing done, especially without the lurking of any infection.
Tales like these spread like wildfire, which initiated the emergence of extracting oil from the Eucalyptus plant, now known as Eucalyptus Essential Oil.
The Eucalyptus tree is stated to be the native of Australia and has ovular leaves. The color of the bark is supposedly blue-greyish in color. At times, one could find resins present on the bark of the tree, which is why it is credited the acclaimed name of the blue gum tree.
The rampant production of this oil has spread to different countries other than Australia viz. Europe, Brazil, India, China, Greece.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil is mostly derived from the Eucalyptus globulus variety of the plant. Its leaves are steam distilled to extract the oil. The leaves can be fresh or partially dried. The chemical composition and the quality of these leaves depend on the geographical conditions of the area where this plant is grown. Criteria like soil-nutrients, U.V light, genetic variation, and water provisions greatly influence and govern their growth.
Before you buy a Eucalyptus Essential Oil, always check the purity and the sources from where it’s derived to ensure that you get the best results.
We recommend Kama Ayurveda Pure Eucalyptus Essential oil as it is cold-pressed from trees grown on the verdant slopes of the Nilgiri Hills in Southern India. Its woody and sweet aroma builds immunity and relieves muscle tension, among many other benefits.
Components like α-Terpineol, Limonene, Aromadendrene, Piperitone, Citronellal, and Camphor present in Eucalyptus Essential oil provide immense benefits for skin, hair, and overall health. Let's look at these benefits of Eucalyptus oil in the next section.
In Ayurveda, Eucalyptus is known for its Vata pacifying properties as it has heating energy. It strengthens the overall metabolism, circulation, and immune system. It’s also a powerful antiseptic and analgesic that can be used to treat wounds, infections, and painful inflammation of the muscles that lead to muscle soreness.
In this section, we’ll be talking about the top benefits of Eucalyptus oil in detail.
Eucalyptus is a common ingredient found in cold and cough medications. It is majorly because researches are stating that Eucalyptus can attenuate mucus and dilate the bronchi and bronchioles present in the lungs. This is possible as it contains pinene, known to be a bronchi-dilator and also cineole, which aids in reducing inflammation and mucus build-up. Eucalyptus is also known to give relief to asthma-related symptoms.
Bad breath considerably reduces a person's ability to speak confidently, it would continuously bother an individual, and it would be quite a task to have general conversations. However, as this plant contains antibacterial properties, they would work against mouth odor by fighting germs. The presence of mouth odor could indicate an underlying cavity as well; hence it is always advisable to visit a dentist.
When the Eucalyptus essential oil is inhaled, its unique properties help in decreasing pain. The cineole and limonene present in the extracts of this oil are known pain-relievers. In the Aa study, people who underwent knee replacement surgery were advised to inhale this invigorating oil for about 30 minutes regularly. Following this, a reduction in the perception of pain was reported. However, more research is required to confirm this benefit.
Eucalyptus oil produces a cooling effect when topically applied. It is known to diminish pain as well as inflammation. However, one should note that essential oils should not be applied without diluting as they are potent and can cause adverse skin reactions.
The antifungal and antiseptic properties present in Eucalyptus oil works against the formation of dandruff. The yeast-like fungus called Malassezia is the usual cause of dandruff. This oil, along with a suitable carrier oil, could efficiently keep dandruff formation and related issues like itchiness at bay.
The citronellol present in this Eucalyptus essential oil is known to have antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties that work against any muscle cramps or sore muscles by slackening and relaxing them.
As Eucalyptus has properties that aid in fighting against dandruff, promoting blood circulation, and eliminating any inflammation or fungal invasion on the scalp, it banks the credibility of promoting significant hair growth. Its soothing and calming effects even reduce stress, which is often stated as one of the common causes of hair loss. It provides the nourishment and constituents needed for healthy hair growth.
Sunburns could be quite painful. However, as previously mentioned, the pain-relieving properties, coupled with the soothing composition of this oil, could tremendously bring relief to sunburns and even redness. Also, the antibacterial components would prevent the onset of any infection.
The insect repellents available in the market are often filled with harmful chemicals that may keep insects away but at the cost of our health. The scent of this oil keeps away bugs, mosquitoes, cockroaches, and even rodents. Studies that state the dermal application of this oil have been useful in preventing mosquito bites for almost 2hours, with 97% claimed success. It is said that this oil is capable of masking the natural mosquito-alluring scent with the help of the compound called PMD.
Many essential oils are stated to be a wonderful stress reliever. Eucalyptus oil has the fresh aroma of menthol that invigorates the senses and eliminates sluggishness and mental fatigue. It also has calming effects. Due to these properties, it is also seen as a common ingredient used in aromatherapy and even in spas. There are studies even claiming its ability to reduce pre-surgery anxiety visible in patients, validating the use of this oil as a stress buster.
As stated in the short English folklore illustrated at the beginning of the article, this ingredient has the credibility of disinfecting and initiating the healing process of wounds for ages. When using the oil, it is essential to dilute it well before disinfecting. Minor injuries, scrapes, or bruises would benefit from this oil and even keep any attack of infections away as it contains antibacterial and anti-microbial components.
The eucalyptol present in the Eucalyptus is known to improve dental health considerably. The enhanced contents of ethanol and marcocarpal C-kind of polyphenol are known to reduce the bacteria production that could give rise to cavities and diseases of the gingiva/gums.
Some studies have been conducted that confirm these claims as the participants found a substantial decrease in the build-up of plaque, gingival inflammation, and bleeding on chewing gum having eucalyptus based extracts.
Also, eucalyptol is a common ingredient found in mouth-washes. It is, however, recommended to check with your dentist before utilizing this ingredient.
First and foremost, it is of utmost importance to note that Eucalyptus oil should not be used directly for a dermal application unless mentioned in the product's usage instruction. Also, oral consumption of this product is not at all safe and discouraged. It could be lethal for the body as it could result in dizziness, ataxia, nausea, and diarrhea.
The Eucalyptus essential oil should always be used in the diluted form irrespective of its use. One could use a carrier oil or any other means to dilute it; to understand more about it, keep reading ahead.
Mix one or two drops of the Eucalyptus oil along with a carrier oil like Coconut oil or Argan oil. Rub this solution thoroughly on the painful areas in a circular motion. Its anti-inflammatory properties will aid in eliminating the pain.
Soothing insect bites with the help of Eucalyptus oil is quite simple. Simply dilute 1-2 drops of the Eucalyptus oil to 1 tsp of any carrier oil of your choice & apply it topically.
One could even drop a few drops of this mixture of 1-2 drops of Eucalyptus oil with 1 tsp of any carrier oil onto a cotton ball and then dab it around your clothes like under the collar or sleeves of the shirt, or around the edges of your trousers to repel insects.
Ever cut your finger and skipped the disinfecting part only to find yourself staring at an infection a few days later? Well, next time, even for a minor bruise or a deep wound, use your home-made antiseptic wash. All one needs to do to prepare it is - Add a few drops (around 8 to 10) of Eucalyptus Oil to two water cups. Mix it well and store it in a spray bottle. On getting a cut to disinfect the wound with this solution and a clean damp cloth, or one could even use fresh cotton balls.
Mix 2-4 drops of eucalyptus oil to one teaspoon of clear, pure aloe-vera gel. Next, transfer it into a two-ounce spray bottle that is filled with purified water. One could spray it on the area of concern or also use it to cool oneself after a hot summer day.
To utilize it for the hair and especially against dandruff, one could add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil (2-4) to one to two tablespoons of Coconut oil and apply it onto the scalp. Allow the product to remain for about 20 minutes before washing away.
Using this oil for hair growth takes about 2-4 drops of the Eucalyptus oil and mix it along with any carrier oil, preferably a light oil that would also aid in hair growth would be beneficial. Next, gently apply the oil on the scalp and massage it effectively. With the help of a comb, spread the oil throughout the lengths of the hair evenly. After this, allow the oil to settle for about 30 minutes, following which you can rinse thoroughly with a shampoo.
To use this as an inhalant, one could add a few drops of the oil in a massive bowl of steaming water or an electric vaporizer. Inhaling the vapors of this mixture could give relief from cold and flu-related symptoms and, at the same time, provide relief from any headache as well as stress. You could even spray the oil's diluted form around the washroom and on the walls before having a steamy bath. The lingering aroma works effectively to give you a spa-like atmosphere in the comfort of your house.
As discussed above, Eucalyptus Oil has many benefits and uses for skincare and hair care. It also has a soothing fragrance and powerful healing properties, making it an ideal essential oil for aromatherapy. In this section, we'll summarize the many uses of Eucalyptus oil.
The oil of the Eucalyptus plant is reputed to carry out diverse functions for the skin. They are well-known for their purifying and cleansing properties. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that diminish redness and acne-related symptoms.
Another powerful feature of Eucalyptus oil for skin is its ability to increase the skin's ceramide content. What are these ceramides, and how do they help our skin?
Ceramides are simply the fatty acids responsible for sustaining and conserving the skin’s barrier and withholding its moisture content. People with low ceramide levels suffer from skin issues such as dry skin, dermatitis, psoriasis, and other dry skin related disorders.
Eucalyptus oil helps in retaining the moisture content of the skin quite efficiently, thereby combating such complications.
The harmful effect of the sun's U.V rays is tremendously damaging to the skin, causing elastin and collagen degeneration. However, experts claim that this could be prevented to some extent by Eucalyptus oil. For this reason, it's also used for treating sunburns.
Again, even for hair growth, the role of ceramide is quite note-worthy. A study was conducted in which 34 people were administered with products consisting of Eucalyptus extracts and synthetic ceramide. The conclusion stated a considerable decrease in the itchiness, dryness, redness of the scalp, and dandruff in the group that was treated with the Eucalyptus oil.
Further, this oil also increases the natural luster of the hair as it increases the moisture content. This high moisture content due to Eucalyptus permits the light to bounce off and makes the hair appear glossy.
The herbicidal and antifungal properties of this oil are lucrative for the overall growth and nourishment of hair and scalp. Stimulation of hair growth, getting rid of lice, eradicating itchy-scalp can all be efficiently carried out by this exquisite essential oil.
The menthol present as one of the components is also instrumental in inducing coolness and providing relief from itchiness. Massaging the oil into the scalp is known to stimulate and enhance the blood circulation allowing remarkable hair growth.
Previously, Eucalyptus oil was widely used at hospitals in England to clean urinary catheters. Presently, the Siberian research conducted in 2016 gives back-up to this use due to the confirmatory presence of anti-microbial properties. A positive correlation was also concluded in the ability to procure new treatment by the combination of E. camaldulensis essential oil (category of the tree of the eucalyptus plant) with prevailing antibiotics. It is stated that with this discovery, the need to rely on antibiotics could hopefully be significantly reduced. Also, this oil's antibacterial properties have claims to eradicate respiratory tract disorders research on which stands warranted.
The leaves of this plant are quite renowned as an ingredient in the preparation to combat flu-related symptoms. The congestion experienced by those having cold and bronchitis can be lessened quite extensively by the inhalation of the vapors of the eucalyptus oil as it contains piperitone and camphor acclaimed decongestants. Also, this oil is often associated with treatments in reducing the blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
The use of Eucalyptus oil is also beneficial in relieving muscle and joint pain as well as healing minor wounds.
The Eucalyptus plant's aroma is stated to reduce mental fatigue and sluggishness as it augments the blood flow to the brain and induces an instant relaxation, making one feel rejuvenated. The smell is often considered as pungent yet relaxing. This strongly exhilarating oil supports and promotes a sense of vitality.
It is believed to reduce the symptoms caused by a stressful lifestyle. The eucalyptol present in this oil has claims of containing anti-anxiety and calming properties.
When utilized as a disinfectant air spray, Eucalyptus oil is a powerful natural air cleanser. It contains anti-microbial properties which play a vital role in abolishing viruses and bacteria present in the atmosphere and while at the same time freshening the air.
Quite commonly, body odors are confined in the shoes and sports equipment; this oil can be used as an effective spray to eliminate them when diluted with water. Along with a few other essential oils and water, the end combination is stated to work out as an effective surface cleaner.
Now, as we have understood the benefits of this excellent essential oil, let us address some of the most common questions that people have about Eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus oil has the property of reducing excess sebum formation, which could work against acne formation. However, further research is required to state its use against acne affirmatively.
Eucalyptus oil application is strongly discouraged for dogs. It is not safe and could harm the pet adversely.
Yes, it contains a compound known as cineole that aids in reducing inflammation and mucus build-up.
No, it is not recommended to use this essential oil during pregnancy. Even though mixed results state its safety during pregnancy, it is advisable not to undertake any risks for the health of the mother and the baby.
It is not advisable for infants under two to use this oil in any form. Kindly check with your pediatrician if the need arises to utilize this oil for children of any age group.
One can use this oil in the bath by spraying its diluted form around in the air but not directly in the water. As essential oils are not water-soluble they form a film and lie floating on the water surface. While splashing that, along with water, your skin is getting exposed directly to the oil, and the sensation could be quite stingy and would negatively affect your skin.
Yes, it could be used in grooming beard hair as well. But be cautious about following the correct steps and methods. Always dilute the oil before its use.
Yes, this oil could be used for a sauna as it is lauded for its woodsy fragrance.
Lastly, we recommend medical and professional advice before implementing Eucalyptus essential oil for your needs. It is better to be aware and safe rather than facing untoward results.
Shreya Dalela is a certified Yoga instructor and a professional dancer trained at The Danceworx. She’s passionate about Ayurveda and holistic living with over 6 years of experience in doing extensive research and content creation in the domain.
Certified Ayurvedic Doctor (Central Council of Indian Medicine) working in Kama Ayurveda as an Assistant Training Manager.