Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Derived from Eucalyptus Globulus, eucalyptus oil is a substance rich in an oxide called 1,8-cineol. It is a common molecule found in several essential oils like peppermint or black pepper.
At diluted concentrations, the oil is effective against infections. It can kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also as antioxidant and muscle-relaxing effects.
Eucalyptus oil is most helpful in reducing uncomfortable symptoms of colds, the flu, and other respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Inhaling Eucalyptus Oil by use of a diffuser can help relieve inflammation, pain and sinus congestion. It can boost immunity through its antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eucalyptus oil can be inhaled, ingested, and put on the skin topically in its diluted forms. Do not use a pure/undiluted solution on your skin or through ingestion.
Constituents and Mechanisms
Eucalyptus oil’s primary constituents are 1,8-cineole and α-pinene.
1,8-cineol is responsible for the thinning of mucus in the respiratory tract and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Αlpha-pinene is what gives eucalyptus oil its antimicrobial properties against bacteria and viruses and toughen the immune system.
1,8-cineol and alpha-pinene inhibit the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
1) Eucalyptus Oil Treats Colds and Allergies
Inhaling eucalyptus oil vapors can help relieve uncontrollable coughing, as the vapors provide a calming and soothing effect.
Eucalyptus oil loosens mucus build up, which reduces the possibility of extreme allergy attacks. This is accomplished by reducing cytokine levels in the bloodstream and consequently producing less mucus build up in the sinuses.
One of the most popular uses of eucalyptus oil is to help relieve nasal or chest congestion. It helps break down stubborn mucus for easy clearing of the throat or nose.
For those suffering from sinus inflammation, oral intake of eucalyptus oil provides considerable pain relief from headaches and tenderness at pressure points. The oil also breaks down mucus, which provides relief from congestion and a perpetually runny nose.
The oil can help reduce shortness of breath improving lung function. Dust Mite Allergies Pre-soaking laundry in a 0.2% eucalyptus oil detergent 30 minutes before washing and then washing in a normal laundry cycle can remove up to 97% of dust mites. Dust mite allergy is a major risk factor for asthma, so this simple procedure can significantly help prevent asthma.
2) Eucalyptus Oil Helps Improve Bronchitis Symptoms
Eucalyptus oil helps open bronchial air passages because it clears the airways by breaking down mucus.
Our lungs and nose have tiny hairs (cilia) inside of them. Eucalyptus oil can help increase nasal ciliary beat frequency. This means that mucus can be quickly cleared out from the nose and thus decrease nasal congestion. This will allow for better breathing and lung activity.
A combination of diluted pine, lime, and eucalyptus oil extracts by oral intake helps reduce frequent bronchitis flare-ups.
3) Eucalyptus Oil Relieves Pain
Rubbing a few drops of diluted eucalyptus oil at the temples region or forehead region can provide pain relief. The same effects can also be felt by inhaling the oil’s vapors .
It can also be used for mild to moderate pain in aromatherapy, which is the use of natural oils for physical and mental well being.
Because eucalyptus oil helps relieve inflammation and pain, a massage with diluted oil relaxes stressed muscles.
4) Eucalyptus Oil Helps Improve Brain Activity
Studies have shown that Eucalyptus oil helps increase cognitive performance by relaxing muscles and tension and relieving anxiety.
This essential oil affects the involuntary movements of the nervous system and thus brain activity, which in turn reduces pain or brings down high blood pressure.
5) Eucalyptus Oil Strengthens the Immune System
Eucalyptus oil increases monocyte-derived macrophages in the blood, thus increasing immunity and faster recovery from infections. Macrophages are white blood cells that work by engulfing harmful organisms, which thus help stifle infection.
Eucalyptus oil can help strengthen the body’s immune system after chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not just kill cancer cells, but healthy cells as well.
Eucalyptus oil activates specific cell-to-cell communication in the immune response and reduces nonspecific attacks to both foreign molecules and healthy cells.
Eucalyptus oil activates cells of the adaptive immune system, which recognizes and kills harmful invaders. It decreases the levels of cytokines. It prevents infections and strengthens the immune system in chemotherapy patients.
6) Eucalyptus Oil Improves Emotional Well-Being
Studies have shown that inhaling eucalyptus oil can help increase concentration and also provide a calming, soothing effect.
Rubbing diluted eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil near the temples and forehead area can help induce a muscle and mental relaxing effect and increase brain function.
7) Eucalyptus Oil Prevents Tooth Decay
Toothpaste that contains eucalyptus oil is effective at preventing tooth decay or plaque formation because of eucalyptus’ antimicrobial properties.
8) Eucalyptus Oil Can Help With Type 2 Diabetes
Eucalyptus oil contains natural antioxidants that have an anti-diabetic effect by preventing the activity of the enzymes α-amylase and α-glucosidase.
It has water-soluble components that decrease blood sugar, which allows more glucose uptake in cells. This increases glycolysis in fat and skeletal muscle, a vital step in cellular respiration (the process that breaks down sugar into energy our bodies can use), thus reducing the amount of glucose in the blood.
9) Eucalyptus Oil May Improve Surgery Recovery
Studies have shown that inhaling eucalyptus oil as a vapor after total knee replacement surgery significantly reduced pain and blood pressure. This allowed for faster recovery.
10) Eucalyptus Oil Is Antimicrobial
Eucalyptus oil can help inhibit germination and spore production of fungi, and thus has anti-fungal properties.
Diluted drops rubbed onto the skin also repel insects.
11) Eucalyptus Oil Helps with Necrotic Wound Treatment
An aromatherapy treatment administered with eucalyptus oil, grapefruit, and tea tree oils can help reduce the bad odor from necrotic wounds.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS
Adverse side effects can be seen if one overdoses or has an allergic reaction to the substance, which may include any of the following:-Burning sensation in the mouth, Burning throat, Stomach pain, Vomiting, Dizziness and/or disorientation, Itchy hives, Swelling of face, hands, mouth, or throat, Tingling mouth or throat, Chest tightening, Breathing trouble.
For children under 2 years, eucalyptus ointments/salves or oil are not advised.
Do not give cough drops containing eucalyptus oil to children under the age of 6 years.
Eucalyptus oil can slow down how fast the liver breaks down medications, so be cautious and consult physicians regarding specific drug interactions.
The main warning associated with eucalyptus oil is to not take high doses of this oil. This oil is meant to be taken in a diluted form. If you are buying a product that contains this oil, do not exceedingly use the product. Follow the dosage recommendations.
Never ingest eucalyptus oil orally in an undiluted form, and never rub an undiluted form of eucalyptus oil on the body. Instead, ensure that the oil has been diluted in a carrier oil.
For inhalation or physical application of the diluted oil, stick to just 2 to 5 drops.