Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits & Uses
Eucalyptus essential oil benefits & uses: Eucalyptus essential oil (eucalyptus oil or eucalyptus globulus), with a fresh, camphorous and clean scent is obtained from fresh leaves of the tall, evergreen eucalyptus tree. The health benefits of eucalyptus oil are well-known and wide ranging, and its properties include anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, and other medicinal qualities.
What is Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is the generic name for distilled oil from the leaf of Eucalyptus, a genus of the plant family Myrtaceae native to Australia and cultivated worldwide. Eucalyptus oil has a history of wide application, as a pharmaceutical, antiseptic, repellent, flavouring, fragrance and industrial uses. The leaves of selected Eucalyptus species are steam distilled to extract eucalyptus oil.
The eucalyptus tree (also known as Tasmanian Blue Gum) is an evergreen tree native to Australia that’s often thought of as the main food source of koala bears. While it provides amazing nutritional support for wildlife, the essential oils extracted from eucalyptus leaves also have powerful medicinal properties.
According to English folklore, an early English settler had his thumb nearly severed by an ax. His father, who was well-versed in Aboriginal folk medicine, advised that he apply a bandage of tightly bound eucalyptus leaves around the cut after it was sutured. Evidently, the Aborigines used eucalyptus, or “kino” as they referred to it, to heal most wounds they encountered. Later, when a surgeon saw the wound, he remarked how amazed he was because the thumb healed so quickly and without any trace of infection. Reports like this spread throughout Australia, and pharmacists like Joseph Bosisto began tinkering with the idea of commercially producing eucalyptus oil in 1852. Soon thereafter, the leaves of Eucalyptus radiata were first distilled near Melbourne.
Australian Aboriginals use eucalyptus leaf infusions (which contain eucalyptus oil) as a traditional medicine for treating body pains, sinus congestion, fever, and colds.
Dennis Considen and John White, surgeons on the First Fleet, distilled eucalyptus oil from Eucalyptus piperita found growing on the shores of Port Jackson in 1788 to treat convicts and marines. Eucalyptus oil was subsequently extracted by early colonists, but was not commercially exploited for some time.
Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Victorian botanist, promoted the qualities of Eucalyptus as a disinfectant in “fever districts”, and also encouraged Joseph Bosisto, a Melbourne pharmacist, to investigate the commercial potential of the oil. Bosisto started the commercial eucalyptus oil industry in 1852 near Dandenong, Victoria, Australia, when he set up a distillation plant and extracted the essential oil from the cineole chemotype of Eucalyptus radiata. This resulted in the cineole chemotype becoming the generic ‘oil of eucalyptus’, and “Bosisto’s Eucalyptus Oil” still survives as a brand.
French chemist, F. S. Cloez, identified and ascribed the name eucalyptol — also known as cineole — to the dominant portion of E. globulus oil. By the 1870s oil from Eucalyptus globulus, Tasmanian blue gum, was being exported worldwide and eventually dominated world trade, while other higher quality species were also being distilled to a lesser extent. Surgeons were using eucalyptus oil as an antiseptic during surgery by the 1880s.
Eucalyptus oil became an important industry in the box-ironbark forests of Victoria during the post gold-rush era of the 1870s. The oil was often described as Australia’s natural wonder and was exported to a growing international market, mostly for medicinal purposes. Eucalyptus oil was in particularly big demand during the global influenza pandemic of 1918-19. A distillation plant was established by the Forests Commission Victoria at Wellsford State Forest near Bendigo in 1926. The Principal of the Victorian School of Forestry, Edwin James Semmens, undertook much of the pioneering chemistry into the composition of eucalyptus oil. His steam extraction kilns are in the museum at the school.
The Australian eucalyptus oil industry peaked in the 1940s, the main area of production being the central goldfields region of Victoria, particularly Inglewood; then the global establishment of eucalyptus plantations for timber resulted in increased volumes of eucalyptus oil as a plantation by-product. By the 1950s the cost of producing eucalyptus oil in Australia had increased so much that it could not compete against cheaper Spanish and Portuguese oils (closer to European Market therefore less costs). Non-Australian sources now dominate commercial eucalyptus oil supply, although Australia continues to produce high grade oils, mainly from blue mallee (E. polybractea) stands.
Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil are antiviral and may come in handy during cold and flu season. This oil is highly effetive and recommended when diffused to clear the air of bacteria and prevent flu and cold or speed up the time of healing when already ill. Not only is eucalyptus oil’s aroma refreshing to breathe in, it may also help you:
- Relieve aches and pains – Adding 1 or 2 drops of eucalyptus to a hot compress or massage oil may help increase blood flow and ease pain.
- Feel calm – Eucalyptus oil transmit a sense of calm concentration.
- Protect your skin – Eucalyptus oil is both antibacterial and antifugal, good for skincare products and wound treatment.
- Breathe easy – Inhaling eucalyptus may loosen mucus and clear up congestion.
Uses of Patchouli Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is awesome when used in a steam inhalation or an inhaler for cold, flu and allergies. Being antibacterial and antiviral, it assist in fighting germs and viruses. It also has a stimulating effect on the nervous system and is helpful to those suffering from depression and lethargy. Eucalyptus is a very effective cleansing plant if you want to use it for purification. Emotionally, it dispels melancholy while lifting spirits and restoring vitality, harmony and balance. Various applications include topical ones such as massage, making a compress, and skin care and direct inhalation using a diffuser and /or vaporizer when needed.
Eucalyptus Oil Usage Tips
- Add 3-5 drops to warm water and soak sore, tired feet
- Place a few drops on a cloth to remove stubborn stickers
- Use in a candle lamp diffuser to generate a positive, energizing space
- Add 2 drops to 1 cup water, pour on the hot rocks in a sauna. Breathe deeply.
- Use in a diffuser near bedside for clear breathing
- Place 7-10 drops on hotel room floor for fresh air. Just like home (almost).
- Place 2-5 drops on shower floor for an vigorating shower experience.
- Place 2-5 drops in bowl of steaming water, place towel over head and breathe deeply.
Other Uses of Patchouli Essential Oil
As an ingredient
The cineole-based oil is used as component in pharmaceutical preparations to relieve the symptoms of influenza and colds, in products like cough sweets, lozenges, ointments and inhalants. Inhaled eucalyptus oil vapor may be a decongestant. The main chemical components of eucalyptus oil, eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, give the oil a soothing, cooling vapor. This makes eucalyptus oil useful for massage.
Repellent and biopesticide
Flavouring and fragrance
Eucalyptus oil is used in flavouring. Cineole-based eucalyptus oil is used as a flavouring at low levels (0.002%) in various products, including baked goods, confectionery, meat products and beverages. Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial activity against a broad range of foodborne human pathogens and food spoilage microorganisms. Eucalyptus oil is also used as a fragrance component to impart a fresh and clean aroma in soaps, detergents, lotions, and perfumes. It is known for its pungent, intoxicating scent. Due to its cleansing properties, Eucalyptus oil is found in mouthrinses to freshen breath.
Research shows that cineole-based eucalyptus oil (5% of mixture) prevents the separation problem with ethanol and petrol fuel blends. Eucalyptus oil also has a respectable octane rating and can be used as a fuel in its own right. However, production costs are currently too high for the oil to be economically viable as a fuel.
Eucalyptus oil has natural anti-microbial and antiseptic properties and is used in household cleaning applications. It is commonly used in commercial laundry products such as wool wash liquid. It is used as a solvent for removing grease and sticky residue.
Blends Well With
Where to Buy Patchouli Essential Oil Locally
Eucalyptus oil is one of the ideal oils to help you fend off viruses and bacteria and ease an aching body. The aroma of eucalyptus oil is refreshing and the oil is highly effective. When diffused, it can help clear the air of bacteria and prevent flu and cold or speed up the time of healing when already ill. It can also help clarify your skin and for wound treatment.