The Benefits Of Eucalyptus

A white bowl of eucalyptus oil, two vials and some leaves and flowers on a brown table.
Eucalyptus leaves and essential oil. Copyright: patrickhastings / 123RF Stock Photo
Dried eucalyptus leaves.
Photo by AWSS.

The image of a sleepy Koala is a common vision munching on Eucalyptus leaves in Australia. It is this marsupial’s only food source which says a lot about the nutritional values of the leaves. However it is as a potent cold and flu remedy and natural decongestant that it has come to prominence. The leaf oil contains the compound Eucalyptol which is used in many mainstream mouthwashes, chest rubs and throat lozenges. Recent research highlights the antibacterial and antimicrobial activity of eucalyptus extracts (Salari et al., 2006; Cermelli et al., 2008).

Eucalyptus globulus Labill (Myrtaceae) is the main source of eucalyptus oil in the world and has been used as an antiseptic and for relieving symptoms of cough, cold, sore throat and other infections (Van Wyk & Wink, 2004; Kumar et al., 2007).

Availability

The organic, dried leaves are available from good herbalists and whole food shops in 50g and 100g amounts.

Uses

  • Eucalyptol loosens phlegm, making coughing much easier. It also soothes the airways helping to improve breathing and relieves a blocked nose.
  • As an anti-bacterial, Eucalyptus is effective for minor cuts and scrapes as well as a throat gargle and inhalant for bronchitis.

How To Use

  • Run hot water over a leaf-filled cloth for a soothing bath Boil a handful of leaves and breathe in the vapour to use as an inhalant
  • For an infusion, add one or two teaspoons of leaves to a cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes
  • If you use an essential oil do not use more than one or two drops.

Cautionary Information

  • Do not apply Eucalyptus to the face, especially the nose, of infants and young children
  • Do not give to any child under two years old
  • Do not use while pregnant or nursing
  • If using Eucalyptus oil internally NEVER use more than one or two drops.

Products Based On Eucalyptus Oil

Purchase your eucalyptus oil products here

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The products and the information provided about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration or by any other national regulatory body and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician/doctor or other health care professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problems or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication or if you suspect you might have a health problem. 

References

Cermelli, C., Fabio, A., Fabio, G., & Quaglio, P. (2008). Effect of eucalyptus essential oil on respiratory bacteria and viruses. Current Microbiology, 56(1), pp. 89-92 Kumar BVijayakumar MGovindarajan RPushpangadan P(2007)Ethnopharmacological approaches to wound healing–exploring medicinal plants of India. J. Ethnopharmacol, 114, pp. 103113
Salari, M. H., Amine, G., Shirazi, M. H., Hafezi, R., & Mohammadypour, M. (2006). Antibacterial effects of Eucalyptus globulus leaf extract on pathogenic bacteria isolated from specimens of patients with respiratory tract disorders. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 12(2), pp. 194-196
Van Wyk EWink M(2004). Medicinal Plants of the World. PortlandTimber Press, Inc.  
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