Eucalyptus leaves may be a koala bear’s favourite snack, but what are the benefits of eucalyptus for humans? That’s what we explore in this article!
From pain relief to easier breathing, eucalyptus essential oil is a bit of a health all-star for both body and mind. But this is old news – in fact, eucalyptus infusions have been used for centuries by Australian aborigines to cure multiple health complaints.
At WholyMe, we love eucalyptus, and not just for that refreshing scent! Let’s take a closer look at why…
What is Eucalyptus?
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus) is a fast-growing evergreen tree that can shoot to over 100ft tall in some areas. It’s native to Australia, although these days it is grown around the world in warm climates including in countries like Spain and California.
Many parts of the tree are used, although it’s the camphoraceous eucalyptus leaves where the most benefits are found. These attractive oval leaves cannot be consumed fresh (unless you are a koala!), but they are often dried and used as a tea, or chopped and steam-distilled to extract the essential oil.
What are the Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil?
We know it smells great and koalas can’t get enough of the stuff, but what are the benefits of eucalyptus oil for humans?
Here are five:
1. Bursting with antioxidants
Firstly, eucalyptus is known to be high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are key substances in protecting your body from oxidative damage and the free radicals that can cause ailments such as cancer and heart disease.
The best way to benefit from the antioxidant properties of eucalyptus is to make a tea using dried and crushed leaves. You can find these in any good health food shop. Steep the leaves in hot water to make a refreshing caffeine-free tea, which can be sweetened with a little honey or agave syrup.
2. Potential stress reliever
Feeling mentally exhausted? Try adding some eucalyptus to your day. Eucalyptus essential oil can be considered a potent stress reliever. A 2014 study investigating the effect of eucalyptus oil inhalation revealed that inhaling the oil could be an effective way to relieve anxiety before, during, and after certain medical procedures.
This is one of the reasons why we use organic eucalyptus oil in our WholyMe Relief Salts. This restorative blend marries natural Epsom salts with certified organic essential oils to help you relieve stress, anxiety, and muscle pain. Just a few handfuls mixed into a warm bath is all it takes!
For more on relieving stress, be sure to download our free Stress and Anxiety Management Guide.
3. Can help with a cold
Perhaps the most well-known use for eucalyptus essential oil is to help with colds and flu. The oil is widely used in cold-relief remedies to ease symptoms. When inhaled, eucalyptus can act as a decongestant and help break up mucus trapped in the respiratory tract, helping clear a blocked nose and even relieve coughs.
You can use eucalyptus for a cold by either adding drops of the essential oil to boiling water (12 drops per 150ml of water) and inhaling, or by using a prepared over-the-counter vapour rub as directed.
4. May help relieve pain
Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly used in massage therapy due to its anti-inflammatory compounds: cineole and limonene. In addition to alleviating pain when applied topically, the inhalation of eucalyptus oil can also ease the experience of pain, as revealed by a 2013 study on knee replacement surgery patients.
In our effective WholyMe Relief Balm, we are proud to use the oil from 100% organic eucalyptus leaves picked from the wild in Spain. This award-winning Relief Balm combines the power of eucalyptus oil with other natural pain relievers, including juniper, rosemary and arnica oils. Perfect for all the aches and pains life may throw your way!
5. May be able to help soothe dry skin
Ceramides are lipids that naturally occur in the skin, proving responsible for maintaining moisture and the all-important skin barrier that protects skin from environmental damage.
While further research is needed, it has been suggested that eucalyptus leaf extract can increase the production of ceramide in the skin, helping to ease dry skin. This is one reason why eucalyptus has become a popular ingredient in skin and haircare products.
So, whether you are attracted by that unmistakable aromatic scent or the potential to relieve your aches and pains, eucalyptus has a lot going for it. Be sure to read more about our Relief Salts and Relief Balm, which both harness the power of eucalyptus!