15 Eucalyptus Oil Benefits & How to Use This Essential Oil
If you're looking for ways to cope with stress naturally, you're not alone. Now more than ever we're searching for ways to get rid of stress, soothe the mind and body and get a better night's sleep. These common bodily complaints are all connected and the way to deal with them is too.
A key ingredients with proven benefits for fighting stress, soothing sore muscles, and sending us off into a better, deeper sleep is eucalyptus oil. So, we've included eucalyptus and lavender in our brand new CBD muscle balm to help nourish your skin and soothe stressed muscles. But, what are the eucalyptus oil benefits?
What is Eucalyptus Oil?
Eucalyptus oil is an oil distilled from the leaves of Eucalyptus trees. Native to Australia, eucalyptus trees are now cultivated worldwide for their strongly-scented oil. Studies have shown that eucalyptus oil can be effective as a mosquito repellent, antibacterial agent, and topical pain reliever, while many people use it for aromatherapy or for worry and melancholy.
When asked, "what does eucalpytus smell like?" many people respond with words like "sweet," "woody," or "sharp." Eucalyptus oil contains camphor, which gives it a nostril-opening effect that can be of benefit to those suffering from hay fever or colds.
About the Plant
There are 700 different species of Eucalyptus, ranging from bushy shrubs to tall trees. (The tallest Eucalyptus, an E. regnans in Tasmania, is over 100 metres high!) Adult Eucalyptus plants have waxy, glossy green leaves which carry high concentrations of eucalyptus oil.
While Eucalyptus trees originated in Australia, the many uses for eucalyptus oil and the benefits of eucalyptus' light and fast-growing wood for building and firewood have led to eucalyptus plantations springing up around the world. If you have a sunny patch on your lot, you can even add a cold-tolerant Eucalyptus tree to your garden.
15 Main Eucalyptus Oil Benefits
1. Relieve Cold Symptoms
Eucalyptus oil can help reduce mucus and congestion, two of the most annoying cold symptoms. Eucalyptus oil for cold can be used as a chest rub, in a steamer, or in eucalyptus tea. Many of the cold medications and throat lozenges you see at the chemist use eucalyptus oil. You’ve probably used eucalyptus oil before, even if you didn’t know it.
You can use eucalyptus oil up to 3 times per day. If your cold symptoms persist, see your physician.
How It's Used
One of the most common uses for eucalyptus oil is relieving stuffiness and congestion as a chest rub. Many popular over-the-counter meds like Vicks Vapor Rub rely on the decongestant power of eucalyptus oil for its lung-clearing properties. You can put some eucalyptus oil on.a warm damp towel and apply it to your chest as a soothing compress.
2. Controls Allergies
Eucalyptus can reduce the symptoms of allergies with its expectorant and decongestant effects. But a 2020 study suggests that eucalyptus oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful when dealing with contact dermatitis. This might come in handy if your tight chest is accompanied by itching and rashes.
For allergies of the nose and lungs, the best way to enjoy eucalyptus oil benefits is a diffuser. Inhaling eucalyptus oil can provide temporary relief from seasonal allergies.
How It's Used
When you are using eucalyptus oil for seasonal allergies, you should inhale it. A few drops of eucalyptus oil in a diffuser fills your room and nostrils with the decongesting smell of eucalyptus.
The effects of eucalyptus oil on congestion is comparable to over-the-counter medications. This is not surprising, as eucalyptus oil is the active ingredient in many OTC formulations.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Diffuser Benefits
While many essential oils can be inhaled directly from the bottle, eucalyptus oil’s penetrating scent can quickly become overwhelming. Using eucalyptus oil in a diffuser lets you enjoy the eucalyptus oil benefits at a more reasonable level.
3. Natural Antioxidant
Several studies (including this one from 2018) have supported the antioxidant properties of eucalyptus oil. Natural antioxidants protect your body from oxidative stress, an imbalance of cell-damaging free radicals linked to cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
Eucalyptus tea is a great way to harness antioxidant eucalyptus oil benefits. Eucalyptus tea is brewed from eucalyptus leaves and is generally recognized as safe for adults, though young children are at risk of eucalyptus toxicity. Never consume pure eucalyptus oil orally.
How It's Used
Eucalyptus leaves tea gives you the benefits of eucalyptus and contains a high concentration of antioxidant flavonoids. Pour hot water over crushed eucalyptus leaves, and simmer for up to ten minutes. (For extra relief inhale the eucalyptus oil rising from the steam).
Another 2018 study found that extracts from eucalyptus leaves had both antioxidant and neuroprotective qualities.
4. Eases Muscles and Joints
Eucalyptus oil has long been used by people suffering from muscle and joint pain. A 2021 study confirmed the anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties of eucalyptus essential oil.
To get the maximum eucalyptus oil benefits for aches and pains you should rub the oil gently into the sore joint or muscle. The camphor in eucalyptus oil produces a cooling sensation that provides topical pain relief, and the smell of eucalyptus is said by many to help in relaxing tense aching muscles.
How It's Used
If you have ever used a muscle balm after a hard workout, you have almost certainly used eucalyptus oil for aches and pains. Popular liniments like Icy Hot use eucalyptus oil, as do most other muscle balm formulations.
Apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the aching area, then rub it gently into the muscle.
5. Calms Body and Mind
One of the more common uses for eucalyptus oil is soothing headaches. Eucalyptus oil benefits headache sufferers by relaxing facial muscles and calming the mind. And because eucalyptus oil is a potent decongestant, it can be especially useful for sinus headaches.
A 2014 study found that inhaling eucalyptus helped relieve preoperative anxiety in patients preparing for surgery. The scent of eucalyptus oil is said by many to be relaxing and calming.
How It's Used
The best way to use eucalyptus oil for mental and physical calm is with a diffuser or through inhaling. Aromatherapists claim eucalyptus helps increase circulation to the brain, which improves your mood and spirit. Eucalyptus oil inhalation has also been linked to decreased anxiety and blood pressure and lower feelings of stress.
Eucalyptus & Mental Health
A 2017 study in rats suggested that eucalyptus oil may have antidepressant properties, and several studies have suggested an anti-anxiety effect. But these effects are not conclusively proven, and eucalyptus oil is not a substitute for medical or psychological treatment.
6. Promotes Relaxation and Concentration
Eucalyptus oil is widely believed to decrease the symptoms of stress and re-energize the body and brain. The scent of eucalyptus oil clears your mind and helps you to ground and centre when you are distracted by tension and worry.
A 2014 study on preoperative patients found that exposure to eucalyptus may reduce anxiety by lowering activity in the brain’s stress centres. While nothing has yet been proven, research concerning the anti-anxiety benefits of eucalyptus is ongoing.
How It's Used
Most people using eucalyptus essential oil for relaxation or concentration put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a vaporizer and let the bracing green eucalyptus scent serve as a short sharp shock that clarifies the mind.
Scents are powerful Pavlovian triggers. If you use eucalyptus oil regularly before studying, your brain will soon associate that scent with those activities.
Eucalyptus for Focus
One of the most popular aromatherapy uses for eucalyptus oil is to focus the mind for study or work. While many use eucalyptus oil for concentration, this use of eucalyptus oil has not yet been studied or tested.
7. Clear up Cold Sores
A 2017 study shows evidence that the anti-imflammatory compounds in eucalyptus oil benefits healing in cold sores by reducing swelling and redness, while analgesic compounds provide topical pain relief.
Eucalyptus is also a strong antiseptic with potent antimicrobial and antiviral properties. This can slow the proliferation of the Herpes simplex virus responsible for most cold sores, and kill off bacteria that might cause secondary infections.
Be sure your eucalyptus essential oil is diluted in carrier oil before application.
How It's Used
Before applying eucalyptus essential oil to your skin, especially broken skin, you should always dilute it. A 2% dilution (12 drops of oil in 30ml of a carrier like jojoba or olive oil) will be safe and effective.
A 2001 antiviral study found that eucalyptus oil suppressed the reproduction and proliferation of HSV-1 and HSV-2 viruses.
Does eucalyptus work for canker sores as well?
The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of eucalyptus oil can help reduce swelling and prevent infection in canker sores. And because eucalyptus makes the skin feel cooler upon contact, eucalyptus oil can be useful for soothing canker sore pain.
8. Natural Insect Repellent
Many insects use smell for following trails and finding food. Because eucalyptus has such a powerful scent, these insects find the smell of eucalyptus overwhelming. Eucalyptus oil repellents may keep mosquitos at bay by covering up the scent that lets them know a meal is nearby.
Eucalyptus oil benefits don’t stop there. Eucalyptus also relieves the swelling and itch of bug bites after they happen. Its cooling properties provide immediate itch relief and its anti-inflammatory effects fight swelling and redness.
How It's Used
Eucalyptus contains compounds that are very similar to citronella, a potent insect repellent. Lemon eucalyptus, a Eucalyptus species that also produces high amounts of citronella, is grown in Brazil and China for its oil, and many OTC bug repellents use lemon eucalyptus oil. Regular eucalyptus oil not only discourages mosquitoes, but also drives away fleas, roaches, and other unwanted guests.
Does the eucalyptus plant have the same effect outdoors?
Many gardeners plant eucalyptus trees to keep insect predators away from their crops. While the scent of eucalyptus trees is not so strong as distilled eucalyptus oil, they will still keep many insects at bay.
9. Relieves Sunburn
Eucalyptus oil's cooling properties can help relieve pain and itchiness and soothe burning skin caused by a sunburn. The anti-inflammatory compounds in eucalyptus oil can help lessen the redness and swelling of sunburn. Eucalyptus oil benefits the skin's moisture barrier to minimise flaking and dryness as the sunburn heals, while its antioxidants work to repair the damage caused by UV overexposure. If you have a serious sunburn with blistering, seek professional care.
How It's Used
One of the best ways to use eucalyptus oil for sunburn is to add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to pure aloe vera gel. The aloe vera's soothing and moisturising properties complement the pain-relieving and healing properties of eucalyptus to ease your pain and speed your healing.
Does Eucalyptus work like an SPF cream?
Eucalyptus oil has a very low SPF (Sun Protection Factor), but it is not sufficient on its own for UV protection. We recommend a zinc oxide-based PABA-free sunscreen for sunny days (add a bit of eucalyptus oil if you fancy).
10. Treat Acne
Most acne treatments involve reducing the number of acne-causing bacteria on your skin. Eucalyptus oil is a natural antimicrobial that is lethal to the bacteria that cause acne flare ups. A 2017 study found that eucalyptus oil benefits for skin included antibacterial, moisturising, and anti-inflammatory effects.
Eucalyptus oil can soothe painful pimples, kill the microorganisms causing the flareup, reduce swelling, and limit the risk of infection to popped pimples. It also helps control the bacteria that can lead to oily skin.
How It's Used
Eucalyptus oil for skin must be diluted in a carrier oil to no greater than 2% strength. Rub eucalyptus oil gently over the affected area daily to help stop an acne outbreak and to keep it from coming back. Eucalyptus oil can be a safe and effective to over the counter acne medications that use harsh chemicals like salicylic acid.
Does eucalyptus work for other skin problems?
Eucalyptus has also been used to treat boils, sores, and wounds. The anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus can also be useful when treating eczema or contact dermatitis, as eucalyptus can help alleviate the itching and bring the rash under control.
11. Treat Dry Skin
30-40% of your epidermis consists of ceramides, fatty acids that help hold in moisture and keep out bacteria. When your skin runs low on ceramides, your skin becomes dry and flaky. products contain eucalyptus.
A 2012 randomised control trial found that applications of eucalyptus oil to dry skin resulted in a significant increase in ceramide production and moisture retention. By treating your dry skin with eucalyptus oil, you can enjoy the benefits of eucalyptus in more supple and youthful skin.
How It's Used
If you want to use eucalyptus oil for skin issues, there are many over the counter eucalyptus lotions and balms that can treat your dry skin issues, soothe red inflamed patches, and rebuild your damaged skin's ceramide levels. Be sure to use properly diluted eucalyptus oil, as pure essential eucalyptus oil will irritate rather than heal your skin.
Does eucalyptus help repair my skin barrier
One of the best uses for eucalyptus oil is repairing skin barrier damage. Eucalyptus helps to rebuild your ceramide levels, reduce inflammation, and destroy harmful bacteria that can cause skin issues so your skin can return to its healthy baseline.
12. Disinfect Your Home
Eucalyptus oil benefits as an antibacterial agent have been documented by many researchers. A 2012 study found that eucalyptus essential oil had potent antimicrobial activity against infectious E. coli and staph bacteria. If you want to get rid of germs in your home, eucalyptus oil is an effective and pleasant-smelling alternative to harsh chemicals and industrial cleaners. (And as an added bonus, eucalyptus oil also kills viruses, fungi, mould and mildew spores!)
How It's Used
A few drops of eucalyptus oil dropped into a bucket of hot water can be a safe, natural way to clean and deodorise your wooden floors and cleanse your mouldy surfaces. Many "eco-friendly" manufacturers use a mixture of eucalyptus oil and vinegar as their primary active ingredients for floor cleaners that are effective without harsh and toxic chemicals.
How to Make Eucalyptus Oil Disinfection Spray
For an all-purpose eucalyptus oil disinfectant spray, mix 500ml water and 250ml white vinegar, then add 3-4 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and two teaspoons of eucalyptus oil (1/2 a teaspoon if you're using this spray on wood surfaces).
13. Promote Hair Health
Eucalyptus oil is a potent antifungal that combats malassezia, the fungus-like yeast most responsible for dandruff. The cooling properties of eucalyptus soothe itchy scalps, and its antibacterial properties can tame the bacteria that lead to oily scalp and hair. And a 2017 Australian study found that eucalyptus oil was an effective treatment for head lice. Many believe eucalyptus oil benefits hair roots and helps to stimulate hair growth. But there is, alas, no clinical evidence supporting that claim.
How It's Used
A few precautions should be taken when using eucalyptus oil on hair. You should always mix eucalyptus essential oil with a carrier oil to a dilution of no greater than 2% (two or three drops per teaspoon, or a 1ml pipette per 50ml).
Eucalyptus shampoos and other hair care products are available over the counter for treatment of dandruff.
How to Make Eucalyptus Oil Hair Care Spray
For a eucalyptus oil hair care spray, add 15 drops of essential eucalyptus oil to 30ml water in a spray bottle. While suitable for an older child (11+), this spray should not be used on very young children.
14. Improve Dental Health
Eucalyptus essential oil has long been used in toothpastes for its antibacterial properties. A 2018 study found that eucalyptus mouthwash showed antibacterial qualities equal to those of the prescription mouthwash chlorhexidine, while a 2021 study noted improved oral health in patients with partial dentures who used eucalyptus toothpaste.
Eucalyptus kills the mouth microbes that cause cavities and halitosis, and using eucalyptus in your tooth brushing routine can help keep your breath smelling fresh all day.
How It's Used
To get the most eucalyptus oil benefits for dental health, you need a eucalyptus oil toothpaste to keep your teeth and gums clean. Eucalyptus oil has proven antibacterial properties and eucalyptus oil is commonly added to mouthwashes, toothpastes, and other dental products. A 2008 randomised control trial found that chewing gum containing eucalyptus helped reduce gingivitis and bad breath.
How to Make Eucalyptus Oil Toothpaste
To make eucalyptus oil toothpaste:
1. Melt 150g coconut oil over low heat
2. When melted, stir in 150g baking soda
3. Add 25-30 drops essential eucalyptus oil
4. Shake every 5 minutes until it sets to keep ingredients mixed
15. Potential Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil for Diabetes
Eucalyptus is used to treat diabetes in traditional South American and African medicine. Eucalyptus oil is also traditionally used on diabetic wounds and sores for its antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. A 1998 study found that adding eucalyptus to the food and drinking water of diabetic rats reduced their blood sugar levels. Other animal studies have suggested eucalyptus oil could be useful in treating diabetes, but to date there have been no human trials to confirm these effects.
How It's Used
Traditionally eucalyptus is used in hot tea to lower blood sugar levels. While animal studies suggest that eucalyptus does indeed lower blood sugar, we are not sure why. Some researchers theorize that eucalyptus lowers blood sugar by stimulating insulin production, while others theorize that the antioxidants in eucalyptus help to break down insulin resistance.
While eucalyptus shows promise against diabetes, there are not presently enough studies to confirm this. We do not know the long-term effects of eucalyptus on diabetic patients. Keep taking your current diabetes medication and consult your physician before taking eucalyptus.
How to Use Eucalyptus Oil
Can't decide how to use eucalyptus? One of the safest and most effective ways to use eucalyptus oil is with a eucalyptus oil diffuser. Diffusers spread oil molecules throughout your room, filling the air with the scent of your essential oil.
Some diffusers use ultrasonic waves from a vibrating plate, while others use fans or gently heat the oils to send them wafting through the air.
Put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in your diffuser and turn it on (or light the tea candle beneath the plate) and soon you will be reaping the benefits of eucalyptus. Regular use of eucalyptus oil in the morning for its focusing qualities can help you start the day, while relaxing eucalyptus scents at night tells your body it is time to rest.
How to Use Eucalyptus Oil Without Diffuser
Warm the Water
If you don’t have a diffuser, you can use boiling water to send eucalyptus oil into the air. Start by bringing water to a boil on your burner.
Add 2-5 Drops of Eucalyptus Oil
When the water is at a boil, add 2-5 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, then inhale the steam as it rises into the air.
For maximum benefits, cover your head with a towel to concentrate the eucalyptus steam, and inhale the steam for at least five minutes.
Varieties of Eucalyptus
While eucalyptus oil is one of the most popular ways to use eucalyptus, there are several ways to reap eucalyptus benefits.
- Tea: Tea made with dried eucalyptus leaves contains many antioxidants
- Aromatherapy: Aromatherapists use eucalyptus oil alone or combined with other essential oils
- Whole leaves: Put whole eucalyptus leaves in a jar and cover with vodka to make a eucalyptus tincture.
- Insect repellent: Many commercial insect repellents use eucalyptus as an active ingredient.
- Topical: Pure eucalyptus essential oil can irritate the skin, but there are many eucalyptus balms and ointments for aches and soreness.
Eucalyptus Oil Side Effects
Although adults can safely drink modest amounts of eucalyptus tea, eucalyptus oil should never be consumed! If ingested orally, eucalyptus oil side effects can include:
- shortness of breath
- cyanosis (bluish lips and skin)
- heart arrhythmia
- organ failure
As little as 3.5ml of essential eucalyptus oil can be a fatal dose if swallowed, so keep your eucalyptus oil away from your children and pets.
Eucalyptus oil can impact how certain medications are processed by your body. If you are on any prescribed medications, consult your physician before using eucalyptus oil.
WHERE TO BUY EUCALYPTUS OIL & HOW TO CHOOSE
To reap the maximum benefits of eucalyptus, you need the best eucalyptus oil you can find. Look for oils that are derived from "non-sprayed" or "wildcrafted" Eucalyptus and check labeled ingredients to ensure that you are getting genuine eucalyptus essential oil and not synthetic or adulterated "natural oil" or "perfume oil."
A reputable essential oil seller verifies and tests their product to make sure it is what it claims to be. And whenever possible opt for organic eucalyptus oil. Because essential oils are so concentrated, you want to make sure the leaves used in distillation contain no harmful fertilizers, pesticides, or other chemicals.
CBD & Eucalyptus Oil
Our CBD muscle balm combines the benefits of CBD and eucalyptus essential oil. Our balm can be useful for tension headaches, post-workout soreness, menstrual cramps, and many other problems. Rub it on as often as necessary for relief when you are hurting.
A 2015 study found that topical CBD helped reduce arthritis pain in rats, while a 2013 study found that inhaling eucalyptus oil led to reduced pain and inflammation in people recovering from total knee replacements. While more research is needed in these areas, a growing body of evidence suggests that CBD and eucalpytus oil have many health benefits.
CBII CBD Oil Infused with Eucalyptus
To help nourish your skin and soothe stressed muscles we offer you a CBD Balm. Our ingredients are natural CBD oil, lavender, eucalyptus, ginger, beeswax and hemp seed oil, and shea butter. The essential oils combine for a calming scent, while the CBD helps to alleviate pain and soothe your aching body.
CB II uses full-spectrum CBD oil containing flavonoids and terpenes said to interact with CBD and produce an "entourage effect." All hemp used in CB II CBD balm is non-GMO and grown using Good Agricultural and Cultivation Practices (GACP). All CBD oil used is subject to independent third party testing so you know exactly what you are getting with CB II CBD products.