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Eucalyptus oil - Benefits and Uses

Immune, Joint disorders, Muscles | January 15, 2020 | Author: Naturopath

Immune, bacteria

Eucalyptus oil - Benefits and Uses

Eucalyptus oil has been shown to be useful in many medicinal and practical applications due to its ability as an antibacterial, bactericidal and antimicrobial action, as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant making it a useful additive to many products and in medicinal and household cleaning boxes. As well as offering a pleasant, natural odour.

It has been used medicinally for such things as colds and flu, as an antiseptic for wounds; to treat insect bites, and relief muscular aches and pains. It can be used in the eradication of headlice eggs and as an antibacterial agent in personal care products. In the house it neutralises offensive odours and kills potentially harmful pathogens.

To understand the benefits of Eucalyptus oil and essential oils in general it is good to have a bit of understanding about them - and how aromatherapy works. 

What is Aroma-therapy?

Aromatherapy uses essential oils extracted from all parts of plants - the leaves, flowers, barks, stem, roots and fruits using various methods of extraction and are major therapeutic agents in the treatment of several diseases. Essential oils offer many medicinal properties due to their ability to penetrate the epidermis (skin) and their ability to remodulate themselves and have a positive action on dysfunction and disease of the body.

What is Aroma-therapy?Eucalyptus oils are distilled from the leaves of many species of eucalypt trees, a genus of the myrtle family, Myrtaceae.

The main constituents of Eucalyptus Oil are: α-Terpineol, 1,8-cineole (Eucalyptol), α-pinene, β-pinene, Sabinene, Camphene, Limonene, p-Cymene, Camphor, Globulol, Citronellal, α-phellandrene, Aromadendrene, and Piperitone.

Although not all of these constituents appear in all varieties, these are considered the most common. It is these constituents which allow for the many actions of eucalyptus oil.

The eucalyptus oil used commercially today is most commonly obtained from the Blue gum, species eucalyptus globulus, but there are over 400 species known.

WARNING! Eucalyptus oil is highly toxic and should not be taken orally. It can be used as an inhalant or diluted in a carrier oil to use topically on the skin or in the bath.

Medicinal benefits of eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oils have been used to regulate and activate many systems of the body. Such as the immune system as an antimicrobial against virus, bacteria and fungi; as an antitussive, an expectorant, decongestant and bronchodilator; for its antioxidant action; and as a disinfectant. For the nervous system it can be useful as an analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Following are some suggested uses.

Respiratory illness

Respiratory illness such as sinusitis, throat infections, blocked nose, catarrh, bronchitis, asthma and coughs can benefit from inhalations of eucalyptus oil and topically application (chest rubs).
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Medicinal benefits of eucalyptus oilJoint and muscle

Eucalyptus oil offers pain relief for muscle and joint inflammatory conditions such as: rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis and sore muscle.

It can be applied topically, but inhalations of eucalyptus oil have also been found to offer relief of pain.

Nerve pain

The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic properties of eucalyptus oil is may help in allievitng the debilitaing effects of sciatica and other areas of nerve pain. 

Skin wounds

Wounds, cuts, burns and insect bites. The antimicrobial properties in eucalyptus help prevent wounds from becoming infected and can also soothe the affected area. 

Important Note: Avoid applying pure eucalyptus oil directly to skin. Use a carrier oil such as almond or olive oil and add a few drops. Ratio guide lines 10 to 25 drops per 100ml of carrier oil. Ready-made product condition specific are available.

Herpes virus 

Eucalyptus oil may be a potent antiviral against herpes along with offering soothing and healing effects.

Dental care

Eucalyptus oil can be used as a mouth wash and can be found in toothpastes and chewing gum to help with the prevention of mouth odour, periodontal disease and dental decay. Its antimicrobial and antibacterial action make this possible. Only a couple of drops added to water are needed to make a mouthwash. 

Fungal Nail infections

Applying eucalyptus oil topical  is an  effective treatment for fungal infected toenails.

Head lice

Head lice are tiny insects which live in the hair of humans and animals where they bite and feed of blood by biting the skin. Skin can become irritated and itchy. Eliminating lice and their eggs can be difficult as they can develop resistance to common medication.  E. globulus shows effectiveness in killing head lice eggs.

The future

The need to find an alternative to antibiotics is most important as bacteria become resistant to current therapies leading to the development of super bugs. The use of essential oils in the future is quite possible as more research is done. What studies have shown is eucalyptus oil offers antibacterial activity against many bacteria species. The essential oil from eucalyptus globulus in research showed results which indicate its action as a natural antibiotic against Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), two opportunistic pathogens which are responsible for severe and life-threatening infections. S. aureus is mainly responsible for post - operative wound infection, toxic shock syndrome and food poisoning. E. coli is found in the intestines and is responsible for urinary tract infection, coleocystis or septicaemia.Eucalyptus oil Around the House

Eucalyptus oil Around the House

Eucalyptus oil is a ‘volatile’ substance which means it evaporates after a time exposed to the air making it a useful antibacterial cleaner.

It makes a useful disinfectant and air freshener and can be used around the house to eliminate viruses, bacteria mould and unpleasant smells (dog, garbage, toilet etc.) and added to the laundry wash. Ready-made products are available.
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Pets

Spray pet bedding with eucalyptus as a natural flea repellent. Choose a shampoo with eucalyptus or make a spray using a few drops of the oil added to water to spray directly on pooch to help as a flea repellent. In case of “accidents”, spray area after clean-up to help with odour and stains.

 

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References

https://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/blog/products/all-about-eucalyptus-oil.html

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/eucalyptus-oil

Beneficial and Healthy Properties of Eucalyptus Plants: A Great Potential Use https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307869709_Beneficial_and_Healthy_Properties_of_Eucalyptus_Plants_A_Great_Potential_Use

Biological, medicinal and toxicological significance of Eucalyptus leaf essential oil: a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28758221

https://www.bosistos.com.au/content/bosistos-no-ordinary-eucalyptus-oil

Antibacterial activity of the essential oils from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3609378/#!po=13.1579

Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systemic review https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2221169115001033

The Effectiveness of Aromatherapy in Reducing Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5192342/

Beneficial and Healthy Properties of Eucalyptus Plants: A Great Potential Use https://benthamopen.com/FULLTEXT/TOASJ-10-52#R9

Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11338678

https://www.poisonsinfo.nsw.gov.au/Poisons-Information.aspx

https://www.rch.org.au/clinicalguide/guideline_index/Eucalyptus_Oil_Poisoning/

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/head-lice

E. globulus EO are promising ovicidal agents for head lice control. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0944711318301521

Effect of Eucalyptus Oil Inhalation on Pain and Inflammatory Responses after Total Knee Replacement: A Randomized Clinical Trial https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703330/

Effect of eucalyptus extract chewing gum on periodontal health: a double-masked, randomized trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18672986

Effect of eucalyptus-extract chewing gum on oral malodor: a double-masked, randomized trial. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20594055

https://essentiallyaustralia.com.au/shop/eucalyptus-australiana-essential-oil/?v=6cc98ba2045f

Is eucalyptus oil an effective antifungal treatment for onychomycosis with and without nail matrix infection? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4595230/

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