Eucalyptus oil: remedy for winter ailments
One of the most popularly known essential oil to cure a cold, flu and pain, Eucalyptus oil has its roots in Australia and was also famously known as Sidney Peppermint. Belonging to the plant family of Myrtaceae, the plant has more than 500 varieties worldwide. The term Eucalyptus was derived from the Greek word eukályptos, which referred to “well covered” indicating the pods in which their seeds are found. The leaves of the eucalyptus tree were first used by Indigenous people as a remedy for fevers. More than a dozen species of eucalyptus trees are used to create essential oils, each of which offers its unique blend of natural compounds and therapeutic benefits. The oil is extracted from the drying, crushing and distilling of the leaves. The usage of this oil is broadly characterized as medicinal, perfumery and industrial. While the leaves are used to produce the essential oil, the wood is used as fuel and paper making.
Eucalyptus oil was in huge demand during World War 1, as it was used to control a meningitis outbreak and for the influenza of 1919. History mentions the usage of eucalyptus leaves to make teas to treat body aches, fevers and colds. The main ingredient of the plant responsible for its benefits is cineole, also known as eucalyptol, which inhibits the anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and aromatic properties. Like other essential oils, eucalyptus oil needs to be diluted before applying topically. Although the leaves can be dried and consumed as a tea, the oil is only recommended for external use and ingestion of it is strictly prohibited as it can be highly toxic if consumed.
For centuries, eucalyptus oil is said to clear away sinuses, unclog nostrils and relives colds and coughs. Most chest rubs available over the counter have eucalyptus oil as one of the major ingredients in it. The oil is also very effective to loosen up mucus and loosening congestion of the nose when used in steam. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it one of the most effective substances to cure bronchial ailments such as bronchitis and asthma.
Studies have shown that diluted eucalyptus oil when massaged onto the temples and/or on the bridge of the nose can help relieve sinus migraines. Also, this oil has proved to be beneficial to ease muscle stiffness, sprains and strains after strenuous exercise and can also suppress chronic pain, swelling and inflammation caused by backache, arthritis and injuries to joints like knees or elbows. Eucalyptus oil has even made its place in the most common ointments to treat arthritis. Eucalyptus oil tends to increase both blood flow and temperature at the site of an injury hence, the oil is also helpful in easing post-surgery pains as well.
eucalyptus essential oil enhanced the ability of macrophage immune cells to destroy pathogens and also regulated a healthy inflammatory response. The tea contains flavonoids which are antioxidants and are useful in combating certain heart diseases, dementia and to some extent certain cancers. Macrophages in the blood are said to improve your immune system and fight back infections promoting speedy recovery, eucalyptus oil is found to increase the macrophages thus boosting immunity.
Eucalyptus oil has been an age-old remedy to cure fever. Symptoms of a cold, the flu or strep throat if left unattended might lead to inflammation and bacterial flare-ups, which can easily progress into a fever. Research shows the effectiveness of eucalyptus paired with other essential oils in healing upper respiratory tract infections. It can be used to treat athletes’ foot, thrush, ringworm and toenail infections. Not only does it help in keeping away superficial bacterial infections, but it can also reduce the bacterial build-up in the mouth which causes foul odour in the mouth. It may also help prevent plaque buildup on the teeth and gums by attacking the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
The oil has been used for ages for mental clarity and brain fog. A few drops used in the diffuser or aromatherapy are said to be quite helpful in combating stress and anxiety. it may also help improve focus and concentration, effectively clearing the mind. It is also been found to improve brain function. Not only works best as a post-operation pain reliever but eucalyptus oil has also been observed to reduce anxiety just before the operation.
For skin and hair
Packed with anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties, eucalyptus oil can be used to cure facial acne, sore and itchy scalp and even dandruff which is mostly caused due to yeast-like fungus. It eases scalp irritation, increases ceramides in the scalp, and thus promotes hair growth and may enhance shinier locks. If you ever get attacked by lice, reach out to this oil for encountering them. The soothing property of eucalyptus also makes it beneficial for treating painful and irritating sunburns.