Eucalyptus oil can be obtained from different species of eucalyptus trees, but the main source of the eucalyptus oil used around the world today is blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus). Eucalyptus oil has become popular in recent years because of its many benefits. Here are some scientifically proven uses of eucalyptus oil:
Joint and muscle pain reliever — Eucalyptus oil is a great topical pain reliever, especially after workouts. A study published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation revealed that a eucalyptus-based treatment is effective in relieving muscle pain in athletes.The oil can also improve the mood of people with arthritis.The pain-relieving effect of eucalyptus oil may be attributed to its powerful anti-inflammatory property.
Antifungal remedy —Eucalyptus oil can be used as an antifungal treatment. A study published in the journal Molecules found that the oil possesses antimicrobial and antifungal properties. Eucalyptus oil is also said to be effective against Trichosporon ovoides, a fungi that causes an infection called Piedra that affects the hair shafts. Eucalyptus oil holds promise as a natural treatment for other fungal infections, such as athlete's foot. (Related: Use eucalyptus oil to breathe easier, kill germs, and more.)
Air purifier — Because of its antifungal properties, eucalyptus oil can be used as an air purifier. A literature review published in Reviews on Environmental Health reported that antifungal essential oils like eucalyptus oil are effective in fighting the fungus and mold present in indoor air. You may put eucalyptus oil in a diffuser for this purpose.
Cold medicine —Inhaling eucalyptus oil can effectively relieve cold symptoms or prevent the common cold because of the oil's antiviral properties. Eucalyptus oil also has antibacterial properties that work against pathogens in the upper respiratory tract.
Dandruff and lice treatment —Theantifungal and antiseptic properties of eucalyptus oil make it a great treatment for dandruff. In combination with lemon tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil can be used for treating head lice. A study published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology found eucalyptus oil to be twice as effective as the common chemical pesticide treatment piperonyl butoxide.
Oral care — Because of its antibacterial properties, eucalyptus oil can be used to improve oral health. Eucalyptus oil can help combat bacteria that cause tooth decay and periodontitis. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology also found that adding eucalyptus extract to gums could help promote good dental health. Adding a drop of eucalyptus oil to your toothpaste before brushing or diluting a drop of eucalyptus oil with olive or coconut oil and using the solution as a mouth wash can promote oral health.
Precautions to take when using eucalyptus oil
The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) suggests using pure, authentic, and genuine essential oils to avoid compromising your health. In general, eucalyptus-based products are safe to use. However, before using eucalyptus oil on the skin, make sure it is diluted with a carrier oil like olive oil because it can cause irritation or a burning sensation when used alone. Moreover, avoid using it near the eyes.
Some people may also be allergic to eucalyptus, so it is important to take an allergy test first before using it. You can do an allergy test by combining the eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil and placing a drop on your arm. If there is no reaction after 24 hours, it is safe to use. Take extra care when using the oil on children. Pregnant women should avoid using it altogether.