What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word “eucalyptus”? Most people probably think of Australia or koalas, and that makes complete sense. Eucalyptus is native to Australia and is one of, if not the main source of food for koalas in that country.
Eucalyptus may have important health benefits for humans as well. It’s been used by Aborigines and others in Australia and around the world for many years as a way of supporting optimal health. Click through to read how!
What is Eucalyptus?
Eucalyptus (also known as Blue Gum) is a tree originally native to Australia. It’s found all over the world now, and there are thought to be over 400 different species. According to Healthline, “the leaves are dried, crushes and distilled to release essential oil” (Source). This oil is thought to help support and maintain optimal health in a variety of ways.
Dr. Josh Axe mentions an early tale from English folklore that highlights a possible early use of eucalyptus:
“According to English folklore, an early English settler had his thumb nearly severed by an ax. His father, who was well-versed in Aboriginal folk medicine, advised that he apply a bandage of tightly bound eucalyptus leaves around the cut after it was sutured. Evidently, the Aborigines used eucalyptus, or “kino” as they referred to it, to heal most wounds they encountered. Later, when a surgeon saw the wound, he remarked how amazed he was because the thumb healed so quickly and without any trace of infection” (Source).
Eucalyptus oil contains 70% to 85% 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol), provides a fresh and clean aroma, and has a variety of different uses (Source).
Possible Benefits of Eucalyptus for Health
Yes, eucalyptus offers some pretty great nutritional benefits for wildlife, but it may offer some health benefits for humans, too! Eucalyptus may help with the following:
1. Coughing. If you’ve ever used Vicks VapoRub when you’ve felt run down, you’ve used eucalyptus. However, diluting the essential oil and rubbing it on your chest may also be a good way to address coughing—and without other undesirable ingredients!
2. Chest congestion. In addition to helping address coughing, eucalyptus oil may be able to help loosen chest congestion, too. According to Healthline, “Inhaling vapor made with the essential oil can loosen mucus” (Source), which helps with more productive coughing. Plus, you may end up feeling better, faster.
3. Healthier-looking hair. Dry hair is the pits. Giving your hair a healthy-looking, moisturized sheen is as simple as adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to some coconut oil for a hair mask. It may even help address head lice, in the unfortunate event that you or your kids end up with it.
4. Occasional pain and discomfort. A study the appeared in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation states that “Eucalyptamint produced significant physiologic responses that may be beneficial for pain relief and/or useful to athletes as a passive form of warm-up” (Source).
5. Sinus issues. Seasonal airborne irritants affect approximately 50 million people in the United States, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Finding relief, even if it’s only temporary, can be tough sometimes. A study conducted at NYU Medical School suggested that eucalyptus oil, when taken internally, may help address sinus issues (Source).
6. Bad breath. Eucalyptus oil is present in many dental hygiene products, including mouthwash and toothpaste. It may help in the fight against germs, especially those that may cause you to have bad breath. Healthline also states that “eucalyptus may also help to inhibit plaque buildup on your teeth and gums” (Source).
How do you use eucalyptus oil? Please share your uses with us in the comments!
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