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Guide To Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits and Uses

"Ancient hearts dance to the beat of the eucalyptus," writes aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood in Aromatherapy For the Soul. She says the emotional benefits of eucalyptus radiata essential oil are to encourage emotional balance, concentration, centering, and rationality.

Eucalyptus essential oil comes in different varieties. This profile focuses on two common ones used in aromatherapy: eucalyptus radiata and eucalyptus globulus (also called blue gum).

Aromatherapy supplies with the words A Guide To Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits and Uses and a photo of an eucalyptus globulus tree

Basic Eucalyptus Facts

Plant family: Myrtaceae

Production: Steam distilled from the leaves of the tree.

Aroma: Eucalyptus globulus has a clear, sharp, fresh, and distinctive camphor smell. The scent of eucalyptus radiata is lighter.

Perfume/Aromatic note: Top to Middle

Is eucalyptus safe to use during pregnancy? Aromatherapy and Massage For Mother and Baby states eucalyptus globulus is safe during pregnancy but not for preconceptual care, labor, or postpartum care.

Is eucalyptus essential oil safe for children? Do not apply the oil to the faces of children under age 10, according to Essential Oil Safety, because essential oils high in 1,8-cineole (also known as eucalyptol) can cause breathing problems in young children. Eucalyptus radiata is often recommended for children because it has a gentler scent than globulus.

Cautions: According to some (not all) sources, people with high blood pressure or epilepsy should avoid eucalyptus oil. Some people are sensitive to the smell, and the oil causes their eyes to water.

Main components:

Eucalyptus globulus

  • 1,8-cineole     65.4–83.9%
  • alpha-pinene  3.7–14.7%
  • (+)-limonene  1.8–9.0%

Eucalyptus radiata

  • 1,8-cineole       60.4–64.5%
  • alpha-terpineol  0–15.2%
  • (Z)-piperitol      0.9–14.9%

Source: Essential Oil Safety, 2nd ed.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art: Eucalyptus globulus is useful for respiratory conditions that produce excessive mucous. The oil can help repair skin and relieve inflammation and itching. The scent increases energy and helps restore emotional balance.

The Heart of Aromatherapy: Eucalyptus globulus and radiata are useful for supporting the respiratory system, clearing mucous and congestion, calming inflammation, soothing sore muscles and joints, promoting circulation, relieving headaches, and promoting mental motivation, energy, focus, and optimism.

The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Uses for eucalyptus globulus essential oil include respiratory problems, fever, catarrh, sinusitis, muscle aches and pain, rheumatism, and arthritis. Uses for eucalyptus radiata include respiratory tract problems, catarrh, sinusitis, colds, flu, fever, rheumatism, muscle aches and pains, menstrual cramps, headaches, mental exhaustion, fatigue, insects stings and bites, and as a general stimulant and tonic.

KG Stiles' Aromatherapy Library: In ayurvedic medicine, the cooling and spicy aroma of eucalyptus oil can
regulate and calm all the doshas.

Aromatherapy For Healing the Spirit: In Traditional Chinese Medicine eucalyptus globulus is a tonic of the Lung-Qi and helps clear Lung-phlegm and enhance breathing. The oil is an immune tonic and has stimulating, decongesting, and soothing qualities. The aroma dispels melancholy and revives the spirits. The energy of the oil is warm and dry and its main element is metal.

Aromatica: A Clinical Guide to Essential Oil Therapeutics, Volume I: Psychologically, Eucalyptus globulus and radiata simulate the mind and promote alertness, clarity, perspective, optimism, and self-confidence. Physically, the oils decongest damp/congestive conditions.  In Traditional Chinese Medicine the essential function of eucalyptus is to raise the Yang, strengthen the Shen, and expel external pathogens.

Subtle Aromatherapy: Use eucalyptus to cleanse spaces of negative energies.

The Essential Guide to Aromatherapy and Vibrational Healing: Incorporate eucalyptus essential oil into a meditation or yoga practice to remind you to be mindful of your breath. Mentally, the oil's aroma is useful when you set an intention to release negative or toxic thoughts. Emotionally, the aroma can help you release feeling of agitation and frustration.

Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques: Eucalyptus clears and cleanses. The oil clears energy blocks and negative energy. Especially good for the sixth chakra.

Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Eucalyptus is best known for its purification properties and clearing negativity. The oil supports dream and psychic work and communication with the spirits.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses and Blends

Headache and migraine relief: Blend 4 drops eucalyptus oil into two teaspoons (10 ml) of  carrier oil. Massage some of the blend onto your temples, the tip of your nose, and your chest. For convenience and portability, you can make this blend in a roller bottle.

Refreshing foot soak: Add five drops of eucalyptus oil to a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 10–15 minutes.

To freshen stinky shoes: Put 4 to 6 drops of eucalyptus oil onto cotton balls and leave them in the shoes overnight.

Add eucalyptus oil to homemade cleaning products.

Prevent mold in the shower: Add 5 drops tea tree essential oil and 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil to a 16-ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water. After each shower, shake the bottle well and spray the shower (do not rinse) to prevent mold growth. Source: DIY Natural

Hair/Scalp Care

Hydrating Shampoo For Dry Hair

  • 10 drops eucalyptus oil
  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive or almond oil
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar or bottle.
  2. Tighten the jar lid or bottle cap and then shake to blend ingredients.

Store the finished product in a cool place. Use as you would any other shampoo.

Eucalyptus Oil Blend For Scalp Psoriasis

  1. In a squeeze applicator bottle, combine all ingredients.
  2. Close bottle and then shake well to blend oils.
  3. Squeeze some of the blend into your hair.
  4. Use your fingertips to gently massage the oil blend into your scalp.
  5. Leave the oil in for 2 hours.
  6. Wash hair as usual.

Source: New Directions Aromatics

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Blends for Colds and Immune Support

Homemade Vapor Rub

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated beeswax
  • 20 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  1. Add the olive and coconut oils to a heatproof glass container.
  2. Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water over medium low heat.
  3. Put the jar in the saucepan and let the oils melt, stirring to combine. Remove from heat.
  4. Let the oils cool slightly.
  5. Stir in the essential oils.
  6. Pour mixture into metal tins or storage containers and let set.

Source: Dr. Axe

Immune Boosting Inhaler

  • 5 drops ravintsara essential oil
  • 5 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
  • One blank aromatherapy inhaler

Add drops of essential oil to the blank cotton wick of the aromatherapy inhaler.  Attach lid. Use the inhaler several times a day.

Source: Essential Living

Bugs and Insects

Natural Bug Repellent

  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 20 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • 10 drops patchouli essential oil
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • One 4-ounce safe (PET) plastic spray bottle

Add the water and essential oils to the spray bottle. Shake well to mix.

To use: Shake well. Spray skin and clothes every hour. Do not directly spray the face. You can spray your hands and wipe them onto your face but do not use on the hands and faces of young children and babies.

Source: Aromahead

Ant and Pest Spray

  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 20 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  • One 4-ounce safe (PET) plastic spray bottle

Add the water and essential oils to the spray bottle. Shake well to mix.

To use: Shake. Liberally spray surfaces and nooks and crannies. Wipe with a clean towel until damp. Use every day until you no longer have pests.

Other Eucalyptus Varieties

Australia has more than 500 species of eucalyptus trees. Here are other types of eucalyptus oil you might come across:

  • Eucalyptus polybractea (blue mallee eucalyptus) is one of the strongest oils and contains 88.7–91.0% 1,8-cineole. Other high 1,8-cineole eucalyptus oils include Eucalyptus smithii, plenissma, maidenii, and camaldulensis.

  • Eucalyptus dives (also called peppermint eucalyptus) contains very little 1,8-cineole. This oil is often the recommended eucalyptus essential oil for skin, as the oil may be less irritating than other eucalyptus varieties. This oil is useful for skin wound care, arthritis, muscle aches and pains, sports injuries, respiratory support, colds, flu, fevers, headaches, and nervous exhaustion, according to The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (updated edition).

  • Eucalyptus citriodora (lemon eucalyptus) has a high percentage of citronellal that gives the oil a lemony, relaxing scent. This oil is useful for relieving fungus (including athlete's foot), dandruff, laryngitis, sore throat, colds, fevers, and some skin conditions, according to The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils.

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Photo Credit: By Joan Simon from Barcelona, España - Eucalyptus globulus, CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons