Eucalyptus has long been a remedy for colds and nasal congestion, but the health benefits of eucalyptus are plentiful. This aromatic plant has antibacterial and antiseptic qualities, as well as antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties, among others. It is most commonly used in oil form, though you can also use the leaves in some cases.
Many people blend the eucalyptus oil with others such as thyme, cedarwood, lavender and rosemary. The various combinations have different effects and can enhance each other, but you can also use the eucalyptus on its own. Look for essential oils that are pure and organic when planning to treat yourself or your family.
Respiratory issues are often greatly reduced or even eliminated with the use of eucalyptus oil. It can be diluted in water and gargled to treat a sore throat, or the fumes inhaled. Many people use a few drops of oil in a humidifier to treat bronchitis, coughs and congestion of the nose and chest. It may also ease asthma symptoms.
Since the oil also works as an antiviral, it can be useful in treating the flu or colds. If you do not have a humidifier, boiling a pot of water with a few drops of oil or a handful of leaves will have a similar effect. Some also use the oil or leaves in a sauna for a more intense effect.
The health benefits of eucalyptus also include its antiseptic characteristics. To use as an antiseptic, the oil can be applied to sores and cuts, as well as insect bites and stings. It will reduce inflammation and help prevent infection and is useful for acne or zits, too.
Massaging the oil into sore muscles or joints can also provide pain relief for the area affected. Sports injuries, rheumatism, sprains and stiff muscles will all benefit from being rubbed with eucalyptus oil. As an anti-inflammatory, the oil can help ease swelling as well as relieve pain.
Another good use for the oil is to eliminate skin infections and it can also aid in the treatment of dental problems, including cavities and gum infections. It will kill off germs in the mouth when used as a mouthwash, diluted in water.
You can also take eucalyptus oil internally. In fact, the tree is known in some places as a fever tree for its properties. It can bring down a fever, control blood sugar in diabetics and even get rid of intestinal parasites when taken by mouth.
For those suffering from fatigue or mental weariness, inhaling the fumes from the the oil can give a mental boost. It is often used in hospitals or in sick rooms to help mask unpleasant odors, kill any germs in the air and also to rejuvenate the patientís mind.
Eucalyptus grows in a number of countries but is native to Australia, where the majority of the oil is produced. The health benefits of eucalyptus are many and varied, making it a very versatile oil to keep on hand. Whether you use it internally or externally, you will find that it is a wonderful oil with a pleasant aroma, apart from the medicinal benefits.