Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a member of Martaceae family, and a native to Australia. It is a herb that has properties that provide great relief as a decongestant, expectorant, antibiotic, antiseptic, and rubefacient (Terra, 1996: 136). Eucalyptus rubs have been used for many years for common cold or any other respiratory distress. Similarly it is used as a liniment for the relief of arthritic and rheumatic pains (Terra, 1996: 24).
Eucalyptus has both internal and external uses. Internally it is the leaves that are used for herbal teas that are able to assist people by acting as a diuretic, an anti-diabetic and also has some anti-tumor properties. The Eucalyptus oils are almost never used internally or ingested but on rare occasion a doctor might use a miniscule amount for nasal congestion, bronchial disease and other respiratory problems (Terra, 1996: 137).
Externally, Eucalyptus is used as a vapor rub and while it is recommended that it be rubbed on the chest and back area it is also good for inhalation in such ways as steam vaporizers . Some even boil water and drop a teaspoon of vapor rub into it so an ill person can breathe in the fumes which will help to break up the congestion in the lungs.
Eucalyptus is also commonly used for aromatherapy because it is extremely beneficial when combined with other oils. It blends well with Juniper, Lavender, and Marjoram. Eucalyptus in aromatherapy is used to help relieve mental fatigue, improves mental clarity and alertness, sharpens the senses, refreshes and revives, stimulating, energizing. It breaks up congestion, and reduces inflammation. Inhaling the fragrance of Eucalyptus can reduce stress and lessen depression. Eucalyptus is great for both bathing and also for massage oils.
Eucalyptus oil is a very powerful antiseptic, it is used to treat pyorrhea which is a gum disease, and to treat burns. A small drop on the tip of the tongue is said to take away nausea. Another tip is a few sniffs of Eucalyptus is said to help someone who has fainted and when mixed with cinnamon is known to alleviate the symptoms of the flu.
Quite often people have used the very same rub for sprains, bruises, and muscle aches and pains (Gottlieb, 1995: 195).
Insects do not like Eucalyptus so if you mix some with water and put it in a spray bottle you can be sure to repel bugs. Many people will soak a cloth in Eucalyptus and put them in their pantries or closets, and use as a repellant for bugs and roaches.
At the time of writing this document, there are no well-known drug interactions with eucalyptus. If taken in large doses the contraindications are low blood pressure, kidney, stomach or biliary inflammation, liver disorders (Brinker, 1998: 69).
Brinker, F. (1998). Herb Contraindications and Drug Interactions. Sandy, OR: Eclactic Medical Publication.
Gottlieb, B. (1995). New Choices in Natural Healing. Emmaus, PA: Rodale Press Inc.
Terra, M. (1998). The Way of Herbs. New York, NY: Pocket Books.