Go ahead, open up a bottle of Eucalyptus essential oil and inhale. The woody, penetrating aroma that you encounter is one that generations of humans have enjoyed for hundreds of years.
Inhale this aroma and be transported to misty blue groves of ancient Eucalyptus trees-their leaves a source of wellness for ancient and modern people worldwide.
There are a great number of Eucalyptus species-numbering to 900 varieties by some accounts. Up to 500 of these species are used to make essential oils. In this article we will focus on the most commonly used variety which is Eucalyptus globulus
- The most commonly used Eucalyptus essential oil is Eucalyptus globulus.
- Other commonly used eucalyptus essential oils include Eucalyptus dives, Eucalyptus radiata and Eucalyptus citriodora.
- While all varieties have similar benefits and uses, there are unique characteristics and applications for each of the listed types.
Origin: Giant and stately Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia and Tasmania. Groves of these giants in Australia exude a fragrant blue haze from the resinous gum oozing from the trees.
Today, Eucalyptus is cultivated in Africa, Asia, Australia, Southern Europe, South America, and in several southern states and California in the USA.
Extraction Method and Parts Used: Eucalyptus essential oil is steam distilled from the blue green leaves and twigs of a variety of species of the Eucalyptus tree.
Note Classifications: Eucalyptus globulus: top
Scents: Gglobulus is camphoraceous along with a pronounced menthol aroma. This variety contains an abundance of the wellness promoting terpene molecule eucalyptol.
Blends well with:
- Eucalyptus blend well with all mints, thyme and rosemary
- Woodsy sandalwood and cedarwood help to balance a blend containing eucalyptus.
- Geranium, lavender and marjoram will sweeten blends containing E. globulus and E. dives.
Shelf Life: Eucalyptus essential oil should be used within one year of purchase
- For a list of cautions associated with the use of eucalyptus essential oil, please review this article.
- Read more about essential oil safety here.
- For healthy adults, the max dilution is 3% (3 drops per tablespoon)
- For people with compromised systems, the max dilution is 2%
- For children, the max dilution is 1%
Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Aboriginal peoples of Australia have used the leaves of this tree for thousands of years to wrap wounds and promote general wellness. European settlers to Australia quickly discovered the healing properties of Eucalyptus and began exporting and cultivating the tree worldwide.
Eucalyptus essential oil was perhaps the first commercially distilled essential oil-being continuously distilled from eucalyptus leaves since at least the late 1700s. Since then we have been using this treasured oil for a wide variety of uses.
To Support Respiratory Wellness
Eucalyptus essential oil’s chemical and molecular composition create its healing powers. The terpene eucalyptol imparts the camphoraceous and menthol notes to this oil’s aroma. Eucalyptol is active in promoting respiratory wellness.
Studies using both animal cells and human trials have shown that eucalyptol helps relieve occasional inflammation to the respiratory tract which may cause irritation and congestion.
For Joint and Muscle Health
Eucalyptus essential oil is often cited in remedies for occasional aches and pains and for muscle spasms. The oil can help with everything from soreness due to overexertion to pain caused by sitting too much at work. Eucalyptus oil seems to be especially active on foot pain of various persuasions. In addition to providing relief, the aromatic benefits of the oil can help lighten a mood dampened by pain.
To Support Immune Function
According to the venerable early 20th century British herbalist M. Grieve, eucalyptus essential oil is fantastic at “destroying the lower forms of life.” In that sense, this essential oil can help our bodies to withstand and face seasonal and environmental threats. Inhaled or applied, eucalyptus is an essential ally to our immune systems.
The giant eucalyptus trees themselves seem to have a similar role in promoting the cooling and cleansing of damp, hot parts of the earth. The trees love to stretch their roots like tentacles into wet earth, drinking up malarial swamp lands and transforming them into habitable areas. Clearing malarial waters is another reason why eucalyptus is known as the “fever tree,” and the medicinal oil can have a similar effect on a hot, temporarily compromised human immune system.
Eucalyptus essential oil is often cited as a cooling and calming agent for hot, imbalanced skin. A vial of this oil would be an excellent one to have while on a warm weather vacation in the woods or at the beach.
The oil can help repel insects and is an excellent component of a homemade insect repellent.
Like many essential oils, eucalyptus will help bring oxygen and blood flow to skin level -leaving skin looking and feeling regenerated and fresh.
Eucalyptus oil can help balance the manifestation of body temperature in our skin. It is warming in the cold months, and cooling when it’s hot.
In aromatherapy, Eucalyptus essential oil is known to be a heart opener. It can also help us to stay awake and alert when we are weary. It is often employed in blends aimed at helping us cope with grief and sorrow.
Eucalyptus essential oil is often cited for veterinary use. In particular it is used with horses and dogs. Ask your holistic veterinarian if it is a good choice for your pet.
The Bottom Line
- Eucalyptus essential oil promotes respiratory wellness, is an ally against seasonal and environmental threats and helps promote a healthy immune system.
- Eucalyptus essential oil is an ally in easing occasional joint pain, muscle pain and muscle spasms.
- This essential oil a great ally for promoting rejuvenation and balance of our skin, and is cooling too.
- In aromatherapy, this oil is heart opening, mind clearing and awakening.
 Grieve, M. A Modern Herbal, Volume I. New York: Dover Publications Inc. 1971