Medicinal Properties of Eucalyptus
Nature has gifted us lots of miracles. The eucalyptus tree is one such wonder that offers lots of medicinal properties to mankind.
Eucalyptus is a tree. The dried leaves and oil are used to make medicine. Eucalyptus oil comes from the dried leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The oil is a colourless liquid with a strong woody and sweet scent. Eucalyptus leaves are steam-distilled to extract the oil. Eucalyptus oil contains 70-85% 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol) – an ingredient in some mouthwash and dental preparations.
Though eucalyptus is used medicinally for many purposes.
Eucalyptus leaf is used for infections, fever, upset stomach, and to help loosen coughs. The leaf is also used for treating respiratory tract infections, whooping cough, asthma, pulmonary tuberculosis, osteoarthritis, joint pain (rheumatism), acne, wounds, poorly healing ulcers, burns, bacterial dysentery, ringworms, liver and gallbladder problems, loss of appetite, and cancer.
Eucalyptus oil should not be taken by mouth or applied to the skin full-strength. It must be diluted for safety. The diluted oil is taken by mouth for pain and swelling (inflammation) of respiratory tract mucous membranes, coughs, bronchitis, sinus pain and inflammation, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory infections.
It is also used as an expectorant to loosen coughs, antiseptic, fever reducer, and in vaporizer fluids. Other uses include treatment of wounds, burns, ulcers, and cancer.
Diluted eucalyptus oil is applied directly to the skin for pain and swelling of respiratory tract mucous membranes, joint pain, genital herpes, and nasal stuffiness. It is also used as an insect repellent.
The oil has multiple different uses –
Eucalyptus oil also has flavouring, pharmaceutical, and antiseptic uses.
- Eucalyptus oil may also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties – people use eucalyptus oil to help treat a wide range of medical conditions.
- It is used to help relieve symptoms of the common cold and is found in many cough lozenges and inhalants.
- Eucalyptus oil vapour acts as a decongestant when it is inhaled and is used to treat bronchitis.
- Eucalyptus oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines for treating fungal infections and skin wounds. Eucalyptus tea was also administered to reduce fevers.
- Towards the end of the 19th century, eucalyptus oil was used in most hospitals in England to clean urinary catheters.
- It is also an effective insect repellent. In 1948, the U.S. officially registered eucalyptus oil as an insecticide and miticide (kills mites and ticks).
Medicinal uses and health benefits of eucalyptus
- Antibacterial properties -One study found that eucalyptus oil may have antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract.
- Relieving pain – there is research to indicate that eucalyptus oil has analgesic properties. One study concluded 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.
- Promoting good dental health -eucalyptus has antibacterial activity against cariogenic (causing tooth decay) and periodontopathic bacteria. The use of eucalyptus extract chewing gum may promote periodontal health, according to a study published in the Journal of Periodontology which examined the effect of chewing-gum containing eucalyptus extract on periodontal health.
- Stimulating immune system response – eucalyptus oil extract is able to implement the innate cell-mediated immune response.
Other possible conditions that eucalyptus can treat include:
- A stuffed nose
- Wounds and burns
- Bladder diseases
Precautions and side effects
It is unsafe to take eucalyptus oil orally or when it’s applied on the skin before being diluted.
Side effects may include:
- Stomach upset
- Signs of eucalyptus poisoning:
- Feelings of suffocation
- Small pupils
I hope the above mention information is useful for you.
Do you have any query please get in touch with me.
Dietitian Vinita Jaiswal