Nutrition  

Eucalyptus – All you need to know

Written by M. Macdonald

Updated May 5, 2023

A common ailment that affects millions of individuals worldwide today, is joint pain, particularly those over the age of 55.  

Whether it be arthritis, gout, tendonitis, bursitis…  

Fortunately, there are natural solutions available to ease the discomfort of joint pain, and one such remedy is eucalyptus oil.  

In this blog post, we will explore the health and beauty benefits of eucalyptus oil, how to use it, and potential side effects, all the while relying on evidence-based information that you can look up for yourself. 

This article covers the benefits of eucalyptus oil, how to use it, and potential side effects. We hope that you find this article useful and that at the end of your read through you will understand just how amazing of an ingredient eucalyptus can be! 

Overview 

Eucalyptus oil is derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree (mainly from the species Eucalyptus salicifolia and Eucalyptus globulus), a native of Australia and Tasmania. Traditionally, it has been used as an analgesic (ability to reduce pain) and for its compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, but also has commonly been used for its ability to improve respiratory conditions, making it a widespread ingredient in healing ointments, perfumes and rubs. 

How to use Eucalyptus  

For Joints and muscles: Eucalyptus oil has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it an effective natural remedy for joint and muscle pain. A study published by the Korean Academy of Nursing found that eucalyptus oil can help alleviate pain and inflammation in individuals suffering from knee osteoarthritis. Another article from the Journal of Physical Therapy Science found that eucalyptus oil massage can help reduce muscle pain in individuals suffering from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). 

To use eucalyptus oil for joint and/or muscle pain, mix a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage the affected area. 

For immunity boosting: Eucalyptus has antimicrobial and antiviral properties that can help the immune system work more effectively and overcome infections faster (especially respiratory ones). A study published in the BMC Immunology found that eucalyptus oil can help activate the immune system by increasing the production of cytokines, which are essential for fighting off infections. 

To help increase your immunity, you can diffuse some eucalyptus oil in a diffuser, or you can also inhale eucalyptus oil directly from the bottle or add a few drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. This method is great for clearing congestion. 

For respiratory conditions & headaches: Eucalyptus has decongesting and invigorating properties which can help alleviate sinus pressure which can cause tension in the face and head. A randomised study published in ‘Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine’ found that, when paired with Peppermint oil, Eucalyptus had a very positive results on patients with upper respiratory conditions, by alleviating symptom severity in just 20 minutes compared to a placebo. 
Add a few drops of Eucalyptus and Peppermint oil to a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam. You can also dilute a few drops of each oil into a carrier oil and rub into your sinuses or temples for headache and tension relief. 

For Acne relief: Eucalyptus oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce acne. A study from the Indian Journal of Natural Products and Resources found that eucalyptus oil can help reduce the number and severity of acne lesions and even be a great help for scarring and hyperpigmentation. 

To use eucalyptus oil for acne, mix a few drops with a carrier oil like jojoba oil and apply it to the affected area. 

For Hair Growth: Eucalyptus oil can promote hair growth by improving blood circulation to the scalp. A study published in the ‘Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology’ found that eucalyptus oil can stimulate hair growth by increasing the activity of hair follicles. 

To use eucalyptus oil for hair growth, mix a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage it into the scalp. 

Potential side effects 

While eucalyptus oil is generally quite safe for use, it can cause some side effects in some individuals. These side effects include skin irritation, allergic reactions, and respiratory issues. It is essential to dilute the oil in a carrier oil like Jojoba or Coconut oil and do a patch test before using eucalyptus oil topically and to avoid using it in high concentrations or ingesting it. 

Conclusion 

Eucalyptus is an excellent natural remedy for joint pain and has numerous health benefits. It is a versatile ingredient that can be used in several ways to promote respiratory health, boost the immune system, promote relaxation, and alleviate joint and muscle pain. However, it is essential to use it safely and avoid potential side effects by doing a patch test, avoiding high concentrations, and not ingesting it. We hope that this article has provided you with valuable information about eucalyptus oil and how it can benefit you with day-to-day woes. 

Sources

Göbel H, Schmidt G, Soyka D. Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters. Cephalalgia. 1994 Jun;14(3):228-34; discussion 182. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1994.014003228.x. PMID: 7954745. 

Ben-Arye E, Dudai N, Eini A, Torem M, Schiff E, Rakover Y. Treatment of upper respiratory tract infections in primary care: a randomized study using aromatic herbs. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:690346. doi: 10.1155/2011/690346. Epub 2010 Nov 1. PMID: 21052500; PMCID: PMC2967840. 

Jun YS, Kang P, Min SS, Lee JM, Kim HK, Seol GH. Effect of eucalyptus oil inhalation on pain and inflammatory responses after total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:502727. doi: 10.1155/2013/502727. Epub 2013 Jun 18. PMID: 23853660; PMCID: PMC3703330. 

Lee G, Park J, Kim MS, Seol GH, Min SS. Analgesic effects of eucalyptus essential oil in mice. Korean J Pain. 2019 Apr 1;32(2):79-86. doi: 10.3344/kjp.2019.32.2.79. PMID: 31091506; PMCID: PMC6549588. 

Serafino A, Sinibaldi Vallebona P, Andreola F, Zonfrillo M, Mercuri L, Federici M, Rasi G, Garaci E, Pierimarchi P. Stimulatory effect of Eucalyptus essential oil on innate cell-mediated immune response. BMC Immunol. 2008 Apr 18;9:17. doi: 10.1186/1471-2172-9-17. PMID: 18423004; PMCID: PMC2374764. 

Nurzyńska-Wierdak R, Pietrasik D, Walasek-Janusz M. Essential Oils in the Treatment of Various Types of Acne-A Review. Plants (Basel). 2022 Dec 24;12(1):90. doi: 10.3390/plants12010090. PMID: 36616219; PMCID: PMC9824697. 

Moreira P, Sousa FJ, Matos P, Brites GS, Gonçalves MJ, Cavaleiro C, Figueirinha A, Salgueiro L, Batista MT, Branco PC, Cruz MT, Pereira CF. Chemical Composition and Effect against Skin Alterations of Bioactive Extracts Obtained by the Hydrodistillation of Eucalyptus globulus Leaves. Pharmaceutics. 2022 Mar 3;14(3):561. doi: 10.3390/pharmaceutics14030561. PMID: 35335937; PMCID: PMC8950756. 


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