Why should eucalyptus be part of your natural medicine cabinet?
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by: Sara Middleton, staff writer | February 9, 2021
(NaturalHealth365) Eucalyptus is a type of evergreen tree that is well recognized for its array of medicinal properties. With over 400 separate species, the plant is native to Australia but has been used for centuries in traditional healing in cultures from around the world, including Greek, Chinese, and Ayurvedic – and thanks to modern scientific research espousing the many eucalyptus benefits, it’s easy to see why.
From alleviating stress to reducing inflammation, the eucalyptus plant and its essential oil appear to have many beneficial effects on the human body and mind.
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Keeping your airways clear is only one of the MANY ways eucalyptus supports your health
The eucalyptus plant contains a compound called eucalyptol or 1,8-cineole. This powerful compound is shown to reduce inflammation and control mucus production. For this reason, this incredible plant is often touted as a natural alleviator of common respiratory conditions like bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and sinus infections. Simply breathing in the essential oil that has been diffused into the surrounding air can provide immediate symptomatic relief.
In fact, eucalyptus essential oil is often added into saunas or steam rooms at local spas – but you can also create this spa-like environment in your own bathroom. Simply hang a bundle of fresh or dried eucalyptus near your shower. The hot steam triggers the release of the plant’s essential oils, sending fragrant and healing compounds into the air for your enjoyment.
In addition to promoting a healthy airway, eucalyptus may also offer natural relief from pain and stress. One randomized controlled trial published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine revealed that inhaling eucalyptus oil decreased anxiety in people who were waiting for surgery. Another study published in the same journal in 2013 found that patients who had undergone knee replacement surgery reported less pain and better blood pressure after inhaling the delicate fragrance.
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Even the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that eucalyptus contains natural plant compounds that offer antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Eucalyptus leaves even contain chemicals that might help control blood sugar levels. And while current evidence isn’t fully conclusive, the U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that eucalyptus may also be useful for naturally alleviating conditions like gingivitis, dental plaque, bad breath, head lice, and headaches.
Want to incorporate eucalyptus in your natural health routine? Here are some of the best ways to use this medicinal plant
Aside from hanging eucalyptus in your shower, there are plenty of other ways to get the most out of this plant.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that eucalyptus leaf is likely safe to consume in small amounts in food. You might consider looking for natural chewing gum containing approximately 0.3% to 0.6% of this plant extract.
Like most essential oils, eucalyptus essential oil is possibly unsafe when applied directly to the skin and may lead to skin irritation and redness – so be sure to dilute it in a carrier oil if applying topically. A general guideline is to dilute 12 drops of essential oil with one ounce of carrier oil, and it’s always a good idea to test a small area of your skin before applying it all over.
Lastly, you don’t have to wait for a hot shower to breathe in the aromatic plant. Add a few drops of essential oil to a high-quality diffuser and let the scent fill your home.
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