Eucalyptus oil is a popular ingredient in many cleaning and medical products. Most households have a little – possibly forgotten – bottle of it tucked away in a cupboard. But eucalyptus oil has an array of little-known uses and may even do the work of some more expensive products.
Clear your sinuses
Did you know that eucalyptus oil can help kill viruses, fungi and bacteria associated with respiratory infections? It can also make cilia – the tiny hair-like filaments on your lungs that help to remove mucus – move faster, helping to clear your airways. Eucalyptus is a common ingredient in saline nasal washes and can be used in a steam inhalant to help clear the sinuses and nasal passages. According to PeaceHealth, it also acts on receptors in the mucus membranes in your nasal passages, reducing nasal stuffiness.
Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) contains PMD, a chemical that keeps insects like mosquitoes at bay. Just remember that OLE is different from common lemon eucalyptus oil, and isn’t safe for children under the age of three.
Eucalyptus oil is an active ingredient in a wide range of cleaning products. You can use it around your home to achieve similar results.
- Mix one part eucalyptus oil with four parts water in a spray bottle. Spray on your pillows, mattress and mattress protector and allow to dry. This is a great way to quickly clean and freshen up your bed.
- Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a load of washing can help to keep your clothes germ free.
- Clean lino, wooden or tiled floors by mopping them with a few drops of eucalyptus oil in hot water. You can use this same mix to remove scuff marks on walls.
- If you’re struggling to clean the grime on your stovetop, add two tablespoons of eucalyptus oil and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid to a cup of water. Spray it onto the stove top and allow to sit before wiping away the grease.
Helps calm you down
Some evidence shows that breathing in eucalyptus essential oil can help to reduce anxiety. Some research has shown that smelling the 1,8-cineole in eucalyptus oil before surgery helps to calm down patients and is even recommended for use throughout surgery by researchers.
It is also a common ingredient in topical pain relievers such as creams, sprays and salves that you apply directly to the skin. Eucalyptus oil won’t actually relieve the pain but creates a hot and cold sensation that can help to distract your mind from the pain.
Flea repellent for pets
The next time you go to wash your pet, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to their shampoo and wash them as normal. Avoid getting it in their eyes, ears or mouth.
Eucalyptus is an ingredient in some herbal toothpastes. Toothpastes containing eucalyptus have been shown to be just as effective as standard toothpaste at helping to treat gingivitis. It is also an ingredient in some chewing gums, that can help to fight plaque, bleeding and gingivitis.
However, it is important to remember that eucalyptus oil is actually highly toxic. Even ingesting as little as two or three millilitres can lead to severe symptoms of eucalyptus poisoning. If you wish to use eucalyptus in your oral hygiene routine, use a product that contains eucalyptus. Don’t try to use or consume the product on its own.
Do you have a jar of eucalyptus oil tucked away in a cupboard? How do you use it around your home?
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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.