How Eucalyptus Can Heal Your Body
Eucalyptus has natural anti-inflammatory properties to rub in and soak in!
I recently found a bag of eucalyptus leaves in the basement as I was (deep) spring-cleaning. They were put away years ago after being used decoratively in a vase and wall hanging. I forgot what was in the bag when I found it, but the beautiful smell quickly reminded me there were dried eucalyptus branches inside! Since the wall-hanging days long ago and my natural health interest has peaked with battling cancer, I began wondering how I could put these eucalyptus leaves to use.
What I found was that dried eucalyptus leaves are good for only a few things:
- Eucalyptus Tea: Pour 1 cup of boiled water over up to 1/2 tsp of the dried eucalyptus leaves, Cover and steep for 10 minutes; strain. Sweeten with honey. Drink up to 2-3 cups/day.
- Sachets: Stuff-dried eucalyptus leaves into small cotton or muslin drawstring bag and place in drawers or closets to diffuse the eucalyptus scent.
Eucalyptus Eases Breathing Problems
I also knew that eucalyptus oil could be good for airway congestion. Just put a few drops onto your chest to clear your nasal passages. It can also be mixed with warm water for a gargle to treat a sore throat.
To unclog a stuffy nose, try adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a bowl of hot water, putting a towel over your head and breathing in the steam for a few minutes at a time.
Eucalyptus Relieves Pain
What amazed me, however, was the benefit of using eucalyptus oil for relieving pain from rheumatism, aching, pains and stiffness, swelling and inflammation. Who is getting older and doesn’t have a few aches and pains! A eucalyptus compress (1 tsp eucalyptus oil, 1 c. hot water, 1 compress pad) has traditionally been known to help treat painful joints and sore muscles with its anti-inflammatory properties! Then, why did I put it on my wall? 🙂
By combining eucalyptus oil with a little bit of olive oil (15 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to 2 cups of cold pressed olive oil) and massaging the solution on arthritic joints, it increases blood circulation, reduces stiffness, warms up and soothes tissue. Sounds wonderful!
Even better, relax in a bathtub to stop the aches and the pain with eucalyptus oil (8-10 drops, some add camphol or menthol oils, too) instead of taking Aleve or Tylenol before bed. This could also be good for someone who is congested, coughing or has a respiratory infection.
Eucalyptus Treats a Fever
Eucalyptus is known for its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic properties and can provide effective relief for a fever. This is because it is considered to be a dilator, meaning that it helps to widen blood vessels and as a result, blood circulates more effectively throughout the body. This translates to an increase in blood flow that can be very beneficial, especially during a time when the body’s immune response generates a fever due to an invasion on the system.
How to treat a fever with eucalyptus essential oil:
- Place 1-3 drops of eucalyptus oil on a cotton ball and apply to the temples. Eucalyptus oil can also be applied directly to the temples one drop at a time. Repeat every hour until fever breaks.
- Add 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oil to 2 cups of warm water. Soak cotton cloths or washcloths in the mixture, wrap them around legs and arms, and cover with dry cloths.
- Place 15-20 drops in 1 cup of cool water. Soak a soft washcloth in the mixture and gently place to cover the area. Hold it onto the forehead and repeat as necessary.
- For a low-grade fever (100-102 degrees Fahrenheit), add 15-50 drops of eucalyptus oil to a warm bath. Combined with the benefits of the oil, the heat of the water encourages the body to work efficiently in fighting whatever it is that has caused an immune response. For additional benefits, Epsom salts can be added to the water as well.
Adding eucalyptus oil to your bath releases its fragrance into the air. It can help to refresh you and make you feel more relaxed. I’m going to try putting my eucalyptus leaves in a mesh bag and run it under the tub hot water faucet. It is gardening time and my back muscles are telling me it is time for a good soak!
Eucalyptus Helps Manage Diabetes
There is also some research that eucalyptus essential oil can also actually lower blood sugar by reducing fasting glycemia, improving glucose tolerance, and reducing insulin resistance. Diabetics can also benefit by frequently massaging eucalyptus oil to the skin topically, or inhaling it as a vapor.
There are many grocery stores and pharmacies around the world that include eucalyptus oil in chest rubs, OTC cough and cold medicine, throat sprays and more. It also features in creams and ointments aimed at relieving muscle and joint pain.
Eucalyptus is more than decorations for your wall. It sure does look pretty, but consider adding it to your shower, bath or your diffuser and allow this natural plant and its oils to calm, heal and relieve sickness from you.