Eucalyptus has been around for many years and has been used as a home remedy for many ailments. The natural element has become so popular that many OTC (over-the-counter) brands now contain it as an active ingredient. The eucalyptus tree originates from Australia, where natives have used it for everything from treating fever to fungus. This is a tried and true treatment tactic, so learn about some of the ways that you may be able to utilize eucalyptus in your own life.
Medical conditions that can be treated with Eucalyptus
The common cold & cough: You may have noticed that eucalyptus appears in many of your throat lozenges or cough syrups. This is because it is used as a soothing agent to alleviate sore throats. The oil created by the plant can loosen up phlegm, so it is also found in vapor rubs that are applied inside the nose or on the chest to clear up congestion.
Asthma: Because eucalyptus oil has been shown to break up congestion, it has also proven to help alleviate symptoms in severe asthmatics. In fact, some people who have been prescribed steroids to treat their severe asthma, have been able to reduce the dosage with the combined use of eucalyptus oil. Beware, however, you MUST discuss this use with your treating physician as there may be some unintended side effects.
Skin conditions: Eucalyptus oil, in particular, has been used on the skin for wound treatments, sores, and boils. It is used to naturally heal these skin ailments and restore your skin back to its natural state.
Inflammation: Similarly, it has been rubbed onto the skin to relieve internal aching that can be the result of arthritis and other joint ailments. Its effectiveness comes from the fact that it can alleviate internal inflammation.
The eucalyptus plant is extremely versatile and can be found in various formats. For example, the dried leaves can be used to make teas, while the fresh ones are used to secrete the liquid and oil forms. The oil is one of the most common forms, but you may also find the liquid extract, especially in the products mentioned that are found in your nearest drug store. Sprays are also used, mainly for the purposes of insect repelling. Online supplement stores like Vitacost.com offer many products based on eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus oil is a common usable format of the plant and is used by rubbing onto an area that needs to be treated. It is important to note, however, that the oil is toxic and should not be ingested unless under physician’s orders to do so.
Other Beneficial uses of Eucalyptus
Plaque and Gingivitis: This may be a use of eucalyptus that is less well known, but it is actually an ingredient in antiseptic mouth rinses that are used to clear out plaque and protect against various gum diseases, such as gingivitis.
Insect Repellent: You may notice the familiar eucalyptus scent during the summer months when you are spraying your insect repellent throughout the day. This is because it has also been shown to deter these pests from getting to you.
Aromatherapy: If you are into the use of essential oils for aromatherapy purposes, then you probably know that eucalyptus oil has been used as it is believed to stimulate internal balance and reduce stress. It is also thought to improve mental clarity and sharpness and revive the energy flow.
Side effects and Warnings
Although eucalyptus is a natural element, this does not mean that it comes without its own side effects. Many botanical remedies, in fact, can have certain interactions with current medications, and therefore should be monitored as any other medicine would be. If you have a specific medical condition that you are attempting to self-treat or if you are currently on other medications, you should consult with your physician before utilizing eucalyptus.
Specifically, people who have suffered from asthma, kidney or liver diseases, seizures or low blood pressure should ask their doctor before using eucalyptus oil as a rub. Meanwhile, pregnant and breastfeeding women should not use the oil at all.
Also, eucalyptus oil should not be used on small children, usually under the age of 6. Definitely check with your child’s pediatrician before applying the oil or any other form to treat your child’s illness.
With the versatility and variety of uses of the eucalyptus plant, you are bound to find a way to utilize the plant in its many forms. It is a good idea to even keep some of the oil in your medicine cabinet in case you do run a fever or should get a minor burn, etc. Remember, that the use of this botanical remedy should be discussed with your physician and you should not underestimate its potential to interact with your current medical conditions or medications. If you have tried various commercial treatments to no avail, this historic herbal remedy may be just the thing missing from your medicinal routine.