You know the tangy medicinal aroma of cough drops? That familiar scent comes from eucalyptus. Yes, that very same eucalyptus that we all know koalas love to munch on.
Eucalyptus is well known for its medicinal properties. The aboriginal people of Australia originally used its leaves in home remedies, and eucalyptus later became an important ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda. Today, eucalyptus is often featured as an ingredient in therapeutic products. It’s in everything from ointments to pills to rubs. You know the distinct scent of Vick’s VapoRub? Thank eucalyptus. Use the essential oil from this exotic therapeutic tree as a home remedy to treat several common ailments.
The fumes from eucalyptus can help break up nasal congestion. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a steaming bowl of water for some homemade aromatherapy. Place a towel like a tent over your head and inhale the eucalyptus-scented steam. You could also rub an ointment containing eucalyptus onto your chest before bed to clear nasal passages and ease chest pain. The antiviral and antibacterial properties of eucalyptus can also help fight off colds.
Soothe painful headaches by rubbing diluted eucalyptus essential oil onto your temples. The cooling sensation will help you relax and will help relieve tension. You could also burn a few drops in an essential oil burner to permeate the relaxing scent throughout your home.
Rub diluted eucalyptus essential oil into your achy joints for temporary arthritis relief, as the cooling sensation will help ease the pain. You could also add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil combined with a few drops of either lavender, rosemary or marjoram essential oils to a hot bath to sooth aches and pains.
Make sure to always dilute eucalyptus oil before using. It can cause skin irritation, so test a small (diluted!) amount on skin before applying. Purchase organic eucalyptus essential oil to keep pesticides, chemicals and GMOs out of your homemade treatments.