Eucalyptus oil is a tried and tested remedy, especially during the cold season. We will show you what it also helps against and which ingredients are responsible for it.
Eucalyptus oil (botanical name is Oleum eucalipti) describes a group of oils that are extracted from the leaves of various eucalyptus plants. Like many plants that contain essential oils, eucalyptus belongs to the so-called “myrtle family”. There are over 600 different types of eucalyptus, but only 20 of them can be used to extract eucalyptus oil. The so-called blue eucalyptus (Eucaliptus globulus), also known as the common eucalyptus or Tasmanian blue gum tree, is the most important of these species, which mainly grows in Australia. The Aborigines already knew its effect.
Today, eucalyptus trees are mostly grown in China. Eucalyptus grows very quickly, but is also often grown in monocultures.
But what are the ingredients of eucalyptus oil? And what can it be used for? The answers to these questions follow.
How is eucalyptus oil obtained?
Although eucalyptus leaves are a strong green color, in most cases eucalyptus oil is clear or pale yellow. Here’s how to get it:
Like most essential oils, eucalyptus oil is obtained by steam distillation. Distillation gave a crude substance containing many so-called aldehydes.
Crude oil is treated with lye. This substance separates aldehydes and creates healthy eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus oil contains the following ingredients:
1,8-cineole, formerly called eucalyptol, is the main active ingredient in eucalyptus oil with over 70 percent: Cineole is a so-called monoterpene. This is a chemical group that can be traced back to the well-known turpentine. Terpenes are often used as solvents or flavors. In addition to eucalyptus, cineole is largely found in laurel, you can also find it in mint, cannabis, thyme, basil and tea tree. Cineole smells fresh like camphor. It is most often used for respiratory diseases such as colds and bronchitis, but also for chronic and inflammatory diseases such as asthma and hay fever.
1-pinene (up to 9 percent) and 2-pinene (up to 1.5 percent): Pine also belongs to monoterpenes and occurs in many plants such as borage, dill, oregano, rosemary and some essential oils. Due to its very aromatic taste, pinene is used as a natural flavor in the food industry. In the human body, they act in a similar way as cortisone, which means that it can inhibit inflammation.
Limonene (up to 12 percent): Limonene is also part of the terpene group and is used as a citrus-like fragrance. You can also find limonene as a natural preservative in cosmetics and herbal insecticides.
Felandrons (1.5 percent): Felandrons belong to the same chemical group and have a strong turpentine odor. You can find the substance, among other things, in godfather, fennel and dill.
Eucalyptus oil is an ingredient in nasal drops. These drops help with flu and colds. Eucalyptus oil is also used in popular herbal cold tablets.
Eucalyptus oil is effective against colds because it has expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. It stimulates the bronchi to release water. In this way it softens the mucus. The active ingredient responsible for this is 1,8-cineole. It will also help if your nose and sinuses are blocked.
Here’s how you can use eucalyptus oil for colds:
Inhalation of eucalyptus oil inhalation: put a drop or two in a large sherpa with boiling water and prepare a towel. Never use too much eucalyptus oil as it can be very irritating. Pour the water from the pot into a bowl and bend over it. Place a towel over your head and dishes so that no steam is lost. Inhale a pair of closed eyes so that eucalyptus oil does not irritate them.
If you lack time or your eyes are particularly sensitive, you can simply put a few drops of oil on a handkerchief. Hold it in front of your nose and take a deep breath. This is how eucalyptus oil works.
You can also put eucalyptus oil in an aromatic lamp or use it in a sauna.
The anti-inflammatory effect of cineole not only helps against severe colds, but also with chronic bronchitis and asthma. The symptoms of these chronic conditions often worsen during the cold winter season.
Eucalyptus oil for muscle pain and rheumatism
Eucalyptus oil has a special anti-inflammatory effect and can also greatly improve blood circulation. Therefore, it helps against muscle pain, which can be alleviated by increased blood flow. It also has a relaxing effect.
Eucalyptus oil can also work against autoimmune diseases or rheumatism rheumatoid arthritis . With rheumatism, deposits form in the joints, which disrupts blood flow and causes inflammation. The deposits can be removed with the help of eucalyptus oil, which relieves pain. The study shows that treatment with ointments and creams from essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, supports pain therapy and reduces severe symptoms.
Equaliptus oil against bacteria
Eucalyptus oil, like many other essential oils (including tea tree oil), is also known for its proven antimicrobial properties. It can act against various bacteria, including Escherichia coli. Eucalyptus oil also has a fungicidal effect, ie it kills fungi. Aucalyptus oil has also been shown to have many antiviral properties
Because of these mechanisms of action, you can often find eucalyptus oil in skin creams and soaps. Washing your hands with eucalyptus oil can prevent bacteria from entering your body.
In winter, your skin may crack due to the cold and dry heating air. This allows the fungus on the skin to multiply. Skin cream with eucalyptus oil can prevent such fungal infections.
Eucalyptus oil is also widely used for the care of teeth and oral cavity. You can often find it in mouthwashes, and not only because of its fresh and pleasant smell. Because it has an antimicrobial effect, eucalyptus oil kills bacteria before they can travel further into the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract.