Guest Post: Aromatherapy Oils – Eucalyptus by Lisa Linton

As the weather changes and colds and coughs set in, this is a handy oil to have in your holistic toolbox.   Eucalyptus oil is the generic name for steam distilled oil from the leaf of the Eucalyptus tree, a genus of the plant family Myrtaceae.  It is native to Australia but is cultivated worldwide.

The oil has antiseptic qualities and is used in pharmaceutical preparations to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu, and is often added to cough sweets, lozenges etc.  The oil has antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the respiratory tract, and therefore a steam inhalation containing eucalyptus brings effective relief to sufferers of bronchitis, it may also help control mucus hypersecretion and asthma via anti-inflammatory cytokine inhibition, and can help stimulate the immune system by effects on the phagocytic ability of human monocyte derived microphages.  The oil is also often added to personal hygiene products for its antimicrobial properties and can be applied to wounds to prevent infection.  More as a summer than winter use, it can also be used along with citronella as an insect repellent.

Ways to use it

A brilliant way to use it is in an oil burner, to relieve congestion and to help stop the spread of colds.

Cold sufferers may benefit from preparing a steam inhalation with about 5 drops in a facial steamer.  Those who don’t have one could use a big bowl of warm water, with an old fashioned towel over the head to keep the steam in – but be careful not to burn yourself on the water!

It is also a great way to treat arthritic joints, adding 4 drops of it to a blend in a carrier oil, warm the blend slightly in the hands, and rub it into the affected joint, cover with cling film then wrap hot towels over the joint to bring relief.  Other oils you could add to the blend include juniper and lemon.

Warnings and Contraindications – while eucalyptus oil is one of the essential remedies in our household, it isn’t good for everyone in all situations – please note the following:

  1. DILUTE – Something Different Eucalyptus Oil is 100% essential oil and as such is best not used neat on the skin.  We have a selection of carrier oils which can be used to blend the oil, or add 5 drops to water in an oil burner in the room to help ease congestion.  We have a great selection of oil burners for this purpose .
  2. NOT CHILD SAFE – Other than when used in oil burners, (which should be out of a child’s reach anyway!) Eucalyptus oil is unsafe for children.  It should be stored securely out of their reach. When taken by mouth or applied to the skin, it can cause serious breathing problems and even terminal liver failure in high doses. Trace amounts of eucalyptus may be used in aromatherapy products for children over two years of age, but only when prescribed by a qualified aromatherapist – otherwise it should not be used by anyone under twelve.
  3. DON’T USE IN PREGNANCY The majority of essential oils should be avoided in pregnancy, including eucalyptus oil, except when under the care of a qualified aromatherapist.
  4.  SURGERY – Because eucalyptus oil can interfere with blood sugar levels, it may cause an unsafe drop or rise in blood glucose after a surgical procedure. This concern is particularly serious for people who have diabetes. Stop using eucalyptus oil at least two weeks prior to any surgical procedure, including tooth extractions.
  5. SPECIFIC CONDITIONS: Eucalyptus oil is not suitable for people suffering from inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract and the bile ducts; or for those with serious liver diseases.

‘Lisa Linton is a Reiki Master, Vibrational Healer and Massage Therapist and is the Marketing Manager for Something Different Wholesale Ltd, http://www.somethingdifferentwholesale.co.uk

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