While Lavender is probably one of the most popular and much loved essential oil, I think of Eucalyptus as the Mac-Daddy of them all!! Yep…Eucalyptus Globulus is native to Austrialia (on my bucket list of countries to visit), and interestingly, Eucalyptus are some of the tallest trees in the world!! Eucalyptus oil is mostly extracted from the green branches, leaves and nuts of the species E. globulus which reaches heights of up to 200 feet!!!!!!! It mainly grows in tropical and sub-tropical areas of the world but most commercial growth and oil production takes place primarily in Australia. I do know that a variety of Eucalyptus grows in India too.
Eucalyptus oil has some amazingly widespread uses and the main one being it’s use as a powerful anti-microbial. It is well known as one of the most common cough, cold and sinus remedies in the world. When diluted and rubbed on the chest in a balm or salve form, it is beneficial for a variety of respiratory tract infections, sinusitis, coughs and sore throats. It can also be used in combination with juniper and lavender as an effective rub for painful muscles and rubs.
But a word of caution…. As with all things, just because it’s natural, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not toxic to humans or that YOU won’t be allergic to it. Always, always remember to test essential oils out on a small part of your skin before using. My poor daughter Madeleine dealt with this issue in a rather painful way. She was struggling with a bad respiratory infection and so I suggested she get into the tub as I put a few drops… perhaps it was more…. Of Eucalyptus essential oil into the hot water. I thought the hot vapors would help cleanse her sinuses. Instead, she started feeling tingly, then itchy and scratchy and broke out in angry red blotches. It didn’t take long to figure out what had happened and even though, most folks would not have reacted that way, it was clear that she did not do well with Eucalyptus!! I do know she’s never going to let me forget this though!!! One of several epic parenting fails!
I do however mix Eucalyptus with a few drops of Lavender and Tea Tree with a mixture of water, baking soda and vinegar, and use it as a wonderful all purpose kitchen and bathroom spray. Email me if you’d like the whole recipe to test out at home.