The koalas are such an interesting bunch. For one, they sleep for about 19 hours a day but can run as quick as a rabbit. Another interesting fact about them is that koalas live and sleep in eucalyptus trees and eat about 350 grams of these leaves each day. For them to love the eucalyptus trees so much, it must mean that these koalas are sitting on a goldmine that could potentially bring about many changes to the human body nutrition-wise and they are not wrong.
What Are Eucalyptus?
Like koalas, the eucalyptus tree is native to Australia and has recently undergone a sort of resurgence in popularity for its many health benefits. Visit any shop with health in its shop name and you would discover how common the use of eucalyptus is in most of the products that we use daily. You name them, eucalyptus is probably in them — essential oils, cleansers, lotions, shaving cream and even in vapour rubs.
In the world, there are over 400 species of eucalyptus but the one that is mostly harvested for eucalyptus oil is the blue gum variant (Eucalyptus globulus). How the oil is derived is by steam distilling the leaves to extract the colourless liquid that has a sweet yet strong woody scent. Because the leaves of the eucalyptus tree are known to have flavonoids and tannins that help with inflammation, it has been used in medicine for thousands of years as treatment and cures.
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus
Read on to discover a few health benefits that eucalyptus and its by-products might bring to your body and health.
Improves Flu-like Symptoms
Because of how effective eucalyptus oil is as an anti-inflammatory decongestant, that is probably why you see more and more cough drops that are flavoured with eucalyptus. When you are sick, your body is teeming with viruses in your system. What natural eucalyptus oil does is to remove all the harmful toxins from your body from its effectiveness as an antiviral with antibacterial healing properties. Down with bad flu? Eucalyptus-infused rubs like Vicks are just as practical in helping you with your phlegm or ease a congested nose. It has even been suggested that if you have fresh eucalyptus leaves in the home, you could use it as a home remedy to help with a sore throat. Just by soaking a bunch of leaves into some water, you can use it in a gargle to soothe your nasty throat.
Something that people adore about eucalyptus oil is how it functions as a lovely stimulant for when you are stressed or tired. Be it as a way to lift your mood, refresh your mind or to ease your stress away, a few drops of eucalyptus oil could do just that. A favourite thing of mine to do is to drop a few drops of them into a steam diffuser and let the air fill up with this lovely scent. If you are starting to feel a few hard knots or muscle aches, a hot bath infused with a few drops of eucalyptus oil is just what you need to chase those aches away.
Let the magical powers of eucalyptus oil do the talking for your skin with its antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. This makes it such a treat for our skin and if your current skincare products do not consist of eucalyptus oil, you can start dropping in a drop of this magic oil into your moisturiser, toner and even your serum. Fun fact: did you know eucalyptus oil can be used as a natural sunscreen? On its own, eucalyptus oil has an SPF value of 3 and if you were to combine that with olive oil which has an SPF value of 8, you can smear that on your skin as a totally natural sunscreen just before you leave your home.
Cleans Up Acne
Since it is known to be antibacterial, eucalyptus oil is perfect for treating minor cuts or wounds on your face, just dab a little eucalyptus oil with a cotton ball onto the wounded areas as an antiseptic cleaner. All the same, because of how it destroys bacteria and prevents new ones from spreading, it works well in halting the progress of acne on your skin. When you apply eucalyptus oil onto your skin, you are eliminating the bacteria that clogs your pores and at the same time, heal the damaged and irritated skin around the infected area.
It is common that most people look to essential oils like eucalyptus to fend their skin problems away. But considering how these oils may be concentrated, some people might not bode well with these strong oils. A perfect way to determine if your skin is comfortable is to apply these oils on your arm or leg before you go straight to your face in the case that an adverse reaction might just turn up. If you fear its potency on your skin, just using it with your diffuser to calm your mind and body is good enough on its own!