For the third in our FOCUS series we have decided to turn our attention to the benefits of the widely used and wonderfully stimulating eucalyptus essential oil.
There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus, which are often called gum trees. Mostly native to Australia but now cultivated worldwide, they are fast-growing evergreens with distinctive flowers and fruit.
The Eucalyptus Globulus species is the main source of eucalyptus essential oil worldwide. The leaves are steam distilled to extract the oil, which has a long history of usage in both medicine and skin care for (among other things) its natural antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
It has a distinctive, fresh, woody aroma and creates a cooling, refreshing effect that can help to ‘perk you up’ and revive your spirits if you’re feeling physically or mentally sluggish. Because of its analgesic properties it is also often recommended as a massage oil to those with muscle or joint pain.
Several of our own body and massage oils contain eucalyptus oil:
In fact, eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary (key ingredients in our Relax oil, above) are a match made in fragrance heaven – which is one reason why we have used this blend in several more of our products:
The antifungal and cleansing qualities of eucalyptus oil make it equally effective for hair care, and it is one of the botanical ingredients in our Revive Shampoo and Conditioner:
Australian aboriginals have long used eucalyptus oil as a traditional remedy for colds, sinus congestion, respiratory problems and fever (in fact, one of the common names for the oil is ‘fever oil’). The first recorded instances of eucalyptus oil being used as an antiseptic during operations, and as a disinfectant to clean medical equipment, date back to the late 19th century. It is still a component in many over-the-counter cough and cold remedies, is used in cleaning products and is an active ingredient in some insect repellents, including our own:
With its strong but refreshing and instantly recognisable scent and its many useful, health-giving properties, it’s no wonder that eucalyptus oil features in such a wide range of products, from fragrance and flavouring to medicinal and dental remedies; from soaps and shampoos to massage oils and mosquito repellents.
Is this essential oil one of your favourites? How do you use it? Let us know in the comments section, below.
Essential Oils are for EXTERNAL USE ONLY and should not be applied directly to the skin in undiluted form. Use with a ceramic oil burner, or as directed by your aromatherapist. Some essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy and if you suffer from certain medical conditions; do not use them before checking with your doctor.