Presse Santé

Air freshener, insect repellent: the little known uses of eucalyptus

Most people easily recognize the smell of eucalyptus, but many don’t realize that this evergreen tree also has a wide variety of uses. Koalas often come to mind when we think of eucalyptus, but humans use it too.

The most common type of eucalyptus, known as blue gum, grows mainly in Australia and Tasmania, but there are more than 300 known variants of this plant. Eucalyptus leaves and leaf oil are commonly used medicinally, and it is not uncommon to find eucalyptus in various over-the-counter medications, cleaners, and even air fresheners.

eucalyptus shapes

Eucalyptus comes in many forms.

Leaves: Fresh or dried, eucalyptus leaves are used as air fresheners and in medicinal teas.

Oil: In this form, eucalyptus is added to cough and cold medicines, dental products, antiseptics, and used directly to treat fever.
The oils are also used in industrial mining and in aromatherapy.

Ointment: Applied directly to the skin, the plant is used to treat minor pain. It is also used in the composition of several over-the-counter ointments for the treatment of colds.

Aerosols: Some companies sell the herb in aerosol form, allowing it to be used topically on humans and pets.

health benefits

Some of the documented health and medicinal uses of eucalyptus include:

Treatment of respiratory illnesses: Coughs, colds, sore throats, asthma, and congestion seem to respond to medications containing eucalyptus. Relieve congestion and cough by rubbing eucalyptus oil or ointment on the chest. Another method for relieving congestion and other respiratory problems is to boil eucalyptus leaves in a tightly covered pot filled with water, then remove the pot from the heat to inhale the vapors. The plant oil can be mixed with hot water to create a mouthwash to help soothe a sore throat. As a natural antibacterial and decongestant, eucalyptus often reduces the intensity and duration of respiratory illnesses.

Burns, Cuts, and Insect Bites: When applied topically, eucalyptus can be used as an antiseptic to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing.

Muscle and Joint Pain: Rubbing the oil from the leaves on muscles and joints is known to provide temporary pain relief.

Reduce fever: A small amount of oil taken internally can temporarily reduce fever.

Stimulating and anti-stress: Eucalyptus leaves and oil give off an aroma that can be useful to combat stress and fatigue.

Eucalyptus domestic uses

Insect repellent: In Honduras and Venezuela the plant is used to repel insects.

Soaps and Cleaners – Commonly found in household cleaners, eucalyptus offers a healthy scent and strong cleaning abilities. It is often used in spas and saunas for cooling and cleansing purposes.

Stain and stain remover: Some companies sell the oil for these purposes, claiming that it is stain-free and removes tough stains, such as gum and ink.

Carpet cleaning: In a less concentrated form than stain remover, eucalyptus spray can be used as a natural carpet cleaner without soaking. Wash clothes: Adding a teaspoon of oil to heavily soiled clothes can clean and refresh them. Garden Spray – You can use this spray directly at the base of plants to keep pets away.

for the building

In Australia, eucalyptus trees are often used for timber. They are ideal as a building material because they grow very fast and their use does not lead to deforestation. In countries where the tree is not part of the natural habitat, eucalyptus cultivation has not been as successful. It can have a negative effect on native flowers and plants and does not seem to grow as well outside of its own habitat.

for animals

Eucalyptus branches can be used as perches for birds, providing them with antioxidants and other valuable minerals like calcium and magnesium. Some breeders use eucalyptus to line bird nests because mites and ticks do not live near this plant. Koalas and other animals feed on eucalyptus trees in the wild.

Eucalyptus Active Ingredients

Eucalyptus leaves contain tannins that are used to treat inflammation. The oil derived from the leaves and branch tips contains cineole, which is a natural antiseptic.

Cautions and concerns

Although the topical and aromatic use of eucalyptus is generally safe for anyone over the age of two, internal use should be considered with caution and only in small doses, especially in young children and the elderly. Even when used topically, eucalyptus can cause a rash or skin irritation if used in a concentrated form.

People with high blood pressure, kidney, stomach or liver problems, diabetics, pregnant or lactating women should not use it without a doctor’s advice. As it is known to affect blood sugar levels, insulin-dependent diabetics should be especially careful. It is not difficult for adults to overdose on eucalyptus oil, so medicinal prescriptions should be followed carefully.

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information provided can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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