An icon in the Australian landscape, eucalyptus trees are much desired for their aesthetic and signature smell. Eucalyptus is best known for its fresh clean aroma and adds an airiness to any fragrance with its minty fresh, green, and lemon fragrance notes. Dried, crushed, then distilled into essential oil, healing eucalyptus leaf oil is used in many popular products that we incorporate in our day-to-day lives. You can find eucalyptus oil in everything from cough drops to humidifiers. But not many people are familiar with the benefits behind the oil!
Evidence from sequencing DNA traces the origin of the eucalyptus tree back 52 million years ago, at a time when Australia and Antarctica were still connected.
May Have Antimicrobial Effects
The origin of eucalyptus oil being used as an antimicrobial may be traced back to the 1780s, when a bottle of eucalyptus oil was sent to England to be studied for its medicinal properties. The quart of oil was then referred to as the “Sydney Peppermint” because it resembled the already-discovered English peppermint oil, which was being used for disinfecting. Indeed, eucalyptus oil and its major component, 1,8-cineole, may have antimicrobial effects against many bacteria, according to one study published by the National Institute of Health. The study found this antimicrobial power may include fighting Mycobacterium tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), viruses, and fungi (including Candida). Eucalyptus has even been studied as a possible antidote to antibiotic-resistant pathogens as well.
Eucalyptus oil as it was first packaged in 1852, Australia Source: FGB Natural Products
May Aid Respiratory Issues
One study found that inhalation or ingestion of eucalyptus oil provides benefits for respiratory problems such as bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). For example, Vicks VapoRub - a popular product that is applied on the chest, back, and throat for cough suppression - contains 1.2% eucalyptus oil! There’s also evidence that the cooling, minty smell of eucalyptus can loosen up mucus and relieve congestion. Additionally, eucalyptus may even improve upon air quality within the home. This is because the leaves of the eucalyptus plant are filled with tannins, which helps raise the amount of healthy fluids in the body.
You can also reap the benefits of eucalyptus by hanging the plant in your shower. The steam from the shower will release the essential oils. Source: Prevention.com
May Repel Bugs
Like citronella, eucalyptus has a potent herbal smell that many bugs find repulsive. Many insects such as ants and gnats will avoid strong, sharp smells, like eucalyptus, as potential hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has even approved eucalyptus oil as an effective ingredient in mosquito repellent. If using eucalyptus oil to help prevent infestations, we recommend mixing equal parts of eucalyptus oil with water. Then, shake well in a spray bottle, and apply to plants, your kitchen area, and any place an insect infestation may occur.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate the scent of eucalyptus into your home, check out the products below! Both our Eucalyptus Spearmint wax melts and our Magnolia Eucalyptus wax melts are infused with essential oils. Pair with any of our flame-free wax warmers for hours of home fragrance!