Eucalyptus, Not Just For Koalas
In the recent years, the popularity of essential oils and aromatherapy has risen. People are using essential oils for replacing scented candles, while others are making homemade cosmetics. A popular and centuries old essential oil is from the eucalyptus tree. Many think of the eucalyptus tree to be closely associated with the koala bear. The koala bear's diet consists of mostly eucalyptus leaves, which are high in fiber and considered extremely poisonous to other animals. The digestion system the koalas have allows them to process eucalyptus safely. However the side effect is that the eucalyptus becomes a narcotic to the koala bears, and due to this and other factors, they sleep most of the day. Humans have also used the eucalyptus tree to their benefit, but not with the side effects that inundate the koala bear.
The eucalyptus tree's oil was first used by the Aborigines in Australia. Once Australia started to become colonized, settlers began to use this essential oil as well. Back then about 50 pounds of fresh eucalyptus leaves were need to produce a pound of eucalyptus oil. Nowadays, anyone can do it in their kitchen with some dehydrated eucalyptus leaves and the proper oil to blend it with. Most of the eucalyptus in the world still originates from Australia, where it makes up to 75% of the Australian vegetation.
Eucalyptus is best known to help with breathing and respiratory congestion. Examples of problems and issues that eucalyptus aromatherapy can help with are general colds, congestion, asthma, among others. When used in aromatherapy, it stimulates red blood cell functions, which increases the oxygen production throughout the body. Eucalyptus contains anti-oxidants and other compounds known as cineole which attribute to the beneficial respiratory effects.
More benefits of eucalyptus are its antibacterial, anti inflammatory and antiviral properties, among a few others. Because of this eucalyptus can be used to treat cuts and wounds. It is also known for treating malaria and helps with other bug bites and stings. During points in history, the eucalyptus tree itself was planted in parts of North Africa to dry wet areas were leading to the spread of malaria.
Eucalyptus has many benefits that everyone should utilize if they want more natural healing methods. As always, do your research before using any sort of new regimen. I personally have been using eucalyptus oil in a diffuser for quite some time and can say my breathing has been very clear this cold season. 'Til next type – M
Written by Michael Dour