There are a wide range of uses for eucalyptus oil, which is extracted from the Australian eucalyptus tree. Its use began in 1851 by a pharmacist and by the 1900’s it was being exported all over the world. It is used in Australia for controlling the salinity of the water table.
There are many uses for eucalyptus oil, including:
- Colds and flu can be alleviated by the use of eucalyptus oil. Mixed with water, it makes an inhaler, while a few drops on a handkerchief will clear a stuffy nose. Mixed with baby oil it can be rubbed on the chest and back to relieve congestion. For sore throats, it can be mixed with water and used as a gargle and a mouthwash, but care should be taken to ensure it is not swallowed.
- Eucalyptus oil extraction can be used as a rub for strains, rheumatism, and other aches and pains or just as a rub to ease joints before exercise.
- The oil is also excellent for aromatherapy. A few drops can be added to bathwater where it will revitalize the senses and moisturize the skin. It can also be added to the sauna although it must be diluted as the oil itself is flammable.
- The oil can be used to refill air fresheners and provide a refreshing odor for the homes. Diluted with water it makes a good footbath that will ease aching feet.
- A few drops added to the rinsing water when washing hair will refresh the scalp and revitalize tired looking hair. It can also be added to face creams and cleansers, soaps and moisturizers to brighten up the skin.
- For first aid, eucalyptus oil is invaluable. It can be dabbed on insect bites to provide relief and mixed with oil such as citronella makes a good insect repellant. A few drops on a cloth will keep insects away from food. and mixed with kerosene it can be burned in lamps to repel insects. Added to shampoo, it repels head lice.
- In the garden it can be diluted and used as a spray to keep insects off plants.
- There are also several uses for it in the laundry; it will remove some stains, paint, chewing gum, grease, and oil from clothes and shoes. Added to the washing machine It will freshen up clothes, and mixed with soap flakes it will make woolens soft.
- In the bathroom and kitchen it makes a good cleaner – it can be used neat to wipe round the toilet bowl and diluted with water it will clean all surfaces and kill germs. To kill mold and mildew a couple of teaspoons added to water wiped over the area will clean and remove the bacteria.
- Other uses for eucalyptus oil includes using a mixture of oil of eucaylptus in a spray bottle to freshen up carpets, mattresses, mirrors, and worktops. It can be sprayed and then wiped dry with a cloth.
- As a carpet freshener, it can be mixed with baking soda sprinkled on the carpet and then vacuumed off after an hour. This will prevent fleas and make the carpet smell fresh.
Eucalyptus is a strong oil and should be used with care. If the user has any doubts, then a qualified practitioner should be consulted prior to use.