Ok, the title doesn’t make much sense if you don’t own a pet koala (and I’m ready to bet my dinner you don’t, as it’s illegal). Unless you are a landowner in Australia and have koalas roaming (or rather sleeping 18-22 hours a day) around your properties. The funny looking creatures who are not actually bears (I know! It was a shock to me too!) have their characteristic aroma of cough drops – that’s because their diet comprises of eucalyptus leaves only.
So I bet they never suffer from sore throat. You can be like a koala too, and I don’t mean here sleeping 22 hours a day or eating leaves.
You can use eucalyptus oil to treat sore throat and many other problems.
Although associated with Australia mostly, certain eucalyptus species can be seen in other countries too. Italy, Uruguay, Hawaii, Brazil, Ethiopia – to name just a few. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of leaves. In larger quantities it can be very toxic (that’s why koalas sleep so long; they need to digest the leaves properly), but in small amounts eucalyptus oil can benefit us in many ways.
The most obvious one is fighting cough, cold and clearing chest. Even over the counter medicines like cough drops or Vickes contain eucalyptus essential oil. At home the oil can be used in steam inhalation or a few drops can be added to diffuser. Once the active ingredients of the oil will enter your respiratory tracts, they will work absolute wonders there.
Do you know that feeling when you’re sick, you have a strong headache and your mind is foggy and seems to be completely off? Of course you do. The good news is that eucalyptus oil can help with that too. You can use it in a way mentioned above or add 10-20 drops to your bath, for truly relaxing and healing experience. One more bonus – if your cold or flu is accompanied by fever, the oil will help with that too!
As eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory and blood flow stimulating properties, it is recommended to people suffering from muscle and joint pains. A few drops mixed with carrier oil (coconut, almond etc) and massaged onto skin can bring a true relief.
Although we and koalas love the healing aroma of eucalyptus, there is someone who actually hates it. I’m speaking here about insects and rodents. Mosquitoes, cockroaches, mice, even bed bugs (and we know these are tough) will leave your property quicker than they came. Add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil to a large spray bottle and mix it with water. Spray the areas where your unwelcomed guests loves to hang out. BUT. The word of caution. If you have any pets at home, be extremely careful, as eucalyptus can be toxic to them.
There seem to be some controversy surrounding the subject of using eucalyptus essential oil in pregnancy. While some women swear it helps them with restless leg syndrome and with cramps, most of the health websites advises extra care. Some are plainly saying about the possibility of miscarriage. Whom to believe? Well, as every woman and every pregnancy is different, it is best to get a custom advice from a specialist. People on internet forums are rarely qualified as such.
Without further delay, here is a list of the most common benefits of eucalyptus essential oil:
- fights cough,
- clears chest,
- helps to reduce fever,
- cures headache,
- helps to concentrate, clears foggy mind,
- stimulates blood flow,
- helps with muscle and joint pains,
- repels insects and rodents.
A few words of caution – remember that essential oils are very concentrated goodness. And eucalyptus is some really powerful stuff – you can tell it by the smell already. When dealing with essential oils, try to not forget these few simple safety measures:
- ‘Less is more’ applies to the use of essential oils.
- Never use essential oils directly to the skin – always dilute them with a carrier oil or in case of bath or inhalation – in water
- Be careful about taking any essential oil internally – consult it with a specialist first, as some essential oils can be very toxic.
- Be careful with essential oils around pets, especially cats. Essential oils can be all from unpleasant to dangerous for them.
- Consult a specialist before using essential oils on children. Their bodies are smaller and react differently – also not all of the oils are suitable for kids.
- While pregnant, consult a specialist about using essential oils .
That might sound a bit intimidating, but care is required with any kind of medicine, natural too. For the wide range of essential oils benefits, it is still worth to give them a chance.
Have you ever tried eucalyptus oil? How did it work? Let us know in the comments!