Eucalyptus is a plant whose products (especially its oil) have been used for generations for treating a variety of ailments. It is a plant whose native is Australia but it has been used in a variety of cultures including Indian Ayurveda, Greek medicine, and Chinese medicine among others to treat cold, cough, and congestion. It is also known to help in joint and muscle pains and is sometimes used in perfumes and as a flavoring agent.
With the current pandemic affecting the whole world, the question arises, can eucalyptus keep us away from Corona? Will this plant that has been used for generations for cough and cold actually help us against the CoronaVirus?
Coronavirus or Covid-19 to be very specific is known to cause severe respiratory illness and other respiratory issues. So how can Eucalyptus and its products help?
Uses of the plant
Eucalyptus since time unknown has been used as a medicinal plant used to alleviate and prevent several microbial infections. Here are some of the ways Eucalyptus can be used:
Relieves symptoms of Cold and Cough – Eucalyptus oil and its contents actually help in clearing the mucus and in reducing its production in the body which further helps with the congestion. It also dilates the Bronchi and the Bronchioles which helps in better breathing when a person is suffering from Cold and Congestion.
Relieves anxiety – With the current Pandemic situation, the majority of the population is dealing with Panic and Anxiety. Eucalyptus is known to calm the nerves and helps in reducing Anxiety. Eucalyptus contains eucalyptol which has Anti-anxiety properties.
Antiseptic and Antimicrobial – Eucalyptus can be used as a disinfectant and help with the sanitation, therefore, prevent infection with the Coronavirus. These properties help you in staying away from infections.
Immunity – It also acts as an immunity booster and has antioxidant properties which would help in fighting off infections and fight off a cold and cough if you are affected by it.
Different types of Eucalyptus oil
A wide variety of Eucalyptus is available but the Oil which can be used for our benefits is divided mainly into 3 types:-
1. Eucalyptus Globulus (Blue Gum Eucalyptus)
This is a classic Eucalyptus and has a camphor-like aroma and a foresty tinge to it. It is mainly used for bath and skin preparations. The strong nature of the oil helps in relieving cold and flu symptoms and is also widely used in soaps, body lotions, etc due to its benefits to the skin and its antiseptic nature.
2. Eucalyptus Radiata (Narrow-Leaved Eucalyptus)
It is a lighter and a milder version of the classic blue gum aroma which is a bit strong. This can be used by people who are sensitive to stronger aromas especially children and old people.
3. Eucalyptus Citriodora (Lemon Eucalyptus)
This oil has a lemony and lemongrass aroma to it and is very soothing in nature. It is great for outdoor use and is mainly incorporated in body lotions and other skin products. It is great for dry skin and the soothing lemony smell is always an advantage.
How to use Eucalyptus Oil
It is very important to know the correct way to use Eucalyptus oil. The use of a few drops of Eucalyptus Oil in different ways can be very beneficial for us.
Ways to use Eucalyptus:
- As a detoxifying drink – 2 to 3 drops of Eucalyptus oil or a few leaves can be added to warm water and can be consumed every morning. It can act as a great antiviral substance and prevent infections.
- As an Inhalant – A few drops of Eucalyptus oil or a few leaves can be added to boiling water or vaporizer, this should then deeply be inhaled for a few minutes every day. As an inhalant Eucalyptus oil can help prevent sinus infections and congestion by clearing the excessive mucous and providing relief from breathlessness.
- Skin application – Eucalyptus oil and leaves can be added to petroleum jelly and this can be used to apply all over the skin after a bath. Its antimicrobial action prevents infection of the skin. Furthermore, it also provides protection against infecting germs.
- During bath – Eucalyptus oil or leaves can be added in warm bath water every day. This acts as an antimicrobial agent and prevents skin rashes and inflammations.
- Infusion technique – Eucalyptus oil can be infused into potpourri and candles for aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is often used to clear the sinuses and provides a calm and soothing effect.
- Pain relief – Eucalyptus oil diluted with coconut oil can be used to massage the area affected. This often acts as a topical analgesic and effectively reduces pain.
- Outdoor use – The wood of Eucalyptus can be used to make furniture that is resistant to decay. Eucalyptus oil can also be used as a natural insect and mosquito repellent and can be applied to clothes while going out to prevent insect or mosquito bites.
Precautions to be taken while using Eucalyptus Oil
As most medicines, Eucalyptus too when used in larger amounts can be harmful or even fatal to us. A daily dosage of 0.2 to 0.5 ml of eucalyptus is benefitting for our health but a dose of more than 3.5ml can even prove to be fatal.
The following precautions should be taken while using Eucalyptus:
- Eucalyptus should not be applied directly to the skin without being diluted as it may cause allergic skin reactions.
- Some signs of eucalyptus poisoning may include stomach pain, dizziness, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, etc. in such cases its use should be discontinued immediately.
- Eucalyptus is proved to be unsafe during pregnancy and breastfeeding, hence its consumption or application should be avoided during those periods.
- If any kind of skin rashes or burns is found on the application, discontinue the use immediately and consult a doctor.
- Eucalyptus should not be applied or consumed by children as even a smaller dose can cause toxicity in them.
Eucalyptus is a very beneficial medical resource that can be used if not for a cure, then prevention of various medical conditions like cough, cold, congested throat, respiratory problem, and help to some degree even in preventing acquiring the coronavirus infection. The use of Eucalyptus has proven to be beneficial even in Corona Virus patients to alleviate symptoms of respiratory illnesses. As we know the COVID-19 affects mainly the respiratory tract; cold and fever being it’s most common symptoms, we need preventive medication that has no severe side effects. Hence, in such conditions, to protect us and our families we can use Eucalyptus and its byproducts to prevent the infection from the Corona Virus. Like all medicines, when consumed in an appropriate amount, Eucalyptus can prove to be a boon to us in the prevention and symptomatic relief of several ailments. It should be used in the advisable amount for best results and precautions should be carefully read and followed before its use.