Eucalyptus Oil Health Benefits + Dangers & How to Use

The sharp aroma of its trees or perhaps the common household item VapoRub are probably images that first come to mind when someone mentions eucalyptus. The common belief that eucalyptus oil is an effective decongestant is true, but it can also be dangerous. Read on to learn the benefits, dangers, and how to use it for the best results.

What is Eucalyptus Oil?

Derived from Eucalyptus Globulus, eucalyptus essential oil is a liquid rich in 1,8-cineol (eucalyptol) and other beneficial components [1, 2].

At diluted concentrations, the oil is effective against infections. It can kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also has antioxidant and muscle-relaxing effects [3, 4, 5].

People use eucalyptus oil to reduce symptoms of colds, the flu, and other respiratory problems like asthma, bronchitis, and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) [3].

Different species of eucalyptus differ widely regarding chemical composition, but all contain a high concentration of 1,8-cineol [6].

Eucalyptus oil can be inhaled, ingested, and put on the skin topically in highly diluted forms. Do not use a pure/undiluted solution on your skin or ingest it [3].




Components and Mechanisms

Eucalyptus oil’s primary constituents are 1,8-cineole and α-pinene.

1,8-cineol is responsible for the thinning of mucus in the respiratory tract and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects [7].

Αlpha-pinene is what gives eucalyptus oil its antimicrobial properties against bacteria and viruses [8].

They both inhibit the growth of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria [9].

Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil

Possibly Effective:

1) Nasal and Chest Congestion

Inhaling eucalyptus oil vapors can help relieve uncontrollable coughing, as the vapors provide a calming and soothing effect [10].

According to pre-clinical trials, eucalyptus oil loosens mucus buildup, which reduces the possibility of extreme allergy attacks. This is accomplished by reducing cytokine levels in the bloodstream and consequently producing less mucus buildup in the sinuses [3, 11].

Traditionally, eucalyptus oil inhalation has