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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Dietary Supplements >>  Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is very famous for its peculiar aroma and is derived from the leaves and branches of eucalyptus tree. The oil has various medicinal properties and is commonly used as a decongestant for upper respiratory tract infections and to relieve muscular and joint pain. Eucalyptus oil forms one of the ingredients in various tropical ointments, inhalation vapors and over the counter cold and cough lozenges. Eucalyptus oil has been reported to have antimicrobial properties and can be used tropically. It is also used in aromatic soaps/perfumes, flavoring in foodstuffs or beverages and industrial or dental solvent (one of the ingredient in mouthwash).

Eucalyptus oil is extracted by a steamed distillation process and approximately 110 pounds of plant material may yield 2 pounds of oil.

Health and eucalyptus oil

The listed health benefits are on the basis of unclear scientific researches; more human scientific studies are required to prove the safety and effectiveness of eucalyptus oil in human health.
Eucalyptus oil may have anti-inflammatory and mucolytic properties and may be beneficial for respiratory tract infections cure and for asthma patients to relieve airways.
Mouthwash containing eucalyptol combined with other essential oils may reduce dental plaques and also help in gingivitis treatment.  
Eucalyptus oil can reduce the number of tick bytes and tick borne infections and when applied tropically on skin for headache may relieve the pain.
Traditionally eucalyptus oil is also used for alertness, AIDS, antifungal and antibacterial, aromatherapy, arthritis, back pain, cancer treatment, diarrhea, ear infections, fever, insect repellant, liver protection, muscle pain, nerve pain, skin ulcers, urinary tract infections, whooping cough and wound healing. But there is no scientific evidence of eucalyptus oil to prove the effectiveness and safety in these conditions.

Side effects of eucalyptus oil

Eucalyptus oil is not recommended for infants and children as serious side effects are being noted when taken by mouth or applied on the skin.
Eucalyptus oil when taken by mouth may lead to slowing of brain and central nervous system, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, wheezing, cough, seizures, drowsiness, blue discoloration of skin and lips, slurred speech, fever, headache, convulsions or even coma.
Eucalyptus may lower blood sugar levels, so should be used with caution for patients with diabetes, hypoglycemia, or drugs/herbs to lower blood sugar levels.
It may also cause abnormalities in heart function like loss of heart beat, abnormal heart rhythm and disruption of heart and circulation.

It is advisable to use eucalyptus oil or products containing eucalyptus oil under the recommendation and supervision of a health care professional to avoid any health related complications.

Submitted on January 16, 2014