What is Eucalyptus used for?
The primary product from the Eucalyptus globulus is its essential oil, which has a diverse range of therapeutic uses. The oil contains eucalyptol (1,8-cineol).
It is also a valuable source of kinos, a plant gum produced by various plants and trees, widely used in medicine and tanning lotions.
The essential oil is a popular decongestant remedy for upper respiratory infections and inflammatory infections, such as bronchitis. In these instances, it is used as an inhalant, where it reaches the lungs and bronchioles to help soothe congestion and chest infections.
It is also used in this way for colds and influenza or externally as a chest rub. If taken internally as in a lozenge or as cough mixture it is in very diluted state and smaller dosages.
Eucalyptus globulus is also used as a rubefacient, a topical treatment that causes redness of the skin because the capillaries dilate and blood flow increases to the skin. It creates a warming, comforting sensation and in some cases a slight pain relief.
It is often used in an ointment, cream or gel as a topical treatment for muscle and joint pain and acne.
It has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties and is used in cold sore creams, as a remedy for malaria, to help with fevers, and has been shown to complement antibiotics.
In a study looking at the combined effect of antibiotics, essential oils and extracts from Eucalyptus globulus, healing was improved by 55%, when compared to using the antibiotic alone.
Further studies were carried out on antibiotic-resistant bacteria where the essential oil was found to have an inhibitory effect on the bacteria. This suggests that the plant has beneficial bioactive compounds.
The eucalyptol found in the oil is responsible for many of the health benefits of the plant. It has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and can be very helpful in the treatment of upper and lower airways diseases, such as asthma.
The plant contains tannins and phenolic compounds, ingredients used extensively in disinfectants.
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