At one time, eucalyptus was thought to be a valuable treatment for diabetes. Although it does appear to cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, research continues regarding the exact benefits, if any, for diabetics. Other documented medicinal and healthy uses for eucalyptus include:
- Treatment of respiratory illnesses - Coughs, colds, sore throats, asthma, and congestion appear to respond to medicines containing eucalyptus. Relieve congestion and cough by rubbing eucalyptus oil or ointment into the chest. Another method for relieving congestion and other respiratory problems involves boiling eucalyptus leaves in a tightly covered pot filled with water then removing the pot from heat to inhale the vapors. The plant's oil can be mixed with warm water to create a mouth rinse that helps alleviate sore throats. As an antibacterial, natural decongestant, eucalyptus often reduces the intensity and the duration of respiratory illnesses.
- Burns, cuts and insect bites - Topically, eucalyptus may be used as an antiseptic reducing the risk of infection and promoting healing.
- Muscle and joint pains - Rubbing oil from the leaves into the muscles and joints has been known to temporarily relieve pain. Below is a recipe for making your own relaxation massage oil that is great for a soothing massage:
Relaxation Massage Oil
4 drops Lavender
1 drop Petitgrain
1 drop Frankincense
All measurements are per 1 tablespoon of carrier, or base, oil. This blend may be added to a warm bath or used as massage oil.
- Reducing fevers - A small amount of the oil taken internally may temporarily reduce a fever.
- Stimulant and stress reliever Eucalyptus leaves and oil provide an aroma that can be useful in dealing with stress and fatigue.
- Dental care - Eucalyptus oils may be found in mouthwashes and toothpastes because it's a natural bacteria fighter.
- Bug repellant - In both Honduras and Venezuela, the plant is used to keep bugs away.
- Parasite deterrent - Guatemalans use eucalyptus to get rid of ringworm and topical parasites.
In Australia, eucalyptus trees are often used as timber for building. They are ideal as a building material because they grow very quickly and use does not result in deforestation. In countries where the tree is not a part of the natural habitat, growing eucalyptus has not been as successful. It can have a negative affect on the native flowers and plants, and doesn't appear to grow near as well out of its own habitat. Californiadoes have a form of eucalyptus that is now also marketed for medicinal and household use.
Eucalyptus branches can be used as bird perches providing antioxidants and other valuable minerals like calcium and magnesium. Some breeders use eucalyptus to line bird nests because mites and ticks will not live near the plant.