Eucalyptus Oil: Uses & Benefits


Eucalyptus oil is most widely recognized for its ability to invoke a sense of relaxation and for helping to open up the body’s airways for clearer breathing.  Its purifying properties also make it an attractive cleanser, both for the skin and for the home.  The oil itself is colorless, but has a distinctive taste and a pleasant aroma.  This oil was not at first widely recognized for aromatic use – other oils have been used more extensively in folklore and ancient practices – but its numerous health benefits have led to increased exploration into the many applications of this amazing essential oil.

What is Eucalyptus Essential Oil?

Quick Facts

  • Scientific Name: Eucalyptus radiata
  • Application: Aromatic, topical
  • Plant Part: Leaf
  • Extraction Method: Steam distillation
  • Aromatic Description: Light, airy
  • Main Chemical Components: Eucalyptol, alpha-terpinol

Principal Benefits

  • Clears the mind and relaxes the body
  • Revitalizes and purifies the skin
  • Can be used to alleviate respiratory symptoms

How to Use Eucalyptus Essential Oil

This essential oil can be used to relieve tension and enhance feelings of calm.  It can also be used to cleanse surfaces in the home, eliminating bacteria and leaving behind a light, fresh scent.  Is has also been found to have positive effects when used to combat respiratory symptoms such as colds, coughs, and congestion.

Directions for Use:

  • Aromatic: Add 3-4 drops to a diffuser, or dilute one drop with carrier oil and place directly beneath the nose.
  • Topical: Dilute with a carrier oil and…
  • Internal: Not recommended for ingestion.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses

  • Diffuse to promote relaxation and stimulate mental acuity
  • Combine with a citrus or earthy oil to create an incredible-smelling cleansing solution
  • Add a drop or two to a facial cleanser or body lotion to rejuvenate the skin
  • Mix 1-2 drops with warm water and gargle to target symptoms of a sore throat
  • Rub 1-3 drops onto the chest to harness its anti-inflammatory benefits to relieve symptoms of congestion
  • Use as an air freshener to kill airborne bacteria and maintain a clean, fresh scent

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Health Benefits

  • Can help to ease tension and create a relaxing atmosphere.  The refreshing scent of this oil can lift exhaustion and inspire alertness, alleviating stress and contributing to potential increases in mental acuity.
  • This oil’s antiseptic properties and its clean scent make it a popular addition to homemade cleansers.  Mix with water in a spray bottle, either alone or combined with other oils with antiseptic properties, to create a fresh-smelling cleanser to use on tables and countertops.  These properties are often harnessed in hand soaps as well.
  • Apply topically to the chest over the lungs to help to open up the body’s airways, lessen the impacts of congestion and inflammation, and increase the flow of oxygen through the body.
  • Inhale the vapors to reduce the constriction of blood vessels and invigorate the body and mind.  These effects can be intensified by utilizing the vapors in a shower or sauna.
  • This oil has a reputation for being a natural pesticide and insect repellant.  As such, it can be used as a natural alternative to harmful chemical repellants, as well as lice treatments that can damage the hair and scalp.
  • Can be an effective way to reduce the appearance of cavities, plaque, and gum disease.  As such it is an active ingredient in many commercial mouthwashes, and combining a few drops with a few ounces of water can create a natural mouthwash or gargle.
Eucalyptus Oil: Uses & Benefits
Eucalyptus – Eucalyptus radiata

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Research

Most have heard of this evergreen tree as a plant native to Australia that serves as the primary food source for koala bears.  Today the tree has migrated to several other regions around the world, including South Africa and India, but the majority of its essential oils are still produced in Australia.  One compound in particular, eucalyptol, contains rejuvenating and detoxifying properties that make this oil a popular addition to rubs, rash creams, cosmetics, and inhalers.  Its aromatic benefits are still being explored, as eucalyptus is still fairly new to aromatherapy practices, but its calming and soothing effects have increased its aromatic popularity in recent years.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Nutrition

This oil doesn’t have nutritional benefits.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Safety

This oil is technically safe to ingest in small quantities; however users should exercise caution and limit direct ingestion to small dosages, as highly concentrated doses may cause nausea or vomiting.  In most cases its benefits can be harnessed without ingesting at all.   Eucalyptus oil is likely to irritate the skin if applied directly in a high concentration; dilute with a carrier oil or lotion prior to topical use in order to minimize the risk of irritating sensitive skin.  The use of essential oils should never be substituted for any prescribed medication for any medical condition, and should not be used against the advice of a medical practitioner.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Substitutes

The benefits of essential oils are not backed by scientific studies.  As mentioned above, they should never be substituted medications prescribed by a doctor or against the recommendation of a medical practitioner.  However the benefits of this essential oil may be used to complement medications and supplements that target specific ailments.  For example, pairing a eucalyptus oil rub with decongestant medication can lead to a powerful reduction in respiratory system symptoms, but should never be used in place of prescribed asthma medications or inhalers.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Blends Well With

Eucalyptus oil can be blended with other like-acting oils to compound the beneficial effects of both oils. For example, combining with laurel leaf, tea tree, lemon, or ravensara oils can lead to a greater ease of breathing and relief of congestion symptoms. Likewise, mixing other oils with soothing aromas, such as lavender or jasmine, can amplify the calming effects of its scent in aromatherapy practices. To create a fresh-smelling custom home cleanser, pair with lemon or cedarwood oils, or consider other oils with similar properties.  Because of its light, airy scent, this oil pairs well with the aromas of many others.  To create a delicious air-freshening blend, consider pairing with thyme, rosemary, cedarwood, or frankincense.

Some other popular pairings include: chamomile, geranium, grapefruit, juniper, lime, marjoram, orange, pine.


Eucalyptus oil is still something of an “up and comer” in the aromatherapy world, but its ability to soothe nerves and clear up congestive issues is gaining recognition and quickly causing it to gain popularity.  Its light, fresh scent pairs well with many other oils, and as such it is a popular addition to homemade household cleansers and air freshening mixtures.  This oil has long been a popular addition to cosmetics, lotions, mouthwashes, and rubs because of its rejuvenating and detoxifying properties.


Can eucalyptus oil really cure respiratory problems?  There are no published and scientifically backed studies that would support this claim, and the FDA does not evaluate any stated health benefits of essential oils.  Essential oils should never be used in place of prescribed medication or specifically to treat or diagnose any illness, nor should they be used against the advice of a doctor.  However avid users of essential oils have reported that incorporating this particular oil into their congestion-fighting regimen has helped them to breathe more easily and reduce unwelcome congestion , and similar testimonials exist for the other benefits detailed in this article.