Eucalyptus Bio*

  • Stock #3904-9 (5 ml)
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Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) essential oil has a strong camphor-like odor, primarily due to its 80% eucalyptol (cineole) content. An effective remedy for all types of respiratory problems, eucalyptus oil is capable of deodorizing and inhibiting contagious microorganisms when used as a disinfectant. Its expectorant and decongestant properties make eucalyptus oil an excellent aid for sinus congestion and sore throat. Not surprisingly, eucalyptus is an effective bactericidal and fungicidal agent. In addition, of all the varieties of eucalyptus oils available, Eucalyptus globulus is noted for its analgesic action, relieving the pain of migraine headaches, rheumatism and general muscle aches.1-3

The strong expectorant quality of eucalyptus oil is due to its high eucalyptol content. A study conducted by German researchers tested the expectorant qualities of numerous essential oils. An increase in secretions and an increased concentration of mucus in the secretions were evidence of an expectorant effect. Of all the oils tested, eucalyptus, lemon, pine and thyme provided expectorant actions and effectively relieved dry, nervous coughs. Furthermore, researchers determined that positive results were only achieved through inhalation of the oils, even in very small amounts. In fact, expectorant actions were best achieved when the minimal dosage was used for inhalation, producing only a very faint scent in the air—too high of a dose changed the secretion-stimulating effect to a secretion-inhibiting effect.1,2

Interestingly, essential oils have been utilized in cough medicines for years; although, some researchers believe that the expectorant ability of such medicines is due to the local action of essential oils on the respiratory tract lining during exhalation (after the cough medicine has been swallowed). An advantage of inhaling vaporized essential oils is that in many cases, infections linger in the sinuses between bouts. Essential oils regarded as beneficial for the treatment of chest infections and other respiratory problems include eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), frankincense (Boswellia carteri), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), pine (Pinus sylvestris), rosemary, (Rosmarinus officinalis), and thyme (Thymus vulgaris). In fact, the essential oil of Eucalyptus globulus is utilized for all lung ailments in Cuba.2

Essential oils have been proven to positively affect serum immunoglobulin levels, thus enhancing immunity. Research indicates that certain terpene alcohols found in essential oils can correct pathologically elevated or suppressed gamma-globulin counts to their proper level. For example, depressed gamma-globulin levels, associated with chronic bronchitis, can be raised using the essential oils of Eucalyptus globulus and thyme (linalol).1

Researchers in India have confirmed that eucalyptus oil acts as a bactericide against Escherichia coli (E. coli) strain SP-11. A follow-up study of broader scope determined that eucalyptus oil is also effective as an antibacterial and antifungal against at least 22 Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and 11 yeast-like and filamentous fungi in vitro. More recent research indicates that the terpenoid citronellol, found in eucalyptus oil, acts as a fungitoxic agent in vitro against Cryptococcus neoformans—an AIDS-related opportunistic fungus.4-6

Eucalyptus globulus was among several essential oils found to have comparable action to standard antibiotics against hospital pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus C and D, Proteus (various species), Klebsiella spp., Salmonella typhi and Haemophilus influenza. Interestingly, German studies have confirmed the antiviral properties of Eucalyptus globulus oil and its ability to enhance the effectiveness of prescription antibiotics—streptomycin, isoniazid and sulfetrone—against Mycobacterium TB.2

Furthermore, the essential oils of Eucalyptus globulus, Citrus limon and Mentha piperita have been analyzed and found to be effective antibacterial agents against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). This antibiotic-resistant strain has been responsible for the rapid spread of infectious outbreaks around the world. In fact, a mutated form of MRSA was determined as the cause of the “flesh-eating bug” of 1994.2

Researchers from Germany’s Neurological Clinic at the University of Kiel conducted a randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study and found that a topical application to large areas of the forehead and temples using a eucalyptus and peppermint essential oil preparation increased cognitive performance and produced a muscle-relaxing and mentally relaxing effect. A follow-up study to determine the effects of such topical application on experimentally-induced headache pain again resulted in significant temporal muscle-relaxing effects from the combined eucalyptus/peppermint oil preparation. Incidentally, both essential oils are well-recognized transmitters in the trigemino-vascular system, which is the leading structure in the generation of primary headaches. Thus, topical use of these oils may prove to be an effective and simple alternative therapy for the treatment of headaches, and one that is free of the potential side-effects associated with analgesics such as acetaminophen and aspirin.7-9

According to a study published in the journal Aromatherapist, eucalyptus and rosemary oils were used in the treatment of osteoarthritic pain. Such oils provide a warming, analgesic action and stimulate blood circulation. Furthermore, Eucalyptus globulus oil contains the chemical paracymene, which possesses analgesic properties that are especially beneficial for osteoarthritis.2

The psychological effects of eucalyptus oil are termed as reinvigorating and balancing. According to an article published in the International Journal of Aromatherapy, essential oils are used to enhance the quality of life of Alzheimer’s patients. For example, the essential oils of geranium and lavender are used to trigger memories of cooking and plants, while eucalyptus, peppermint and pine oils are used to stimulate conversation and overall memory.1

Special care should be taken to ensure that all essential oils are kept out of the reach of children. For example, a lethal dose of Eucalyptus globulus for a 3-year-old child is 5 ml. (taken orally).2

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1Schnaubelt PhD, K. Advanced Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1995.

2Buckle RGN, J. Clinical Aromatherapy in Nursing. San Diego, CA: Singular Publish., 1997.

3Damian, P. and Damian, K. Aromatherapy: Scent and Psyche. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1995.

4Pattnaik, S., et. al. “Effect of essential oils on the viability and morphology of Escherichia coli.” Microbios; 1995, 84(340): 195-199.

5Pattnaik, S., et. al. “Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro.” Microbios; 1996, 86(349): 237-246.

6Viollon, C. and Chaumont, J.P. “Antifungal properties of essential oils and their main components upon Cryptococcus neoformans.” Mycopathologia; 1994, 128(3): 151-153.

7Göbel, H., et. al. “Effect of peppermint and eucalyptus oil preparations on neurophysiological and experimental algesimetric headache parameters.” Cephalalgia; 1994, 14(3): 228-234.

8—. “Essential plant oils and headache mechanisms.” Phytomedicine; 2(2): 93-102.

9Brown ND, D. “Essential Oils For Headache Treatment.” HerbalGram; 1998, 38.