I won’t lie, I will use eucalyptus essential oil in my diffuser even if I’m NOT congested at times. Too much can be too much for me sometimes, but even a little bit smells heavenly.
Eucalyptus is commonly known for congestion of the sinuses and chest. In Ayurvedic practices, it is considered a cooling and moist herb.
The volatile oils found in eucalyptus aid in congestion by relaxing airways and actually thinning mucus. Most people are pretty familiar with using it in steam, or as an essential oil in a diffuser. Interestingly enough, this herb can be helpful as a tea. This is a very potent herb though, so use with caution as it can be overwhelming. A safe start would be 1/2 a teaspoon of dried eucalyptus per cup of water. If you grow this herb, you can also use one torn fresh leaf per cup of water. It is not recommended to take more than 3 cups a day. When steeping, do not exceed 15 minutes due to its potency.
Eucalyptus is a herb that is diaphoretic and can mildly induce sweating. As much as most of us hate the idea of sweating, it is our body’s natural response to avoid overheating. When we’re sick and we have a fever, that’s our body’s immune system killing whatever is foreign in our bodies. When we finally break into a sweat, our fever will break and we’ll feel a little bit better.
This herbal action promotes the dispelling of sputum (spit and mucus). This is very helpful for coughs and chest congestion. Even just inhaling steam that’s been infused with eucalyptus has the potential to be a huge help.
Eucalyptus has a pretty major component called eucalyptol. This is the component of eucalyptus that is antimicrobial. Eucalyptol can have the potential to effect many bacteria. The list of bacteria it effects consists of, but is not limited to:
- Mycobacterium tuberculosis
- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
- various viruses
- various fungi (even candida)
This herb is a fantastic addition for inflamed tissue in the respiratory tract and even for fever.
Young children should not be exposed to eucalyptus. Eucalyptol can actually have severe effects on young children and babies.
Avoid eucalyptus oil if pregnant or breastfeeding. Using it in food amounts when pregnant or breastfeeding should be fine. If you worry about consuming too much, just avoid it altogether. Always better safe than sorry.
Want to see what herbs we have in our garden? Take a look here.