Eucalyptus Essential Oils: Treatments for skin Conditions and respiratory Systems
by Tonya Banbury
Essential oils [EO] are highly concentrated compounds extracted from plants. Playing a very important role in plant metabolism, EOs serve to attract beneficial insects as pollinators, which ensures plant survival and defense against harmful microorganisms. EOs allow plants to send and receive signals and communicate with one another. As gardeners, these statements are no stretch for our belief systems—we are well aware of the powers inherent in the plant kingdom.
Eucalyptus is another example of different species delivering different effects in the world of aromatherapy.
There are hundreds of varieties of Eucalyptus around the world, each producing a different essential oil, so the common name may not clearly identify the plant source.
Eucalyptus radiata, E. globulus and E. citriodora are three we’ll discuss for their medicinal values. Treatments for respiratory and skin conditions are commonalities. Both globulus and radiata species are good expectorants suitable for treating cold symptoms, and are often blended together with other oils in recipes for colds and bronchitis. Delivery by diffuser or steam is the best system and clinical studies have shown that, for inhalation, only minimal dosages should be used, just enough to produce a very faint scent.
Eucalyptus globulous, probably the most recognized and easily obtainable, is also a valuable antimicrobial agent. Adding a few drops on a soapy sponge is a great way to wipe down a bathroom or kitchen.
Eucalyptus radiata has such a broad spectrum of action that it has become the number one all-purpose Eucalyptus, treating coughs, sniffles and hoarse scratchy throats. Chemically found to be antiviral, expectorant and anti-inflammatory, it could be considered an aromatherapist’s designer oil since it also has an attractive fragrance and is reasonably priced.
Eucalyptus citriodora with its high citral content, make it a good choice for treating herpes outbreaks, especially when blended with E. radiata and Geranium oil and applied undiluted to the affected area. The citronellal found in E. citriodora is among the components with the strongest sedative effect when given orally. In the laboratory, these oils had the best therapeutic effect when administered at the lowest possible doses, a fact that is consistent with experiences in aromatherapy. TB 2010
Sources: Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt;
Emily Via at her Web site: www.eoils.net.
Tonya Banbury is an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer with Mecklenburg County, NC. Her series of articles on Medicinal Herbs: Essential Oils is based upon documented research and personal usage experience.
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