Air Freshener, Insect Repellent: The Unknown Uses of Eucalyptus

Air Freshener, Insect Repellent: The Unknown Uses of Eucalyptus

Most people easily recognize the scent of eucalyptus, but many don’t realize that this evergreen tree also has a variety of uses. Koalas usually come to mind when thinking of eucalyptus, but humans use it as well.

The most common type of eucalyptus, known as blue gum, grows mainly in Australia and Tasmania, but there are more than 300 known species of this plant. Eucalyptus leaf and eucalyptus leaf oil are commonly used for medicinal purposes, and it is not uncommon to find eucalyptus in a number of medications, detergents, and even over-the-counter air fresheners.

shapes of eucalyptus

Eucalyptus comes in many forms

Leaves: Eucalyptus leaves are used in their fresh or dried form as an air freshener and in medicinal tea.

Oil: In this form, eucalyptus is added to cough and cold medicines, dental products, and antiseptics, and is used directly to treat fevers.
The oils are also used in industrial mining and aromatherapy.

Ointment: applied directly to the skin, the plant is used to treat minor pain. It is also used in the composition of many over-the-counter ointments to treat the common cold.

Sprays: Some companies sell the herb in spray form, which allows it to be used topically on humans and pets.

Health benefits

Some of the documented medicinal and health uses of eucalyptus include:

Treating respiratory illnesses: Coughs, colds, sore throats, asthma, and congestion seem to respond to medications containing eucalyptus. Relieve congestion and cough by rubbing eucalyptus oil or ointment on the chest. Another way to relieve congestion and other respiratory problems is to boil eucalyptus leaves in an airtight container filled with water, then remove the pot from the heat to inhale the fumes. Plant oil can be mixed with hot water to make a mouthwash that helps relieve a sore throat. As a natural antibacterial and decongestant, eucalyptus often reduces the severity and duration of respiratory illnesses.

Burns, wounds, and insect bites: When applied topically, eucalyptus can be used as an antiseptic to reduce the risk of infection and promote healing.

Muscle and joint pain: Rubbing the muscles and joints with leaf oil is known to help temporarily relieve pain.

Reducing Fever: Taking a small amount of the oil internally can reduce fever temporarily.

Stimulant and anti-stress: Eucalyptus leaves and oil give off a scent that can be helpful in combating stress and fatigue.

Home uses for eucalyptus

Insect repellent: In Honduras and Venezuela, the plant is used to repel insects.

Soaps and Detergents: Commonly found in household cleaners, eucalyptus offers a healthy scent and powerful cleaning abilities. It is often used in spas and saunas for cooling and disinfection purposes.

Stain and stain remover: Some companies sell the oil for these purposes, claiming that it does not leave a stain and removes tough stains such as gum and ink.

Carpet cleaning: In a less concentrated form of stain remover, eucalyptus spray can be used as a natural carpet cleaner without soaking. Washing clothes: Adding a teaspoon of oil to heavily soiled clothes can clean and freshen them. Garden spray: You can use this spray directly on the base of plants to keep pets away.

for the building

In Australia, eucalyptus trees are often used as lumber. It is ideal as a building material because it grows very quickly and its use does not lead to deforestation. In countries where the tree is not part of the natural habitat, eucalyptus cultivation has not been successful. They can have a negative effect on native flowers and plants, and they do not appear to grow well outside of their natural habitat.

for animals

Eucalyptus twigs can be used as perches for birds, providing them with antioxidants and other valuable minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Some breeders use eucalyptus to line birds’ nests because mites and ticks do not live near this plant. Koalas and other animals feed on eucalyptus in the wild.

Active Ingredients: Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus leaves contain tannins, which are used to treat infections. The oil derived from the leaves and the tips of the branches contains cineole, which is a natural antiseptic.

Precautions and concerns

Although topical and aromatic use of eucalyptus is generally safe for anyone over two years of age, internal use should be considered with caution and only in small doses, especially in young children and the elderly. Even when used topically, camphor can cause a rash or skin irritation if used in a concentrated form.

People with high blood pressure, kidney, stomach or liver problems, diabetics, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use it without consulting a doctor. Since it is known to affect blood sugar levels, insulin-dependent diabetics should be especially careful. It is not difficult for adults to overdose on eucalyptus oil, so prescriptions should be followed carefully.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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