Native to Australia and cultivated all around the world, the Eucalyptus plant has many uses. It is favored for being a fast-growing source of wood and its ability to drain swamps therefore reducing the threat of malaria. Apart from these, oil from its leaf has a wide range of applications including pharmaceutical, industrial and antiseptic.
Eucalyptus oil is produced by drying, crushing and distilling the leaves of the plant. Although this oil has been used in various applications that are advantageous for many years, there are certain disadvantages to it as well.
List of Advantages of Eucalyptus Oil
1. It can alleviate coughing.
Eucalyptus oil has a long history of being used to relieve coughing. In fact, a lot of the over-the-counter cough medications of today have a bit of eucalyptus oil in them. Vicks VapoRub – applied on the chest and throat to relieve symptoms – has about 1.2% oil from the eucalyptus plant in its composition. Inhaling the vapor loosens mucus in the chest so it’s easier to get out.
2. It acts as a repellant.
As mentioned earlier, the eucalyptus plant is favored for its repellant properties, particularly its ability to reduce the risk of malaria. The good news is that same fighting property is present even in spray form. Brands such as Repel and Off! make use of lemon eucalyptus in order to repel pests.
3. It serves as a disinfectant.
Australian Aboriginals use eucalyptus leaf infusions to treat body pains, sinus congestion, fever and colds. They also used it to treat wounds and prevent infections. A Victorian botanist called Baron Ferdinand von Mueller promoted the disinfectant qualities of eucalyptus in so-called “fever districts.”
List of Disadvantages of Eucalyptus Oil
1. It is toxic when taken orally.
Although there are medications with eucalyptus in them that are taken orally, it must only be done with supervision from a doctor. Eucalyptus is toxic if consumed orally and it can interact badly with other medications. It can act on the liver and as a result affect how other medications are metabolized.
Even applying it on the skin can cause some trouble. For instance, some may develop skin irritation and allergic reactions. As such, it’s best to apply the oil to a small patch of skin to test one’s reaction to it.
2. Its healing properties haven’t exactly been proved scientifically.
Yes, eucalyptus oil has been used for various purposes but there hasn’t been a lot of scientific evidence to prove that it does improve a person’s health.
According to the National Institutes of Health, essential oils may affect the body when breathed in as they stimulate the nose’s smell receptors which then send messages to the limbic system of the brain which then affects emotions and moods.
There haven’t been that many clinical trials to sufficiently truly determine the medical benefits of essential oils.
3. It is pricey.
Eucalyptus oil, just like any other essential oil, may cost a lot. Even purchasing a small bottle can make a dent on the wallet.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.