Different types of eucalyptus oils and their uses
Eucalyptus trees, although mostly native to Australia, are now found all over the world.
These tall, flowering trees are members of the Myrtle family and are often referred to as gum trees. To produce eucalyptus oil, distillers typically steam the leaves and twigs of the eucalyptus tree of their choice. Eucalyptus oil is a well-known favourite when it comes to helping with respiratory issues, making it perfect for this time of year. However, eucalyptus oil can also be used in cleaning, first aid, skin care and perfumery; making it one of the most versatile of essential oils.
Whilst many think there is only one generic type of eucalyptus oil, there are in fact a number of different variants, each with their own particular strengths, reflecting their unique chemical compounds. Some of these main types are discussed below.
If you purchase an oil that is simply marked Eucalyptus oil, it is likely that it is Eucalyptus Globulus. Often, Eucalyptus Globulus oil is rectified, meaning that specific components have been removed, so it is important to find one that is authentic by buying from a reputable aromatherapy supplier. Eucalyptus Globulus essential oil is a popular choice for many people when suffering from a cold or flu, to help support healthy respiratory function and boost the immune system. It acts as an expectorant and is also a great antiseptic. Overall, it is an excellent choice for reducing the presence of bacterial, fungal, and/or viral activity, making it a favourite during the winter months.
In addition, Eucalyptus Globulus is known to have a stimulating and uplifting effect on the mind. This essential oil is perfect for using in steam blends or diffusers. It has a strong, penetrating type of aroma which blends well with other oils, such as Peppermint, Lavender or Tea Tree.
Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil is also highly regarded for aiding with respiratory issues. As well as proving useful for strengthening the immune system, this variant can help reduce muscular aches and pains. Eucalyptus Radiata is also uplifting and mentally clearing. It has a clear, fresh, sweet aroma, making it perhaps the most popular of the eucalyptus oils. For those that find the aroma of Eucalyptus Globulus a little strong, this oil may be a perfect option, with its softer, gentler scent. It a popular choice for diffusing around children or those that prefer a calmer aroma as they sleep. It may also be blended with Lavender oil to enhance its soothing properties.
The strong, camphorous, minty Eucalyptus Dives essential oil, is also known as broad-leaf or blue peppermint. In addition to its natural calming and decongestant properties, it is particularly useful for soothing muscular pain, and may also help to increase circulation. In fact, it is commonly added to blends formulated to help ease all types of aches and pains, including headaches. It is also a fantastic choice for promoting mental clarity. With its minty undertones, it is popular with those seeking a refreshing, uplifting scent.
The fresh, lemony Eucalyptus Citriodora essential oil is wonderfully calming and relaxing, as well as offering support to the respiratory system. Eucalyptus Citriodora, also known as lemon-scented gum, originates from Australia. It has a strong, fresh, lemony scent and is my personal favourite for helping to purify one’s surrounding environment from unwanted bacteria, fungal, and/or viral activity. This beautiful oil is also very cooling and cleansing, making it ideal to soothe mind, body, and spirit. Due to its unique aroma, this eucalyptus oil is often used in the perfume industry.
Eucalyptus Oil Safety
Please note that eucalyptus oils, along with all other essential oils, are subject to safety guidelines regarding their appropriate usage. Please check first with your aromatherapy supplier, aromatherapist or natural health care practitioner on correct dosage and usage for your circumstances. However, when used correctly and carefully, eucalyptus oils can be a wonderful addition to your home.
By Kerrie Clayton
Kerrie has been a member of the AHHCA for 10 years and is currently part of its Committee of Management. She is a qualified Holistic Health Practitioner and Reiki Master. Kerrie may be contacted via www.wellnesswithkerrie.com