Eucalyptus essential oil has become a staple in the collections of aromatherapy dabblers and experts alike. Steam distilled from the leaves and twigs of the Eucalyptus globulus tree, this oil is well known for its cleaning properties and ability to support open breathing. With a little practice, this distinctive essence may easily become one of the most versatile oils in your aromatherapy and green living toolkit!
Eucalyptus Oil for Aromatherapy
Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia and its surrounding islands but have been cultivated and can now be found worldwide in subtropical climates. There are over 20 species that are used to produce essential oils, which are clear or sometimes pale yellow and characterized by a strong camphoraceous aroma that has a soft, woody undertone.
Eucalyptus has long been used to facilitate healthful, open breathing. Eucalyptol, also known as 1,8-cineole (“cajuputol” when it is found in cajeput oil), is an oxide that gives eucalyptus its expectorant properties. E. globulus usually contains around 70% of this constituent, but it can contain anywhere between 54% and 95%.
Uses for Eucalyptus Oil
Around the house, eucalyptus oil can be added to DIY natural cleaning solutions and makes an effective deodorizer for shoes (try adding one drop to a cotton ball placed in each shoe) and trashcans (add a drop directly into the can). It’s popular in diffuser blends, massage oils, and facial steams (see below). A few drops also make a great addition to your shampoo or bubble bath to release its invigorating aroma during a shower or soak (just be sure to properly dilute!).
Deep Breaths Eucalyptus Facial Steam
- 3 drops organic eucalyptus essential oil
- 2 drops organic lemon essential oil
- 2 drops organic lavender tea tree essential oil
- 1 drop organic sweet orange essential oil
- 4-8 cups of boiling water
- Have a comfortable seat with a small table (or sit on a pillow on the floor) with a medium sized bowl and large towel ready. It is also helpful to have your essential oils at hand so you can drop them directly into the water.
- Bring water to boil and pour into a 1 to 3 quart mixing bowl.
- Drop in your essential oils, and with your head positioned over the bowl, drape the towel over your head and shoulders to create a steam-catching tent.
- Close your eyes and breathe in the vapor.
This blend is helpful for moistening the breathing passages and is wonderfully soothing. If the vapor gets too hot, just lift a corner of the towel when you need to get a little cool air. Continue breathing deeply for as long as you like, or until the water is no longer releasing steam.
You can also use this blend in an essential oil diffuser. Just be sure to follow the instructions on your diffuser for the correct quantity of essential oil to use!
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