Not only refreshing to smell, but literally has the power to refresh your home and your health…
Scent, specifically aromatherapy, is an incredibly powerful thing. Along with connecting us to our past and present, the right scent can help us sleep, keep us calm, power a workout, energize the mind or even invite healing in times of sickness and pain. During the past several weeks, I’ve found myself reaching for my essential oils a little more than usual for just about all the uses listed above. Between the desire for a new year’s refresh and a little more energy and coming down with the cold that nearly everyone else had, too, I’ve developed a fresh appreciation for the gorgeous oils housed in those tiny little bottles, especially eucalyptus oil. While this oil has been a mainstay in my routine for years, lately I’ve found myself seeking it out more regularly. When I was sick, it cleared my breathing; when I was finally well again and my home needed cleansing, eucalyptus oil was a main ingredient in my natural household cleaners. Naturally antiviral, antimicrobial, antibacterial and decongestant, eucalyptus oil does it all. If there’s one essential oil to keep in your medicine cabinet, you guys, this is it. Powerful stuff! Read on to learn all about eucalyptus oil and how to use it, then be sure to make the recipe below for a eucalyptus-lavender room spray.
What is it? The oil distilled from the eucalyptus plant, a group of flowering trees in the Myrtle family. Mainly native to Australia (though some species originated in Indonesia and New Guinea), the species covers over 700 varieties, including the tallest known flowering plant in the world. Eucalyptus oil is typically steam distilled from a variety of eucalyptus species, though a popular and high-yielding variety is blue leaf eucalyptus, which features long greenish-blue oblong leaves. It’s important to always purchase the highest quality, 100% pure, 100% organic eucalyptus oil to ensure you’re actually getting what you’re paying for (read your labels and check the origin!). It’s not uncommon for cheaper eucalyptus oils to actually be made from camphorwood, a similar-smelling but entirely different species that lacks the powerful benefits of true eucalyptus.
What are the benefits? Whether you’re familiar with the oil or not, you’ve likely at least smelled the slightly sweet, fresh and woodsy aroma of eucalyptus before. It’s a common ingredient in many over-the-counter cold-relieving medicines such as throat lozenges, sprays, nasal decongestants and more, thanks to its congestion-relieving and antibacterial properties. A known germicide, antifungal, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral (basically all the antis you can think of) and decongestant, eucalyptus oil isn’t only refreshing to smell, but literally has the power to refresh your home and your health by killing off germs, bacteria and viruses. These benefits are mainly thanks to cineole, an organic compound that makes up about 90% of eucalyptus oil. When used as a decongestant, cineole opens up airways by inhibiting cytokine cells. When used in aromatherapy, eucalyptus oil can stimulate the brain and increase energy by relaxing the circulatory system, increasing blood flow throughout the body. The anti inflammatory properties of eucalyptus oil make it an ideal healer for minor cuts and scrapes, and can even relieve muscle pain and joint pain when applied topically.
How do I use it? Eucalyptus oil is one of those oils that, once discovered, you won’t understand how you ever lived without it — especially during cold and flu season! One of my favorite ways to use this amazing oil is by adding a few drops to a pot of steaming-hot water and breathing in the vapors — instant relief! This method acts as a one-two punch to cold and flu viruses, helping to break up congestion and mucus in the respiratory tract, allowing you to breathe a little easier, while helping to cleanse the air in your home. Eucalyptus oil can also be used as a gargle or mouth rinse to help relieve sore throat or mouth pain. Simply add a few drops to warm water and gargle or swish before spitting out. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your favorite homemade natural cleaner for an antibacterial boost. To relieve sore muscles or joints, mix a few drops of eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil such as sweet almond or castor oil, and rub on affected area. Need to quickly cleanse the air in your home or refresh sheets or upholstery? Make the eucalyptus oil room spray below for an easy January refresh!
Eucalyptus-Lavender Room Spray
100% organic pure eucalyptus essential oil
100% organic pure lavender essential oil
2 tsp rubbing alcohol, vodka or witch hazel
Glass spray bottle (I used a 4 oz. bottle)
Uncap the bottle and add 10 drops each eucalyptus oil and lavender oil. Add the alcohol, vodka or witch hazel (this will help preserve the scent — choose whichever one you’d like). Fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water and re-cap it. Shake to combine.
To use: Spray anywhere that needs a refresh, such as rugs, upholstery, fresh sheets, curtains, or simply the air around you.
Tip: Natural separation may occur. If you see a layer of oil sitting at the top of the bottle, simply give it a shake to redistribute.
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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.