Eucalyptus – Its the season of cold and flu…
As we arrive into December and come out of our second lockdown we are moving towards and Christmas and the end of 2020. What a year this has been for us all both mentally and physically. If this year has taught us one thing it’s that we need to be looking after ourselves and those around us, supporting each other through difficult times.
Do you suffer from cold, blocked noses this time of year? Did you know there are Essential oils that can help you alleviate some of these symptoms you get from the cold/flu season. This blog will have a look at the Eucalyptus family of essential oils and how you can use them to help during this season.
Most people will know this plant as the food for Koala’s. The leaves are toxic to other animals (and humans if eaten), but Koala’s are able to process the toxins thus able to eat them.
There are over 600 different species of Eucalyptus, but within aromatherapy world we focus on mainly on using 6 of the most common species.
- Eucalyptus globulus (Blue Gum)
- Eucalyptus citriodora (Lemon scented gum)
- Eucalyptus dives (Cooling peppermint gum)
- Eucalyptus radiata (Softer aroma)
- Eucalyptus smithii (Gully Gum)
- Eucalyptus staigeriana (Lemon scented Ironbark)
Each of the different varieties of Eucalyptus have their own therapeutic properties. The essential oils are found in the leaves and twigs of the plants and are distilled by a steam process. The oil is extracted by the plant material is placed into a still and pressurised steam is forced through the plant material, then it passes through a cooling system where the steam condenses and the oil and water separate and sit on top of the water. The water is not thrown away as it will have picked up some of the plant material properties durning the process and it is known as a Hydrosol
Therapeutic Uses of the oils:
Most common of all the eucalyptus family. This oil is great as an anti-septic, good for respiratory system, as well as helping to maintain healthy joints and muscles.
This oil has a lemony aroma, its great for uplifting and invigorating, as well as a great insect repellent.
This oil has a calming affect on the respiratory system as well as being helpful for general aches and pains.
A warming oil and great for the respiratory system, however this species of the Eucalyptus family has recently been added to the watch list for endangered species due to a decline in their natural habitat.
Eucalyptus smithii :
The gentle member of the Eucalyptus family. This oil is great for the respiratory system especially fours with young children and the elderly due to the gentleness of the oil. This is also a great oil to help uplift and bring cheer during the winter months.
A great oil for helping uplift the mind and/or emotions. An oil to use to cheer you up, give you comfort during terms of uncertainty.
Ways to use the oils safely:
Massage – when using any of the Essential Oils for massage or when they come in contact with the skin, you MUST mix them with a massage medium such as a carrier oil (Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, Coconut oil for example) or blended into a plain white lotion or moisturiser. The massage medium not only helps to moisturise the skin but it also acts as the gateway for the essential oil to enter into the skin.
Inhalation – this is a great way to help unblock the nasal passages when you have a cold. It can be done in a number of different ways
- Steam – using a large bowl fill a 1/3 with boiling water, then add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil. You will not need any more than this amount as the oils are very powerful. Then place your head over the bowl and cover your head with a towel to create a barrier for the steam and take in deep breathes. Stay under the towel for as long as comfortable.
- Aroma Diffuser – these machines disperse essential oils into the air by being carrier on tiny micro-droplets of water vapour. They are a great way to use the essential oils in a subtle way and help to inhale the essential oil but not so intense as steam inhalation.
- Tissue – drop one to two drops of essential oil onto a tissue and place the tissue on your bedside table while you sleep.
- Inhaler stick – just like the Vicks inhaler sticks, you can make them yourself and add the essential oils onto the cotton stick inside the inhaler, you just use as an when you feel the need.
The Eucalyptus family are great Essential Oils to turn to when trying to fight off cold and flu bugs. This is due to the therapeutic properties which the oils have of Anti-viral, Anti-septic, Anti-infectious, Anti-microbial, Decongestant.
These are just some of the ways you can use Essential oils and a great way to help in the winter with lots of colds and other bugs flying around.
We must always remember that all the Essential oils are still toxic and should never be taken internally.