Eucalyptus essential oil is deemed as one of those plant products in which nature has resided countless beneficial properties and cures. It is obtained from the leaves of Eucalyptus – a tall, evergreen tree that belongs to the family, Myrtaceae, and is indigenous to Australia and Tasmania but is now extensively planted worldwide, including Asian countries like India. (Bachheti et. al. 625) This volatile product is extracted from the leaves and terminal branches through the process of steam distillation and rectification. (Boukhatem 306) Eucalyptol (1, 8-cineole) is its active component that is responsible for its diverse pharmacological effects. This page is going to help you to know the Eucalyptus Essential Oil Benefits and uses.
It possesses a vast range of biological activity including anti-microbial, anti-fungal, insecticidal, herbicidal, nematicidal, and acaricidal effects. (Batish et. al. 2166) Because of its numerous health benefits, it is used for various therapeutic purposes and is a central ingredient of medications used in Indian Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Greco-Arabian traditional medical systems. (Trivedi and Hotchandani 93)
Properties of Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Many in-depth and thorough research studies have demonstrated that eucalyptus essential oil owns a large number of beneficial properties. These include;
Antibiotic resistance is becoming a global concern as microbes are getting stronger day by day, and are becoming much more difficult to kill with regular medications. The tenet of using essential oils in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries is gaining momentum as they are endowed with efficacious antimicrobial activity. (Bachetti et. al. 625)
It is proved to be effective against multiple drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli species, common pathogens of skin, respiratory, and urinary tract infections. (Ghalem et. al. 214) Moreover, it has shown significant antibacterial activity against gram-negative bacteria including Klebsiella sp., Yersinia enterocolittica, Salmonella typhi, Pseudomonas aruginosa, as well as gram-positive Bacillus subtili . (Ayepola and Adeniyi 1411) Other causative agents of respiratory tract infections like Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Hemophilus influenza, have also shown susceptibility against this leaf extract. (Salari et. al. 194) And the list goes on.
Several in vitro studies have confirmed the anti-viral activity of eucalyptus essential oil against both Herpes Simplex Type 1 and 2 viruses. (Schnitzler et. al. 343) Similarly, it effectively kills the Rotavirus Wa strain as well as Coxsackievirus B4 with a percentage virus reduction of more than 50%. (El-Baz et.al. 267) Moreover, it has been found that its high concentration in the liquid phase has excellent activity against the influenza virus. (Vimalanathan and James 49)
In a recent study, the efficacy of this leaf extract was tested against the COVID-19 virus. Jensenone, present in this oil, was found to have high affinity and inhibitory activity towards the proteinase Mpro, a key enzyme of the coronavirus. Therefore, it may be a potential treatment of this viral infection; however, more clinical trials need to be done. (Sharma and Inderjeet 59)
It also possesses marked antifungal activity. For instance, the common fungal infection causing agents including Candida albicans, Aspergillus flavus, and Aspergillus niger have demonstrated moderate to high susceptibility towards Eucalyptus essential oil. (Ashour 400) Similarly, its antifungal effects are also evident against dermatophytes like Microsporum canis, Mirosporum gypeum , Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and Trichophyton rubrum. (Tolba et. al. 128)
It has been found that eucalyptus essential oil is a potent source of various natural antioxidants that scavenge free radicals from the body and halt the progression of their oxidative damages on cellular functions. Thus, it is helpful in the eradication of numerous free-radical borne diseases. (Mishra et. al. 28)
Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic
During a research study, eucalyptus essential oil has been demonstrated to significantly ameliorate edema in the rats; therefore, supporting its anti-inflammatory effects and its potential use in curing inflammation-related ailments. (Gbenou et. al. 1131) Likewise, in another research conducted on rats, it was observed that this leaf extract inhibited peripheral as well as central nervous mediated nociception (pain perception). In simple words, it has analgesic effects and can be used to relieve pain. (Silva et. al. 282)
It is also an excellent insect repellent that can protect humans from numerous biting insects like mosquitoes, etc. (Fradin and John 17) Apart from these, it also posses biological activity against various herbs, pests, nematodes, ticks, and mites. (Batish et. al. 2166)
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses
Eucalyptus essential oil is being used for various therapeutic as well as non-therapeutic purposes. A few of them are discussed below;
Cough and Common Cold
It has been used externally as well as internally to treat cough and the common cold, for many years. (Penfold 5) These days, it is one of the active components of several over-the-counter anti-tussive medications (Pletcher) and is also a central ingredient of the herbal medicine, Zinda Tilismath, which is effectively used for ailments like nasal congestion, common cold, coryza, and cough.
Asthma and Bronchitis
1, 8-cineole, present in Eucalyptus essential oil, is anti-inflammatory and has a direct vasodilator effect on bronchial smooth muscles. Therefore, it helps treat asthma. (Soyingbe 220) It is also effective against bronchitis and reduces mucous secretion in the airway tract. (Lu et. al. 168)
It attenuates arthritis/gout associated symptoms of edema and pain in joints by inhibiting the activation and recruitment of inflammatory cells and desensitizing (analgesic effect) the innervating pain conducting pathway. (Yin et. al.2042)
It is also being used in traditional medicines to treat diabetes. A study has shown that it possesses a hypoglycemic effect and improves insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. (Guillen et. al. 9)
Oral and Dental problems
Due to its antimicrobial activity against various oral pathogens, it is used as a mouthwash for the prevention and treatment of several oral diseases. (Ragul and Ashish 638) It is also used to treat periodontal conditions lie gingivitis, bleeding gums, etc. Being a central ingredient of Zinda Tilismath, it is also used to relieve toothaches.
The use of eucalyptus essential oil containing preparations has shown to be significantly effective against headaches and has mentally relaxing effects. (Gobel et. al. 228)
It is also used for healing skin conditions like acne, burns, ulcers, and wounds, etc. Apart from its therapeutic applications, it is also used as a pesticide, herbicide, and insect-repellent. Also, being aromatic, it finds application in the food and cosmetic industries.
Eucalyptus essential oil has numerous beneficial effects including antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, insecticidal, herbicidal, and pesticidal activity. It is used for both therapeutic and non-therapeutic purposes.
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