Why Eucalyptus Oil is a Winter Essential
Eucalyptus is one of our most popular oils, and it's not hard to see why. The distinctive scent is instantly recognisable - even if you think you've never smelt it before, chances are you have without knowing it. As far as essential oils go, it's actually quite a mainstream ingredient, used in many popular cold and flu remedies like Vapor Rub. Yes, that strong smell that can clear your blocked nose is eucalyptus!
While it won't cure a cold it can certainly ease the discomfort, helping to open your airways, allowing you to breathe a little better. When you're all blocked up and feel a sinus headache coming on, eucalyptus is the oil to reach for. That makes it a great essential oil to keep in stock for the winter months. No one likes a blocked nose!
How to use Eucalyptus essential oil for a cold
While it's tempting to simply smell the oil straight from the bottle, we don't recommend doing this. It's just too strong! The best way to use this oil for cold and flu relief is by making a steam inhaler. Get a heatproof bowl or cup, and pour in some hot water. Boiled water from the kettle will be most effective as it produces more steam, but you do have to be very careful with this. If you have children around or can't safely hold the container without it getting too hot, then warm water from the tap will do just fine. Simply drip two to three drops of eucalyptus oil onto the water, then inhale the steam. Make sure to keep your eyes closed, and don't put your face too close - steam can burn you just like hot water can. The heat will cause the essential oil to evaporate, so you get to breathe in the lovely, aromatic vapour. As an added bonus, the steam itself is also a decongestant. Together, they should help clear up a blocked nose, relieving tension and allowing you to breathe clearer.
Eucalyptus oil for aching joints and muscles
If you tend to get aches and pains as the weather grows colder, then you'll be pleased to find out that diluted eucalyptus oil can help to ease joint pain. Dilute 1% essential oil into 99% carrier oil (such as grapeseed oil) and massage into the affected area. Eucalyptus has the same effect as menthol, creating a strong cooling sensation that can soothe aches and pains. It's used as an active ingredient in many over-the-counter creams and ointments, so it makes sense to try it in its pure, natural form.
Eucalyptus and rosemary are a powerful duo when it comes to relief for sore muscles. Whether you've been exercising or are just feeling a bit stiff and achy, they can help you loosen up and release tension. A few drops of each in a bath - especially paired with Epsom salts - will work wonders. The warm water, gentle steam, and soothing essential oil vapours will help melt tension away. This is a lovely treat if you're suffering with cold or flu, as it soothes your aches while helping open your airways to ease breathing.
Disclaimer: Essential oils are not a substitute for medicine. Always ask your doctor before using essential oils while on medication.