Health Topics

Healthy Living

April 2010
Gyan Marwah
The bark, roots and leaves of the eucalyptus tree are used in a host of medicinal and alternate medicinal products, making it one of nature’s most precious gifts.

For eons now, it has been termed the Fever Tree - one that has magical healing powers. Modern medicine swears by it. So do alternate streams of medicine like homeopathy, ayurveda, unani and Tibetan healing. Over the years, its value has not diminished. Instead, it has become a medicinal wonder, used in a variety of drugs and home remedies – the eucalyptus.

The bark, roots and leaves of the eucalyptus tree are used in a variety of sprays, vapour rubs, balms, ointments, mouth washes, cough lozenges and a host of other medicinal and alternate medicinal products. The oil of eucalyptus cures a slew of ailments and finds effective use in aromatherapy and relaxing massages and baths. One of the most widely accepted uses of eucalyptus is for respiratory ailments like cough, sore throat, blocked nose, chest congestion, bronchitis and even sinusitis.

It has great antiseptic and antiinflammatory qualities and is widely used in healing ulcers, wounds and bringing relief to burns, sores and cuts. Its oil is a great muscle relaxant and is used by masseurs to relieve stresses, strains and nerve pains.

The eucalyptus tree was earlier found only in the bushlands of Australia and the aborigines used most of its parts and oil extracts as healing agents for a number of disorders. Later, the tree began to be grown in a number of countries around the world, including India. Like neem, eucalyptus is one of the best-known curative trees and all its parts are used in a variety of ways, especially in home remedies and overthe- counter drugs.

The other mass use of eucalyptus is as a fragrance agent. It finds use in many popular brands of soaps, perfumes, deodorants and room fresheners because of its natural aroma. Eucalyptus is a star among medicinal trees and has traditionally been used in home remedies.

Coughs & Colds
Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water. Covering your head with a towel, inhale this steam for relief from cough, cold, nasal and throat congestion. Repeat twice a day, preferably in early mornings and at night before sleeping, for relief from sinusitis.

Headaches & Migraines
Just before going to sleep, take a few drops of eucalyptus oil and rub it on your sinus points - over and under your eyes and on the sides on the nose - with the finger tips in a circular motion. This gives relief from headaches and helps to get a good night’s sleep.

Stresses & Strains
Ask someone to massage your upper back and the back of your neck with eucalyptus oil, using pressure from the palms of their hand and thumbs. This will relieve your stresses and tensions, and is also a great way to relax those muscles and nerves.

Fungal Infections
For instant relief from fungal problems on any part of the body, add equal parts of eucalyptus oil to an equal quantity of hot water. Take a clean gauze and soak it in this concoction. Tie it around the infected area when the gauze is still warm and go to bed. That disturbing fungus will disappear in a few days.

Itchiness & Dry Skin
Instead of going in for expensive treatments in a beauty salon, mix equal quantities of eucalyptus oil, olive oil and a good quality skin cream. Apply this to exposed areas like face, neck, arms and legs every night before going to sleep. Wake up in a few days with a smooth, clear and glowing skin.

Natural Hair Growth
A daily massage with eucalyptus oil before going to sleep not just gives a silky lustre to hair but also makes it strong, more vibrant and gives a natural bounce. This not just stops hair from falling but also helps in fresh growth, while banishing dandruff.

Natural Disinfectant
Add 10 drops of eucalyptus oil to one cup of water. Spray this mixture in a room or open area to rid it of mosquitoes, insects, bugs etc. The concoction can also be used as a deodorising agent for cupboards, sinks and kitchen and bathroom counters.

Dental Care
Because of its anti-microbial properties, eucalyptus oil finds extensive use in personal care products. It is extremely beneficial for gums and toothaches and is used in a number of toothpastes, powders and mouthwashes. The oil is effective against bad breath, cavities and other mouth infections.

Cure for Diabetes
Laboratory studies on animals have shown that eucalyptus reduces blood sugar levels. Although no conclusive evidence is available so far, studies are underway in various countries to find out whether it can benefit diabetic patients by reducing the level of sugar in the blood.

Apart from these, medical research is discovering many more uses of the eucalyptus tree. But it is best to consult a doctor before using it extensively in home remedies. For, it is a known fact that unsupervised use can have certain side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. However, when taken under medical guidance, eucalyptus and its oil have miracle healing properties – a natural cure for a host of common ailments.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
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