Cynthia is a homesteader who grows and harvests food for her family. Cynthia prefers using home remedies when she can.
Everyone has likely seen eucalyptus used in floral arrangements. It's fragrant, eye-catching, and a versatile filler— but eucalyptus so many other applications in essential oil form; it's an effective home remedy to many common maladies you could be suffering with.
Essential oils are widely used as home remedies in today's society. But first you need to know how to use them, and what afflictions they can remedy. In this article I will cover some common uses of eucalyptus oil and how to apply it for each.
Common uses of eucalyptus essential oil include:
- pest deterrent
- lice treatment
- fever reducer
- muscle pain relief
- treating respiratory infections
Eucalyptus is a very effective pest deterrent. Mixing a solution of eucalyptus can even kill certain pests on contact. In my younger years, my mother even used eucalyptus to keep our cat out of certain areas of the house.
How To Make Eucalyptus Pest Spray
- 100 drops of eucalyptus oil (equal to a teaspoon)
- 2 cups of water
- mix together
- store in a spray bottle
- shake well before use
This spray is easy to make and will help you deter and even kill pests. The following pests are often killed instantly with eucalyptus oil:
There are many other pest control uses for this oil too. You can expect to protect your garden plants against:
- Mushroom flies
- Rice weevils
Of course, if you need to keep your cat out of specific areas, this oil works well for that too. Cats just seem to hate the smell, so keeping kitty out of your rose bush is easy.
Eucalyptus is generally deemed non-toxic to humans; as such, it makes a great pest repellent and is beneficial in helping garden plants remain pest free. Unless you have any diagnosed allergies to eucalyptus, this repellent spray can be directly applied to any infested garden plants.
I'm sorry; this one likely has you scratching already. As I write this, the subliminal urge to begin scratching my scalp is hard to resist. No one wants lice, and no one wants to deal with treating for it—but it happens. Frequently passed among elementary-aged children, almost all of us have to deal with lice at some point.
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Eucalyptus oil can be used as a lice treatment and preventative as well. Be cautious with all oils, especially when treating your younger family members or children. A small skin test with diluted oil is always recommended before using any treatments. A small spot that has an allergic reaction is easier to deal with. Jumping in with full-blown treatment and dealing with a widespread allergic reaction is not fun for anyone.
Lice Treatment Recipe
- 2 ounces carrier oil (olive oil will work)
- 15-20 drops of eucalyptus oil
- mix thoroughly
- apply to scalp
- leave on hair for at least 12 hours
- comb out hair, then wash and rinse
You can repeat the process as necessary to control a lice outbreak. Wrapping the hair while the mixture remains on is beneficial. Especially if doing an overnight treatment, this will keep bedding from being oil stained.
For a preventative measure, when the dreaded 'we have lice in our classroom' letter comes home from school, add 5-10 drops to shampoo. Shampooing daily will help possibly deter the louse from choosing your child for their next host.
If you are experiencing a low-grade fever, try adding a few drops of oil to a compress. Lay the compress across your forehead; a cool compress is best. Be sure if your fever is high and you cannot seem to get it under control that you seek medical attention if warranted.
At home, I generally try home remedies for fever reduction. As parents, we can often overload clinics and doctors' offices with low-grade fevers. Fevers are actually natural and serve a purpose.
A good rule of thumb for visiting the doctor for fevers is:
- If a fever is 103°F or higher.
- The fever has lasted more than three days.
In most cases, we can reduce fever symptoms at home, either with home remedies or over-the-counter medicines. Fevers are actually a good thing; it is our body's response to rid us of illness. Allowing fevers to do the natural thing and create an environment that is hard for bacterial and viral infections to thrive in. I often don't treat low-grade fevers and let them run their course, allowing the body to do what it was meant to do.
Muscle Pain Relief
For muscle pain relief, use five drops of eucalyptus to two tablespoons of carrier oil. Coconut oil is a good choice; it remains solid at room temperature. Using coconut oil is my personal preference as I find it to be less messy during application.
To use coconut oil, you can warm it in the microwave or stovetop and then add your oils. Once it cools down, it will re-solidify. Massage into any sore muscle sprains or even just annoying regular aches and pains.
Eucalyptus oil is a very effective home remedy for treating respiratory issues and bad coughs. Those suffering asthma, bronchitis or just a cold or flu associated cough can use it as a home remedy. There are a few ways to use it for this application.
- Mix a few drops of eucalyptus with a tablespoon of carrier oil and use as you would a vapor run. Applying to the chest and back.
- Dilute 5-10 drops in boiling water and inhale the steam.
Using eucalyptus in an inhaled steam will react with the mucus membranes. It will effectively loosen mucus so it can be expelled when you cough. It will also lessen mucus production.
It can often reduce asthma symptoms but it should not replace any rescue inhalers you have. Eucalyptus is actually an active ingredient in many over the counter cough suppressants and rubs. Using a home remedy you made yourself is a more cost effective solution to pricey name brand products.
Final Thoughts and Precautions
We have arrived at the disclaimer portion of this article. Please be sure that you really look into the oils you are using. Not all oils are meant for use in remedies. Some essential oils available on the market today are not organic or therapeutic grade. Many oils you can purchase are meant for fragrance use only.
Due diligence in choose an oil by doing research is required. When using oils, make sure you also do a test. And always dilute essential oils in a carrier oil. Using essentials 'neat' or not diluted can cause contact dermatitis.
I use SVA Organics eucalyptus oil; it is a 100% natural organic oil, and therapeutic grade. Most of my oils I use currently are from this brand. No matter what brand you settle on, please be sure it is a quality oil suitable for home remedy applications.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 Cynthia Hoover
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on May 05, 2020:
Cynthia, I love the smell of eucalyptus. I like the idea of using it as a pest deterrent in the garden, since I don't use pesticides or other toxic chemicals in my yard.
Thanks for the tips!