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Eucalyptus Essential OIl

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Eucalyptus Leaves

Eucalyptus Leaves

Getty Images / Jim Esposito Photography L.L.C.

Introduction:

When most people smell the strong, camphoraceous scent of eucalyptus, they think "cold remedy." And rightly so. Eucalyptus leaves and oil have been used to treat respiratory ailments for ages. All by itself, it's probably a bit too strong and medicinal to use in soap or candles. But blended with other softer scents, it is a wonderful green top note, and very affordable.

Scientific Name:

Primarily Eucalyptus globulus (Blue gum eucalytpus)

But eucalyptus variations include:

  • Eucalyptus radiata (Narrow leaved peppermint eucalyptus) - used widely in aromatherapy
  • Eucalyptus citriodora (Lemon eucalytpus) - wonderful and very effective in bug repelling essential oil blends
  • Eucalytpus dives (Peppermint eucalyptus) - a very interesting fresh, spicy-minty eucalyptus

Smells Like:

Green, medicinal, camphoraceous, woodsy, bright, penetrating, earthy, crisp, refreshing

Blends Well With:

Rosemary, lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, pine, cedarwood, lemon, thyme, peppermint, benzoin, patchouli, black pepper, ginger, juniper, bergamot, lime

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Safety:

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils by Julia Lawless, lists eucalyptus essential oil as "Non-toxic, non-irritant (in dilution,) non-sensitizing." However, it is not to be taken internally.

Primarily From:

Originally from Australia, eucalyptus trees can be found all over the world now. They are cultivated mainly in Europe, South America, China, Russia and California now.

Usage in Soap or Candles:

Because it is so strong, in soap, I would only recommended using between .3 to .5 ounce per pound of soap making oils.

In candles, recommended use is between .3 and .7 ounce per pound of wax.

But as I said above, just straight eucalyptus essential oil is very overpowering. It works best in a blend of other essential oils, and even then, as a small percentage - 10-20%.

More About Eucalytpus Essential Oil:

I remember growing up in California and seeing all of the super tall eucalyptus trees near my grandfather's house. He told me once that the trees were imported to try to also import koala bears to California, but I've never found evidence of that. Koala bears or not, I've always liked eucalyptus.

If I had to sum up eucalyptus in one word, it would be clearing. With its decongestant uses in treating colds and respiratory troubles, it clears up your nose and lungs. In aromatherapy, it is used in "energizing" and "concentration" blends - helping you to think clearly. Its antibacterial and antiseptic qualities are known to help you to clear out germs and viruses.

Judith Fitzsimmons & Paula M. Bousquet, in their book Aromatherapy Through the Seasons, pick eucalyptus essential oil for January - the month of colds, sore throats, muscle strains and coughs...and admire its adaptability - that "it can be used to cool the body in the summer and warm it in the winter."

In soap, it is a wonderful "green" top note in fresh, crisp essential oil blends:

  • eucalyptus, lavender, lemon and cedarwood
  • eucalyptus, bergamot, lemongrass
  • eucalytpus, pathcouli, tea tree, peppermint, lemon
  • eucalypus, clove, rosemary
In candles, I tend to prefer it blended more simply:
  • eucalyptus-peppermint
  • eucalyptus-lavender
  • eucalyptus-pine
  • eucalyptus-cedarwood
It's generally really affordable, too. $15 a pound or so...so it's a great oil to experiment with essential oil blending. It's also a really great essential oil to have around the house to add to bath water (a few drops in a bath is wonderful!), make room sprays, or add to massage oil for aching muscles.
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