Eucalyptus essential oil is very useful during cold and flu season and it was the first oil I profiled 2 weeks ago. (Read the entire about Ecualyptus globulus post if you missed it.) But there’s more to Eucalyptus oil than just Eucalyptus globulus. There are several other varieties and I’m going to cover four of them here today.
Most Eucalyptus oils have the same basic properties so I’m going to remind you of them right here. I’ll be sure to point out where one Eucalyptus species varies from the others in the individual sections.
In general, the Eucalyptus oils are good for:
Eucalyptus radiata has an absolutely lovely smell. If Eucalyptus globulus overwhelms you by its strength, but you need some serious sinus clearing action, try Eucalyptus radiata. Because it has a gentler odor, due to less 1,8 cineole than most other species, you can smell this one closer without triggering a cough reflex. Yay!
If you suffer from sinus issues or upper respiratory infections, this is the Eucalyptus for you.
Many aromatherapists suggest that this oil is safe to diffuse around children (see above) because of its lower concentration of 1,8 cineole, but be warned… 1,8 cineole concentrations can vary from year to year due to differences in soil, weather and growing conditions that change on a yearly basis. I recently came across a Eucalyptus radiata oil for sale at Nature’s Gift that warned of the higher than normal 1,8 cineole levels which wouldn’t be safe for kids. This is why you want to vet any company you buy oils from. I trust these guys completely because they are up front with disclosures such as this.
More commonly known as lemon eucalyptus, Eucalyptus citriodora has a wonderfully light, lemony, refreshing smell. It’s great in a diffuser to clear the air and kill germs. It appears to have anti-Staph properties and is strongly anti-fungal as well.
In small doses, this oil can be quite sedating. Quite the opposite of the normal stimulating effect of the others.
Euclyptus citriodora is also an excellent insect repellent and is actually recognized by the FDA for that purpose! Bonus: It smells a lot nicer than the better known insect repellant citronella.
This oil is commonly referred to as peppermint eucalyptus because of the sweet peppermint undertones in the aroma. Of all the Eucalyptus oils I’ve smelled, peppermint eucalyptus is the most divine. The sweet peppermint is a wonderful balance to the sharpness of the traditional eucalyptus aroma. Mmmm…
If you’re dealing with bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma this is going to be the most useful Eucalyptus oil to use. It causes you to breathe deeply and forces the bronchioles to dilate. It’s a powerful mucus buster and will help loosen up a dry, unproductive cough.
Don’t use this one too close to bedtime as it’s extremely stimulating due to the presence of 2 stimulating chemicals – 1,8 cineole, a key component in all Eucalyptus oils, and piperitone, which is a key component of peppermint oil.
This is the most gentle of all the eucalyptus oils and can be a study in opposites. While Eucalyptus is normally to be avoided with babies and small children, Eucalyptus smithii (pronounced SMITH – ee- eye) is mild enough to be regarded as safe to use with babies and the elderly. Most Eucalyptus species are stimulating but Eucalyptus smithii can be either stimulating or sedating depending on your needs.
Some aromatherapists like to use Eucalyptus smithii preventively by diffusing it as a room disinfectant. Just make sure not to breathe it too close as it can trigger the cough reflex.
There are a couple tricks I use to remember which eucalyptus oil is good for what and I’m going to share them with you so you can remember more easily as well: