The health benefits of eucalyptus leaves are often overlooked solely because, I understand, they are not known. This is true, as discussions on eucalyptus almost always center on the uses of its oil in treating respiratory issues. While knowing that eucalyptus oil can ease your respiratory difficulties, it is also necessary to be aware of the various ways through which the leaves can improve your health. But first…
What Are Eucalyptus Leaves?
Eucalyptus, an Australian native, is one of the over 100 related species of the myrtle plant family. The leaves of this plant give off a pleasant menthol scent, just like mint leaves. These leaves come with oil glands, which is why essential eucalyptus oil is so easily gotten.
The plant grows as house plants, shrubs, or trees, depending on the particular species & climate it’s planted in. At the early stages, eucalyptus leaves look lightly green before maturing into darker green with time.
Most sub-species of eucalyptus plants are evergreens, so they never lose their leaves throughout the year — good news for us!
5 Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Leaves
Earmarking eucalyptus leaves as the “healthiest leaves of the century” may be taking it too far, but there are indeed several positive contributions of the leaves to your health. This is tied to the fact that they possess antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. Let’s check out the five main benefits of these leaves.
Rich in Antimicrobials & Antioxidants
Eucalyptus leaves are super-packed with protective flavonoids, terpenes & other antioxidants: cineole (eucalyptol), quercetin, catechins, isorhamnetin, phloretin, luteolin, kaempferol & limeolene, amidst many more.
Generally, these compounds help to combat oxidative stress & strengthen immune function, courtesy of their anti-inflammatory properties. They have been routed to possess pain-numbing effects and the potential to ease joint pain when topically applied.
For instance, several studies have proven cineole, one of the dominant compounds in the leaves, to have antimicrobial qualities against several bacterial strains, viruses & fungi.
Provide Relief from Cough & Phlegm
As a lot of studies have reported, eucalyptus leaves are an excellent treatment for everyday respiratory issues, some of which are asthma, bronchitis, cough, headaches caused by sinus pressure, mucus, nasal congestion & phlegm buildup, infections, sore throats & symptoms of COPD — Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
For these benefits, you can inhale the levels after they are steamed or rubbed on the chest.
In addition to this, inhaling the eucalyptus scent has proven effective in reducing blood pressure & anxiety symptoms.
Improves Your Management of Asthma Symptoms
Eucalyptus leaves contain a specific terpene compound called eucalyptol. This compound, also called cineole, has been established to significantly enhance the symptoms of asthma.
A recent, credible study administered 600 milligrams eucalyptol daily to asthmatic adults for 12 weeks WHILE a placebo group was also kept. After the stipulated period, the eucalyptol-treated group reported a considerable reduction in the need for steroid injections, contrary to the placebo group.
Researchers who conducted the study attribute this result to the anti-inflammatory properties of cineole. Other studies have agreed, with several having found that cineole has the potential to inhibit cytokine production & arachnid acid metabolism: 2 common causes of chronic asthma.
Foster Skin Health
Eucalyptus leaves are an excellent presence in a skin-healing extract mostly made for dry and sensitive skin. On many occasions, researchers have found proof that this extract can increase the production of ceramide in the skin, which is a chemical that improves moisture levels & develops a protective skin cover that tackles dryness, itchiness, redness & scaliness. This benefit is attributed to the rich contents of macrocarpal A found in the leaves.
A particular study revealed that mixing this extract with a lotion before applying (topically, of course) on skins with dry or scaly scalps will certainly enhance life quality & symptoms linked to atopic dermatitis, pityriasis capitis & seborrheic dermatitis.
Support Dental Health
According to various studies, eucalyptus leaves have positive effects on your dental health. Researchers agree that using the leaves occasionally as mouthwashes helps clean the gum, avoid plaque buildup & reduce gum bleeding, and help limit inflammation & bacterial spread that are likely to cause gum issues.
How To Enjoy the Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Leaves
Eucalyptus leaves are popular ingredients in various products, ranging from cough drops and herbal teas to beauty products and candles. You can also make your eucalyptus remedies at home, in case of emergencies, or if you would just like to — it’s advisable after all.
The three commonest ways to use eucalyptus leaves are herbal infusion, tincture & herbal tea.
- Herbal Infusion: An herbal infusion is more or less a mug of tea, just that it doesn’t contain the tea leaves. It’s the liquid result of soaking or steeping herbs in boiling water. To make your eucalyptus herbal infusion, soak some fresh eucalyptus leaves in hot water, and leave for 8 hours. After that, filter out the leaves, and the water is yours to drink. If you have irritating skin infections, you can rub the infusion on your skin.
- Tincture: To make eucalyptus tincture, get some fresh eucalyptus leaves, pound them, gather them in a jar, and then cover them with vodka. Leave the sealed jar for two weeks before straining. If stored in a cool, dry place, this tincture should be usable for 4–6 months.
- Herbal Tea: This is very similar to an infusion. Basically, it’s the same procedure. To make, gather fresh eucalyptus leaves and add to boiling water. Leave for some time, filter the tea, and drink.
You can also make some other eucalyptus recipes to use at home, including a chest rub, skin salve, massage oil & cough drops.
Concluding The Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Leaves
Optimizing the health benefits of eucalyptus leaves will cost you little. They can always come in handy when you’re out camping or can’t access medical help. Even if you can, there’s no need to book a doctor’s appointment yet for a minor toothache. You can always try out these leaves first and see the results.