While most of the research surrounding the benefits of eucalyptus centers around eucalyptus oil, the leaves are actually incredibly beneficial and, though not as potent as the oil, can still deliver relief from a variety of symptoms. Here are our favorite benefits of eucalyptus leaves and how to make your own delicious herbal tea in just a few simple steps.
Helps relieve cold symptoms
Perhaps one of the most well-known powers of eucalyptus is its ability to reduce symptoms associated with the common cold and help alleviate nasal and chest mucous blockages. Many cold medications and topical products such as lozenges, cough syrup, Vicks VapoRub also contain this beneficial ingredient. Fresh eucalyptus leaves can be made into a tincture and gargled for relief from a sore throat, sinusitis, and bronchitis.
Inhaling the vapor of eucalyptus leaves mixed with hot water has also been shown to be effective at reducing the symptoms of upper respiratory conditions, which is why many people hang a bundle of fresh eucalyptus in their showers when they are feeling ill.
Burns, cuts, and bites
Tinctures made from eucalyptus leaves may be helpful in reducing itching, redness, and irritation associated with minor burns, cuts, and insect bites. These leaves also contain antibacterial benefits and could help prevent infection and even deter insects from coming back for more.
Stimulant and stress reliever
Merely inhaling the scent of eucalyptus leaves has been shown to help sharpen your mind, increase your focus, and allow you to stay alert and awake, mentally, and physically. If you have a diffuser on hand, use eucalyptus oil when you are trying to study or accomplish a mentally taxing task. Otherwise, brew yourself a cup of eucalyptus tea and enjoy the vibrant flavor and stimulating aroma.
Help treat dry skin
Extract from eucalyptus leaves may help alleviate dry skin conditions and restore moisture levels by boosting ceramide production, which is a type of fatty acid that’s responsible for maintaining the protective barrier and retaining moisture.
Support healthy teeth
Eucalyptol or eucalyptus leaf extract can improve dental health because it contains high amounts of ethanol and macrocarpal C, compounds that are connected to a decrease in oral bacteria, and a reduction in cavities and gum disease. It can also help stave off plaque buildup, gum bleeding, and gum inflammation.
Some studies suggest that the topical use of eucalyptus extract could help relieve pain and reduce inflammation. It has been linked to a reduction in joint pain and muscle pain related to injury or other conditions such as arthritis.
Other benefits of eucalyptus:
- Reduce asthma attacks
- Help treat bronchitis
- Manage diabetes
- Reduce dental plaque and bad breath
- Eliminate head lice
- Headache reduction
- Help treat liver and gallbladder problems
- Though eucalyptus leaves should not be eaten fresh, dried leaves make a wonderful, tea that tastes delicious with a little squeeze of honey and lemon. You can buy prepackaged eucalyptus tea made from the dried leaves; however, you can also make your own with leaves you have on hand.
- Dry the leaves in a dehydrator, on a cookie sheet in the sun, or simply by leaving them in a dry, dark place for a few weeks.
- Crush one of these leaves and add it to the bottom of an eight-ounce cup.
- Boil water and turn it off and let it sit for about 1 minute once it boils.
- Pour water over the leaves and let it steep for about 7 minutes. If you desire stronger tea, you can add a few more leaves.
- Be sure to hover over the mug while the leaves are steeping and breathe in the healing eucalyptus vapors.
- Strain the leaves and stir in as much honey as desired. Add a bit of fresh lemon juice for an even more delicious flavor.
This tea is totally herbal and caffeine-free, which makes it a good option if you are trying to cut down on the popular stimulant or have a caffeine sensitivity.
There is no evidence that eucalyptus leaves have any side effects, and it is considered safe for general use. However, as always, if you are on any medications or have health concerns, be sure to speak with your doctor before beginning herbal supplementation.
Do you drink eucalyptus tea? Let us know your thoughts about this plant in the comments below!