The Essential Oil That Fights Bacteria, Decongests, and Helps You Focus


(Image credit: Courtesy of Amy Choi)

By now, how many TikTok videos have you seen about creating an at-home "steam/spa environment" by hanging eucalyptus on your showerhead during a hot shower? It might be too many to count, but there are many wonderful reasons this plant is trending.

The eucalyptus plant originates from Australia, where the oil is extracted from it, and it is as versatile as it comes. Having studied abroad in Australia, I think that is where my love for eucalyptus really started.

A simple way to re-create the most inviting, comforting soothing space at home is with eucalyptus oil and a diffuser. Not only does a whiff of eucalyptus make you feel like you're at a five-star resort spa, but it actually has benefits beyond its invigorating, herbal fresh scent. Below, take a look at some other uses for this powerhouse oil.

1. It Has Antibacterial and Wound-Healing Properties

Eucalyptus oil is said to be an antiseptic and antimicrobial. Because of this, it can cleanse wounds, disinfect, and help heal as it fights inflammation. Dilute eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil to apply topically on the skin.

2. Purifies and Detoxifies Skin

Eucalyptus oil is able to purify the skin without stripping the skin of its natural barrier, thus striking the perfect balance between a purifying and deep clean. Detox Market founder Romain Gaillard explains, "The eucalyptus oil we use in our Nourishing Jelly Cleanser is steam-distilled from the leaves of the blue-leaved Mallee that grows in the Mallee regions of Victoria and New South Wales in Australia. Topical preparations of the blue-leaved Mallee have long been used in traditional Aboriginal medicine. Mallee oil contains a higher concentration of cineole."

3. Decongests

If one is suffering from sinus, nasal congestion, or respiratory conditions like asthma, adding eucalyptus oil and inhaling steam can aid in clearing passageways from the lungs. The eucalyptus loosens up any mucus in the membranes, allowing better breathing. Think of this as a more natural menthol chest rub!

4. Neutralizes and Deodorizes Smells

Eucalyptus can help fight and neutralize any unpleasant odors. A deodorant like this one from Taos keeps odors away while maintaining a gentle balance with moisture-absorbing benefits.

Vitruvi co-founder Sara Panton also shares another fun tip to use eucalyptus at home as a refreshing DIY carpet deodorizer: Mix eucalyptus with baking soda, cedarwood, and grapefruit to clean through those tough carpets.

5. Promotes Mental Clarity

Dispersing eucalyptus within the home can create a soothing and relaxing environment. It helps calm the mind and clear your senses while helping with concentration and fighting off any fogginess. It can promote overall mental wellbeing because of the instant ease that comes with inhaling this oil.

Founder of The Handmade Soap Company, Donagh Quigley, incorporates this essential oil in his Bergamot and Eucalyptus line as a homage to Australia and as a way to relax and create a comforting environment with his Pillow and Room Mist and Reed Diffuser.

6. It Helps With Pain Management

Eucalyptus is also known for reducing inflammation, pain and swelling. Research has shown that it may aid in joint paint and osteoarthritis. When applied, eucalyptus has a cooling effect that temporarily relieves any pressure and pain.

7. Repels Mosquitoes

Summer season is almost upon us! Eucalyptus oil may help deter those pesky insects that lurk around picnic tables and barbecues. The CDC says that oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (the synthesized version of OLE) is effective as a repellent. It's important to note that the CDC does not recommend using lemon eucalyptus essential oil that's not formulated as a repellent because it hasn't undergone the same testing for efficacy.

8. Freshens Breath

Because of its minty, herbal scent and also antibacterial properties, eucalyptus oil may help maintain a clean mouth and healthy oral hygiene while fighting the buildup of plaque. The oil is an ingredient in some oral care products. In addition, some lozenges are made from eucalyptus and honey to soothe the throat as well.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.