Breathe Easier With Eucalyptus Oil

by Dr. David Williams
Filed Under: Colds and Flu, Immune Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

A simple and effective solution to help relieve congestion

If you’ve ever used cough drops or nasal inhalers, you’ve experienced the congestion-clearing powers of eucalyptus oil. Essential oil extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, a type of evergreen native to Australia, has long been used in cough drops and cold medications as well as in mouthwashes, toothpaste, detergents, and liniments for arthritis pain.

It qualifies perfectly as “cheap insurance,” as my dad would say: not only is it the least expensive essential oil available today, it is simple to use, effective at relieving congestion, and can also provide protection against respiratory infections.

To relieve congestion, it can also be used by placing a few drops on a handkerchief or adding 10 to 15 drops to a vaporizer or some boiling water on the stove. Also, eucalyptus oil makes a soothing chest rub for congestion and mucus buildup when diluted with olive oil. In addition to clearing the air passages, inhaling eucalyptus has been shown to cause an increase in the uptake of oxygen from the lungs to the bloodstream. No one is quite certain why this occurs and when you consider that we haven’t even isolated all the compounds in eucalyptus, I doubt we’ll have the answer any time soon. The important thing is that it works and it’s something you can put to use today, not after decades of clinical research.

Eucalyptus oil is widely at herbalists and health food stores. I’m also a huge fan of the eucalyptus oil product called V-Vax. It’s made from a potent variety of Australian eucalyptus and is very effective. It comes in a handy spray bottle, and when I travel on long flights, I mist a couple of squirts into a tissue and inhale the fumes several times. Even if you aren’t planning to take any long international flights, V-Vax can be used in any situation when you’re required to remain in close proximity to others, such as in churches, movie theaters, auditoriums, buses, trains, etc.

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