Eucalyptus has a long history of use in folk medicine, with people using the plant and its essential oils to treat a variety of ailments. Herb specialist Christine Buckley explains that different types of eucalyptus have been shown to help with sore muscles, indigestion, and other conditions. Scientific research has confirmed the existence of health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects and improvements in air quality when eucalyptus essential oils are used.
The active ingredient in eucalyptus oil, eucalyptol, helps to remove mucus from the respiratory tract and relieves coughs and sore throats. Buckley also notes that the smell of the plant improves concentration, calms the respiratory system, and has an anti-inflammatory effect. This makes it a popular choice for use in showers, where the warm, moist air helps the oils to evaporate and release their beneficial properties.
When using eucalyptus in the shower, it’s important to keep a twig in the bathroom after the oils have evaporated. The primary benefit of using eucalyptus in this way is inhaling the evaporated oils, which provide a pleasant and relaxing smell while also offering health benefits. However, over time the effectiveness of eucalyptus can diminish so replacing it with new twigs can ensure that you continue to enjoy its health benefits.