Native to Australia, eucalyptus oil (eucalyptus radiata) is distilled from the leaf of the
evergreen eucalyptus tree and boasts a distinct and pungent scent. Native Aboriginal
people were the first to utilize the amazing benefits of this essential oil when treating nasal
and chest congestion as a result of allergies, colds, and even bronchitis.
Eucalyptus oil has long been used in over-the-counter cough drops and cold medications,
perhaps most commonly extracted for use in Vicks vapor rub. Essentially, the powerful
scent of eucalyptus oil works to loosen mucous in the respiratory tract, and helps to release
chest and nasal congestion. Inhalation of eucalyptus oil has also been shown to increase
oxygen distribution from the lungs to the bloodstream, and this increase in oxygen aids in
Place a few drops on a clean towel or handkerchief. Hold near your nose for a quick
Add 10-15 drops to a steam vaporizer or pot of boiling water. Tent a towel over your head
and slowly inhale the steam for approximately 10 minutes at a time.
Dilute with unscented oil such as olive, jojoba, almond or grapeseed for a quick and easy
neck and chest rub.
For a more natural Vicks-like vapor rub, mix ½ cup melted coconut oil with 20 drops each
of eucalyptus and peppermint oil. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Optional add-
ins include 10 drops of rosemary and clove oil. Use as you would a traditional vapor rub.
Also slather on feet and cover with socks for added congestion relief.
Add 10-20 drops of eucalyptus oil to a hot shower or bath for a full body treatment that will
leave your airways clear and feeling refreshed.
As always, before you begin any sort of regimen using essential oils, please consult with
your physician, naturopath, or aromatherapist before doing so. The use of oils can be very
empowering and effective in the treatment of a variety of ailments. However, use your own
discretion; the medical community is there to help us when oils can't.