Eucalyptus is an Australian plant that has successfully adapted to keeping insects away. To prevent its leaves from being chewed and sucked, the plant has evolved to contain chemicals in its leaves and stems to prevent predation.
We take advantage of this by distilling essential oils from the Eucalyptus plant to use in our products. One of those is, of course, our Singing Flower Studio Insect Repellent.
There are several species of Eucalyptus that are distilled to make essential oils. We use the Eucalyptus globulus, the Tasmanian Blue Gum tree, in our insect repellent. Our repellent comes in two sizes, the large 2.65 oz. rub-on and the 0.5 oz. Pocket size. This variety is known for its repellent strength and antiseptic qualities. It is also a good oil to use in a hand sanitizer.
Eucalyptus has strong decongestant properties. You will recognize this property right away if you are in the same room as a drop of Eucalyptus. For this reason, it is best to keep it away from children’s faces. Just one drop in a small bottle of witch hazel will act as a satisfactory decongestant.
We have Singing Flower Studio Liquid Eucalyptus Soap which adds a clean eucalyptus scent to the already clean foam. Eucalyptus fragrance just reminds you that it is very clean.
There are other species of Eucalyptus, too. For instance the high aldehyde content of Eucalyptus citriodora creates a more relaxing kind of Eucalyptus essential oil. This is a favorite variety for cleaning products.
Eucalyptus dives, often referred to as broad leafed Peppermint, has a high camphoraceous scent and is used for treating muscle aches and pains.
Eucalyptus radiata is a gentler form of Eucalyptus, so it is often used with children. It is gentler than blue gum, but perhaps not as useful with children as stageriana.
Eucalyptus staigeriana is gentler still, with a slight lemony fragrance. This is the one most often recommended for use with children. Different varieties may be difficult to find in our one-size-fits-all marketplace. But it is useful to know that there are different kinds of Eucalyptus and that they serve different purposes.
Eucalyptus lasts a long time and is very potent, so a small bottle will last over time and serve many antiseptic purposes. I do not recommend using it in a diffuser, especially if you have house pets, as they will need to be allowed outside right away. Pets often have trouble with strong scents, because their noses are so sensitive to smells. Instead diffuse a little into a hot shower breathe in for a short time, and once your head is clear, move along with your day. Or add a few drops to a ball of cotton in a closed closet to deter moths.
Use Eucalyptus with caution, because it is a strong essential oil. But it has many uses, and because it is a natural plant-based essential oil, we are not putting harsh artificial chemicals into our environment.
With thanks to Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele’s The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness.