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Which Eucalyptus Essential Oil is best?

Eucalypt trees are native to Australia and are known, among other things, for being the food of koalas. They were grown in swampy areas to dry out the land and rid it of disease-carrying insects. From time immemorial, indigenous people have been using eucalyptus leaves to cleanse and prepare the body for the winter season, hence its name of “the fever tree”.

Certain varieties have later on been introduced to Europe, North Africa as well as some islands such as Madagascar, Mayotte…


There are about 300 different species of eucalypt but, aromatherapy use only 15 varieties. We will look here at the better-known ones. Their properties and possible uses in aromatherapy depend on the biochemical constituents:





Botanical name Radiata eucalyptus Globulus Eucalyptus Citriodara Eucalyptus
1,8 cineole 65%,
a-terpineol, citrals
1,8 cineole 70%, globulol,
pinocarveol in Spain
alpha-pinene in Portugal
The only eucalypt
without eucalyptol
Origin Australia Australia, Spain, Portugal, Morocco Madagascar, China, Brazil


EO = Essential Oil // VO = Vegetable Oil

Their commonalities

Despite the different species, eucalyptus trees have commonalities. They all belong to the botanical species of Myrtaceous. They have large green and bluish leaves, oval in shape and persistent that gives out a characteristic odour when crumpled.

The different species of eucalypt can be used as building material or for heating, also in infusion or as an EO. The different EO of eucalypts are produced by distillation of the leaves and tips of branches of the tree. About 1 kg of leaves is needed to make 20ml of EO.

Each species of eucalypt has its own properties and specific counter-indications, especially when used in aromatherapy. It is therefore of the utmost importance to learn their specificities.

Eucalyptus globulus EO: Respiratory troubles and pain


This EO is extracted from the leaves and small branches of a tree called Eucalyptus Globulus from the species of Myrtaceous. It is native to Australia’s mainland and Tasmania. Its bark can be peeled in long streaks. The leaves are a blue-grey colour and present themselves in pairs. The tree can reach a height of 40 metres. The EO of eucalyptus globulus has a light colour and a strong odour of camphor, fresh and tonic.


The properties

Main active components of the EO:

  • Terpenic oxides: 1,8 cineole (about 70-75%) eucalyptol
  • Monoterpenes: limonene… (about 10-12%)
  • Sesquiterpenol (about 6%)

Its properties

  • Anti-catarrhal: very effective in the case of acute or chronic inflammation of mucous membranes (like Ravintsara and Peppermint for example)
  • Antiseptic
  • Antimicrobial and antibacterial
  • Antifungal and antiviral

Counter-indications: Not advised for pregnant or breastfeeding women or for children.


Should not be used by asthmatics. Some sources indicate that eucalyptus globulus can be toxic even in small doses.



Bronchitis, laryngitis, sinusitis: The eucalyptus globulus EO is very effective against all respiratory infections. It is also widely used against pain and headaches.

The eucalyptus globulus EO is also often referred to for its capacity to act on the respiratory system and allow it to fight against bronchitis and laryngitis. It also attenuates acute coughing and liquefies the cough discharges that often are infectious, as is the case with bronchitis.


A few recipes:


1 drop of Euc. globulus EO in 1 drop of VO, then massage the sinuses. You can also use it in inhalation by putting 10 drops in a bowl of warm water. Breathe in the vapours for about 5 minutes.

Air sanitation:

For respiratory infections, diffuse 10 minutes an hour to purify and sanitise the atmosphere of a room.

Bronchitis, cough:

4 drops of Euc. globulus EO in a tablespoon of VO and then use in rubbing the bronchi and the upper part of the back.

Eucalyptus radiata: The specialist for viral epidemics and winter illnesses

An Australian tree

It is a tree of about thirty meters in height that grows essentially in the south-east of Australia. Its leaves emit an odour of peppermint when they are crumpled. The Australian aborigines use the fresh leaves of this tree to dress wounds.


Why is it so interesting?

Main active components of the EO:

  • Terpenic oxides:: 1,8 cineole (about 60-70%)
  • Monoterpenols: linalool, geraniol… (about 20%)
  • Monoterpenes: alpha et beta-pinene (about 10%)

Eucalyptus radiata is simultaneously a respiratory decongestant and an antiseptic, antiviral and healing. It does not irritate the skin and is even considered gentle to the epidermis. Moreover, it is the only eucalyptus devoid of toxicity for children and babies: Liquefying and expectorant, it is strongly recommended for:

  • bronchitis
  • productive coughs
  • sinusitis
  • influenza
  • rhinitis
  • or also ear infections


The major component of Eucalyptus radiata EO is its 1.8 cineole (or eucalyptol). Eucalyptol is found in many pharmaceutical products aimed at expectoration and liquefying: suppositories, inhalation products, syrups, etc.

Counter-indications: Not advised for pregnant or breastfeeding women or for children under the age of 3.

How to use it well?

A runny nose, bad flu, a bout of sinusitis, bronchitis, flu … Eucalyptus radiata will help you to get better fast! It is the EO one has to have in winter.


A few recipes:

Productive cough

4 drops of VO and 1 drop of Euc. radiata EO and then apply on the thorax and also the upper back 4 times a day for 5 days.


You can apply 1 drop Euc. radiata EO behind each ear

Bronchitis, flu

Add 2 drops of Teatree EO + 2 drops of Euc. radiata EO in 20 drops of Macadamia VO.

Then, apply on the thorax, 2 or 3 times a day for 5 days or along the spine, the upper back and the sole of the feet

Blocked nose, sinusitis:

In olfaction (on a handkerchief), in diffusion or inhalation (3 to 4 drops in a bowl of warm water)

Extra information: Globulus EO and Radiata EO are both antitussive and expectorant. However, beware, they can also be draining in large doses

Eucalyptus citriodora

Eucalyptus citriodora is a tree that can reach 50 m in height and its bark is beautifully speckled. It owes its name to the strong lemony odour it exudes through its leaves. This particular odour will give it repellent properties. Some African studies have shown that it can reduce the number of mosquito bites and thus reduce the spread of malaria.

It has a fine reputation with sportspeople for its action on muscles and joints.

Main active components of the EO:

  • Terpenic aldehydes: citronellal (about 50-75%)
  • Monoterpenols: citronellol (about 20%)

Its therapeutic properties:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Analgesic
  • Soothing
  • Hypotensive
  • Insect repellent

Counter-indications: Not advised for pregnant or breastfeeding women or for children under the age of 5.


The eucalyptus citriodora EO is analgesic, anti-inflammatory. This is ideal for easing the pain of rheumatism, joint trauma and nerve inflammations. It is also a good antiseptic for the skin and repels insects. In addition, it can ease the discomfort of insect bites.


A few recipes:

Muscular and joint pain, rheumatism:

Add 2 drops of eucalyptus citriodora EO in 8 drops a VO. Then, massage the painful area 3 times a day until there is an improvement

Neck tension

Add and mix 4 drops of eucalyptus citriodora EO + 2 drops of Wintergreen EO + 2 drops of Peppermint EO in 10 drops of VO and then massage the neck area.


What must be remembered

Eucalyptus species are numerous and their applications are interesting. Here is what you can remember regarding their usage:


The specialist of the lower respiratory tract is advised in the treatment of pulmonary infections and ENT in adults. Care should be taken however, we are dealing with the most potent eucalypt and it has many counter-indications.

Radiata: head cold, sinusitis

The specialist of the upper respiratory tract is the eucalypt to have in the family’s first aid kit to treat coughs and winter illnesses. Further, pregnant women and children over the age of 7 can also enjoy its benefits.


Very efficient in cases of inflammation (tendinitis and sprains). Also an insect repellent, so no insect will come near your ankles!

Main properties

Uses in Aromatherapy



Essential oil belonging to the upper bronchi-pulmonary sphere, anti-catarrh, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial, immuno-stimulant Sinusitis, rhinitis, ear infections, bronchitis, flu, productive cough, conjunctivitis, air sanitiser.



Essential oil belonging to the lower bronchi-pulmonary sphere, anti-infectious, antiseptic, respiratory, anti-catarrh, mucolytic, expectorant (pulmonary draining), anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic Bronchitis, lower pulmonary pathologies, rhino-pharyngitis



Anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, analgesic, mosquito repellent Arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, tendinitis, mosquito bites.

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