Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree that’s native to Australia. It has a distinct chemical makeup that lends itself to several medicinal and household uses. Its antiseptic, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects stem mostly from the compound eucalyptol, a common ingredient in mouthwash and cough suppressant.
There are more than 400 hundred different species of eucalyptus. Eucalyptus globulus, or blue gum, is the most common source of eucalyptus oil, a colorless liquid with a minty pine scent.
With its potent properties, eucalyptus will come in handy when SHTF. Consider the following survival uses: (h/t to EdThatMatters.com)
Indigenous Australians have traditionally used eucalyptus leaves to treat wounds and prevent infection. Research also supports the use of eucalyptus as an antimicrobial agent. One study found that it can enhance the antibacterial action of certain medications.
You can make a salve for wounds by mixing diluted eucalyptus oil, coconut oil and melted beeswax.
Remedy for respiratory tract infections
Research shows that eucalyptus oil may help fight upper respiratory tract infection. Common pathogens behind this include different strains of Streptococcus and the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae. The latter is responsible for pneumonia, meningitis and blood infection (sepsis).
Eucalyptus oil can also act as a decongestant. It is a popular home remedy for bronchitis and the common cold. In fact, many cough medicines, such as Vicks VapoRub, contain eucalyptus oil.
When using eucalyptus to treat respiratory infections, steam inhalation is the best way to go. Add one teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil to a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam.
Remedy for lung disorders
Eucalyptus can also help people with problems that affect the lungs, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD refers to a group of lung conditions that make breathing difficult. Since it has no mainstream cure, treatment boils down to alleviating its symptoms.
Research shows that eucalyptus oil can serve as a beneficial long-term therapy for COPD and asthma. Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties can help fight bacteria that worsen COPD symptoms. In addition, eucalyptus oil may soothe the throat and chest.
Use steam inhalation to relieve symptoms of upper respiratory disorders or make your own “vapor rub” using eucalyptus oil.
Eucalyptus oil is a popular remedy for sore muscles and arthritis pain. When combined with peppermint oil, they emit a strong odor that smells like muscle ointment and massage oil.
This powerful combination, popularly called “Eucalyptamint,” can help boost blood flow and alleviate sore muscles and stiff joints.
Eucalyptus can help fight bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum infection. In fact, eucalyptol is a common ingredient in commercial mouthwashes. Research also suggests that chewing bubble gum made with eucalyptus extract can promote healthy gums.
You can make your own mouthwash by adding eucalyptus oil to distilled water. Add baking soda and other essential oils, such as tea tree and peppermint, for a more effective solution.
Eucalyptus is a natural insect repellant that’s recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency. In 1948, it was officially registered as an active ingredient of pesticides.
Research also supports the use of blue gum and lemon eucalyptus oil for controlling common houseflies. (Related: Eucalyptus is quite effective with respiratory problems and head lice.)
Household and homesteading uses
Eucalyptus is an excellent natural food preservative and herbicide, thanks to its antimicrobial properties. One study suggests that eucalyptus oil may help preserve fruit juice by slowing down yeast growth. Meanwhile, experts say that the water extracts of blue gum are promising natural herbicides.
Eucalyptus oil can also be used as a disinfectant for household surfaces. Simply dilute eucalyptus oil in water to make a cleaning solution.
Eucalyptus oil is a great addition to your survival essentials because of its many uses. When SHTF and you’re left to your own devices, having eucalyptus oil handy or a eucalyptus plant growing in your backyard will certainly be useful.