Today we spotlight one of the champions of the fungus fighting world: Eucalyptus Oil. Learn about the origins of this essential oil, and how it helps fight off nail fungus!
Origins of Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is a commonly used essential oil, world renowned for its wide-ranging medicinal benefits. Originating in Australia, aboriginal tribes had long been using eucalyptus leaf infusions (containing eucalyptus oil) from eucalyptus trees to treat wounds, sinus infections, fevers, and other ailments. The eucalyptus tree itself is considered one of the most important medicinal plants in the world, and is now grown widely across Europe and Asia.
In 1788, with the arrival of surgeons John White and Dennis Considen of Britain's First Fleet to Australia, eucalyptus oil's reputation started spreading beyond its native roots. The colonists, impressed with how the aborigines used it, began using eucalyptus leaves to heal wounds rapidly without infection, and White started distilling the oil
. He called it "Sydney Peppermint" because of its similarity to peppermint, and sent it back to England to be tested, where it was found to be more effective and aromatic than the English peppermint. Though it would be decades until the oil started being produced commercially, word was getting around about the benefits of eucalyptus oil.
It wasn't until 1852 that pharmacist and chemist Joseph Bosisto began investigating the commercial production
of eucalyptus oil. At the encouragement of famous botanist Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Bosisto opened a laboratory to investigate the medicinal qualities of Australian plants. Through working with von Mueller, Bosisto was able to successfully distill eucalyptus oil, and began operations manufacturing and selling his product to the public. Initially the oil was only sold locally in Australia, but by 1865 demand had increased significantly overseas, and Bosisto began exporting the product for sale in England.
Eucalyptus Oil Today
Today, eucalyptus oil is used in a wide range of goods and industries. In pharmaceuticals, eucalyptus oil is known for relieving symptoms of influenza, and is found in various cough lozenges and ointments. It has antibacterial effects
on respiratory infections, making it useful as an inhalant to treat bronchitis and congestion, as well as anti-inflammatory properties that help in treating asthma. It's also known to boost the immune system and is used in immune system supplements, as well as in personal hygiene products like soap and dental products for its antimicrobial properties.
In addition to its medicinal properties, eucalyptus oil has a wide range of lesser known uses, including as a pesticide, as a flavoring, and even for industrial uses as a component in ethanol and petrol fuel blends, and can be burned as a fuel on its own right -- although production is more expensive than other fuels.
More well known uses of eucalyptus oil put to use its aromatic qualities, such as in detergents, perfumes, and soaps, as well in aromatherapy treatments to stave off physical and mental fatigue.
Eucalyptus Oil for Nail Fungus
Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antifungal, and is used successfully in treating nail fungus. It's found in over the counter topical ointments, and blends well with other antifungal essential oils. It's sometimes used in home remedies, and is considered a safe and effective substance for treating bacterial and fungal infections.
Why is Eucalyptus Oil Effective Against Fungus?
Eucalyptus oil is especially effective against nail fungus because it does all of the things that fungi hate. For starters, it's a strong antiseptic, so it's sterile and microbes are unable to grow in its presence. Secondly, it attacks and kills microbes, including fungi and bacteria
, which is the most important quality that makes eucalyptus oil an effective antifungal. But there's more. Eucalyptus oil helps stimulate the immune system as a whole, including the circulatory system, which is important in fighting nail fungus. Since nail fungus attacks the fingers and toenails, getting enough circulation to the area to effectively fight the infection can be a problem. For this reason, older people are more susceptible for contracting nail fungus. But eucalyptus oil helps counter that by stimulating more blood flow to those areas, helping the body to more effectively fight off the infection.
Overall, eucalyptus oil is everything nail fungus hates, and with such a wide range of uses, is practically a miracle oil in general. It's a great alternative to synthetically produced and potentially harmful chemicals produced by pharmaceutical plants, and when used correctly, is a safe and effective way to treat a wide variety of ailments -- not the least of which being nail fungus.