Before I became a flower girl I was completely oblivious to eucalyptus, and even after I became a flower girl, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. I have since seen the error of my ways and have learnt that as well as being very beautiful, almost ethereal looking, eucalyptus is also a truly wondrous plant.
When extracted and diluted the oil from the eucalyptus leaves is chiefly used for its medical properties, however, because of both it’s scent and strong antiseptic and moisturising qualities it has now also become common place in many beauty products.
This time of year, it seems everyone is getting sick and I now use eucalyptus essential oil in my diffuser or steamy shower to help relieve all those horrible symptoms of a cold. The list of benefits seems endless, not only is it an antiseptic but an antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory (pretty much anti everything bad..) and it acts as a decongestant. It will clear all your bunged up tubes, ease your joints and help prevent infection from occurring again.
I recently discovered this way of using fresh eucalyptus rather than the oil, and have become quite obsessed with it. I love the way it looks, love the way it smells, love the way it makes me feel like a true green goddess (herbal essences styley), and like all the best DIYs it is amazingly simple, and doesn’t cost the earth. All you need to do is hang fresh sprigs of the plant in a hot shower. You almost end up with your own personal sauna. The heat and steam will release all the same benefits and healing properties that using the essential oil will give you…but this way is just so much cooler!
You can buy fresh eucalyptus from any florist, and even some more high end supermarkets are selling it now. Five stems will do the job just fine. If you love the idea, but a cold does make it through your defences this Eucalyptus Salve from Neal’s Yard is really stimulating. Simply rub over the back and chest and enjoy the cleansing vapours.