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We’ve all heard of and seen the evidence that high quality eucalyptus essential oil is effective in warding off winter colds and flu. That’s because of the plant’s amazingly strong antiviral and antibacterial qualities. Not to mention that the uplifting scent of this pungent oil raising the Qi and brightens our mood during the seemingly endless winter months.

But do you know which to eucalyptus to reach for when you need an added boost to protect against or clear out illness?

Narrow-Leaf Eucalyptus (E. radiata): Narrow-leaf has a stronger antiviral constituent, and therefore is best used at the initial onset of a cold when the pathogen is still in the upper respiratory tract, or as a preventative in your diffuser to kill air borne viruses. Narrow-leaf is included in the “Vir-Away” essential oil blend we diffuse into the waiting room to keep all our patients and staff safer from exposure to someone else who is ill. Narrow-leaf is also the most gentle of the eucalyptuses, and therefore is the best choice for use with those who are sensitive to scents and around children. It should be noted that all of the eucalyptus oils are inappropriate for use in infants under one year of age, and narrow-leaf should be considered when children are under the age of five.

Blue-Gum Eucalyptus (E. globulus): Compared to narrow-leaf, blue-gum eucalyptus has a stronger antibacterial component, making it the preferred choice for lower respiratory infections such as acute bronchitis and pneumonia, which may develop later in the stage of illness. Blue-gum is excellent at breaking up and eliminating phlegm in the chest.

Lemon-Scented Eucalyptus (E. citriodora): Predominantly cultivates from Brazil and specific areas in Australia, this eucalyptus has a naturally sweet-lemony aroma which adds a cooling component to its use. Lemon-scented eucalyptus is effective in treating respiratory illness with a hot, inflammatory feel such as respiratory illness with fever, bronchitis, laryngitis, RSV, and upper respiratory infections with accompanying ear infection. Lemon-scented eucalyptus also has an anti-fungal effect to it, and can be used when there is candida overgrowth such as sinusitis.

Due to their high cineole content, all three of the eucalyptuses can create distress and inflammation if taken internally when a simultaneous inflammatory condition exists. We recommend safely using these oils in your diffuser, and only taking them internally when directed by a health care provider specifically trained in the internal use of the oils who is familiar with your body’s needs and restrictions.

We carry all three of these similar yet distinct types of eucalyptus at KMA. Additionally, several of the essential oil blends such as Vir-Away, Immune Stimulation, the Winter Wellness EO sampler set, and others contain one or more of these eucalyptuses. We are happy to talk to you in more depth when choosing what is the right product for you.

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