Eucalyptus oil is widely used in steam rooms and baths worldwide. Only a few drops are needed to fill the room with a clean, refreshing scent. Eucalyptus oil comes from the plant of the same name. There are about 500 species of the plant.
Eucalyptus oil is made from fresh or partially dried leaves from the eucalyptus plant. The leaves contain flavanoids, tannin and eucalyptol. Eucalyptol is an active ingredient that is believed to be effective in treating respiratory problems. It is also an ingredient used in some over-the-counter cough suppressants.
When eucalyptus oil is added to a steam room it will immediately open up your nasal passages and help with breathing. It is a disinfectant so it helps to kill bacteria and germs in the air, warding off viral and bacterial infections.
Alternative practitioners recommend eucalyptus steam inhalation for relieving nasal and sinus congestion.
Most health food stores carry eucalyptus oil. To make a spray for use in the steam room, add 7 oz. of water to 1 oz. of the essential oil.
Eucalyptus oil may also be used as a topical antiseptic for skin injuries. It is believed to help relieve pain when added to a rub and applied to the skin. It is also used to aid hair growth.
Don't overdo it. It only takes a few drops of the oil to change the scent in the room.
Children and pregnant women should not be exposed to eucalyptus steam inhalation. People with asthma, high blood pressure and epilepsy should also avoid it.