Eucalyptus is an evergreen tropical plant which has been used extensively in different domains of medicine such as naturopathy, Ayurveda and even aromatherapy. It is extremely effective in the treatment of respiratory infections, congestion, headaches, and ulcers.
Even though the Eucalyptus oil is derived from natural sources, it may cause some side effects for some people who are allergic to it. Using Eucalyptus oil without a proper understanding of essential oil dilution may lead to side effects hence always be extremely cautious of essential oil concentrations. Here some side effects to look out for:
1. A Wide Array of Symptoms because of Undiluted Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil, like all other essential oils is highly concentrated. And like all essential oils or potent natural ingredients, eucalyptus oil has to be used in moderation and with proper dilution. It must never be ingested. Research has indicated that undiluted Eucalyptus oil can be very dangerous because of its high potency. It is said that a 3.5 millilitre dose of Eucalyptus when undiluted can even lead to death. Thus, if you consume undiluted Eucalyptus oil or even apply too much of concentrated oil topically, you can experience symptoms such as diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, weakness, vomiting and stomach aches. A fatal dose of the oil can lead to suffocation and eventual death.
Always refer to recipes and dilution recommendations from your doctor a reputed expert source.
For decades, Eucalyptus has been sought out as a remedy in the treatment of respiratory problems such as asthma. However, according to studies conducted by the Maryland Medical Center, it was noted that in some susceptible individuals, consistent use of Eucalyptus oil triggered an asthma episode.
3. Drug interactions
If you are already taking medications for any health problem, using Eucalyptus oil can be harmful as it may interact with the medication. The liver is responsible for breaking down medications and antibiotics. If Eucalyptus oil is used in conjunction with other medicines, the oil may inhibit the liver from processing the medicines, leading to a slower break down. It is thus strictly advised to consult with your doctor before using the oil.
The toxicity of undiluted Eucalyptus oil varies from person to person and is highly dependent on the age of the person. This is why children are susceptible and face far more serious symptoms than adults. In the case of adults, anything between .05 to .5 millilitres of the oil for every kg of body weight can prove lethal. In the case of children, 4-5 ml of undiluted Eucalyptus oil will lead to severe Eucalyptus poisoning and can be fatal as well. Symptoms of toxicity include rapid and irregular heartbeat, seizures, breathlessness, and abdominal cramping.
5. Allergic Rash
Some people are simply allergic to certain plants. Because Eucalyptus oil is derived from the Eucalyptus plant, chances are that if someone is allergic to the plant, they may experience deep skin rashes on the application of the oil topically. In other cases, an undiluted form of the oil, when applied on the skin can also cause irritation, rashes, and discomfort.
6. Difficulty breathing
As in the case of asthma, patients that are already suffering from health issues such as wheezing and apnea are at a greater risk of their condition worsening because of using Eucalyptus Oil. When applied undiluted topically or consumed internally, one may experience shortness of breath, especially in infants and young children.
Though seizures are a rare symptom of using Eucalyptus Oil, it cannot be completely overlooked either. In one particular incident, a 4-year-old girl showed toxicity in her body after applying Eucalyptus oil on her scalp to treat head lice. The Eucalyptus oil affected her nervous systems causing neurological problems such as lack of muscle coordination, lethargy and eventually a seizure. Washing away the oil from her scalp immediately helped restore her to normal health. However, this proved that Eucalyptus oil is capable of causing seizures as well.
Research conducted by the U.S National Institute of Health showed that consuming Eucalyptus oil for internal use can lead to drowsiness. When applied topically, it can cause lethargy and fatigue as well. Thus, it is advised to tread with caution, especially for people who already take sedatives.
9. Breast growth in boys (Gynecomastia)
Use of Eucalyptus oil on a regular basis on boys can lead to somewhat accelerated breast growth. However, this is a temporary and reversible symptom that goes away once the use of the oil is stopped.
It is thus advised to always consult a doctor before using Eucalyptus oil consistently.
With the above precautions in place, eucalyptus oil is widely used for its beauty and health benefits. Deep dive into the ways in which Eucalyptus oil is being used for these benefits. Always remember to follow well-diluted recipes and recommendation from trusted experts and your doctor.