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7 Impressive Benefits of Eucalyptus Leaves

Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree that’s widely used for its medicinal properties.

Although native to Australia, this popular tree now grows in many areas of the world.

It has a gum-infused bark, long stems, and circular leaves that are hard to digest if eaten whole. However, eucalyptus leaves can be made into a tea that’s safe for consumption.

Additionally, the leaves can be made into essential oil for topical use or inhalation.

Here are 7 impressive benefits of eucalyptus leaves.


1. High in antioxidants

Although you cannot eat fresh, whole eucalyptus leaves, dried leaves can be made into tea.

Be careful not to mistake this tea for eucalyptus oil, which can be toxic if consumed. Choose a tea that’s labeled “eucalyptus leaves tea,” and don’t add eucalyptus essential oil to your tea.

Eucalyptus leaves are a great source of antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, which protect your body from oxidative stress and free radical damage.

The main flavonoids in eucalyptus include catechins, isorhamnetin, luteolin, kaempferol, phloretin, and quercetin. Diets rich in these compounds may protect against certain cancers, heart disease, and dementia (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

For example, a large study including 38,180 men and 60,289 women found that a diet high in flavonoids was associated with an 18% lower risk of fatal heart disease (3Trusted Source).

Eucalyptus tea is a good source of these antioxidants and generally recognized as safe for adults. However, children are at high risk of eucalyptus toxicity and should get approval from a healthcare professional before drinking this tea (4).

SUMMARYEucalyptus tea is high in flavonoids, which are antioxidants that may lower your risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and dementia.
2. May relieve cold symptoms

Eucalyptus is widely used as a natural cold remedy and is a common ingredient in cold and cough products.

Research has shown that it can decrease mucus and expand the bronchi and bronchioles of your lungs. It’s also a natural anti-inflammatory agent(5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

The main ingredient responsible for these properties is eucalyptol, also known as cineole, which is a compound found in eucalyptus oil (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source, 7).

Some research has shown that eucalyptol relieves cold symptoms like cough frequency, nasal congestion, and headache by decreasing inflammation and mucus buildup (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).

Furthermore, eucalyptol may help improve asthma symptoms.

One 12-week study gave 32 people with bronchial asthma either 600 mg of eucalyptol or a placebo per day. Those in the eucalyptol group required 36% less medication to control their asthma symptoms, compared with those in the control group, who needed 7% less (8Trusted Source).

Eucalyptus oil can be inhaled through your nose and may provide some cold symptom relief. It’s also found in many topical decongestants. However, because even small doses of the oil can be toxic, you should avoid consuming it (9Trusted Source).

Be sure to consult your healthcare provider before using eucalyptol or changing your medications.

SUMMARYEucalyptus contains a compound called eucalyptol, which has been found to decrease nasal congestion, cough frequency, and cold-related headaches. It may also improve asthma symptoms, although more research is needed.