All types of herbal teas serve a purpose. Sipping a refreshing and invigorating cup of peppermint tea is the perfect end to a stressful day. Or you can heat things up with a spicy cup of ginger tea.
Whatever herbal tea you choose to have in your cup, you'll get a ton of flavor and aroma but also several health benefits. This article focuses on one of the best teas you can consume for a wide range of health benefits, such as respiratory relief, mental clarity, and improved digestion - eucalyptus tea. Before diving into the healthy world of eucalyptus tea, let's first look at how this tea came to be.
Eucalyptus Tea: A Herbal Tea History
Eucalyptus tree, scientifically known as eucalyptus globulus Labill. (E. globulus) is a flowering, fast-growing tree native to Australia. Also known as the blue gum tree or the Australian fever tree, the eucalyptus tree has been a traditional medicine for indigenous Australians, particularly the Aboriginals, for centuries.
The early Aboriginal people of Australia were the first to discover the remarkable healing attributes of eucalyptus leaves, including their ability to alleviate various ailments such as pain, skin disorders, and digestive issues. They would chew the leaves or use them in topical applications to treat wounds and infections and aid respiratory problems.
Eucalyptus trees were first introduced to Europe by the famous explorer Sir Joseph Banks in the late 18th century. It wasn't long before European settlers recognized the potential of eucalyptus and began cultivating the trees for their various medicinal uses. The popularity of this plant grew, and eucalyptus oil was a star ingredient in different medicinal and pharmaceutical products now being sold in other parts of the world.
One of the more popular uses for this tree is eucalyptus oil. To make this oil, the leaves of the eucalyptus tree are distilled. The steam from the distillation process extracts the rich essential oils, which are collected and then bottled.
A eucalyptus essential oil has a sharp and slightly medicinal smell similar to rosemary. At the same time, other forms of this essential oil can have a slight forest scent with hints of mint, honey, and citrus.
You can find eucalyptus oil as a stand-alone product or body creams and lotions that use eucalyptus oil as one of their key ingredients. The oil was, and still is, widely used as a remedy for respiratory ailments, muscle pain, and even as an insect repellent.
Eucalyptus Tea Today
As the awareness of this plant's fantastic health benefits grew, so did its reach to North America and other parts of the world. Aside from using the plant's oil to treat various health problems, you can also use the dried eucalyptus leaf as a tea and reap several benefits. This soothing and refreshing beverage offers several medicinal properties and therapeutic advantages.
It is also crucial to distinguish between eucalyptus tea and eucalyptus oil because it can be hazardous if ingested. Look for eucalyptus tea labeled as "eucalyptus leaves tea," never add eucalyptus essential oil to your brew. If you have health concerns, talk to your healthcare provider to ensure eucalyptus tea is right for you.
It is important to note that you should not consume eucalyptus leaves fresh and whole. However, you can quickly transform properly dried leaves and a bit of hot water into a soothing tea. Let's look at how drinking eucalyptus tea can help your overall health.
Eucalyptus Tea Health Benefits
Eucalyptus leaf tea is made from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree and contains the same aromatic and medicinal properties of eucalyptus oil or a eucalyptus leaf extract. Eucalyptus leaves have a potent mix of compounds, including eucalyptol (cineole). This compound is the reason for many of its health benefits, and the signature smell of the eucalyptus leaves.
Tea made from the leaves is available as a loose-leaf tea or in tea bags. The tea creates a pale green color and an herbal infusion that is pleasant to the taste buds and tantalizing for the nose.
We always recommend using dried whole eucalyptus leaves to get the most out of the plant's beneficial compounds. The overprocessing of tea in tea bags is typically lower quality and less potent in flavor and health benefits. Here are some of the remarkable health benefits of eucalyptus tea in every cup.
#1. An Antioxidant Powerhouse in a Cup of Tea
Black, green, white, and herbal tea are extraordinary elixirs for adequate and ever-present antioxidant levels. A high antioxidant intake can help protect your body from oxidative stress and free radical damage that can cause various health issues. Getting antioxidants in through a delicious cup of tea makes it easier.
Among the primary flavonoids in eucalyptus leaves and their tea are catechins, isorhamnetin, luteolin, kaempferol, phloretin, and quercetin. Incorporating eucalyptus tea and a diet rich with a generous portion of these compounds offers protection against certain cancers, heart disease, and even cognitive decline associated with conditions such as Alzheimer's.
A study of 38,180 men and 60,289 women discovered that a diet full of flavonoid-rich foods and beverages showed an 18% reduction in the risk of fatal heart disease. Eucalyptus tea is a great way to get a healthy dose of these valuable antioxidants.
#2. Fights Flus and Colds
Most of us know the familiar smell of eucalyptus during cold and flu season. Many cold and cough products use eucalyptus oil because of its antiseptic properties, making it a natural fighter for flu and cold symptoms. Its antioxidant levels are a great way to boost the immune system when it's struggling to get through those harsh, achy, and sickly feelings.
Unsurprisingly, people dealing with colds and flu also have difficulty breathing. Studies show that inhaling eucalyptus oil may help reduce mucus production and sore throat symptoms and expand the bronchi and bronchioles in the lungs. These respiratory therapeutic qualities are due to a naturally occurring compound in eucalyptus leaf oil called eucalyptol. This compound contains antibacterial properties that fight infections such as sore throats and strep throat.
Additionally, eucalyptus boasts natural analgesic properties and anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce respiratory system inflammation, opening up the airways and making breathing easier. In a 12-week study, 32 participants with bronchial asthma were given either 600 mg of eucalyptol or a placebo daily. Those who took eucalyptus reduced their need for asthma symptom medication by 36%. Compared to the placebo group, which only experienced a 7% reduction.
Most of us are familiar with the smell of eucalyptus-scented topical decongestants. Eucalyptus leaf extract is also a common ingredient in these products because it can effectively relieve symptoms of colds and flu, such as nasal congestion and chest congestion. Inhaling eucalyptus oil or drinking tea made from eucalyptus leaves and enjoying its aroma is a quick and easy way to relieve cold symptoms.
#3. Relief For Dry Skin
The soothing properties of eucalyptus not only act as a remedy for dry skin, but they potentially enhance skin health by increasing ceramides, a type of fatty acid naturally present in the skin. People with dry skin, dandruff, or skin conditions like dermatitis and psoriasis often have lower ceramide levels. These fatty acids play a part in preserving the skin's protective barrier, retaining moisture, and keeping your skin looking great!
In one study involving 34 participants, a scalp lotion infused with eucalyptus leaf extract and synthetic ceramide was administered. The results showed a significant reduction in scalp redness, itchiness, dryness, and scaliness. Tea is a great way to get all those nutrients through the blood and to the body's systems, such as the skin.
#4. Pain Relief in a Tasty Cup of Tea
Inhaling eucalyptus leaf essential oil is a great way to utilize its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, providing pain relief to the body. The smell of eucalyptus tea may promote relaxation of the body and mind, and the abundance of anti-inflammatory compounds in the ever-present volatile oils such as cineole, terpineol, and limonene may help relieve pain and pain symptoms.
A 3-day study involving 52 individuals recovering from knee replacement surgery who inhaled eucalyptus oil dissolved in almond oil for 30 minutes daily revealed that the smell of eucalyptus significantly reduced perceived pain and lowered blood pressure levels. The results were less than favorable for those who only inhaled pure almond oil. Drinking a cup of this tea sends all that pain relief and relaxation where you need it most.
#5. Promotes Relaxation
The smell of eucalyptus leaf tea, especially the oils released from the tea leaves as the tea steeps, can make you feel more relaxed. But that signature scent of eucalyptus leaf tea may be doing more than promote relaxation.
One study with 62 healthy participants who inhaled eucalyptus oil had reduced levels of pre-surgery anxiety. The reason lies in the high amount of eucalyptol in the eucalyptus leaves. Those compounds contain anti-anxiety properties that help promote less stress and an overall calming feeling.
Researchers believe that the relaxation-inducing effect of this compound is directly linked to eucalyptus's ability to diminish the activity of the sympathetic nervous system - a system responsible for the stress response. But at the same time, it also increases activity in the parasympathetic nervous system activity, which promotes a relaxed state of being. Next time you feel stressed, skip the coffee and grab a cup of eucalyptus tea.
#6. Promotes Better Teeth and Gum Health
Eucalyptus leaf extract, or eucalyptol, could help improve oral health. Eucalyptus tea leaves are rich in ethanol and macrocarpal C, a polyphenol variant. These powerful components are linked to reduced bacteria levels responsible for bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.
A study with 97 individuals who chewed gum infused with eucalyptus leaf extract at least five times a day for a minimum of five minutes significantly reduced plaque accumulation, gum bleeding, and gum inflammation.
Several oral health products, such as mouthwash and toothpaste, use eucalyptol as one of the main ingredients. Drinking an inviting cup of eucalyptus leaf tea may also improve oral health.
#7. Keep The Mosquitos Away
Eucalyptus oil, mainly the eucalyptol content, is an ideal choice for an all-natural insect repellent. Research shows that eucalyptus oil is a great way to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects at bay. In some cases, applying a lotion loaded with eucalyptus oil can keep you bite-free for up to eight hours.
Eucalyptus oil may also be great at stopping and preventing head lice infestations. In a randomized study, eucalyptus oil had twice the effectiveness of a popular head lice treatment. Next time you go camping, bring eucalyptus tea along. Can the tea keep mosquitos away? Maybe! The smell of a warm cup of eucalyptus tea may make mosquitos move out of your way, which is an excellent reason to have another cup!
Possible Side Effects of Eucalyptus Tea
Eucalyptus tea is generally considered safe to consume. However, consuming eucalyptus oil is unsafe and can lead to toxicity. It is worth noting that children are more vulnerable to this toxicity than adults. Here are some other precautions worth noting:
Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid using eucalyptus oil or consuming eucalyptus tea unless authorized by a healthcare professional.
Some people with sensitive skin should avoid applying eucalyptus oil to their skin.
People with sensitive digestive systems should avoid consuming eucalyptus tea.
Certain medications may interact with eucalyptus oil or eucalyptus tea, including those prescribed for diabetes, high cholesterol, acid reflux, and psychiatric disorders.
Drinking Eucalyptus Tea For Better Overall Health
Eucalyptus tea is a great way to relax, clear a sore throat, improve dental health, reduce pain, and relieve cold symptoms. You can drink one soothing cup daily and feel the full benefits of eucalyptus tea doing its magic.
Eucalyptus tea is a popular herbal many people choose to drink for a quick boost to the immune system as the weather gets colder and the thoughts of colds and flu start creeping in. But you can reap the benefits of eucalyptus tea all year round. Try this one if you're looking for a great blend that uses the finest eucalyptus tea leaves.