Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus
It is widely used as an effective decongestant and expectorant (whether ingested, inhaled or rubbed topically on the skin), and these properties dilate the bronchial tubes and help to loosen and expel phlegm and congestion from the respiratory system and nasal passages. The oil is an expectorant component of many decongestant compounds, cough syrups, cough drops and lozenges and is said to relieve excess mucus, colds, influenza, croup, pulmonary tuberculosis, emphysema, chronic and acute bronchitis, asthma and dry coughs. The oil's antibacterial actions may also reduce the risk of a secondary respiratory infection. Further supporting Eucalyptus as a decongestant, the volatile oil, eucalyptol, is said to function (like menthol) by acting on receptors in the nasal mucosa, reducing nasal congestion, which is very helpful in cases of sinusitis. When used as an inhalant, Eucalyptus also works as an expectorant, loosening sticky mucus and making it easier to cough up and out of the chest and nasal passages, which also helps to relieve colds, flu, croup, emphysema, pneumonia, chronic and acute bronchitis, asthma and dry coughs. When inhaled, Eucalyptus prompts the Eustachian tubes connecting the middle ear and the throat to open, and when fluids drain from the ear as a result, earache pain and pressure is often relieved. In addition, astringent substances in the oil called tannins tighten and thus soothe mucous membrane inflammation in the mouth, nose and throat. When used topically in vapor rubs, the oil (diluted with a carrier oil, since it is very strong) may be rubbed directly on the chest, back or throat to relieve congestion or pain. Eucalyptus is famous for its antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral and germicidal properties, and it is thought to be the most powerful disinfectant in its class. The oil and resin's antibacterial qualities are so strong that it has been used for sterilizing medical and surgical equipment.