Does Eucalyptus Oil Actually Help Treat Pain?

Eucalyptus oil is a popular essential oil with a wide array of benefits. Derived from the Eucalyptus tree, this oil can clear a stuffy nose, act as a mosquito repellent and it's an excellent natural house cleaner (per WebMD). But that's not all this powerhouse oil can do. Research suggests eucalyptus oil specifically can actually help reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling (via Healthline).

One clinical trial examined the post-surgery pain level in participants who endured knee surgery. Every day for three days straight, participants were required to breathe in eucalyptus oil for 30 minutes. The findings indicated participants who inhaled the oil, recorded lower pain levels than those who did not. According to VerywellHealth this is due to eucalyptus oil's capacity to trigger serotonin, the "feel-good hormone", and its strong anti-inflammatory properties. This impressive oil also calms nerves before surgery, points out WebMD. In fact, researchers found inhaling eucalyptus oil before surgery reduces anxiety (via WebMD). However, more research is needed to understand how this affects pain levels after surgery.

Believe it or not, this oil is also a common element in topical painkillers. In fact, many over-the-counter ointments that help ease joint pain, arthritis, or muscle injuries, have eucalyptus oil as an active ingredient (via Healthline).

How to use eucalyptus oil safely as a painkiller

Adding eucalyptus oil to your health regimen can be beneficial for pain relief, but it has to be used properly. Undiluted eucalyptus oil can be dangerous if taken by mouth, according to WebMD. Ingesting as little as 2-3 millimeters can cause drowsiness, loss of muscle control, and more (via WebMD). Undiluted, this oil can alter how your body processes medications, particularly those with diabetes and cholesterol (per Prevention). While it's generally safe to use, always consult with your healthcare provider first.

One of the most effective ways to reduce pain with eucalyptus oil is by diluting it in a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil and rubbing it directly on the sore area. Women's Health recommends using one to two drops in this concoction, then rubbing the affected area in a circular motion to increase blood flow. For aromatherapy, consider adding up to five drops into your diffuser to help enhance your energy and mood (via Women's Health).

Lastly, if you're experiencing a migraine or headache, try a few drops on a damp cloth and place the cloth on your temples or forehead for relief (via Women's Health).