Using Eucalyptus Oil During Pregnancy
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Pregnancy is a special time that demands careful consideration of everything that goes into and onto your body, including essential oils. Eucalyptus oil, derived from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree, has gained popularity for its potential benefits. Essential oils have many health benefits, and their use may also prove beneficial during pregnancy. Pregnant women, however, should approach eucalyptus oil in pregnancy with caution due to the concentrated nature of essential oil. Since essential oils like eucalyptus oil, rosemary oil, etc., are debated for their high concentration, it is important to know what to use and avoid. Let’s know more about its usage during pregnancy.
What Is Eucalyptus Oil?
Eucalyptus oil is derived from an evergreen tree named Eucalyptus, native to Australia. Eucalyptus leaves are steam-distilled to get the oil. Eucalyptus oil contains compounds like eucalyptol, known for its antimicrobial properties and ability to ease respiratory issues. It’s commonly used in products like cough drops and chest rubs. While eucalyptus oil can offer various advantages, its potency requires informed and responsible use, especially during pregnancy.
Can Pregnant Women Use Eucalyptus Oil?
The safety of eucalyptus oil during pregnancy is a topic of debate among experts. Some essential oil enthusiasts believe that eucalyptus oil can offer benefits when used correctly and in moderation. However, doctors often advise pregnant women to avoid anything potent like essential oils altogether, especially during the delicate phase of the first trimester.
There are several factors that play a role in determining whether eucalyptus oil is safe during pregnancy:
- Gestation Period – The stage of pregnancy matters. The first trimester is the most critical, and many experts advise avoiding essential oils during this time.
- Application Method – Inhalation methods like aromatherapy are generally considered safer than topical application or ingestion.
- Personal Sensitivity – Pregnant women can experience heightened sensitivity to smells, which might impact their tolerance to strong aromas.
Eucalyptus oil, like many other pregnancy-safe essential oils, can be safely used topically or through a steamer or diffuser, as these methods pose the least risk. Eucalyptus oil must not be directly applied to the skin or consumed orally. Instead, it should be diluted well in a pregnancy-safe carrier oil and applied topically to prevent negative reactions and harm to the baby. Before applying, a patch test should be done on the inner arm.
Native to Australia, eucalyptus is now found in various other parts of the world too. There are many varieties of eucalyptus, which may vary from tall trees to small shrubs. However, Blue Gum or Australian Fever is the most preferred type of eucalyptus tree because of its medicinal and other healing properties. The therapeutic oil is extracted from the leaves of this miraculous tree. The oil is widely popular and is used for its immense health benefits. A pregnant woman may also greatly benefit from using this wondrous oil. It can be used in multiple ways during pregnancy.
Many women tend to turn to natural and herbal remedies like ginger for nausea, garlic for immunity, and many more. However, during pregnancy, women need to be really cautious about their bodies in terms of their diet, lifestyle, exercise, etc. If you want to use eucalyptus oil but you’re sceptical about how it will impact your body during pregnancy, take a look at these benefits of eucalyptus oil.
1. Great for Relieving Stress
You might be incredibly happy and excited to welcome your bundle of joy into this world, but you may also feel anxious about the health of your unborn baby. All this worry and anxiety may lead to stress during pregnancy, and stress can be harmful to you and your unborn baby. Believe it or not, this oil may prove to be extremely beneficial in relieving the symptoms of stress during pregnancy. All you have to do is add a few drops of this oil to an oil diffuser and rest while you inhale the aromatic air. You may directly rub a few drops of this essential oil on your wrists, your temple, under your feet, or behind your ears to invigorate your senses. Alternatively, you may sniff the essential oil directly from the bottle to kick off any kind of stress and to feel relaxed.
2. Good for Dental Health
Some women may suffer from dental issues during pregnancy. Though pregnancy may not cause any dental issues, if you already have dental issues, then it may aggravate during pregnancy. This may happen due to your sluggish immune system during pregnancy. Eucalyptus oil proves to be beneficial in treating various dental issues. You may use this oil to get rid of bad breath or even keep stubborn plaque at bay. This oil is also beneficial in treating toothaches and gum problems during pregnancy. You may also opt for toothpaste, mouthwash or other dental products which contain eucalyptus oil in them. Some women may experience bleeding gums during pregnancy, or their gums may hurt while chewing food. Under such circumstances using eucalyptus oil may help reduce discomfort and pain.
3. Helpful in Treating Congestion and Cold
Colds and congestions are a common phenomenon during pregnancy. However, over-the-counter medicines may not be the right choice for you during pregnancy. Thus, you may want to look for some effective home remedies, and eucalyptus oil may be one such resort. In many studies, it has been proven that the strong aroma of eucalyptus oil proves to be very effective in dealing with cold and congestion. It not only helps relieve chest congestion, but it may also help in loosening the phlegm and may also prove to be helpful in treating more severe conditions such as bronchitis. You may use this oil in a diffuser and inhale the fumes all through the day and night. Alternatively, you may put a few drops in a bowl of hot water and inhale the steam.
4. Provides Relief From Muscle Pain
Pregnancy leads to a lot of changes in your body. The changes not only happen inside your body, but many changes take place outside as well. As you gain weight, you may experience more pressure on your legs and back muscles. This is a very normal pregnancy phenomenon; however, the pain can be very discomforting. If you suffer from such kinds of pain, then it may be a good idea to use this essential oil. This is because eucalyptus oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and it may prove to be beneficial in reducing aches during pregnancy. You should take a few drops of this oil and massage it gently on the affected area. It may not only help eliminate the pain but also make you feel lighter and happier.
5. Helps Treat Acne
Pregnancy may help you get that beautiful glow on your face. However, sometimes, hormonal fluctuations in the body during pregnancy can result in acne. It is advisable not to use any antibiotics or other topical ointments to cure your condition. But you can certainly use eucalyptus oil to clear your skin of pregnancy-related acne. Mix water and eucalyptus oil in a ratio of 3:1 and soak cotton balls in this solution. Apply this solution liberally on the affected area and leave it on for some time. This oil is very effective in killing the bacteria that cause acne. It not only helps in unclogging the pores, but it also helps in controlling any further breakouts. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this oil are beneficial in keeping acne at bay.
6. Cures Skin Problems
You may want to opt for all-natural ingredients during pregnancy as they are comparatively safer than chemical products. So, if you are unable to take care of your skin during pregnancy, eucalyptus oil is something you may consider using. This wondrous oil is not only laden with medicinal properties, but it has also been in use for its various skin benefits. You can mix it with some jojoba oil or almond oil to moisturise your dry skin. If you combine this essential oil with some olive oil, you will get a great homemade sunscreen moisturiser. Aside from taking care of your beauty regime, this oil treats minor bruises, cuts, or wounds. The natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of this oil are extremely effective in treating various skin conditions.
7. Effective Remedy for Cough
There is nothing more uncomfortable and annoying than having a cough during pregnancy. This is because the constant bouts of cough put more pressure on your bladder, and you will have to take frequent bathroom visits apart from the other discomforts that a cough may bring along with it. However, eucalyptus oil has been used to treat cough for a long time, and it is an effective cough remedy. It has been proven that the use of this oil has a positive impact on the thinning and loosening of mucus. Many cough medicines contain this oil as one of the ingredients. You can also make an all-natural rub at home to relieve the symptoms of a cough. However, you must use this under medical supervision in order to avoid severe infections, as it is just an addition to the medications.
8. Helps in Building Immunity
Pregnancy is a delicate time in your life, and it requires you to take special care because your immunity gets compromised during this period, making you more susceptible to various kinds of infections and illnesses. However, it has been proved that this oil has special properties that help in building immunity and keeping various kinds of health ailments at bay. You can put a few drops of this oil in a diffuser and inhale the healing fumes to keep yourself safe from various infections, mostly during seasonal changes. You can also make a hand sanitiser by mixing equal amounts of lavender and tea tree oil and double the amount of eucalyptus oil.
9. May Help Treat Asthma
Asthma is a medical condition that affects millions of people around the world. If you have asthma and you are pregnant, using eucalyptus oil may prove to be beneficial. Asthma causes inflammation in the airways, which can lead to chest tightness, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, coughing, or other such symptoms. Using this oil can help in widening the blood vessels so that more oxygen can get inhaled by the lungs. Also, this oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help in the thinning of the mucus from the airways, which can facilitate better breathing and lessen discomfort. This oil can be used as a decongestant and can be applied directly to the chest. You can add a few drops of this oil to some hot water and inhale the fumes.
10. Helpful in Treating Sinus
Sinusitis is a very uncomfortable medical condition. If you are suffering from it during pregnancy, it may become more difficult for you as you may not be able to take your usual sinusitis medicine. Under such circumstances, eucalyptus oil may prove to be helpful. The anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties of this oil are effective in keeping various respiratory ailments, such as influenza, colds, flu, sinusitis etc., at bay. This oil helps in reducing the inflammation of the airways and helps in the thinning of the mucus, thereby providing relief from the blocked sinuses. You can effectively use eucalyptus oil to treat a cold by infusing a few drops in your handkerchief. You may use this oil in your steam inhalation, too. Alternatively, you can use this oil for warm compresses by dipping a washcloth in warm water mixed with a few drops of the oil.
11. Helpful in Reducing Fever
Whenever your body fights any infection, you may have a fever. This may happen during pregnancy too. Though you can take paracetamol to bring down your body’s temperature, if you wish to avoid medicines, then it may be a good idea to make use of this miraculous oil. It is also known as fever oil, as it has fever-reducing properties. It works only for mild temperatures as it helps improve the blood circulation that aids the body when it is fighting against fever. You can mix it with some lukewarm water to apply compressions to your arms, legs, and head. You can also mix a few drops of this oil in a spoonful of almond oil or jojoba oil and apply it on your temples, the bottom of the feet, or the back of the neck every 15 to 20 minutes to bring down the fever.
Note: This oil is meant for external application only, do not consume it.
12. Helps in Nourishing Hair
Sometimes a pregnancy may make your hair dull, dry, or brittle, and you can blame your changing pregnancy hormones for that. However, you may use various oils to provide nourishment to your dull and lifeless hair, and eucalyptus oil is amongst one of the best home remedies to battle your hair woes during pregnancy. The active ingredients present in this oil are effective in stimulating the hair follicles. It works by improving blood circulation in the scalp, which in turn may help in encouraging better hair growth and hair quality. Add a few drops of this oil in your regular hair oil and massage your hair and scalp with it. For best results, leave the oil overnight and wash with warm water in the morning for healthy, shiny tresses.
13. Helpful In Getting Rid of Head Lice
As embarrassing as it may sound, you may suffer from this problem at any time in your life and more so if you have a young school-going kid at home. Though there are many over-the-counter treatments available for the treatment of head lice, eucalyptus oil works wonders in curing this annoying hair problem. It is a natural insecticide and thus is very effective in curing this problem. All you have to do is mix a few drops of this oil in your regular hair oil and massage your scalp with it, and then leave it for some time before washing your hair. Alternatively, you may add a few drops of this insect-repelling oil in your regular shampoo along with a few drops of neem oil to get rid of these tiny critters from your hair.
14. Effective in Treating Cold Sores
Pregnancy may make your body work more than usual, and this may cause tiredness and lethargy. And on top of it, if you suffer from any kind of medical issue, it may further drain your body. Cold sores are one such issue that may bother you during pregnancy, and if you have herpes, the chances of cold sores further increase. You may feel pain, burning, or tingling sensations around these sores. In studies, it has been shown that eucalyptus oil has positive effects in treating cold sores that may happen due to HSV or herpes simplex virus. This oil is also an active ingredient in many over-the-counter medicines for treating cold cores. You can make a solution with this oil at home to get rid of this uncomfortable condition. For that, all you have to do is take a drop of tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, each mixed with two drops of coconut oil. You may apply this solution 3 to 4 times a day to get rid of the cold sores.
15. Relieves Mental Exhaustion
No matter how hard you try to stay positive during pregnancy, you will occasionally have negative thoughts about your health or the health and well-being of your unborn child. Though this is normal for any pregnant woman to feel, such kinds of worries can make a woman feel mentally and physically exhausted. You can relax physically, but it may take you a lot of effort to put your mind at ease, and in such situations, aromatherapy may help. One of the most efficient and effective oils in providing mental peace is eucalyptus oil. You may use eucalyptus oil in your bath during pregnancy or use it in a diffuser to rejuvenate your mind.
These are some of the many benefits of this fragrant essential oil. Because there is very limited research on the safety and efficacy of eucalyptus oil in pregnant women, we recommend discussing it with your doctor before using eucalyptus oil during pregnancy.
Side Effects of Using Eucalyptus Oil
If you are wondering if eucalyptus oil is safe during pregnancy, the answer is yes, it is safe. However, the use of this oil may lead to certain side effects too. Following are the possible complications that may arise because of using this oil.
1. May Cause an Allergic Reaction
This oil is really strong and pungent and, thus, sometimes can lead to severe allergies during pregnancy.
2. May Cause Respiratory Problems
Though this oil is effective in treating respiratory issues, sometimes it may do the opposite. This may happen if you are allergic to this oil.
3. May Trigger Itching
If you have sensitive skin, the use of this oil may cause itching or rash on your skin.
4. May Cause Diarrhoea
Precautions to Be Taken While Using the Oil During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are advised to exercise precautions when planning to include eucalyptus oil in their pregnancy journey. Let’s take note of some precautions:
- Eucalyptus oil can cause skin irritation, especially when used undiluted. Perform a patch test before using it on your skin to check for any adverse reactions.
- Do not ingest eucalyptus oil, as it is toxic when taken through mouth.
- Only buy organic and unadulterated eucalyptus oil from reputed brands or sources.
When to See a Doctor?
Before incorporating eucalyptus oil in pregnancy into your pregnancy routine, consult your healthcare provider. They can provide personalised advice based on your medical history and current health status. Since eucalyptus oil is powerful, it is extremely important to exercise caution.
1. Does Eucalyptus Oil Promote Better Sleep in Pregnancy?
Eucalyptus essential oil in pregnancy could be beneficial in relaxing and getting a good night’s sleep. You can add 1-2 drops of eucalyptus oil to the diffuser to feel relaxed.
There is no denying that eucalyptus oil has many benefits for a pregnant woman, but one cannot undermine the possible complications too. Therefore, if you wish to use this oil during pregnancy, it is suggested that you consult your doctor to avoid any complications.
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