Winding through the mountainous hills of Ooty in south central India by jeep, the scent of eucalyptus fills the air as we drive through groves of this deliciously fragrant tree. My breath gets a little deeper as I inhale the awe of what the locals must surely take for granted, the smell and healing power of eucalyptus hanging ever in the air there. Curved slices of green with the power to open the lungs and move congestion in the body speak to me in the shady breeze. Not only am I here for a respite, but to surrender a bit more to what Mother India has to teach me about opening up.
Have you ever stood over the rising vapors of a pot of boiling water steeped with the Eucalyptus plant? Or sat in a steam room where the oil has been added to the air? There is nothing better for sinus or bronchial congestion than a trip through the billowing droplets of Eucalyptus rising from whatever device has helped make its medicine airborne. It is truly a gift from the plant world, especially for a species who often awaits the presence of blocks (either within the body or mind) before slowing down.
Originally found in Australia, Eucalyptus was used by the Aborigines for a multitude of purposes. Even the locals found they could use the oil to fuel lamps. This oil is extremely potent as an antimicrobial and as a natural anti-fungal agent, and it’s super effective to clean and disinfect both wounds on the body as well as home surfaces. It is mild enough for pets and small children and yet potent enough to ensure a healthy immune system and widespread cleanliness, and even help eliminate cancer cells as found in leukemia.
Often we resist health on a subconscious level so as to avoid fully “taking on” life. When this occurs in our psyche many proven remedies fail us because the real issue is not physical, but psychological. The importance of addressing all parts of the self is often overlooked or misunderstood. Eucalyptus oil actually addresses the entire person, helping to instill a feeling of personal empowerment through its heady fragrance and opening up the mind, heart and spirit to healing, which is our natural state.
When is Eucalyptus right for you?
Feeling a little stuck? Literally or metaphorically? Eucalyptus will literally get gum off of your shoes and out of your hair, or help remove that pesky spot that nothing else seems to work on. Like these visible manifestations of discord in your outer environment, Eucalyptus is also a trusted companion to work with when feeling physically or emotionally stuck - with either a head cold or an overly developed sense of neediness.
Self-love is a commodity often in short supply in this culture -- so much being expected of us each and every day, yet so little seeming to “come back” to us in the form of payment for simply being ourselves. Eucalyptus has the ability to whisk you away with the scent of magic and deep healing. Nothing can penetrate the breath more than the smell of this glorious plant. It works its way into your system without apology and invites a renewed sense of self-love and self-comfort that only finds you, oh so secretly, with the mildness of the plant kingdom.
Around the house Eucalyptus can’t be beat. Take it to the laundry room, in the sink, and across the counter. Sprinkle it in the carpet before a vacuum or drop a few drops into your favorite cleaning product to take it up a notch.
Make every shower a healing adventure by placing a few drops on the chest just prior to stepping under the flow. Inhale deeply and bless your lucky stars that eucalyptus is so affordable and gift-giving all at the same time.
One of my favorite uses for Eucalyptus oil is to take a heady-waft straight from the bottle before sitting down to write, for meditation or any philosophical discussion. My brain synapses seem to get polished and my mind opens wide to what I couldn’t access as easily pre-eucalyptus. A sense of wonder returns to my often hurried mental landscape accustomed to traversing the seemingly “tough terrains” of everyday life as a single working mom. Suddenly I am in Ooty again, tank-topped with the cool breeze of a eucalyptus mountain forest in my nostrils and a relaxed smile on my face. Gratitude and a feeling of deep abiding health fills my being and I am at home in my body yet again.