People have used various essential oils as a complementary therapy to treat different conditions, including fevers and colds, wounds, and gastrointestinal disorders, for centuries.

Researchers believe lemon eucalyptus essential oil may be helpful in treating certain conditions due to its anti-inflammatory, immunoregulatory, analgesic, and antioxidant properties.

Although research has found that essential oils may have health benefits, it is important to remember that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not monitor or regulate their purity or quality.

In this article, we look at what lemon eucalyptus essential oil is, its benefits and uses, how it works, possible side effects, and alternatives.

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Lemon eucalyptus essential oil is distilled from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree. It is made of several different chemical components, including citronellal, which is also found in other essential oils.

Despite being similarly named, lemon eucalyptus essential oil is different from oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), which is often an ingredient in natural mosquito repellents. OLE is extracted from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree and is enriched for its active ingredient, para-menthane-3,8-diol (PMD).

Lemon eucalyptus leaves possess powerful antibacterial and fungicidal properties. The essential oils from eucalyptus leaves are also:

  • anti-inflammatory
  • analgesic
  • antioxidant
  • immunoregulatory
  • antimicrobial
  • antiseptic
  • herbicidal
  • insecticidal
  • anti-parasitic

People use essential oils in aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is a complementary therapy that may involve:

  • massaging diluted essential oils on the skin
  • directly inhaling essential oils through an inhaler or steam
  • indirectly inhaling essential oils from a diffuser
  • bathing with diluted essential oils in a carrier oil

Traditionally, people have used eucalyptus essential oils for a variety of ailments, including:

However, more human research is necessary to conclusively prove the effectiveness of lemon eucalyptus essential oil as a treatment for any specific condition.

Research shows that lemon eucalyptus essential oil is highly effective against parasites such as some species of ticks. Other uses for this essential oil include:

  • insect repellant
  • grease removal
  • perfumes
  • soaps

Through aromatherapy, volatile compounds from the essential oil evaporate into the air. Once here, they can then enter the body through the nose, mucous membranes, and potentially the skin.

Lemon eucalyptus oil also has the potential to prevent and treat infectious diseases caused by viruses.

Researchers suggest that the compounds present in eucalyptus essential oils may directly bind to virus proteins and prevent them from causing viral infections.

More research is necessary to fully understand how essential oils work. However, there is a significant number of studies that support their effectiveness for certain symptoms and conditions.

Experts consider essential oils to be generally safe.

However, some can be dangerous to pregnant people or those who are breastfeeding or chestfeeding, or to those with existing conditions. Many essential oils are also toxic to pets, with cats, in particular, being especially susceptible to their effects.

The effects of essential oils can sometimes interfere with medications, so people should always inform their doctors about any essential oils they may be using.

It is possible to have allergic reactions to essential oils. People should carry out a patch test before using a new essential oil and always dilute it with a carrier oil before it touches the skin.

A person should stop using the oil immediately and seek fresh air if they experience any difficulty breathing, and then seek medical help.

Essential oils should never be ingested. People should only use them in aromatherapy or dilute them in a carrier oil before massaging them into the skin or adding them to a bath.

When considering aromatherapy, people should also consider other people in their environment who may become exposed to it. Do not use aromatherapy in public.

As the FDA does not monitor or regulate the quality of essential oils, people should research and choose their products carefully.

Essential oils high in phenols and aldehyde, which lemon eucalyptus contains, may cause side effects including:

  • eye irritation
  • skin irritation
  • mucous membrane irritation

Side effects are more likely when a person does not store essential oils correctly.

The majority of studies have shown that essential oils are not harmful as long as people use them correctly.

Other essential oils to consider include:

  • Clove oil: People use this plant oil as an insect repellent. Manufacturers also use it in cosmetics, food, and alternative medicines. Although the FDA has approved clove oil as generally safe, there are concerns that eugenol, a component in clove oil, may be a carcinogen.
  • Citronella oil: People primarily use citronella oil as an insect repellent, especially against mosquitos. It is often an ingredient in lotions, sprays, ointments, and candles meant to repel insects.
  • Lemongrass oil: People extract this oil through a process of steam distillation from the dried leaves of the lemongrass plant. It has both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
  • Litsea cubeba oil: People traditionally use this essential oil for gastrointestinal ailments, such as indigestion and diarrhea. It has antibacterial, antiparasitic, and antioxidant properties.

Lemon eucalyptus essential oil is distilled from the leaves of the lemon eucalyptus tree. It has many potential benefits, including analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, and antioxidant properties.

People use lemon eucalyptus essential oil for various reasons, including to treat colds, fever, and respiratory infections.

Possible side effects of the essential oil include eye and skin irritation.