Why You Should Be Adding A Eucalyptus Bouquet To Your Shower

Hanging bundles of eucalyptus actually does more than make your shower Instagram-ready. It turns out eucalyptus has tons of potentially healing properties for your mind and body. If you've ever used Vicks VapoRub when you're congested, you're already familiar with some of the amazing benefits eucalyptus provides. But eucalyptus does more than just help get rid of a cold.

As Dr. Devin Miles, ND, explains to Martha Stewart, eucalyptus can help "reduce inflammation and promote drainage of congested sinuses." Not only that, but according to Miles, using eucalyptus oil as aromatherapy can help clear your head and help you stay focused. A 2013 study found in "Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine," revealed that the scent of fresh eucalyptus helped post-surgery patients with pain management, including lowering blood pressure.

Sometimes anxiety can be at the root of why we can't focus, but don't worry — eucalyptus has been proven to help calm you down. A 2014 study in the same journal reported that using eucalyptus as aromatherapy helped alleviate some anxiety in patients waiting to go into surgery.

But these aren't the only benefits of breathing in eucalyptus, either in your shower or in your aromatherapy diffuser, to your daily routine. If you're grabbing a bundle for your shower, consider picking up a bottle of eucalyptus essential oil or lotion with eucalyptus in the ingredients — you'll thank us later.

Eucalyptus can work wonders for your health

A native plant to Australia, eucalyptus was traditionally used by Aboriginal Tasmanians, Australians, and Torres Strait Islander people for medicinal purposes, according to MindBodyGreen. One way they'd use eucalyptus, Healthline explains, was to cover and treat wounds, since eucalyptus leaves were thought to help prevent infection.

Eucalyptus oil is actually still used to help fight inflammation, pain, and infection. A 2010 study found that after patients spread eucalyptus-based salves on their swelling, they saw a decrease of 25%. Plus, as Women's Health Magazine explains, properties found in eucalyptus oil also act as a natural antiseptic, making it safe to treat bug bites, ulcers, sores, cuts, and burns. This includes sunburns because of the cooling sensation eucalyptus creates when used on the skin.

But those aren't the only benefits of using eucalyptus outside the shower. Health reports that eucalyptus acts as a natural bug repellent. You can even buy skin-friendly eucalyptus blends to use as an all-natural bug repellent. Kimberton Whole Foods also has an easy DIY recipe for eucalyptus bug repellent if you want to make your own.

Eucalyptus is also great for your hair and skin

Once they're dried, leaves of eucalyptus plants can be ground and then distilled, which is how Women's Health Magazine explains eucalyptus essential oils are collected. These oils, Kiehl's explains, often go into products like moisturizers, facial cleansers, and shampoo because not only does eucalyptus have astringent properties that make it a good cleanser — which is why pure eucalyptus oil shouldn't be applied directly to the skin — it also can help keep oiliness under control.

Eucalyptus also works wonders for your hair. Women's Health magazine adds that not only does eucalyptus oil in your shampoo help improve your hair's elasticity, but it helps stimulate the scalp for faster hair growth and has antifungal properties that help keep dandruff away.

Pro-tip: if you don't want to hunt down skin and hair products with eucalyptus essential oil, just grab a bottle of pure eucalyptus essential oil. Amy Galper, the founder of NYC's first Aromatherapy School, suggests mixing a drop of eucalyptus in with your shampoo when you wash your hair, according to Well + Good.

To dilute eucalyptus oil, Galper suggests mixing the eucalyptus with jojoba, almond, olive, or sunflower oil for lotions and salves. For every three drops of eucalyptus oil you use, you'll need to mix it with a tablespoon of whatever oil you use.

Why eucalyptus works best in the shower

While there are a ton of beneficial ways of using eucalyptus, our favorite way is still to hang a fresh bunch in the shower. Not only is the scent literally calming, but it'll help you breathe better.

There is actually a science behind why fresh eucalyptus in your shower works so well. "The steam helps loosen up the eucalyptus oil molecules into the air," Dr. Amy Rothenberg, N.D., explained to Martha Stewart, "making it easier to breathe in." According to Rothenberg, just five to 10 minutes is all you need to spend in the eucalyptus-scented steam in order to feel its effects.

Eucalyptus doesn't just help reduce swelling on the skin, but it also helps the sinuses and lungs. According to Healthline, breathing in eucalyptus when you're in the shower can help clear your sinuses, including lessening their inflammation and even helping to clear out bacteria. Eucalyptus is also a cough suppressant and can also soothe sore throats, per MindBodyGreen.

Your local florist or grocery store should carry eucalyptus you can use to build your own eucalyptus shower bouquet. But there are a ton of options on Etsy, too, that include other herbs like mint and lavender to help boost the spa vibe in your bathroom. The important thing to note, however, is that you're going to want spiral eucalyptus, as other varieties don't give off the same therapeutic aroma.

If nothing else, a bouquet of fresh eucalyptus hanging in your shower will help transport you to a calming spa, even if only for a short time.