Eucalyptus oil



Eucalyptus oil is an ingredient used in a variety of natural health products.

Brand Names
Vaporex, Vicks Vaporub
Generic Name
Eucalyptus oil
DrugBank Accession Number

Eucalyptus oil is a distilled oil derived from the leaves of the tree Eucalyptus. It is shown to be effective in reducing pain, swelling, and inflammation via its modulatory effect on the immune response. It is also shown to exhibit antibacterial activity against some bacterial species and cough suppressant actions. Eucalyptus oil can be applied directly to the skin for pain and swelling of respiratory tract mucous membranes, joint pain, genital herpes, and nasal stuffiness.

  • Blue gum leaf oil
  • Dinkum oil
  • Eucalypti aetheroleum
  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Eucalyptus globulus leaf essential oil
  • Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil
  • Eucalyptus globulus leaf water
  • Eucalyptus globulus leaf/twig oil
  • Eucalyptus globulus oil
  • Eucalyptus globulus oil burundia
  • Eucalyptus globulus oil pakistan
  • Eucalyptus globulus oil rwanda
  • Eucalyptus globulus oil zambia
  • Eucalyptus leaf oil
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Eucalyptus terpene oil
  • Eucalyptus volatile oil
  • Eukalyptus oel
  • Oil of eucalyptus
  • Southern blue gum leaf oil
  • Tasmanian blue gum leaf oil
External IDs
  • Caswell No. 618A
  • Fema no. 2466



As an active agent, eucalyptus oil has been indicated for relief of the symptoms of catarrhal colds, and/or the relief of the symptoms of minor muscular sprains and cramps 24.

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Associated Conditions
Indication TypeIndicationCombined Product DetailsApproval LevelAge GroupPatient CharacteristicsDose Form
Used in combination for symptomatic treatment ofCoughingCombination Product in combination with: Camphor (DB01744), Levomenthol (DB00825)••• •••••••••• ••••••••
Used in combination for symptomatic treatment ofCoughingCombination Product in combination with: Turpentine (DB11120), Thymol (DB02513), Camphor (DB01744), Levomenthol (DB00825)••• •••••••••••
Used in combination for prophylaxis ofInfectionCombination Product in combination with: Tea tree oil (DB11218), Lavender oil (DB14566)••• ••••••••
Used in combination to treatItching caused by insect bitesCombination Product in combination with: Methyl salicylate (DB09543), Zinc oxide (DB09321), Levomenthol (DB00825), Cajuput oil (DB15922), Thymol (DB02513)••• •••••••••••
Treatment ofNasal congestion••• •••••••••••
Associated Therapies
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Lipophilic monoterpene formulations of eucalyptus oil appear to be readily absorbed orally, with a primarily oxidative metabolism that might necessitate induction of the cytochrome P450 enzyme system and subsequent urinary excretion 6. Gastrointestinal absorption of eucalyptus appears to be rapid and may be enhanced by the intake of lipids and milk. 1,8-cineole (which makes up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils) 4 has also been found in vitro and in animals to possess cytochrome P450 inducing activity 7,8,9.

Mechanism of action

The general consensus is that the exact mechanism of action of eucalyptus oil is largely unknown at this time but comprises various hypotheses from various studies.

Cineol containing preparations of eucalyptus oil may contain up to 80% (or more) 1,8-cineole 13 and is one of the most common types of eucalyptus oil formulations used. As an active agent indicated for relieving certain cold symptoms and/or certain muscular sprains and cramps, it is believed that eucalyptus oil may possess some antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities.

Some in vitro studies of human blood monocytes suggest a dose-dependent effect of eucalyptus oil to elicit significant inhibition of multiple cytokines, perhaps in the treatment of airway inflammation 14,15. Moreover, other studies in animal models discuss the possibility of eucalyptus oil demonstrating anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects that potentially account for inhibiting the formation of prostaglandins and cytokines by stimulated monocytes in vitro 16,17.

Furthermore, additional studies have observed eucalyptus oil anti-viral activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV-1, HSV-2) in cell cultures as well as the demonstration of broad antimicrobial activity of eucalyptus medicinal plant extracts against Alicyclobacillus acidoterretris, Bacillus cereus, E. coli, Enterococcus faecalis, MRSA, Propionibacterium acnes, S. aureus, fungus including C. albicans isolates, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and other Gram-positive bacteria. Specific activity against periodontopathic bacteria, such as Porphyromonas gingivalis, Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans, Fusobacterium nucleatum, Streptococcus mutans, and Streptococcus sobrinus has also been observed 18,19,20,21,22.


Common monoterpenoid compound preparations of eucalyptus oil have been observed to be readily absorbed after dermal application, likely due to their lipophilic character 5. Although maximal plasma levels were demonstrated in as short a time period as 10 minutes even with thicker preparations like eucalyptus oil ointments, like many other topically applied agents, the extent of absorption is also likely largely dependent upon additional factors like the size of treated skin area, patient skin condition(s), concentrations of the applied substance, and time of exposure to the substance 5.

Currently, more data regarding the oral absorption of eucalyptus would be useful, given the relative lack of existing information 5. Lipophilic monoterpene compound formulations of eucalyptus oil seems to be readily absorbed orally 6. Regardless, there is some data that suggests that the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract has no particularly significant role in the absorption of cineole based eucalyptus oil 5.

Pulmonary absorption of eucalyptus oil is also possible although little information exists regarding this element at the moment. Nevertheless, 1,8-cineol (which makes up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils) 4 appears to be well absorbed via inhalation with peak plasma levels observed reportedly at 18 minutes 10.

Given the three main constituents from Eucalyptus globulus Labill fruits, the intestinal absorption of macrocarpal A (M-A), macrocarpal B (M-B), and cypellocarpa C (Cy-C) is predominantly via passive diffusion while Cy-C demonstrates some partly ATP-dependent absorption 12.

Volume of distribution

Studies have determined a large terminal volume of distribution for cineole or eucalyptol (which makes up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils) of 27 l/kg in brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) 4.

Protein binding

Not Available


With in vivo models, eucalyptol or cineole (which make up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils), undergoes oxidation to form hydroxycineole which is excreted as glucuronide 23. In rats, 2-hydroxycineole, 3-hydroxycineole, and 1,8--dihydroxycineol-9-oic acid were identified as main urinary metabolites 23. After oral administration to brushtail possums, p-cresol, 9-hydroxycineole, and Cineole-9-oic acid were found in urine 23. Rabbits given eucalyptol by savage excreted 2-exo- and 2-endo-hydroxycineole in the urine 23.

The monterpene bicyclic ketone verbenone is a known component in eucalyptus globules 11. In one study, this component was observed to be converted to 10-hydroxyverbenone by rat and human liver microsomal cytochrome P450 enzymes, and indicated that CYP2A6 is a principal enzyme in verbenone hydroxylation in humans 11.

Route of elimination

Studies suggest the route of elimination for cineole or eucalyptol (which makes up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils) in brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), rats, and rabbit subjects as being in the urine 4.


Studies have determined a terminal half-life for cineole or eucalyptol (which makes up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils) of approximately 7h in brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) 4.


Studies have determined a high clearance rate for cineole or eucalyptol (which makes up to as much as 90% of most commonly used cineole-based eucalyptus oils) of 43 ml/min/kg in brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) 4.

Adverse Effects
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Overdose with eucalyptus oil may result in epigastric burning, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, muscular weakness, mitosis, tachycardia, a sensation of suffocation, cyanosis, ataxia, pulmonary damage, delirium, convulsions, CNS depression, coma. Deaths have been recorded from doses as low as 3.5 ml.

The given oral LD50 for rats is 2480 mg/kg MSDS

Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
AbacavirAbacavir may decrease the excretion rate of Eucalyptus oil which could result in a higher serum level.
AceclofenacAceclofenac may decrease the excretion rate of Eucalyptus oil which could result in a higher serum level.
AcemetacinAcemetacin may decrease the excretion rate of Eucalyptus oil which could result in a higher serum level.
AcetaminophenAcetaminophen may decrease the excretion rate of Eucalyptus oil which could result in a higher serum level.
AcetazolamideAcetazolamide may increase the excretion rate of Eucalyptus oil which could result in a lower serum level and potentially a reduction in efficacy.
Food Interactions
No interactions found.


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Over the Counter Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Eucalyptus OilLiquidTopicalDawson Traders Ltd.1977-12-312006-03-22Canada flag
Eucalyptus OilLiquidRespiratory (inhalation)Regal Pharms, Division Of Bradcan Corporation1983-12-311998-07-29Canada flag
Eucalyptus OilLiquidOral; Respiratory (inhalation); TopicalStanley Pharmaceuticals, A Division Of Vita Health Products Inc.1972-12-312000-07-27Canada flag
Eucalyptus Oil Liq 100%Liquid100 %Oral; Respiratory (inhalation); TopicalJedmon Products Ltd.1990-12-312006-03-22Canada flag
EUKY BEAR BRAND EUCALYPTUS OIL BPOil100 %Cutaneous; Respiratory (inhalation)ROSLIND ENTERPRISE (M) SDN. BHD.2020-09-08Not applicableMalaysia flag
Mixture Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
24/7 Life Medicated Chest RubEucalyptus oil (1.2 g/100g) + Menthol (2.6 g/100g) + Synthetic camphor (4.8 g/100g)OintmentTopicalLil' Drug Store Products, Inc.2022-11-11Not applicableUS flag
4JointzEucalyptus oil (4 g/100g) + Allantoin (0.025 g/100g) + Tannic acid (5 g/100g)CreamTopicalArp(usa) Pty Ltd2017-01-312018-04-05US flag
4oz Medicated Chest RubEucalyptus oil (1 g/100g) + Menthol (1 g/100g) + Synthetic camphor (4.7 g/100g)OintmentTopicalPride Products Corporation2017-12-01Not applicableUS flag
Aboniki Balm - Topical Pain Relief BalmEucalyptus oil (23 mg/1g) + Menthol (51 mg/1g) + Methyl salicylate (42.5 mg/1g) + Synthetic camphor (50.4 mg/1g)CreamTopicalJ C UDEOZOR & SONS GLOBAL INDUSTRIES LTD2022-06-01Not applicableUS flag
AldamedEucalyptus oil (1 mg/100mL) + Menthol (2 mg/100mL) + Synthetic camphor (3 mg/100mL)CreamTopicalHerbamedicus, s.r.o.2023-03-21Not applicableUS flag
Unapproved/Other Products
NameIngredientsDosageRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
Cellskin Clean Pine MistEucalyptus oil (0.01 g/100mL) + Grapefruit (0.05 g/100mL) + Tea tree oil (0.01 g/100mL)SprayTopicalGtg Wellness Co., Ltd.2020-07-01Not applicableUS flag
DonaEucalyptus oil (5 mg/100mg) + Menthol (10 mg/100mg)PatchTopicalSj Incorporation Ltd2023-11-20Not applicableUS flag
Elmore OilEucalyptus oil (38.6 mg/1mL) + Tea tree oil (42.5 mg/1mL)OilTopicalUltra Mix (Aust) Pty Ltd2015-02-16Not applicableUS flag
Elmore OilEucalyptus oil (38.6 mg/1mL) + Tea tree oil (42.5 mg/1mL)OilTopicalElmore Oil Company Pty Ltd2013-07-01Not applicableUS flag
Golf Pain Away GPAEucalyptus oil (38.6 mg/1mL) + Tea tree oil (42.5 mg/1mL)OilTopicalElmore Oil Company Pty Ltd2012-06-01Not applicableUS flag


Drug Categories
Not classified
Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. Jun YS, Kang P, Min SS, Lee JM, Kim HK, Seol GH: Effect of eucalyptus oil inhalation on pain and inflammatory responses after total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:502727. doi: 10.1155/2013/502727. Epub 2013 Jun 18. [Article]
  2. Serafino A, Sinibaldi Vallebona P, Andreola F, Zonfrillo M, Mercuri L, Federici M, Rasi G, Garaci E, Pierimarchi P: Stimulatory effect of Eucalyptus essential oil on innate cell-mediated immune response. BMC Immunol. 2008 Apr 18;9:17. doi: 10.1186/1471-2172-9-17. [Article]
  3. Bachir RG, Benali M: Antibacterial activity of the essential oils from the leaves of Eucalyptus globulus against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2012 Sep;2(9):739-42. doi: 10.1016/S2221-1691(12)60220-2. [Article]
  4. McLean S, Boyle RR, Brandon S, Davies NW, Sorensen JS: Pharmacokinetics of 1,8-cineole, a dietary toxin, in the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula): significance for feeding. Xenobiotica. 2007 Sep;37(9):903-22. doi: 10.1080/00498250701570277. [Article]
  5. Kohlert C, van Rensen I, Marz R, Schindler G, Graefe EU, Veit M: Bioavailability and pharmacokinetics of natural volatile terpenes in animals and humans. Planta Med. 2000 Aug;66(6):495-505. doi: 10.1055/s-2000-8616. [Article]
  6. McLean S, Foley WJ: Metabolism of Eucalyptus terpenes by herbivorous marsupials. Drug Metab Rev. 1997 Feb-May;29(1-2):213-8. [Article]
  7. Jori A, Bianchetti A, Prestini PE, Gerattini S: Effect of eucalyptol (1,8-cineole) on the metabolism of other drugs in rats and in man. Eur J Pharmacol. 1970 Mar;9(3):362-6. [Article]
  8. Pass GJ, McLean S, Stupans I, Davies N: Microsomal metabolism of the terpene 1,8-cineole in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), rat and human. Xenobiotica. 2001 Apr;31(4):205-21. doi: 10.1080/00498250110043535 . [Article]
  9. Miyazawa M, Shindo M, Shimada T: Oxidation of 1,8-cineole, the monoterpene cyclic ether originated from eucalyptus polybractea, by cytochrome P450 3A enzymes in rat and human liver microsomes. Drug Metab Dispos. 2001 Feb;29(2):200-5. [Article]
  10. Jager W, Nasel B, Nasel C, Binder R, Stimpfl T, Vycudilik W, Buchbauer G: Pharmacokinetic studies of the fragrance compound 1,8-cineol in humans during inhalation. Chem Senses. 1996 Aug;21(4):477-80. [Article]
  11. Miyazawa M, Sugie A, Shimada T: Roles of human CYP2A6 and 2B6 and rat CYP2C11 and 2B1 in the 10-hydroxylation of (-)-verbenone by liver microsomes. Drug Metab Dispos. 2003 Aug;31(8):1049-53. doi: 10.1124/dmd.31.8.1049. [Article]
  12. Yang XW, Guo QM, Wang Y, Xu W, Tian L, Tian XJ: Intestinal permeability of antivirus constituents from the fruits of Eucalyptus globulus Labill. in Caco-2 Cell Model. Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2007 Feb 15;17(4):1107-11. doi: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2006.11.021. Epub 2006 Nov 10. [Article]
  13. Schnitzler P, Schon K, Reichling J: Antiviral activity of Australian tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil against herpes simplex virus in cell culture. Pharmazie. 2001 Apr;56(4):343-7. [Article]
  14. Juergens UR, Stober M, Vetter H: Inhibition of cytokine production and arachidonic acid metabolism by eucalyptol (1.8-cineole) in human blood monocytes in vitro. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Nov 17;3(11):508-10. [Article]
  15. Juergens UR, Stober M, Schmidt-Schilling L, Kleuver T, Vetter H: Antiinflammatory effects of euclyptol (1.8-cineole) in bronchial asthma: inhibition of arachidonic acid metabolism in human blood monocytes ex vivo. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Sep 17;3(9):407-12. [Article]
  16. Santos FA, Rao VS: Antiinflammatory and antinociceptive effects of 1,8-cineole a terpenoid oxide present in many plant essential oils. Phytother Res. 2000 Jun;14(4):240-4. [Article]
  17. Atta AH, Alkofahi A: Anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects of some Jordanian medicinal plant extracts. J Ethnopharmacol. 1998 Mar;60(2):117-24. [Article]
  18. Sartorelli P, Marquioreto AD, Amaral-Baroli A, Lima ME, Moreno PR: Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oils from two species of Eucalyptus. Phytother Res. 2007 Mar;21(3):231-3. doi: 10.1002/ptr.2051. [Article]
  19. Ahmad I, Beg AZ: Antimicrobial and phytochemical studies on 45 Indian medicinal plants against multi-drug resistant human pathogens. J Ethnopharmacol. 2001 Feb;74(2):113-23. [Article]
  20. Takahashi T, Kokubo R, Sakaino M: Antimicrobial activities of eucalyptus leaf extracts and flavonoids from Eucalyptus maculata. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2004;39(1):60-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1472-765X.2004.01538.x. [Article]
  21. Osawa K, Yasuda H, Morita H, Takeya K, Itokawa H: Macrocarpals H, I, and J from the Leaves of Eucalyptus globulus. J Nat Prod. 1996 Sep;59(9):823-7. doi: 10.1021/np9604994. [Article]
  22. Takarada K, Kimizuka R, Takahashi N, Honma K, Okuda K, Kato T: A comparison of the antibacterial efficacies of essential oils against oral pathogens. Oral Microbiol Immunol. 2004 Feb;19(1):61-4. [Article]
  23. Safety Assessment of Eucalyptus globulus (Eucalyptus) - Derived Ingredients as Used in Cosmetics [Link]
  24. Electronic Medicines Compendium: Eucalyptus Oil BP Monograph [Link]
  25. Sigma-Aldrich: Eucalyptus oil Profile [Link]
PubChem Substance
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Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4Active Not RecruitingTreatmentAsthma1
4Active Not RecruitingTreatmentTobacco Use Cessation1
4CompletedBasic ScienceAsthma / Healthy Volunteers (HV)1
4CompletedBasic ScienceChronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)1


Not Available
Not Available
Dosage Forms
LiquidRespiratory (inhalation)6 %
OilPercutaneous; Topical; Transdermal
OintmentRespiratory (inhalation); Topical
OintmentRespiratory (inhalation)
LiquidRespiratory (inhalation)1 %w/v
LiquidOral; Respiratory (inhalation); Topical
LiquidRespiratory (inhalation)
LiquidOral; Respiratory (inhalation); Topical100 %
OilCutaneous; Respiratory (inhalation)100 %
OilTopical; Transdermal
InhalantRespiratory (inhalation)
LiquidRespiratory (inhalation)
PatchCutaneous; Topical; Transdermal
OintmentTopical5 %
Gum, chewingOral
AerosolRespiratory (inhalation)100 ml/100ml
OilNasal100 ml/100ml
OilTopical100 ml/100ml
Not Available
Not Available


Not Available
Experimental Properties
Not Available

Drug created at December 03, 2015 16:51 / Updated at May 27, 2024 02:37