Eucalyptus Oil For Babies – Is It Safe To Use?

6 min read

Written by Editorial Team

Editorial Team

Eucalyptus oil for babies

Essential oils are very popular today and widely used for their medicinal properties. One such essential oil is eucalyptus oil. This 100% natural product is used chiefly as a decongestant for respiratory problems. Many parents use eucalyptus oil for babies as a home remedy. But Is Eucalyptus oil for babies safe? This article will shed some light on many of your doubts regarding this.

Babies are prone to colds and fever. As a mother, you probably prefer using home remedies to overloading your baby with medicines. You might be tempted to use the old tried and tested eucalyptus oil for baby’s sniffles and snuffles too. However, did you know that eucalyptus oil for babies is not recommended? Medical experts recommend avoiding the use of eucalyptus oil until your child is at least ten years old. Intrigued? Read on.

In This Article

Video of Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe For My Baby?

What Is A Eucalyptus Oil?

Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that you get from the eucalyptus tree. It is used in certain medications and as a perfume. This oil has some industrial uses too.

Eucalyptus oil is a sweet colorless liquid and has a strong woody smell. More than 700 species of eucalyptus trees are grown around the world. Of these, only 500 odd species are used for the production of this essential oil. Eucalyptus oil for babies is safe or not.

Benefits Of Using Eucalyptus Oil For Babies

Eucalyptus oil is obtained from the leaves and branches of the eucalyptus tree. The extracted oil is then diluted before and then sold as an essential oil for medicinal purposes.

Eucalyptus oil is the superstar of all essential oils and is known for its great benefits. Some of the benefits include:

  • It is antimicrobial, which means that it can kill germs and microbes.
  • This oil is antiseptic, which means it can prevent the growth of microorganisms and hence can contain an infection.
  • It is anti-inflammatory, which means it can reduce inflammation.

With so many benefits, eucalyptus oil is widely used as a home remedy to provide relief from various problems. It is the go-to medicine for any respiratory-related issues such as cold and wheezing, where a few drops of eucalyptus oil are poured into the water before taking a steam.

[Read: Respiratory Syncytial Virus In Babies – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment]

What are the Compounds Present in This Oil?

Eucalyptus oil generally contains over a hundred different compounds. This number varies depending on various factors, such as the distillation process and the number of times distillation is performed.

  • The chief component in any eucalyptus oil is cineole. This chemical component gives eucalyptus oil most of its important therapeutic properties. Cineole constitutes 60% to 80% of the eucalyptus oil.
  • Another compound is limonene. It constitutes about 10% of the oil. Limonese is found in the peels of citrus fruits such as lemon and hence gets its name.
  • Pinene is another compound that constitutes just less than 10% of the oil. It is an aromatic compound and takes its name from pine trees.
  • Other components seen in smaller quantities are phellandrene, camphor, and sabinene.

All these components help eucalyptus oil have healing properties.

Why Can’t We Use Eucalyptus Oil For Babies?

Why Cant use eucalyptus oil on babies

There are multiple reasons why you can’t use eucalyptus oil for babies:

  • The cineole present in eucalyptus oil can create nervous and breathing-related problems in babies. Some distilled versions of eucalyptus oil contain lower amounts of cineole. However, even these are not safe for babies since other compounds present in the oil render them harmful.
  • Unlike oils such as almond oil and coconut oil, eucalyptus oil is very strong. Your baby’s skin is soft and sensitive. The strong nature of eucalyptus oil can cause rashes, burns, and irritation on the skin.
  • Eucalyptus oil can cause stomach-related issues such as stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting among babies. For this reason, you must not use this oil on your little one.
  • Although rare, some babies can show a severe reaction to eucalyptus– whether it is applied topically or ingested orally. Reactions include seizures. In worst-case scenarios, severe reactions can lead to coma in babies.
[Read: Epilepsy In Babies: Signs & Causes]

Important Things to Remember About Eucalyptus Oil for Babies

Please note the following points before using eucalyptus oil for babies

  • The use of eucalyptus oil for babies can cause respiratory problems. Avoid applying this oil near the nose and mouth areas of your babies.
  • Keep it out of reach of your babies so that they do not accidentally come in contact with it.
  • Make sure your baby does not ingest eucalyptus oil accidentally. The side effects can be severe if you or your spouse/partner has a family history of respiratory problems such as asthma.
  • If your baby comes in contact with eucalyptus oil or ingests it by mistake and shows signs of breathing difficulty, immediately take them to the emergency room.
  • Some parents assume that as long as the oil is “diluted” with water or other medicines, it is safe for the baby. This is not true. Even small quantities can cause adverse effects. So be careful.
  • Do not use eucalyptus oil for babies in humidifiers or vaporizers. Inhaling this oil can bring about reactions and side effects in your babies.

What Can You Use to Treat Your Baby’s Congestion Instead of Eucalyptus Oil?

Till your baby is at least two years old, you must avoid all essential oils. Instead, you can use one or more of the following methods to relieve your baby from congestion:

1. Nasal Aspirator

nasal aspirator for barbies

Use a nasal aspirator to clear any mucus from your baby’s nose and clear the airways so that they can breathe easily and happily.

2. Hot Water Compress

Do you observe that thick mucus blocking your baby’s nose, throat, and chest, and making them uncomfortable? Dip a small cotton cloth in hot water and squeeze out excess water. Apply this hot water compress on their nose, throat, and chest. This method provides your baby with some relief from congestion. Your baby’s skin is very sensitive. Always use a warm compress, not hot ones.

[Read: 5 Effective Ways To Clean Your Baby’s Nose]

Word of Caution

Following are a few things to remember while using eucalyptus oil in babies:

  • No doubt, eucalyptus oil contains a number of benefits, but it is not suitable for children, particularly for kids who are under ten years of age.
  • Using this eucalyptus oil for babies can cause side effects, which could cause mild to severe range issues.
  • If you use this eucalyptus oil for your baby, and the baby gets any breathing problems after inhaling this oil, consult your doctor quickly.
  • Some people believe that using diluted eucalyptus oil doesn’t harm your baby, but it is not the correct one. Even though diluted eucalyptus oil can also harm your little one.

Remember: This oil is not safe for a little one. Hence, you should refrain from using this oil for your babies and toddlers too.

The Bottom Line

Eucalyptus oil has many medicinal and therapeutic properties which can help heal adults from many ailments. Still, it is not a suitable home remedy for your babies. Babies tend to develop side effects when inhaled, applied topically, or ingested, and it is always a good practice to exercise caution.

We hope that you got some helpful information about eucalyptus oil in this article. If you have anything more to add to it, please do share it with us in the comments section below.


1. Can I Use Eucalyptus Oil for My New Born Baby?

No, it is not safe. It contains cineole. This can cause respiratory and nervous issues in babies.

2. Can I Use Diluted Eucalyptus Oil on my Baby?

We would not recommend it. Even when diluted, it is stronger than almond or coconut oil. Do consult your doctor before you use it.

3. Can I Use Eucalyptus Oil for my Baby’s Cold?

No, don’t. It is not safe. Don’t even use it in a humidifier.

4. Can I Use Any Other Essential Oils for my Baby?

No, it is not recommended. It is not safe for them. Wait till they are 2 years or older.

5. Can I Give my Baby Eucalyptus Oil For Cough?

No, you cannot give eucalyptus oil to your baby for cough. Inhaling or ingesting this oil can be dangerous for your baby. If your baby is coughing continuously, you should visit a pediatrician to get your baby checked. The doctor will recommend medications and safe remedies to cure the cough.

6. Can Eucalyptus Oil Help Baby Runny Nose?

Eucalyptus oil may help your baby with runny nose but it is considered unsafe for babies by pediatricians and health care experts. Close contact with this oil can cause harmful effects. Talk to your pediatrician before trying eucalyptus oil for your baby.

Read Also: 8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil For Babies

Editorial Team,

With a rich experience in pregnancy and parenting, our team of experts create insightful, well-curated, and easy-to-read content for our to-be-parents and parents at all stages of parenting.Read more.

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