SEP 2016

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Page 70 of 124 68 DAYSPA | SEPTEMBER 2016 YOURWELLNESSSPA disinfect surgical rooms, thereby drastically reducing patients' risk of death from infection. Eucalyptus oil was utilized during World War I to con- trol the spread of meningitis, and to hamper the 1919 infl uenza outbreak. In World War II, when French sur- geon Jean Valnet depleted his supply of modern medi- cines, he still managed to eradicate 70% of his hospital's airborne staph bacteria by using eucalyptus oil spray. It wasn't long before eucalyptus became a pre sence in people's medicine cabinets and on drugstore shelves. "It came to be used to counteract fever, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, coughs and the fl u," says Joelle Cafaro, DC, CCN, herbalist and owner of Winchester, Virginia-based Heal 4 Real. Today, we see the ingredient listed on the labels of everything from cold medicines to skin creams to mouthwash, but this versatile botanical can still deliver the goods in its purest form. "Distilling the leaves and twigs with steam creates a refreshing, stimulating, uplifting and antibacterial essential oil, the vapors of which can be inhaled," says Cafaro. "Or, the oil can be diluted with a carrier oil or cream and applied to the skin for a similar effect." EUCALYPTUS EXPERTISE Eucalyptus oils are still a go-to source for powerful an- tiseptic, antibacterial and anti-infl ammatory benefi ts. Although the lemon variation of the tree does not have Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration as an insect repellant, a 2011 study published with the Na- tional Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the waste distillate remaining after hydro-distillation of its essential oil was far more effective at repelling mos- quitoes than the essential oil itself. India's Pharmacopoeia Commission, which sets the country's offi cial drug standards, has deemed eucalyptus © GETTY IMAGES HERBAL HEALTH

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