The Benefits of Eucalyptus Oil
Due to the ongoing EU review into the use of DEET for food, medicinal and biocidal purposes teat dips can no longer be manufactured containing DEET (January 2016). Consumers are also moving towards a preference for safe and effective natural products in all aspects of their life. This has led to an increased use of essential oils in a variety of ways including teat hygiene products.
Eucalyptus oil is extracted from fresh leaves of a variety of eucalyptus species and is a colourless or pale yellow liquid. Eucalyptus is commonly found in cosmetics as a skin conditioning agent and has no restrictions for use in human or animal applications. The evidence suggests that it can reduce flakiness of dry skin, restore suppleness and form a barrier on the surface to lock in moisture. These actions would all have a similar effect on teat condition when used as a post milking application.
Due to its camphoraceous odour and taste, eucalyptus oil has been favoured as a natural insect repellent for many years. There have been studies which suggest it has similar results to DEET when used as a base for an insect repellent. This natural effect will be particularly useful in summer when flies are most likely to irritate the cows at pasture.
Eucalyptus has also traditionally been used for relief of symptoms of coughs and colds and for external use for localised muscle pain. It has also been used as an animal feed additive in both the USA and Europe and there are a number of scientific studies reporting its use as an antibacterial agent.
The use of essential oils in animal health and biosecurity products is likely to increase. Kilco have redeveloped the Summer C-Dip product and the new Summer C-Dip Advance now contains eucalyptus oil, ideal as part of an overall fly control strategy on farm.
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