Eucalyptus globulus Myrtaceae Also called Blue gum, Tasmanian blue gum
Native to Australia, the eucalyptus is a giant evergreen tree, usually 3D-100m tall, with a smooth, grey-blue trunk. The German botanist, Ferdinand von Muller, was the first European to recognise the medicinal powers of the fragrant oil in the long, narrow, leathery leaves growing on branches that are more than five years old.
The leaves contain flavonoids, and also large amounts of essential oil, that is rich in cineole and eucalyptol.
A number of studies have shown that eucalyptus can combat certain bacteria, and that it has antifungal and antiviral powers. Its antiseptic action, along with its ability to act as a decongestant, stems from thee eucalyptol in the essential oil, making eucalyptus an effective treatment for respiratory ailments such as coughs and colds. For its antiseptic action, it is used to treat cuts and wounds, and has also been shown to be effective for burns.
The flavonoids in eucalyptus are known to help to lower blood sugar levels - an effect demonstrated in various clinical trials. One study has also shown its ability to ease aching muscles by increasing the blood flow to them.
Eucalyptus should not be used by children under 3 years old, women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, or people suffering from digestive or liver disorders.
Never use eucalyptus preparations if you are taking any drugs to lower blood sugar levels.
The essential oil can cause kidney problems if taken internally. Also the cineole in the oil can sometimes induce seizures in children.
PREPARATION AND DOSAGE
For internal use
TO TREAT bronchial ailments, sore throats, coughs.
POWDER Take 4-10g a day in capsule form or with water. TINCTURE Put 50 drops into a glass of water. Take four to six times a day.
For external use
TO TREAT bronchial ailments, sore throats, coughs
TO TREAT colds, blocked noses INHALATIONS Prepare an infusion of leaves and essential oil. While hot inhale the steam through the nose or mouth, under a towel, for 10 minutes twice a day. Use as needed.
IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST CONSULT A DOCTOR
Eucalyptus prefers a warm climate, but can grow at temperatures as low as -15°C. Plant seeds in a sunny position, in well-drained, fertile, acid to neutral soil.
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