Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

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.


Parts used

  • Leaves
  • Aromatic leaves from the older branches are collected, usually in summer.
  • The leaves are either dried or distilled for their essential oil.
  • The dried leaves are ground to a powder or used in infusions and tinctures. The oil is used in syrups, balms and ointments.

Constituents

The leaves contain flavonoids, and also large amounts of essential oil, that is rich in cineole and eucalyptol.


Medicinal uses

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.


CAUTIONS

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
BALM AND OINTMENT Rub into the chest and throat once or twice a day.
ESSENTIAL Oil Rub into the chest and throat once a day.


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


Cultivation

Eucalyptus prefers a warm climate, but can grow at temperatures as low as -15C. Plant seeds in a sunny position, in well-drained, fertile, acid to neutral soil.



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