The Eucalyptus tree originated from Australia – from where it gradually spread all over the world.
Eucalyptus globulus. It is part of the (myrtle) family Myrtaceae, which consist of a number of trees and shrubs.
The Eucalyptus tree, which can grow up to 200 ft high, has a light, (relatively) smooth bark, and leaves that appear to be a silvery green color when young.
It is best described as an aromatic herb. Besides its antibiotic properties, it is also a decongestant and expectorant – which reduces fever, and helps to relax spasms (coughing).
It boasts a list of medicinal properties, including anti-viral, decongestant, expectorant, diuretic, anti-spasmodic, analgesic, stimulant, insecticide and antiseptic properties.
Only the adult leaves are used – from which the oil is distilled. In some instances, the leaves are used “as is”.
In order to relieve respiratory problems like asthma or congestion, the leaves can simply be boiled in water – preferably in a closed pot. Once the water has been brought to the boil, the heat can be removed and the vapors inhaled.
To use the antiseptic qualities during bath time, place the leaves in a mesh bag and hang it under the faucet while the hot water is running.
The oil itself can be used for relief of congestion or treating burns.
To make Eucalyptus tea, simply place around 6 oz of dried leaves in boiling water. After two to three minutes, strain it.
The oil is most commonly used to treat colds, flu and other respiratory problems, including sinus and asthma.
It helps to clear the mind and improve concentration.
The leaves can be used to brew herbal tea, or even create a tincture.
It can be used to treat a number of minor injuries, including bruises, sprains, minor wounds, and muscular pains.
It is used to treat skin eruptions like fever blisters.
It can be used to clear congested skin.
An extract from the leaves (NOTE: not the oil itself) can be used as a diuretic. It has also shown some anti-diabetic properties.
In some cases, practitioners may choose to apply the oil internally in order to treat nasal congestion, bronchitis and similar conditions of the respiratory tract. In these cases, the dosage levels are VERY low – and extreme caution should be applied.
Even in healthy people, and applying only appropriate dosages, the il can still cause any of a range of adverse reactions, including diarrhea, heartburn, nausea, and even vomiting. Excessive doses have been known to be fatal – especially in the case of children.
Care should be taken when applying it externally to younger children – in one documented case a six year old child contracted poisoning of the nervous system after having the oil applied to the entire body. Using the oil is not recommended for young children or pregnant (or even nursing) women.
Inhalation of the oil has been known to exacerbate asthma in isolated cases.
The oil is known to trigger certain liver functions connected to detoxification. As such, it is likely to have an adverse effect on the efficiency of any medication taken along with it. It is thus not advised to combine the internal use of Eucalyptus with any other medication. Additionally, people with severe liver problems should steer clear of it.
The oil does not easily flush from the kidneys – and as such people with kidney problems should avoid it.