Eucalyptus

A white bowl of eucalyptus oil, two vials and some leaves and flowers on a brown table.
Eucalyptus leaves and essential oil. Copyright: patrickhastings / 123RF Stock Photo
Dried eucalyptus leaves.
Photo by AWSS.

The image of a sleepy Koala is a common vision munching on Eucalyptus leaves in Australia. It is this marsupial’s only food source which says a lot about the nutritional values of the leaves. However it is as a potent cold and flu remedy and natural decongestant that it has come to prominence. The leaf oil contains the compound Eucalyptol which is used in many mainstream mouthwashes, chest rubs and throat lozenges. Recent research highlights the antibacterial and antimicrobial activity of eucalyptus extracts (Salari et al., 2006; Cermelli et al., 2008).

Availability.

The organic, dried leaves are available from Pestle Herbs in 50g  and 100g  amounts. 

Uses

  • Eucalyptol loosens phlegm, making coughing much easier. It also soothes the airways helping to improve breathing and relieves a blocked nose.
  • As an anti-bacterial, Eucalyptus is effective for minor cuts and scrapes as well as a throat gargle and inhalant for bronchitis.

How To Use

Run hot water over a leaf-filled cloth for a soothing bath Boil a handful of leaves and breathe in the vapour to use as an inhalant

For an infusion, add one or two teaspoons of leaves to a cup of boiling water and steep for ten minutes

If you use an essential oil do not use more than one or two drops. Study the video from Pestle Herbs to see HOW TO MAKE EUCALYPTUS OIL.

Cautionary Information

  • Do not apply Eucalyptus to the face, especially the nose, of infants and young children
  • Do not give to any child under two years old
  • Do not use while pregnant or nursing
  • If using Eucalyptus oil internally NEVER use more than one or two drops.

Products Based On Eucalyptus Oil

References

Cermelli, C., Fabio, A., Fabio, G., & Quaglio, P. (2008). Effect of eucalyptus essential oil on respiratory bacteria and viruses. Current Microbiology, 56(1), pp. 89-92
Salari, M. H., Amine, G., Shirazi, M. H., Hafezi, R., & Mohammadypour, M. (2006). Antibacterial effects of Eucalyptus globulus leaf extract on pathogenic bacteria isolated from specimens of patients with respiratory tract disorders. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 12(2), pp. 194-196

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