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Eucalyptus

( Eucalyptus globulus )

 

Family

Myrtaceae

 

Synonyms

Blue gum tree

 

Character

Aromatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, deodorant, stimulant, febrifuge, expectorant, lowers blood sugar, rubefacient, vermifuge

 

Description

Over 80 genera exist in the myrtle family, mainly shrubs and woody vines, although eucalyptus grows in the form of a tree. Many plant members of this family produce fragrant oils and some have edible fruit portions. Cloves is another member of this odiferous group of plants Eucalyptus is native to tropical South American and Australia. Over 350 species of eucalyptus grow in Australia, Tasmania, and Indomalaysia.

 

Phytochemistry

Volatile oils poly phenols, occasional alkaloids, sterols, triterpenes, some cyanogenic compounds, tannins, aldehydes, bitter resin

 

Traditional rain forest use

Aboriginal folk medicine cites eucalyptus as a favorite fever remedy. Poultices were made from the dark green leaves and used directly on wounds or inflammation. Eucalyptus teas were taken for a variety of disorders. Consuming ground eucalyptus root was used to treat illness. The Kamsa medicine men of South America boiled the leaves in water to create a thick syrup and administered it for coughs and colds.

 

Modern medicinal applications

The ethereal oils of eucalyptus are well known and highly used in modern medicines. Constituents of eucalyptus oil are commonly included in many of our cough and cold remedies. Eucalyptus oil can be used for pyorrhea, burns and for sinus infections. Placing a drop on the tongue is recommended for nausea and inhaling the distilled oil in the form of vapor is useful for chest congestion.

 

Authentication

Russian research supports the fact that some species of eucalyptus counteract the influenza virus, while others have been found to be antimalarial and bacteriocidal.

 

Safety

Internal ingestion of eucalyptus is not recommended. It should be used externally as a medicinal oil for rubs, massages, or in vapor form.

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