Eucalyptus, botanical name Eucalyptus globules, also known as Blue Gum Tree and Stringy Bark Tree, belonging to family Myrtaceae, is a tall, evergreen tree, native to Australia, but now widely found in North and South Africa, India, and Southern Europe. The tree has pleasant aromatic leaves, from which the medicinal oil, known as eucalyptus oil is extracted, which at times is used for aromatic purposes besides having great medicinal value. The fast growing tree is known to reach a height of 480 feet, which can be considered to be among the tallest trees of the world.
Eucalyptus oil is known to form ozone when exposed to air for a long duration of time. The oil which is used as a disinfectant is highly volatile and evaporates quickly when left open. The antiseptic and deodorant properties of eucalyptus oil has seen it being extensively used in production of room fresheners, soaps, mouth wash, toothpaste, floor cleaners and many other household products.
Medicinal Benefits of Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus oil is known for its stimulant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant, antibacterial, and aromatic properties, which have power to impair sensibility when applied locally.
The colorless oil has very distinct aroma, flavor, and taste. When locally rubbed on chest, palms and feet, it is known to increase cardiac function. Though not in the class of Cinchona, the oil of eucalyptus has anti-malarial properties. Applying the oil externally on chest, helps relieve clogged nose, coughs and phlegm congestion in chest.
It is also a great analgesic which provides relief from rheumatism, arthritis, lumbago, sprained ligaments and tendons and stiff muscles, when massaged on the affected area. The aroma of eucalyptus is known to give out soothing effect which helps in relief from stress and anxiety. Though eucalyptus oil has great health benefits, it should not be consumed in large doses, as it acts as a kidney irritant.
Eucalyptus oil is used for treatment of:
- Respiratory tract infections like common cold, cough, running nose, sore throat, bronchitis and sinusitis
- Removal of germs and infection in digestive tract
- Nasal congestion accompanied by troublesome breathing
- Wounds, bruisers, ulcers, burns, cuts, and inflamed sores
- Aching joints and muscular pain
- Fever, flu
- High blood sugar levels
- Halitosis or Bad breath
- Genital herpes
Soak cleaned leaves of eucalyptus in water. Dip a towel or cloth in the water in which the leaves have been soaked for few hours and use it as a cold compress. The febrifuge and antipyretic properties of eucalyptus help to lower temperature in high fever.
Boil a few fresh leaves of eucalyptus in water and strain it. Mix honey for taste and drink the tea to treat respiratory infection, fevers, excessive phlegm, sore throat and sinus. It is also known to bring down blood sugar levels.
Add eucalyptus leaves or oil to boiling water. Cover head over the bowl with a towel to inhale the steam. This provides instant relief from congested nose and infection in the respiratory tract.
Eucalyptus oil can be used to find relief from cold, congestion, and fevers. Massaging the oil in circular motion on tired muscles will give it instant relief from discomfort. Besides it is an excellent deodorant, which can be used to keep the kitchen counters and sinks from emanating bad odor.