Eucalyptus globulus; E. globulus

Other names: Blue Gum, Fever Tree, Gum Tree, Red Gum, Stringy Bark Tree

There are a great number of species of Eucalyptus trees yielding eucalyptus essential oil. The foliage of some is more strong-smelling than that of others. As such, the oils from the various species differ widely. About twenty-five species are at the present time being utilized for their oil.

Most Eucalyptus medications are made from the greenish-yellow oil obtained from the mature leaves. The number of ready-made preparations that contain eucalyptus oil is enormous. Every kind of product is represented, from pure oil through oil-containing ointments and rubs, to candies and syrups. The effect is convincing, and side effects from the tea or from any of the commercial preparations are extremely rare.

Baron Ferdinand von Muller, a German botanist and explorer (from 1857 to 1873 Director of the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne), who made the qualities of Eucalyptus known all over the world, also led it to its introduction into Europe, North and South Africa, California and the non-tropical districts of South America. He was the first to suggest that the perfume of the leaves resembling that of Cajaput oil might be of use as a disinfectant in fever districts.

Not To Be Confused With: Camphor oil and by-products of turpentine manufacture: the oil is also blended with other expensive oils, such as rosemary and thyme. The properties of eucalyptus leaves vary from species to species.

Eucalyptus as an Herb for Medicinal Uses

EucalyptusEucalyptus leaf is used primarily as an expectorant to release mucus congestion.

Eucalyptus benefits the respiratory system, and is a great expectorant for those who are suffering from congestion, pneumonia, or the flu. You can enjoy the aroma by diffusing eucalyptus into the air, or you may dilute it and apply it directly to the skin. Eucalyptus is cooling, stimulating and penetrating.

Eucalyptus leaf is also broadly antimicrobial, benefiting a wide variety of conditions, including those of the digestive and urinary tracts. They also recommended a steam inhalation of Eucalyptus vapors to help treat whooping cough, bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. Eucalyptin, which provides the spicy aroma, loosens mucus, making it easier to expel.

The medicinal parts of the eucalyptus plant are the oil extracted from the fresh leaves and branch tips as well as the dried leaves.

The essential oil of eucalyptus used in medicine is obtained by aqueous distillation of the fresh leaves. It is a colorless or straw-colored fluid when properly prepared, with a characteristic odor and taste, soluble in its own weight of alcohol. The most important constituent is Eucalyptol.

Eucalyptus oil is used as a stimulant and antiseptic gargle. Locally applied, it impairs sensibility. It also increases cardiac action. Eucalyptus essential oil is cooling, stimulating and penetrating and inspires feelings of emotional balance. It is useful during the changing seasons.

Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic. It is used to treat pyorrhea (gum disease), and is used on burns to prevent infections. The essential oil, breathed in a steam, will help clear the sinuses, as will the steam from boiling the leaves.

In croup and spasmodic throat troubles, the oil may be freely applied externally. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea.

An emulsion made by shaking up equal parts of the oil and powdered gum-arabic with water has been used as a urethral injection, and has also been given internally in drachm doses in pulmonary tuberculosis and other microbic diseases of the lungs and bronchitis.

As a local application for ulcers and sores, 1 ounce of the oil is added to 1 pint of lukewarm water. For local injections, 1/2 ounce to the pint is taken.

Six to eight drops of eucalyptus oil in the bath cools the body in summer and protects in winter.

For colds: Add 2 to 4 drops each of Lavender, Rosemary and Eucalyptus to 1 cup milk or cream. Pour into warm bath and soak.

The leaves of eucalyptus, made up into cigars or cigarettes, are smoked in order to provide relief in bronchial catarrh, asthma, and other affections of the respiratory organs.

In folk medicine: The oil is used for asthma, coughs, diseases of the frontal sinuses, fever, flu, gastric complaints, hoarseness, incipient scarlet fever and measles, worm infestation and as an intestinal antiseptic.

In folk medicine, it is also used internally for the treatment of bladder diseases, asthma, fever, flu, whooping cough, liver and gallbladder complaints, loss of appetite and diabetes. It is used externally for wounds, acne, poorly healing ulcers, stomatitis, bleeding gums, pain and rheumatism neuralgia, gonorrhea and as a gastrointestinal remedy.

Eucalyptus syrup: Pour 1500 ml on 100 gm cut herb and leave to draw for 6 hours and strain. 180 gm sugar is added to 100 ml infusion, brought to a simmer and filtered. 2 to 5 teaspoons daily.

Eucalyptus tea. Pour boiling water over 1.5 to 2 gm of the finely cut herb, cover and leave to draw for 5 to 10 minutes, strain. 1 cup up to 3 times a day.

Inhalation: 2 to 3 drops in boiling water, inhale the steam (single dose: 0.2 gm corresponding to 10 drops). Oil: 3 to 6 drops added in 150 ml water, to be taken several times a day.

Eucalyptus oil in a diffuser or vaporizer at home during winter months helps keeps colds and sinus infections to a minimum.

Other Uses

When mixed with water or vegetable oils, eucalyptus oil makes a good insect repellant.

American physicians used eucalyptus oil to disinfect medical equipment and wounds.

Soak small cloths in eucalyptus oil and place the cloths in your pantries, cabinets, and closets to drive away roaches and other insect pests.

Eucalyptus oil can be used for lavendar oil in any magical recipe.

Eucalyptus is native to Australia and traditional Aboriginal medicine relied on it as a remedy for skin problems and fevers. Eucalyptus essential oil can be used for cleaning and deodorizing. This essential oil contains potent compounds and is appropriate for all skin types.

Culinary Uses of Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Tea. Eucalyptus tea can be prepared by steeping 1 to 2 teaspoons dried eucalyptus leaf in 8 ounces of boiling water for 10 minutes.


Eucalyptus should not be used on children under 2 years of age and should not be ingested by children younger than 6 years of age.

The over use of Eucalyptus internally can be difficult to eliminate from the kidneys and caution must be made if you have kidney function problems.

In rare cases, the administration of the herb leads to nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. It should not be taken internally with inflammation of the gastrointestinal area and the biliary ducts or with severe illnesses of the liver.

Over doses of eucalyptus oil can be life threatening. Poisonings have been known in adults with 4 to 5 ml.

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