Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus

The height of this tree can vary between 30 and 60 metres. It grows extremely rapidly because it can grow approximately 1 metre per month in its first three years. It is also commonly referred to as the “blue gum”, because of its bluish green, generally evergreen leaves. Its fibrous bark comes off in long strips. Its cream-coloured flowers provide bees with abundant nectar that they transform into honey with a distinctive flavour. Its flower buds are shaped like a spinning top.

Latin name

Eucalyptus globulus Labill.

Origin

Australia, more specifically, Tasmania.

Used part

The essential oil from the leaves.

Active components

Monoterpenoids (eucalyptol): anti-inflammatory and antiseptic action.

Usage

For centuries, the tree was used by indigenous Australians, before westerners discovered its medicinal properties. Due to its fresh, spicy aroma and pleasant flavour, eucalyptus essential oil is used for fragrances as well as perfumes and cosmetics. Numerous mouthwashes contain eucalyptol. It is also used as an insecticide and an insect-repellent. Traditionally, the leaves and the oil are used to treat respiratory ailments such as bronchitis. The dried leaves were smoked to treat asthma. Eucalyptus oil is also used to treat fever, thanks to its cooling effect on the body. Historically, the plant was also used to treat skin conditions, joint pain and bacterial infections in eastern and western medicine. Scientific studies have demonstrated that eucalyptus has a soothing effect on irritation of the throat, pharynx and vocal chords. 1-16

Bibliographical references

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