Essential Oil of the Month: Eucalyptus! A Skin Warming Must in Winter!

Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus)

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Myrtaceae
Subfamily: Myrtoideae
Tribe: Eucalypteae
Genus: Eucalyptus

The essential oil also called blue gum (because they exude a sticky, tannin-rich substance known as kino) is steam distilled from the very tall evergreen tree with the blue/green sword shaped leaves. It is naturalized from Australia and Tasmania but also grows in California, Spain and Portugal. Another common name for eucalyptus is fever tree. Nineteenth-century British colonists, noting the fragrant, medicinal aroma of eucalyptus groves, planted the trees in tropical fever ridden districts throughout the Empire in an effort to drive away insects and contagious disease. An added plus (in the colonists’ eyes) was that the trees also tended to dry out water-logged soils with their extensive, hungry root systems, making marshy soils into arable, habitable land. This deterred disease-carrying insects, especially mosquitoes, which need standing water to breed.

The genus Eucalyptus makes up nearly 3/4 of Australia’s total number of plant species. In the late 1700s, early botanists first tackled the job of describing the more than 500 species of eucalyptus trees. The job isn’t yet complete. New varieties and hybrids are still being discovered, and old classifications revised.

The genus name is derived from the Greek eu, meaning “well”, and kalyptos, meaning “cover”. Eu kalyptos refers to the well-covered flower buds, which are cone shaped and have a lid-like structure that opens as the flowers mature.

It contains 70-85% 1,8-cineole (eucalyptol) – an ingredient in some mouthwash and dental preparations. The eucalyptus oil most often used in perfumery is eucalyptus citriodora, the lemon-scented eucalyptus. Lemon eucalyptus contains up to 90% citronellal along with geraniol. Both of these constituents are primary fragrancing compounds in the perfume and cosmetics industry. Such a high percentage of citronellal in one botanical source makes its extraction very cost-effective.

Note Classification: Top

Aroma: Fresh, penetrating, woody, camphoraceous

Blends Well With: Cedarwood, chamomile, cypress, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, juniper, lavender, lemon, marjoram, peppermint, pine, rosemary, thyme

Eucalyptus globulus 002
Eucalyptus Globulus leaves

In addition to being used for its aroma, eucalyptus oil also has flavoring, pharmaceutical, and antiseptic uses.

Eucalyptus oil may also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. People use eucalyptus oil to help treat a wide range of medical conditions, including warming the skin, relieving muscle tension and stiffness and helping the body to protect and heal itself from fall and winter colds and flus. The oil is one of the main ingredients in the popular Vick’s Vapour Rub, and helps to relieve nasal and chest congestion. It also improves circulation and relieves arthritis. It is also an antiseptic and astringent for the skin. It helps to clear up skin infections such as: blisters, cold sores, and skin ulcers. It’s cleansing anti bacterial qualities also help one breath easier, especially when vaporized or burned in a incense burner. Eucalyptus is commonly used as the scent in steam rooms at many spas. It is great for a full body massage when added to a base oil, or to add to a hand and foot massage oil.

Eucalyptus oil vapor acts as a decongestant when it is inhaled and is used to treat bronchitis.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, eucalyptus oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines for treating fungal infections and skin wounds. Eucalyptus tea was also administered to reduce fevers.

Eucalyptus is used for a range of medical conditions in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.

Towards the end of the 19th century, eucalyptus oil was used in most hospitals in England to clean urinary catheters.

It is also an effective insect repellent. In 1948, the U.S. officially registered eucalyptus oil as an insecticide and miticide (kills mites and ticks).

Eucalyptus oil vapor acts as a decongestant when it is inhaled and is used to treat bronchitis.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, eucalyptus oil was used in traditional Aboriginal medicines for treating fungal infections and skin wounds. Eucalyptus tea was also administered to reduce fevers.

Eucalyptus is used for a range of medical conditions in traditional Chinese and Indian medicine.

Towards the end of the 19th century, eucalyptus oil was used in most hospitals in England to clean urinary catheters.

It is also an effective insect repellent. In 1948, the U.S. officially registered eucalyptus oil as an insecticide and miticide (kills mites and ticks).

Do not take the essential oil internally.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Comments

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