Blue Gum Tree
There are more than 500 species of Eucalyptus, which make up more
than three fourths of all the vegetation on the Australian continent.
Eucalyptus reigns among the tallest trees in the world, capable of
reaching heights of over 250 feet tall. It thrives only in areas
where the average temperature remains above 60 degrees, and is
adaptable to several soil conditions. It is native to Australia,
but has been introduced to many areas around the world. The
Aborigines discovered that Eucalyptus stores water in its roots; they
also found that the sugary secretion of parasites that infect some
of the trees made an excellent sweet base for foods and beverages.
The Aborigines were the first to discover that eucalyptus oil,
called eucalyptol has many healing properties, which they applied
for centuries. Eucalyptus is used externally in decaying,
discharging wounds, in ulcers and in gangrenous or cancerous lesions,
and in respiratory infections.
Eucalyptus may be used as steam
inhalation for its antiseptic and stimulatory effects in bronchitis.
Eucalyptus is helpful in treating the flu, and pneumonia by
facilitating expectoration thereby, relieving congestion;
Russian research suggests that some species counteract influenza
viruses; others are
or highly active against bacteria.
The oil is one of the most antiseptic essences in the herbal
repertoire, used in a wide range of infections, such as influenza,
measles, and typhoid. Herbals recommend inhaling steam laced with
the oil to relieve the symptoms of bronchitis, asthma, croup, and
Eucalyptus oil remains an effective expectorant and is used in many
commercial lozenges, rubs, and liquids to clear mucus from the nose
and lungs and to relieve upper respiratory distress.
When a clear head is needed, eucalyptus oil may help, and at the
same time will help with concentration. Although good for muscular
aches and pains, it is a very effective oil to use for respiratory
problems during flu, colds, coughing, sinus and asthma. It
furthermore is of value on the urinary tract and is good for skin
eruptions such as herpes (fever blisters), cuts and wounds. It also
helps to clear congested skin. It has analgesic, anti-rheumatic,
antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, antiviral, bactericide, balsamic,
cicatrisant, decongestant, deodorant, diuretic, expectorant,
insecticide, rubefacient, stimulant and vulnerary properties.
You can make a simple eucalyptus infusion at home by steeping a
handful of fresh or dried leaves for 20 minutes in a quart of
boiling water. Breath in the vapors of the steaming tea. The
infusion can be drunk or used in a vaporizer.
Asthma (vapor), boils, bronchial congestion, bronchitis, burns (use
oil), cancer, carbuncles (external), catarrh, colds, coughs, croup,
diphtheria, fever, flu, indigestion, lungs, malarial diseases,
nausea, neuralgia, paralysis, piles, pyorrhea (use oil), pneumonia,
sore throat, sties, typhoid, ulcers (external), uterus (prolapsed),
Little Herb Encyclopedia, by Jack Ritchason; N.D., Woodland Publishing Incorporated, 1995
Nutritional Herbology, by Mark Pedersen, Wendell W. Whitman Company, 1998
Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania 1987
The Ultimate Healing System, Course Manual, Copyright 1985, Don Lepore
Planetary Herbology, Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., Lotus Press, 1988