Strong and ancient, eucalyptus has kept sentry over us since our inception. Medicinal and earthy, eucalyptus centers and cleanses us. It gave our most ancient ancestors its healing power and strength, providing shelter, medicine, and wisdom. Throughout the years eucalyptus still stands strong for us, giving us the same medicine and wisdom it gave our ancestors. Eucalyptus heals us, brings us into balance, and banishes whatever is holding us back.
Eucalyptus is a genus in the myrtle, or Myrtaceae family. Amazingly, there are over seven hundred species of eucalyptus. Species range from flowering shrubs to towering trees. Being synonymous with Australia, and the cute, and mean koala bear, it's no surprise that most species of Eucalyptus are native down under. However, the oldest known fossils of Eucalyptus hail from Patagonia in South America. Eucalyptus is so prevalent in Australia about three-quarters of Australian forests are eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus is highly flammable, due to its high essential oil content. Because of this, many eucalyptus species have adapted to wildfires. They often resprout after fires and many of their seeds have evolved to survive fires. Eucalyptus was widely planted on plantations for their timber, honey, and essential oil content. Many of these plantations later had to remove them because of their flammability.
In general, eucalyptus has a thirsty, extensive root network. In Australia it is commonly used to drain low-lying areas, cutting down on the mosquito population.
There is such a wide range of eucalyptus plants, we’re obviously not going to cover them all. Here we’re going to focus on the eucalyptus we use, Eucalyptus globulus, commonly called blue gum. We’ll also add notes on a few other species that are commonly used in the essential oil industry.
Eucalyptus globulus is a tall, evergreen tree. Even stunted, this bad boy can reach about 150 feet tall. In ideal conditions, this mother can grow up to 300 ft in height. It has smooth bark and produces fluffy white flowers and woody fruit. This eucalyptus is natively found in the lowland areas of Tasmania. Due to plantation production, it is also naturalized in Spain and Portugal, Cyprus, California, and Hawaii.
Eucalyptus is a traditional Aboriginal medicine to treat colds and infections, even fungal infections. Eucalyptus was brewed into a tea to reduce fevers. Eucalyptus is so powerful it soon found its way into other traditional healing modalities, including Chinese, Ayurvedic, Greek, and European.
There are over 700 known species of Eucalyptus.
Australia is covered by 230,000,000 acres of eucalypt forest,
Several eucalypt species are among the tallest trees in the world.
In 19th-century England, eucalyptus oil was used in hospitals to clean urinary catheters.
The essential oil extracted from Eucalyptus leaves contains compounds that are powerful natural disinfectants but can be toxic in large quantities.
Koalas and some possums are relatively tolerant of eucalyptus toxicity. By smell, they choose less toxic leaves.
Eucalyptus flowers produce a great abundance of nectar, providing food for many pollinators including insects, birds, bats, and possums
Eucalyptus is not a fan of the cold and has pretty much zero tolerance for frost. Other than frost, these plants are generally pretty hardy. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Eucalyptus does very well in Mediterranean climates but also loves some altitude or tropical weather.
Eucalyptus is fairly easy to sprout from seeds during the spring and summer seasons. Be ready though, this plant likes to grow! Seedlings can be outdoor-ready in as little as six weeks. Within 3 years this beast can be up to 45 ft tall.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Common Types of Eucalyptus Used in Aromatherapy
Globulus- Offers a very herbaceous scent with soft woody undertones. This type of eucalyptus is a wonderful tonic for the respiratory and immune systems.
Radiata- This type of eucalyptus has a crisp, clean camphoraceous aroma and includes some subtle back notes of citrus and floral. It is also known as the narrow-leafed peppermint tree.
Blue- Also called the blue gum, or Australian fever tree, this species is found in Ecuador. It has the highest Cineol content and Eucalyptol.
Lemon -This oil has a slightly camphoraceous odor with a sweet, citronella scent.
Properties of Eucalyptus Essential Oil:
Analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, decongestant, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, vermifuge, vulnerary
Skin and Hair
Eucalyptus is an antiseptic powerhouse. It is a wonderful oil to include in your home first aid collection. It can clean wounds and cuts. It can expedite the healing of scrapes, burns, and sores. Not only is it an excellent insect repellant, but it also eases pain and itching caused by bites. Best of all eucalyptus makes for an excellent treatment of lice. It kills both the insects and their eggs. Eucalyptus is also highly antibacterial, making it a perfect addition to deodorants and laundry detergents.
Being both anti-inflammatory and analgesic means eucalyptus is one of the best additions to muscle rubs and pain relief soaks. Get relief from overworked and strained muscles, as well as pain caused by arthritis or rheumatism with eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus helps speed recovery from sickness and infections. not only is it antibacterial and antiseptic, it actually stimulates the Immune system to function more efficiently.
Eucalyptus is a champion for the respiratory system. It really clears and opens up respiratory passages. Eucalyptus soothes the inflammation and congestion caused by infections, bronchitis, and sinusitis. It also helps relieve the symptoms of COPD and asthma. Eucalyptus speeds the recovery from colds and flu. Using eucalyptus makes coughs more productive, ridding the body of mucus. Eucalyptus is also very helpful in relieving the symptoms and effects of seasonal allergies.
Eucalyptus is an oil of contradictions. It is calming, yet boosts mental clarity. It is a powerful oil to use when you need to banish brain fog. It is a beautiful oil to use to reduce stress. Eucalyptus can also be a powerful ally when you’re recovering from addictions. Just as it clears the respiratory system, eucalyptus also clears the mind. It increases alertness. While eucalyptus boosts mental function, it also cools emotions. Eucalyptus is a powerful ally when you need to release anger, frustration, and resentment. Eucalyptus encourages emotional balance and centering.
Eucalyptus is a true sentry. It is a highly protective oil that drives away negativity. It is used in purification and promotes personal growth. Using eucalyptus during times of emotional recovery is powerful. It heals emotions after conflicts, releases anger, and grief, and banishes anything that is unwanted in your life. Eucalyptus also lends us its strength, giving us the strength and security to make a change. When you are doing dream work call on the power of eucalyptus. It has your back.
Eucalyptus repels both insects and rats. It is also a mold killer and disinfectant. Use eucalyptus in your kitchen and bathroom surface cleansers.
Eucalyptus oil is toxic if used internally. Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult a health professional prior to use. Toxic to pets. Not compatible with homeopathic recipes
Eucalyptus is ancient. Eucalyptus has guarded and protected us since our infancy. No matter what happens on our journey, eucalyptus is always there, waiting to bring us back into balance. It burns away what we no longer need, giving us strength and space to grow. Eucalyptus cleanses us, mind, body, and soul. We’ve been together forever. It understands us. If you haven’t experimented with eucalyptus now is the time.
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We use ginger in our products to promote personal power, and protection. These blends are also good for increasing circulation and easing muscle pain.