Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of evergreen flowering trees or shrubs of the myrtle family. Eucalyptus trees usually have either smooth, fibrous, hard, or stringy leaves with oil glands.
Most eucalyptus species are native to Australia and have been grown worldwide because of their fast-growing nature and valuable timber.
There are very many species of eucalyptus trees and the popular ones are; argyle apple, rainbow gum, mountain gum, Tasmanian snow gum, snow gum, Alpine snow gum, candle bark, Joumana snow gum, spinning gum, narrow-leaved peppermint, and cider gum.
What are the various forms of eucalyptus?
The most common form of eucalyptus is the essential oil that is extracted from it. It is used to treat diseases, used on the skin, and other uses.
Eucalyptus leaves are also used to make tea or herbal drinks. Alternatively, the leaves can be chewed for health benefits such as freshening the breath.
You will also find eucalyptus in ointments, sprays, and chewing gums.
What are the health benefits of eucalyptus?
There are many health benefits associated with the use of eucalyptus. From healing colds to boosting immunity, eucalyptus is used in quite a number of ways.
Antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
Eucalyptus is rich in compounds that can fight bacteria and infections. These antimicrobials and antibacterial properties are linked to components such as cineole, citronella, citronellol, citronellyl acetate, p-cymene, e-catalog, limonene, linalool, β- pinene, γ-terpinene, α- terpinol, alloocimene, and aromadendrene.
From a study by NCBI, various antimicrobial and antifungal properties were found in the extract of eucalyptus. The microbial and antibacterial properties are more in essential oil than eucalyptus leaves.
From another study by NIH, it was concluded that eucalyptus oil has antibacterial effects on pathogenic bacteria in the upper respiratory tract.
Eucalyptus can soothe Colds and respiratory problems.
The antimicrobial properties in eucalyptus can relieve symptoms of common colds, flu, cough, and related respiratory illnesses.
Herbal remedies can be made from the leaves of eucalyptus to soothe the itchy throat, heal colds, and bronchitis. Alternatively, eucalyptus tea can be made from the leaves of eucalyptus when they are boiled in water.
To heal colds, eucalyptus can be used for body steaming as it acts as a decongestant when inhaled.
Eucalyptus can also reduce the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis.
You might be interested in Herbs and spices for colds. Natural home remedies that will soothe colds and sore throat.
Eucalyptus can promote dental health.
The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties in eucalyptus are also linked to dental health. This is the reason you will find eucalyptus in many mouth wash and dental care products.
Eucalyptus has properties that can fight bacteria that cause tooth decay.
When used in chewing gum, eucalypts can promote tooth health as seen in a study carried out by PubMed. In the study, eucalyptus posed antibacterial activity against cariogenic and periodontopathic bacteria.
Chewing eucalyptus leaves can also help get rid of bad breath and dental illness bacteria.
Research shows that eucalyptus extract has analgesic properties that make it a pain reliever. Eucalyptus oil has a cooling effect on sore muscles and inflammation. When applied to the affected area, eucalyptus oil can reduce the soreness and pain of the muscles.
From a study by PMC, eucalyptus showed an analgesic effect against visceral pain. Additionally, an anti-inflammatory effect was observed during the test.
The use of eucalyptus oil or extract on insect bites can soothe and relieve pain. Rubbing the oil on the bite can stop itching and redness.
In eucalyptus are anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight inflammation and related symptoms. The use of eucalyptus can help relieve inflammation caused pain especially joint pain.
Many over-the-counter creams and ointment that are used to soothe pain from conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis contain eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus can regulate blood sugar.
The anti-diabetic and antioxidant properties of eucalyptus extract can help lower high blood sugar. In eucalyptus leaves are chemicals that might help control blood sugar.
When taken in tea or herbal drink, eucalyptus can lower blood sugar levels and stimulate the production of insulin. This can help reduce or prevent diabetes.
Can ease digestion.
Eucalyptus can aid and soothe digestive issues. The herb has the power to kill bacteria and parasites that can cause digestive problems. When used in form of a herbal tea, eucalyptus can cleanse the digestive system and clear harmful toxins from the intestines.
Immune system booster.
The antimicrobial, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties of eucalyptus make it a great immune booster. The use of eucalyptus can boost the body’s ability to fight against infections and attacks.
It can protect against various bacterial infections such as E. coli and Candida albicans.
Eucalyptus can also fight off other infections such as flu, chickenpox, measles, and others. Since eucalyptus has shown signs of treating various effects, its use can prevent infections as well as improve symptoms.
From a study by NCBI, it was found out that components in eucalyptus could dramatically stimulate the immune system.
Other benefits of eucalyptus.
- The application of eucalyptus oil in the head can help get rid of headlice. Eucalyptus oils can also stimulate the growth of hair by soothing and calming the scalp.
- Eucalyptus can be used as an insect repellant.
- Applying eucalyptus on the skin is said to help get rid of acne.
- Eucalyptus can also be used to treat wounds and prevent infections.
- Adding a teaspoon of oil in the laundry can help clean faster and leave clothes with a fresh smell.
- In soaps and cleansers as eucalyptus has cleansing abilities and a healthy aroma.
How to use eucalyptus.
Tea: use tea bags or eucalyptus leaves to make herbal tea with a lot of health benefits.
Aromatherapy: adding a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a diffuser or steam bowl.
Bug repellant: make an insect repellant using eucalyptus essential oil and other ingredients such as lemon.
Side effects of eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus will have minimal side effects when used in moderate amounts. However, misuse and overdose will bring side effects such as
- Abdominal pain and stomach complications.
- Low blood pressure.
- Irregular heartbeats.
- Shortness of breath.
- Nausea and vomiting.
On the other hand, being allergic to eucalyptus can cause side effects above.
Eucalyptus may worsen the condition of people with asthma. It should therefore be taken with caution or with advice from the doctor.
You should also put into consideration the interaction of eucalyptus with certain medicine. If you undergoing a certain treatment, ask your doctor if it is safe to take eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus oil should not be taken orally as it is poisonous and may cause side effects and reactions.
Signs of eucalyptus poisoning are dizziness, nausea, feeling of suffocation, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Is eucalyptus good for tea?
Eucalyptus can be used to make a rich herbal tea with a lot of health benefits. However, not all eucalyptus trees will make a great tea and the most commonly used is blue gum tee or the Australian fever tree.
The eucalyptus tree is made from crushed leaves of the tree and not the oil. The tea made from eucalyptus is pale green in color and has a strong scent.
How to make eucalyptus tea.
Eucalyptus tea can be made using already made eucalyptus tea bags or raw eucalyptus dried leaves. I will be looking at how to make eucalyptus herbal tea using dried eucalyptus leaves.
what you will need.
- Dried eucalyptus leaves of the blue gum tree or Australian fever tree.
- 4 cups of water
- Sweetener: Honey or sugar (optional).
Steps of making the tea.
- Cut or crush the leaves.
- Put a kettle with 4 cups of water and d bring it to boil.
- After boiling, place the crushed leaves into the kettle.
- Steep for 5-10 minutes.
- Take the kettle off and serve while hot.
- Add a sweetener if desired.
You may also be interested in the following herbal teas.
The bottom line.
The information in this article is correct, however, for medicinal purposes, seek advice from your doctor and avoid substituting eucalyptus for your medicine. Herbs are healthy but should be used in minimal amounts with directions from a qualified doctor.
Subscribe for Insights on herbs and spices