Eucalyptus Essential Oil
WHAT'S THE Fancy Latin Name?
Where Does Eucalyptus Come From?
Eucalyptus trees and shrubs come from Australia and Tasmania but have been naturalized in many other countries. The essential oil is steam-distilled from its leaves and has a thin and clear appearance with a medicinal, woody scent. The beautiful Eucalyptus globulus grows rapidly and ranges from a shrub to a hundred-foot-tall evergreen tree with a large open crown. Eucalypt forests comprised of three genera—eucalyptus, corymbia, and angophora—dominate Australia’s landscape with an estimated sprawl of 227 million acres. (Is it just me or does anyone else want to plan a spring break trip to Australia?) The particular essential oil we use at Osmia hails from Portugal and transports you straight to the humid heart of a towering eucalyptus forest.
There are 569 species of eucalyptus native to Australia alone with more than 700 known species worldwide. Add in the fact that there are different chemotypes within the various species and the possibilities for eucalyptus’ different aromas and uses become a little overwhelming. I’m feeling dizzy right now just thinking about them all! E. globulus is one of the most commonly distilled species for aromatherapy and cosmetics, alongside E. radiata whose gentler aroma is preferred for children and people with sensitivities. Still, those are only two of the many, many different species and chemotypes of eucalyptus!
WHAT ARE THE AROMATHERAPY BENEFITS OF EUCALYPTUS?
Diffusing eucalyptus helps to purify the air, provide grounding mental clarity, and inspire deep breathing. Having trouble with breathing period due to respiratory gunk? Eucalyptus helps to clear out the sinuses and respiratory system. Colds, infections, laryngitis, bronchitis, and bacterial inflammation may meet their match in this antibacterial essential oil, thanks to the cineole and pinene content of the oil, especially the E. globulus species. Inhaling deeply, you can almost feel it reaching down into your lungs and chasing away trouble. So sprinkle a few drops on the floor of your shower and mentally prepare yourself: spring is coming.
WHAT ARE THE SKIN BENEFITS OF EUCALYPTUS?
Eucalyptus is an antimicrobial and contains a compound called eucalyptol. These elements make it a go-to essential oil for many athletes in relieving aching muscles and helping to stimulate healthy circulation. Even if you aren’t an athlete, eucalyptus can help ease arthritis symptoms and everyday achy muscles. The specific species we use is also great for soap making. Like a good baseline in your favorite song, the eucalyptus lifts up the other aromas present while also adding its own delicious note.
SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS FOR EUCALYPTUS
While its proper external use and inhalation is generally considered safe, eucalyptus is a great example of how even pretty plants can be dangerous: as little as a teaspoon of the essential oil taken orally is enough to cause central nervous system depression, dizziness, vomiting, and respiratory dysfunction in children, and one ounce orally can kill an adult. Eucalyptus oil should be used with caution in children, and avoided entirely in infants.
FUN FACTS ABOUT EUCALYPTUS
- Eucalyptus means “well covered”, which is referring to the protective layer around the plant’s flower buds. Due to the high concentration of cineole in eucalyptus, it doesn’t have many natural pollinators and relies on self-pollination.
- Remember when I mentioned just how many acres of eucalypt forests there are in Australia alone? Well, one acre of eucalyptus can produce up to 35,000 pounds of leaves for essential oil production. The leaves then yield an average of 3% oil, which leaves us with 1,050 pounds of essential oil. Let me distill that math for you: it takes about 33 pounds of eucalyptus leaves to make a pound of the essential oil.
- Eucalyptus trees make the best didgeridoos! (Get ready to bounce. Just sayin’.) Traditionally, craftsmen find trunks or thick branches hollowed out by termites to make these instruments and no live trees are harmed in their creation.
Osmia Products with Eucalyptus Essential Oil
With love and springtime forests of eucalyptus from us to you,
The information contained in this post is for educational interest only and is not intended to represent claims for actions of eucalyptus. This information is not intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any physical or mental illness or disease