Eucalyptus Essential Oil is a quintesentially Australian essential oil as well as being one of the most popular and widely used oils.
Its uses are wide ranging and there would be few Australians who did not have a bottle of Eucalytus Essential Oil OR a product containing the essential oil somewhere in their home.
Here are a few facts you may or may not know about Eucalyptus Essential Oil -
- There are over 200 species of trees in the Eucalyptus Family, but only a few of these are used commercially to produce essential oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil was first produced in Australia in the early 1800’s from Eucalyptus radiata trees, which is the same species used for Essence of Wellbeing’s Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- The main chemical constituent of Eucalyptus Essential Oil is 1,8 Cineole, which gives the oil its expectorant (mucus loosening) properties.
- Charles L'Héritier, a botanist at Kew Gardens, London in 1788 was the first to name the Eucalyptus genus, and the first specimen, Eucalyptus oblique, which had been collected in Tasmania by botanist David Nelson on Captain James Cook’s third expedition in 1777 and brought to Kew Gardens. The name was derived from the Greek words “eu-“ (meaning good or well) and “kalipto” or “calypto” (meaning to cover). This refers to the appearance of the flower buds and the top or lid that is thrown off as the flower bud opens.
- Although native to Australia, various Eucalyptus species are now grown extensively around the world, in countries including China, South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Chile.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil is used therapeutically for respiratory conditions as well as for muscular aches and pains, headaches and viral conditions.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil is used in a variety of commercial products such as soap, gargles, throat lozenges and products for inhalation as well as industrial detergents and disinfectants.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil has good solvent properties and is useful for removing glues, sticky labels and grease. Please note that this also means it can dissolve or at least damage plastic or rubber items – caution is recommended when using Eucalyptus Essential Oil on or around these substances. This is also the reason we do not recommend using eyedroppers with essential oils as the oil can cause the rubber bulb to disintegrate.
- Eucalypts are often known as “Gum Trees”, the name deriving from the gum which is excreted from the bark of many of the species. This gum also has medicinal properties and was commonly used by indigenous people.
- Eucalyptus trees do not only produce Essential Oil but are also a valuable source of timber for building, construction and for fuel. Some of the hardest and heaviest timber in the world is the eucalyptus species known as "Ironbark"
CLICK HERE to read more about Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Is Eucalyptus one of your favourite Essential Oils? How do you like to use it? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
References and further reading -
Essential Oil Safety 2nd Edition – Tisserand and Young
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy 3rd Edition Vol 1 – Battaglia
Australian Herbal – Penny Woodward
Eucalypt Australia - https://www.eucalyptaustralia.org.au/
Encyclopedia of Australian Science - https://www.eoas.info/eucalypts/index.html
The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils – E. Joy Bowles