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10 Facts About Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Essential Oil is a quintessentially 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 –

Fact 1

There are over 200 species of trees in the Eucalyptus Family. But only a few of these produce essential oil

Fact 2

Eucalyptus Essential Oil was first produced in Australia in the early 1800’s from Eucalyptus radiata trees. This is the same species used for Essence of Wellbeing’s Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Fact 3

The main chemical constituent of Eucalyptus essential oil is 1,8 Cineole. Which gives the oil its expectorant (mucus loosening) properties.

Fact 4

Charles L’Héritier, a botanist at Kew Gardens, London in 1788 was the first to name the Eucalyptus genus. Botanist David Nelson collected the first specimen, Eucalyptus oblique, in Tasmania whilst on Captain James Cook’s third expedition in 1777. He later brought the specimen to Kew Gardens. The name 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 detaches as the flower bud opens.

Fact 5

Although native to Australia. Various Eucalyptus species now grow extensively around the world. In countries including China, South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Chile.

Fact 6

Eucalyptus Essential Oil helps therapeutically for respiratory conditions. As well as for muscular aches and pains, headaches and viral conditions.

Fact 7

Eucalyptus is commonly found in a variety of commercial products such as soap, gargles, throat lozenges, as well as products for inhalation as well as industrial detergents and disinfectants.

Fact 8

The 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. So I recommend caution when using 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.

Fact 9

Eucalypts often called “Gum Trees”. The name derives from the gum excreted from the bark of many of the species. This gum also has medicinal properties and was commonly used by indigenous people.

Fact 10

Eucalyptus trees 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”

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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

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

The Chemistry of Aromatherapeutic Oils – E. Joy Bowles