Eucalyptus Oil General
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Eucalyptus oil is the
generic name for distilled oil from the leaf of Eucalyptus, a genus of
the plant family Myrtaceae
native to Australia and cultivated worldwide.
Eucalyptus oil has a
history of wide application, as a pharmaceutical, antiseptic, repellent,
flavouring, fragrance and
The leaves of
selected Eucalyptus species are steam distilled to extract eucalyptus
The chief chemical components
of eucalyptus oils are a-pinene, b-pinene, a-phellandrene, aromadendrene,
1, 8-cineole, globulol, limonene, piperitone,terpinen-4-ol and
- Today, eucalyptus is commonly
used in remedies to treat coughs and the common cold. It can be found in
many lozenges, cough syrups, rubs, and vapor baths throughout the United
States and Europe. Herbalists recommend the use of fresh leaves in teas
and gargles to soothe sore throats and treat bronchitis and sinusitis.
- Ointments containing eucalyptus
leaves are also applied to the nose and chest to relieve congestion.
Eucalyptus oil helps loosen phlegm, so many health care providers
recommend inhaling eucalyptus vapors to help treat bronchitis, coughs,
and the flu.
- Eucalyptus essential oil is
very effective against cavities, dental plaque, gingivitis and other
dental infections due to its germicidal properties.
- On the skin, eucalyptus oil has
been used to treat arthritis, boils, sores and wounds. The oil can also
be rubbed on the skin as an insect repellent.
The health benefits of eucalyptus oil can be attributed to its
anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, decongestant, deodorant,
antiseptic, antibacterial, stimulating, and other medicinal
- Next to citrus oil, Eucalyptus
is the second biggest essential oil produced in South Africa. It
accounts for approximately 5% of the world’s supply, competing with the
likes of China and Australia.
- World production and trade in
eucalyptus oils is dominated by the People's Republic of China, which is
the largest producer of both cineole-rich medicinal oils (about 70
percent of world output and trade) and perfumery oil (from E. citriodora).
- Eucalyptus oil has been
demonstrated to have potential as a fuel component, and when
used as an additive in ethanol-gasoline fuel blends
(’gasohol’) prevents phase separation in the presence of
water. This is another potentially large application, likely
to attract interest after world petroleum production peaks,
which is predicted to occur in this first decade of the
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