Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of trees (and a few shrubs), the members
of which dominate the tree flora of Australia.
are more than seven hundred species of Eucalyptus, mostly native to
Australia, with a very small number found in adjacent parts of New
Guinea and Indonesia and one as far north as the Philippines islands.
Eucalyptus have been planted in various parts of the world including the
dry regions of Southern California and in Africa, Portugal, Spain, South
America, and on forestry plantations in India and China.
Growth and Cultivation
in general, are much faster growing than most other trees in
cultivation. Most euc species can be expected to achieve 6 - 12 feet of
new growth each year.
leaves on a mature Eucalyptus plant are commonly lanceolate, petiolate,
apparently alternate and waxy or glossy green.
Flowers have numerous fluffy stamens which may be white, cream, yellow,
pink or red; in bud the stamens are enclosed in a cap known as an
operculum which is composed of the fused sepals or petals or both.
appearance of Eucalyptus bark will vary with the age of the plant, the
manner of bark shed, the length of the bark fibres, the degree of
furrowing, the thickness, the hardness and the colour. All mature
eucalypts put on an annual layer of bark, which contributes to the
increasing diameter of the stems.
Externally, the antiseptic, slightly anesthetic, anti-bacterial, and
warming properties of Eucalyptus make it a valuable resource treatment
of burns, sores, ulcers, scrapes, boils, and wounds.
Eucalyptus oil has a clear, thin appearance that provides a fresh,
cooling, and soothing application with a soft earthy aroma.
oil is most commonly used to treat skin irritations such as insect
bites, blisters, irritations and other wounds.
Eucalyptus has been used traditionally to treat diabetes. A few animal
studies suggest that this folkloric use may prove to have scientific
merit. Mice with experimentally-induced diabetes respond to aqueous
extracts of eucalyptus by increasing insulin production and reducing
blood sugar. These results suggest that eucalyptus may be useful as an
adjunctive treatment for diabetes.
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