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Information @ a Glance

Introduction

  • Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of trees (and a few shrubs), the members of which dominate the tree flora of Australia.

  • There 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.

  • Many 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

  • Eucs, 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.

  • The 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.

  • The 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.

Applications

  • 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.

  •  Eucalyptus 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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