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Eucalyptus health benefits and therapeutic value

Single eucalyptus branch with buds

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is a tree with fragrant blueish evergreen foliage of the Myrtaceae family, native to Australia.

It is grown today in subtropical regions of Asia and the Mediterranean and its leaves which are known for their health benefits and therapeutic value are part of the many pharmaceutical preparations.

Health benefits of eucalyptus

  • The health benefits of eucalyptus for the respiratory tract are well-known to all. What we have here is an excellent pulmonary tract antiseptic that is used as an ingredient in many syrups and suppositories.
  • Infusions prepared from eucalyptus, 1 oz (30 g) leaves for 1 quart (1 liter) water are powerful expectorants and fluidize mucus. It is reputed to soothe chronic or acute bronchitis as well as respiratory disorders in general (irritation of the throat and nasal mucous membranes), colds, flu and sore throat.
  • Appetite-inducing and digestive, eucalyptus is a precious ally in tempering disturbances of the digestive tract that patients suffering from respiratory issues often experience.
  • As an astringent and antispasmodic agent, it alleviates inflammations of the digestive tract and of the intestine.
  • The mucolytic properties of eucalyptus leaves help fluidize the mucus in the respiratory tract, making it more watery and easier to expel. It is recommended together with treatments for asthma.
  • To soothe rheumatismheadaches and migraines, you can try eucalyptus essential oil, diluted in sweet almond oil, rubbed over the body.
  • Gargling eucalyptus soothes throat irritation and will abruptly stop appearance of colds since it disinfects respiratory tracts.
  • Vaporized, eucalyptus essential oil will yield antiseptic and anti-infectious properties: vaporize at the office or in your home to ward off colds and the flu.
  • Eucalyptus is also a famous insect repellent: it is often planted around marshes and swamps to keep the pests contained.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil is also added as a flavoring to certain types of candy.

Garden uses of eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil is a potent mite-killer and acaricidal. It has been shown to kill red spider mite and destroy its eggs.

Growing eucalyptus to benefit from its medicinal properties

If you’re looking to grow your own eucalyptus tree, select a very sunny and warm spot that is sheltered from wind. The soil must be quite light, cool, well drained and somewhat acidic.

Productivity of a potted eucalyptus is quite high if you set it in a garden box that is at least 12 inches (30 cm) across. Your eucalyptus will then naturally take on a bushy shape. However, it will be more vulnerable to the cold, so beware.

There are nearly 500 eucalyptus species but they all boast similar properties. Many benefits are shared among other related Myrtaceae species, too: myrtle, lemon bottle-brush

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