Eucalyptus: Benefits, Using Tips and Side Effects
The leaves are leathery in texture and hang obliquely or vertically and are studded with glands containing a fragrant volatile oil. The flowers in the bud are covered with a cup-like membrane, which is thrown off as a lid when the flower expands. The fruit is surrounded by a woody, cupshaped receptacle and contains a number of minute seeds. Eucalyptus trees are very quick growers and many species reach a great height. Eucalyptus amygdalin is the tallest known tree, specimens attaining as much as 480 feet, exceeding in height even the Californian Big Tree. Many species do yield valuable timber, others oils, kino, etc. The identity of the eucalyptus is by its height.
There are very great number of species of Eucalyptus trees yielding essential oils, the foliage of some being more odorous than that of others, and the oils from the various species differing widely in character. It necessarily follows that the term Eucalyptus oil is meaningless from a scientific point of view unless the species from which it is derived is clearly stated. However, eucalyptus has medical importance. Eucalyptus has anti-pyretic and anti-septic effect. Because of this effect, they are use widely in ayurvedic medicine. Eucalyptus has been used as an anti-septic since the ancient times.
The Eucalyptus industry is becoming of economic importance to Australia, especially in New South Wales and Victoria provinces. Many of the old species, which give the oil of commerce, have given way to other species which have been found to gave better yields or better oils. The oils may be divided into three classes of commercial importance: (1) the medicinal oils, which contain substantial amounts of eucalyptol (also known as cineol); (2) the industrial oils, containing terpenes, which are used for flotation purposes in mining operations; (3) the aromatic oils, such as E. citriodora, which are marked by their aroma. E. globulus is the best-known variety is the Blue Gum Tree of Victoria and Tasmania, where it attains a height of 375 feet, ranking as one of the largest trees in the world. Eucalyptus has also been called as the Fever Tree, being largely cultivated in unhealthy, low-lying or swampy districts for its antiseptic qualities. As eucalyptus has anti-septic effect, it keeps the environment healthy and so it is cultivated in undeveloped areas. Eucalyptus in this way prevents you from getting infected by various micro- organisms and consequently boosts the immunity. The first leaves are very broad, without stalks, of a shining whitish-green and are opposite and horizontal, but after four or five years these are succeeded by others of a more ensiform or sword-shaped form, 6 to 12 inches long, bluish-green in hue, which are alternate and vertical, i.e. with the edges which are turned towards the sky and earth, an arrangement more suited to the climate and productive of peculiar effects of light and shade.
The Eucalyptus, especially the E. globulus variety, has been successfully introduced into the south of Europe, Algeria, Egypt, Tahiti, South Africa and India, and has been extensively planted in California and also with the objective of lessening liability to droughts, along the line of the Central Pacific Railway.
The medicinal Eucalyptus Oil is probably the most powerful antiseptic of its class, especially when it is old, as ozone is formed in it on the exposure to the air and it has decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life. Internally, it has the very typical action of a volatile oil in a marked degree. The older this plant grows; stronger is its anti-septic effect.
Eucalyptus Oil is also used as a stimulant and antiseptic gargle and when locally applied, it impairs the sensibility. It also increases the cardiac action. Its antiseptic properties confer some antimalarial action, though it can never take the place of Cinchona. Eucalyptus is widely used by the Dentists in their practice due to its anti-septic action and they even recommend their patients to use it. It can be gargled to prevent infection after dental procedures like tooth extraction, root canal treatment or any other kind of oral surgical manipulations. Eucalyptus is widely used as domestic anti-septic in patient suffering with malaria. The eucalyptus plant is kept in the vicinity of the patients to promote a feel-good effect and even for its anti-septic effect.
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