Eucalyptus is basically native to Australia but is also grown on a large scale in the Middle East, Africa, America, India, China, and America. Almost all parts of the tree have some or other significance that is beneficial to us. Let's explore its properties and usefulness.
The trees are tropical evergreen species shedding their leaves during the late dry season. Eucalyptus leaves have an alternate arrangement and taxonomically they are classified as petiolate and lanceolate. Most species have matte-finished leaves due to the waxy coating. Few species have shiny lush green texture. The age of the plant can be inferred from the four different stages of the leaf development, viz, seedling, juvenile, intermediate, and adult phase. The growth is maximum during the transition period of juvenile to adult phase.
The major health benefits come from eucalyptus oil derived by processing the leaves. They contain volatile oils, tannins and flavonoids, having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in them.
- Dried eucalyptus leaves are used as an infusion for herbal tea. They are steeped in hot water and then filtered. The drink is consumed for curing cold and cough during winter.
- The tincture is used for curing respiratory congestion. The average recommended dose is 10-30 drops daily for an adult, depending upon the severity of the illness.
- Different forms of supplements are extracted from fresh leaves that act as effective expectorant. It's available in the form of syrups, oils and capsules for curing nasal congestion and sinus problems.
- Fresh leaves can be boiled and the concentrated solution or steam can be inhaled or used as a chest rub for getting relief from respiratory problems.
- The leaves mostly have an industrial application for the manufacture of oils, that is also used for treating muscle pains, rheumatism and neuralgia due to the anti-inflammatory properties.
- If you have these plants grown at home, then the leaves can be used to provide immediate relief for wounds, cuts, burns, boils, sores, and scrapes. Crush the leaves and apply topically. The antibacterial action cures wounds rapidly.
- The strong aromatic scent also makes them a wonderful bathing ingredient. You can either drop a few leaves in the warm hot water or add a few drops of oil while taking bath. They can also be kept indoors to purify the air.
- Their acts as flea deterrent. In this regard, you can rub them on your pet's coat for guarding against flea attack.
Fresh leaves can be purchased from herbal shops that sell crude products. Eucalyptus oil is readily available in any drug stores. The other option is to opt for online shopping on a bulk scale.