Eucalyptus trees have a rapid growth. There are many species of eucalyptus, which grow as high as 480 feet. Eucalyptus trees are not only popular for producing timber, but these are highly known for producing oil, which is used for variety of purposes. The oils that are derived from eucalyptus trees are used as medicinal oils, aromatic oils and industrial oils. Eucalyptus oil has a very high disinfectant property and it becomes more effective when it is old. Eucalyptus trees are more common in countries like Tasmania and Australia. There are more than 300 species belonging to this genre.
The leaves of eucalyptus are leathery in texture, hanging vertically or obliquely to the stem. The leaves of the eucalyptus have glands that secrete fragrant volatile oil, which for their medicinal properties are used in many medicines. Eucalyptus has flowers that are covered with cup-like membrane during their budding stage. When the flowers starting blooming and expanding, the membranes are thrown off. Eucalyptus fruits contain numerous tiny seed and they are surrounded by woody, cup-shaped receptacle.
Eucalyptus has many species ranging from ornamental shrub to giant trees. Blue gum or Australian fever trees are that most often used medicinal plants of this species. These are around 200 feet high and their leaves are dark and shiny measuring 4-12 inches. The leaves of eucalyptus consist of tannins, volatile oils and flavonoids and are rich source of antiseptic substance cineol.
In 19th century eucalyptus oil, was widely used in England for cleaning urinary catheters in hospitals. Various scientific studies conducted in different parts of the world have revealed that eucalyptus has antiseptic, deodorant and expectorant properties.
Eucalyptus is used as a decongestant and air disinfectant. It is used to cure asthma, treat burns, cuts, bronchitis, headaches and flu. The strong aroma of eucalyptus is effective in acting as an insect repellant. Eucalyptus and its derivatives are also used to treat skin ulcers, sinusitis, urinary infections, muscle aches, rheumatism, and wounds.
The eucalyptus oil mainly consists of volatile oil, which is distilled from branch tops and fresh leaves of the eucalyptus tree. Eucalyptus leaves are also used in tea to reduce cough and fever. The oil derived from eucalyptus leaves and branches is extremely beneficial and is available in variety of forms in the market. Some common forms are creams, ointments and liquids. You can even find eucalyptus leaves in the market available in the form of fresh leaves, dried leaves, and liquid extracts.
Majority of the commercial syrups, cough drops, toothpastes, and vaporizer fluids contains eucalyptus oil and some other derivatives of eucalyptus. The use of eucalyptus as a medicinal herb is a time-honored approach for treating diseases and strengthening the body.
Eucalyptus has some shortcomings too and you need to take some precautions in order to avoid any complication. Like various other herbs eucalyptus too, contains few components that can trigger side effects and which interact with other supplements, medications or herb. Thus, eucalyptus in any form should be taken with precaution and under supervision of a physician or doctor. People suffering from gastrointestinal tract or inflammation in kidneys, liver diseases, high or low blood pressure should avoid using eucalyptus leaf extract. Tannins in the leaves are no doubt beneficial, but these may upset your stomach leading to terrible stomach pain.