Bad puns aside, the eucalyptus is a very beneficial plant, so it’s a good thing it grows fast! Eucalyptus, besides being the favorite food of everyone’s favorite Australian mammal, is a fast-growing evergreen tree that comes in over 400 species, but it looks nothing like the evergreens most Americans are familiar with. This leafy green tree is becoming more and more familiar with stateside consumers, as we become more aware of the many things it can do.
The dried leaves of eucalyptus trees contain a colorless liquid oil with a sweet vegetal scent that can be extracted through a process of steam distillation. This oil is an ingredient in many perfumes and cosmetics because of this fresh aroma. It can keep your teeth looking as pretty as your face, as eucalyptus oil is an ingredient in a number of dental preparations and brands of mouthwash. Eucalyptus extract chewing gum has been shown to promote periodontal health, due to the oil’s antibacterial properties that kill the bacteria responsible for tooth decay.
The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties of the eucalyptus plant actually make it an effective agent in the treatment of a range of medical conditions like bronchitis, the common cold, fungal infections, or even ulcers, bladder diseases, the flu, and diabetes. In tea form, it has been shown to be an effective fever-reducer and has long been a component of traditional Chinese and Indian medicine practices. Nineteenth-century hospitals in England used the oil to clean urinary catheters and it was official registered as an insecticide and miticide by the United States in 1948.
Undiluted eucalyptus oil should not be consumed orally or applied to the skin. In its concentrated form, it could cause stomach upset, diarrhea, nausea, and even vomiting, or in severe cases, cause contracted pupils, difficulty breathing, and dizziness.
Read the entire article here: What are the benefits of eucalyptus?