I read somewhere that there are over 700 species of eucalyptus in the Myrtaceae family.
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The chemotype Globulus (Common name- blue gum) is probably the best known and is a native of Australia.
Most species are in the Oxide chemical family with 1,8-cineole being the most prominent component. These oils are good for clearing the head when experiencing a sinus issue. The oil is a stimulant and works to perk one up when tired.
The species of globulus, smithii and radiata have the highest percentage of 1,8-cineole.
Species Percentage of 1,8-cineole
Eucalyptus globulus 65-84%
Eucalyptus smithii 77%
Eucalyptus radiata 60-64%
Eucalyptus macarthurii 28-29%
Eucalyptus dives 0.56%
The popular therapeutic benefits of these oils are for cold and flu relief: relief of congestion and as an expectorant.
Eucalyptus macarthurii (Common name-Wooly-butt gum) has 44% of the chemical component geranyl acetate. This component has analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal and choleretic modulating properties. What does that mean? This oil is good for blends other than for a cold. A muscle rub blend, foot cream, and as a digestion blend.
Other chemotypes of eucalyptus such as
Eucalyptus citriodora also called Lemon-scented gum, has no 1,8-cineole component. The citriodora chemotype has 66-86% of the chemical component citronellal. This oil is an aldehyde, used as a bug repellent, for its anti-inflammatory modulating affect, and to calm.
Eucalyptus dives (Common name-Blue peppermint gum) is great for moving mucus; use as a chest rub (diluted) or a steam. Other uses for Eucalyptus dives is to treat tired feet in a relaxing foot bath after a long day on your feet. The refreshing scent is also good for cleaning the house. Eucalyptus dives can help even and tone the skin, especially for those prone to blemishes.
Melbourne pharmacist, Joseph Bosisto established a distillery in 1854 to gather the oil of E. radiata. He exhibited his oil at seventeen exhibitions between 1854 and 1891. Pearson, Michael. “The Good Oil: Eucalyptus Oil Distilleries in Australia”, Australsian Historical Archaeology, 11, 1993.
Eucalyptus is for more than just cold and flu season, and the lack of 1,8-cineole in the dives chemotype makes it great to use in households with younger children. Blend with lavender, cedarwood or orange for a blend to promote relaxation (lavender), clear breathing (cedarwood) or lift spirits (orange).
Use in an inhaler or diffuser following safety guidelines: Remember the eucalyptus chemotypes that are high in 1,8-cineole can suppress the Central Nervous System (CNS) and may impair breathing. Be safe in usage for children under 10 and those with asthma.
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