Eucalyptus leaves have demonstrated, since 1865, when the first eucalyptus trees were introduced in Peru from Oceania, their incredible properties to treat respiratory ailments. From there, its planting spread rapidly in the Mantaro Valley in Junin and became part of traditional medicine in the Peruvian Andes to treat flu, asthma, tonsillitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, congestion and as an expectorant.
Of the 800 species that exist in Peru there are at least 10, but the best known is Eucalyptus globulus. In second and third place are Eucalyptus urograndis and Eucalyptus citriodorus. All these species are used for medicinal purposes.
The great properties of eucalyptus
- It is expectorant and anti-inflammatory: for years, the infusion of eucalyptus leaves has been used to soothe the most common respiratory ailments, but it is also common to use them in vaporization, which consists of inhaling the steam from a pot of hot water and eucalyptus leaves. This can clear the airways and strengthen the body.
- To control blood sugar levels: Eucalyptus leaves and fruits are also hypoglycemic and, according to a study conducted by Zahedan University, Iran, infusion of eucalyptus leaves helps to level blood sugar levels.
- Antibacterial: thanks to studies in the Bacteriology Laboratory of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the Technical University of Ambato in Ecuador, it was possible to prove the effectiveness of eucalyptus essential oil against the Escherichia coli strain and the Staphylococcus aureus strain, related to pneumonia and meningitis.
- For wounds and skin diseases: it has a great healing and antibacterial power so it will be very useful in case of burns, blisters, insect bites, among others.
Uses of eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus leaves are also rich in essential oil with great disinfectant power. It is widely used in aromatherapy and in the preparation of natural remedies to decongest and relieve muscle pain.
Its oily concentrate form (essential oil) is widely used in the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and perfumery industries, as well as to flavor and preserve a wide variety of food products.
A great option is to place 5 to 8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a humidifier and enjoy its pleasant aroma and all its benefits.
There is no doubt that the benefits of eucalyptus are many; however, it is contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women or children under 2 years old. It is also not recommended for people with inflammations of the gastrointestinal tract and hepatic insufficiency.
If taken in excess, it may cause gastritis and allergic reactions. On the other hand, the consumption of pure eucalyptus essential oil is not recommended. Overexposure may cause dermatitis and may be toxic. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to take advantage of the great properties of this wonderful plant without any problem.