The Eucalypt is an ancient tree with a story of a million years. However, it was first officially documented in 1642 on the island state of Tasmania (off the coast of Australia) by a survey team. They reported discovering a plant that secretes gum. Their report was later published in the Abel Johnson Magazine on December 2, 1642.
The Eucalyptus Tree
Can also colloquially be known as the ‘gum tree’. Have you ever seen one? If you are outside of Australia, you may be scratching your head. However, if you think back to iconic scenes of koalas munching on pointed blue-green leaves (Eucalyptus is the main source of their diet) or the popular children’s song by Marion Sinclair “Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree”- that’s it, that’s Eucalyptus!
I bet you have seen this wonderful plant many times, perhaps without even realising. Furthermore, you have most likely benefited from eucalyptus products as different parts of this plant are used to manufacture food, beverages, perfume, decor, cosmetics, and herbal medicine.
Almost all eucalypt species are native to Australia. If left alone they can grow in dense forests, up to 145 meters in height. Eucalyptus wood is solid and resistant to rotting, and its trunk circumference may reach 25 meters. Some Eucalyptus have easy-to-peel bark that is yellowish-brown. The colour of the leaves depend on the age; they are initially bluish-green and become whitish green over time as they age. Eucalypts are evergreens. However, some species are also deciduous.
Eucalyptus Plant Benefits
In recent years, eucalyptus has drawn the attention of scientists, environmentalists, and retailers. Due to its fast growth, it is a good source of wood for industry. Furthermore, when the eucalyptus oil is extracted it has mavrious medicinal and industrial uses. The essential oil is extracted from the tree’s veins, buds, and bark.
To summarise, eucalyptus is beneficial in the following areas:
- Forestry (wood, fuel, pulp)
- Controlling water and wind erosion
- Producing essential oils of medicinal uses and perfume making
- Art and craft
• Herbal medicine
Eucalyptus Chemical Compounds
Researchers have extracted numerous phytochemical compounds from eucalyptus leaves, roots and stems. Eucalyptol, in particular, is one of the essential compounds that is responsible for most of this plant’s medicinal features. Studies have shown eucalyptol has powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal characteristics. Eucalyptol is possibly the reason for the widespread use of eucalyptus since ancient times.
Eucalyptol is an alcohol that is included in other plants such as cardamom, camphor, Laurus nobilis, Myrtus, rosemary Lavandula, etc. It is what gives the eucalyptus a clean, sharp, and slightly medicinal aroma. Eucalyptol is a colourless substance liquid that boils at 176 ° C and some say smells like camphor.
Prostanoids, Flavonoids, tannins, and alkaloids are other active composites of eucalyptus.
Eucalyptus Health Benefits
Although eucalyptus has various advantages and uses, in this article we will focus in on its health benefits. What you read here is taken from scientific essays that have studied eucalyptus in living organisms or within a lab environment.
Eucalyptus includes many antioxidants, including catechins, kaempferol, luteolin phloretin, isorhamnetin, and quercetin.
There are free radicals and other damaging substances that can cause oxidative harm to your cells and tissues. On the other hand, antioxidants are substances that save your tissues by fighting the free radicals. Researchers have recently been trying to find and apply natural antioxidants due to the adverse effects of synthetic ones. Eucalyptus is a rich source of natural antioxidants that can possibly prevent some cancers, dementia, and heart attacks.
By just making some tea using the dried leaves of the eucalyptus, you can benefit from the antioxidant properties of the plant. However, be careful not to confuse it with eucalyptus oil which is toxic and should not be digested. Fortunately, drinking eucalyptus leaf tea looks to be safe for adults. Still, avoid it in children as they are more likely to develop eucalyptus poisoning.
Studies have revealed that eucalyptus can remove a wide range of bacteria, both gram-positive and gram-negative. The plant antimicrobial impact is mostly because of its eucalyptol content. Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enteritidis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida albicans are among the microorganisms eucalyptus can help remove.
Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Eucalyptus
Some aromatic compounds isolated from eucalyptus, such as eucalyptol, can inhibit the production and regulation of common inflammatory factors such as cytokines.
On the other hand, Free radicals adversely affect biological molecules such as nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins leading to increased oxidative stress and inflammatory responses.
The eucalyptus antioxidant profile inhibits inflammation response by neutralising these harmful free radicals, further making it a potentially valuable source for pharmaceutical manufacturing medicine for inflammatory diseases.
May Help Relieve Dry Skin
Eucalyptus can increase skin ceramide content, a kind of lipid made from sphingosine and fatty acid. Ceramide serves as a mortar to hold superficial skin cells together. It protects the skin barrier integrity and prevents the skin from drying out. Some studies have revealed skin concerns such as psoriasis, dry skin, dermatitis, eczema, and dandruff are connected with a decrease in skin ceramide. So, eucalyptus may perform an important role in treating skin concerns via producing more ceramide. However, more studies need to be conducted for conclusive results.
Helps Treat Respiratory Disorders
As mentioned, eucalyptus contains anti-inflammatory compounds and can decrease the synthesis of cytokines. So, it might be suitable for long-term treatment of airway inflammation in bronchial asthma and other steroid-sensitive diseases.
Furthermore, eucalyptol has turned out to be a mucolytic agent. It dissolves thick mucus and helps relieve respiratory difficulties.
Eucalyptol can also decrease nasal congestion, cold headache, and the frequency of coughs. Based on these features, the eucalyptus plant may open new avenues for making new medicines to manage various respiratory conditions.
You can also clear your lungs by inhaling a few drops of eucalyptus oil through your nose.
However, it’s recommended to consult with a physician before using this plant.
Eucalyptus has been used since ancient times, likely starting with Indigenous Australians. People worldwide, especially in Australia utilise Eucalyptus for medicinal purposes such as disinfecting wounds and promoting healing. One of the first documents we have on this is a reported case in 1778 when surgeons aboard First Fleet [the penal colony of England sent to its Australian settlement] used eucalyptus to clean wounds onboard.
Eucalyptus oil can eliminate S. aureus and E. coli bacteria. This essential oil can play a crucial role in the capacity of overcoming superficial wound infections and accelerating healing. It is enough to use a drop or two of eucalyptus oil on the wound to take advantage of its benefits
May Reduce Pain
In some studies, inhaling eucalyptus oil was associated with a significant reduction of pain. However, there are contradictory results that suggest the necessity for more research.
It Can Repel Insects
Eucalyptol, one of the active compounds of the eucalyptus plant, appears to act as a natural insect repellent. That’s why many mosquito repellent products infuse eucalyptus oil into their ingredients. It also seems to repel head lice, although more studies are needed.
Promotes Oral Health
Eucalyptus may reduce bad breath in some people and promote the overall health of teeth and gums. That’s why it is included in most mouthwashes and some other oral care products. Eucalyptus extract has compounds such as ethanol, and macrocarpa C, a type of polyphenol; both can help your oral health through the subsequent mechanisms:
- Decrease dental plaque
- Reduce gum bleeding
- Reduce gingivitis
- Improve bad breath in some people
Some specialists suggest diluting a drop of eucalyptus oil with olive/coconut oil and utilising it on a drop on the toothpaste before brushing. Still, due to eucalyptus oil being toxic, you would better consult a dentist before applying it to your mouth.
May Promote Localised Blood Circulation
Researchers found that the topical use of eucalyptus oil has the potential to dilate peripheral arteries, increase local blood circulation, and reduce pain. Topical use of this essential oil is likely a good option for people who suffer from chronic pain and fatigue. When applied on skin, it may temporarily ease minor muscle soreness.
Meet Our Eucalyptus-Infused Product
Ungex is an Australian manufacturer of self-care products which OZiDEX is the latest brand within its family. Both OZiDEX and Ungex produce Anti-Demodex products, among which DHT (Demodex Hair Tonic) and DDC (Demodex Defence Cleanser) contain eucalyptus oil.
What are Demodex Mites?
Demodex mites are tiny parasites that can multiply under favourable circumstances and colonise our skin.
Want to know more about Demodex mites? Check out this link
A high density of Demodex mites may lead to itching, hair loss, dermatitis, enlarged pores, blepharitis, and resistant acne. To be more precise, Demodex mites can trigger or exacerbate a variety of dermatological issues.
What Do Our Eucalyptus- Infused Products Do?
DHT (Demodex Hair Tonic)
Demodex Defence Cleanser (DDC)
In addition to natural skin oils, Demodex mites feed on most skincare and cosmetic oil. Gentle yet effective, DDC removes dirt and other sources of Demodex food from your skin. It also helps unclog pores caused by excessive sebum. Through these mechanisms, Ungex cleanser helps create a hostile environment for mites, keeping them under control, and leaving your skin feeling fresh and bright.
The eucalyptus in DHT and DDC helps the products purge harmful bacteria and fungi that live in Demodex mite bodies, which seem to be the origin of some Demodex mite symptoms. Furthermore, eucalyptus effectively aids in relieving eczema and itching by raising the skin’s ceramide content. It also can repel insects, including head lice and potentially Demodex mites.