Eucalyptus - Research
Used topically, eucalyptus has been investigated for potential anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties.3
One study reported the successful treatment of chronic middle-ear infections with a compound alcoholic tincture that contained eucalyptus leaf.4 Antiseptic and cooling actions have been reported. Recent research has also indicated positive effects of the combination of peppermint oil and eucalyptus oil in headache treatments.5
E. globulus has long been a favorite household remedy in Australia. A German botanist and director of the botanical gardens in Melbourne introduced the eucalyptus tree to the rest of the world. Since then it has been cultivated in many sub-tropical areas, including Egypt, Algeria, Spain, South Africa, India, and California.2
Traditionally, the leaves and oil were used for respiratory diseases such as bronchitis, and the dried leaves were smoked like tobacco for asthma.1 Eucalyptus oil was also used in all types of fever for its cooling effect on the body. Historically, the eucalyptus plant was also widely used for skin problems, aching joints, and bacterial infections in both western and eastern medicine.1
1 Lawless J. The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils. Dorset, UK: Element Books Inc.; 1992.
2 Tisserand R. The Art of Aromatherapy: The Healing and Beautifying Properties of the Essential Oils of Flowers and Herbs. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press; 1977.
3 Buckle J. Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Practice, 2nd Edition. Philadelphia: Elsevier Science; 2003.
4 Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, editors. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
5 Göbel H, G. Schmidt, M. Dworshak, et al. Essential plant oils and headache mechanisms. Phytomedicine. 1995; 2(2): 93-102.
6 Coppen JJW. Flavors and Fragrances of Plant Origin. 1995. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Available at: http://www.fao.org/docrep/v5350e/v5350e07.htm. Accessed February 24, 2005.