A Glance at Eucalyptus Essential Oil
I have a love for this beautiful oil and hope I present it as it deserves. I'm going to cover what little I know about this remarkable plant and in turn, remarkable essential oil. Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of flowering trees and shrubs in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Members of the genus dominate the tree flora of Australia, and include Eucalyptus regnans, the tallest known flowering plant on Earth. Eucalyptus has been used by the indigenous people of Australia for centuries to relieve everything from common aches and pains to cold and flu symptoms. There are more than 700 species of eucalyptus growing in the world with the vast majority grown in Australia. The Koala bear rarely drinks water-his water comes from the Koala's food, eucalyptus leaves. They must know something we didn’t know; how awesome eucalyptus is for us!
Although indigenous to Australia, the Eucalyptus has spread to other countries. Some species can grow a mind-splintering 125 feet in just 3 years. The gum species Eucalyptus camaldulensis, can live from 500 to 1000 years.
Eucalyptus are the third tallest trees in the world with the tallest species located in Tasmania’s Arve Valley. This species is nicknamed Centurion and stands at a mind blowing 326 feet (99.6m).
The first production of Eucalyptus essential oil began in 1852 in Victoria, Australia and by the turn of the century, eucalyptus oil was being exported to many countries. Over the next 50 years the Australian industry became and continues to be the main eucalyptus oil supplier for all over the world.
The oil is extracted by steam distillation that separates the essential oil from the dried eucalyptus leaves.
The following chart is an example of some of the various species of Eucalyptus used for essential oils and the therapeutic actions of each species. I’ve also listed an average percentage of active components within each one. This does not cover all species of Eucalyptus.