Friday, November 28, 2014

Eucalyptus Spotlight

Did you know there are 300 species of Eucalyptus trees? These trees are indigenous to Australia where the fresh leaves have been used traditionally in wound treatments, and the wood is used for making didgeridoo wind instruments. Trees are also used for making pulp and charcoal.  Eucalyptus essential oil, which is powerfully cleansing, antiseptic, and deodorizing, is steam distilled from the leaves.
Eucalyptus tree in bloom, photo by Starr. Trees can grow as high as 90 meters


Australian Eucalyptus globulus essential oil is the best quality. Due to its camphoraceous, sweet and woody scent, 75% of "Eucalyptus Oil" on the market actually comes from China where the faux oil is made from Camphor Trees. True Eucalyptus oil is refreshing and stimulating; a favorite to use in steams or bath formulas for people with congested sinuses. A 2% Eucalyptus oil room spray emulsion is extremely antiseptic, with the ability to kill 70% of airborne Staph bacteria. The oil provides a cooling and stimulating sensation useful in a congested chest rubs or lip balms for blistered lips. Below is a demonstration from Aromatherapy Oasis on how to use essential oils safely in a steam inhalation. 





There are environmental and safety concerns regarding cultivation of Eucalyptus outside of Australia. Eucalyptus has become invasive in many areas including California, where it is also a fire hazard due to the volatility of the essential oil. The Seminole Indian tribe has taken a stand against the planting of genetically engineered (GE) Eucalyptus trees in Florida. Native pine forests are being cut down to plant GE Eucalyptus, which worsens climate change and is a threat to biodiversity. People living near the GE Eucalyptus plantations are concerned with health risks from altered tree pollen and toxic chemicals used on the plantations. Eucalyptus trees are also require a lot of water. We are against the destruction of native South Eastern forests for Eucalyptus production
Eucalyptus globulus trees in Hawaii, photo by Starr
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