eucalyptus ideas

organicjunkieJune 24, 2011

I bought a Eucalyptus "plant" doesn't appear to be a tree at all just your typical plant. It has taken off and is growing great. Does anyone have any recipes or ideas what to do with it? I've seen Eucalyptus of course sold in stores I assume it dries well to be sold as is... It isn't that aromic right now unless I rub the leaves and smell my fingers...Any ideas would be appreciated!! Thanks

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If it's a eucalyptus tree, it will grow rapidly (up to 2.5 metres per year!) to a very large size, about 60 metres in some cases, depending on the species. Don't plant it anywhere near a building or a children's play area - eucalyptus have a charming tendency to drop entire large branches without any assistance from the wind (don't park your car or put your tent under one). As the plant matures, the eucalyptus aroma in the leaves will increase - it is highly flammable and toxic. In extremely hot, dry summers, the evaporating oil from the trees can explode - a primary cause of bush-fires.

Warning: Avoid contact with eyes. Avoid use if experiencing inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases or diseases involving bile ducts or liver. Do not use Eucalyptus preparations on the face or nose of young children or infants.

However, a drop or two of the essential oil can be used to flavour sweets, baked goods and ice cream.

The leaves can be used as a poultice for skin ailments and to relieve pain from rheumatism and sore muscles. The distilled essential oil has been used externally and internally for ailments from fever, whooping cough, bronchial and throat infections, discharges, wounds and ulcers. The oil has have been known to be effective against flu, pyorrhea, and for burns, to prevent infection. It may also help with cystitis, diabetes, diarrhoea, migraines, skin ulcers, wounds, pain, and to stimulate the circulation. A spray of eucalyptus can be used to soothe a sore throat. It has also been used as a room disinfectant. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea. Externally applied, the oil gives relief in some forms of neuralgic and rheumatic pains. The honey made by bees using the eucalyptus pollen has been recommended for parasitic and putrescent conditions, gonorrhoea, fevers and catarrhal diseases. It is sedative to the heart, actively diuretic and increases the elimination of uric acid.

Usual Dosage: Boil mature leaves in water and condense the vapour to recover the oil. It is usually used externally but a drop or two may be included in throat lozenges. A drop or two on a handkerchief, and the aroma inhaled, helps to clear congestion. An infusion may be made with 1-2 teaspoonfuls of dried, crushed leaves to 1 cup of boiling water. Let infuse for 10-15 minutes. Take up to 2 cups per day. Tincture: 1ml, three times per day. Pour boiling water over a few leaves, or add a few drops of the oil to the boiling water, and inhale the steam for chest infections. Add 2ml of the oil to 100ml water, soak a cloth pad in it and apply to inflammations and painful joints.

Other Uses: The leaves and essential oil are used as an insect repellent. The essential oil is used in spot cleaners for cleaning off oil and grease. It is often used to remove labels from bottles. A yellow-brown dye is obtained from the young leaves without a mordant. Grey and green dyes are obtained from the young shoots. A dark green dye is obtained from the young bark. The timber is used to make paper and is useful for construction work because it is resistant to termites.

When I was a child (quite a few decades ago!) whenever I had a sore throat or a cold coming on, my mother would take a teaspoon of sugar and put one drop of eucalyptus oil on it and feed it to me. It was pretty rugged (though not unpleasant - I used to suck it), but also pretty effective! A eucalyptus lozenge works in the same way.

Here is a link that might be useful: eucalyptus lozenge recipe

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 7:06PM
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"Boil mature leaves in water and condense the vapour to recover the oil."

Hey there Daisy!! Great to see you. But just HOW to you do this?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 3:53AM
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G'day Batya!

Really, it's a matter of distilling, and special equipment is required, which is what is done commercially. However, you can experiment by doing it a bit differently. Cram some leaves into a saucepan (as many as you can squeeze in) and cover them with water. Bring the water to the boil with lid on. Simmer until you notice little globules of oil floating on top of the water. Carefully scoop up these globules and bottle them.

Don't peek too often under the saucepan lid, as each time you do it, a little more of the oil evaporates, and be aware that with every scoop you can't help lifting up a bit of water with the oil - but you can get the oil that way, even though it won't store as long as pure oil. I reckon just a fun thing to do. Mind you, the smell, while pleasant, will be strong enough to knock you to the floor when you open that lid! Good for the sinuses, though.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 7:59PM
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